Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

New Saw Machine

Thanks everyone for all the compliments
I would love to see pictures of your machine, Dar.

Just to focus on the actual reason for making a proto type like this.
It is not because I want to tempt new people to the trade with ( Quote) “all sorts of new (unnecessary) tools, gadgets, machines, ready-made jigs, etc. which they then assume they need” as Janet from Jerusalem suggests.
That is disingenuous.
Also, I did not design this machine because I want to have newbies circumvent learning how to use a hand saw.
On the contrary, I teach many students across the world how to approach jewellery making using the traditional ( and difficult) methods first.
Check out my jewelry tutorial site and you will see a ton of difficult projects to do.

No, the reason I made this saw is because it is difficult.

I had to figure out how I can get a 70 mm stroke in a very small size physical size.
I wanted a saw that can cut very precisely, at completely 90 degrees.
I wanted it simple, robust and cheap to make.
For example, the motor retails at $15. And I have already put 500 hours of machine time on it and it still works perfectly.
Everything is modular, and most of the machine can be 3D printed.

Here is a rough test print I had done of one of the sections.

This design is very limited in general piercing, namely, one cannot really use it for anything other than piercing flat material.
So it’s not the end be all that removes the hand piercing saw in any way.

Here is a picture of one of my first attempts in 2011. ( don’t laugh)

Eventually I used a modified scotch yoke

Here is a test piece of the yoke I made out of plastic first.

So all in all I think I made a nice machine that has potential for a place in the jewllery
making industry.

I have several projects like this under development, and next year I am going to be looking for a partner in the USA who wants to work with me to develop this machine, and the Drill Str8 and various other proto types I have designed for the jewellery industry.

So if anybody knows of some one who can set up small production runs iI would be very interested to meet.

1 Like

Hans, your saw is not complete until it is driven by a stationary bike and a dragon pedaling furiously for power. Tom

1 Like


I of course suggested nothing of the sort…:-)… The partial, out-of-context quote of mine in Hans’ post made no reference whatsoever to Hans, his prototype, or his intentions. Rather, it is taken from my discussion with Ted (vladimirfrater), who was advocating letting students improvise their own solutions, and my response to him that the ever-increasing selection of ready-made tools and gadgets available today unfortunately crush much of the “incentive to make what you need from what you have”. The type of items I had in mind were e.g., the plethora of specialty pliers

and the vast array of costly soldering/sawing/filing/bending jigs we see in all the jewelers’ supply stores in the US. It was not that long ago that goldsmiths made all these aids themselves from easily obtainable, inexpensive materials, as well as making specialty tools by themselves by creatively adapting existing tools e.g., pliers.

It is unfortunate that Hans chose to relate this discussion to himself and his work, which I am sure neither Ted nor I intended.

Janet in Jerusalem

1 Like

You and me both. I absolutely love this.

I neeeeeed bending pliers!

Betty23h janetb
I neeeeeed bending pliers!

Hi Betty!
If you were born, say, thirty or forty years earlier, you would have made them in your studio exactly to your specifications…:wink: And if you did that today, you’d save hundreds of dollars.:grin:

HI Janet,

Speaking as one of the people making all the new widgets, I’m of two minds.
First, I can see your point. I grew up making all my own gear too. Which is why I have the skills to make it on a (god help me) industrial scale now. Part of me does think that everyone should be able to make this stuff.
Not everybody does, or can. Or wants to.
Some people just want to focus on making what they want to make, not all the support gear needed to get there.
And then there are people who don’t have the kit needed to make things like Han’s saw. (Very cool, btw.)

For the production jeweler, it all comes down to time. Is it more efficient in terms of time (AKA money) to buy the thing and get on with the job, rather than taking the time (and investing in the gear) to make it up from scratch? Serious ironworking kit is expensive, and takes more than a little skill to use properly. Not everybody has the time and energy (or interest) in specializing with that equipment.

I’ll agree with you about some of it: the hordes of specialized pliers have always struck me as a little absurd, but on the other hand, I’ve used them. I’ve even bought a set of those $150 German ring bending pliers. They were absolutely the right tool for forcing 8mm thick bars of hardened niobium to bend right here when I was working on a goblet with forged Nb legs. Didn’t give the cost a second thought, and still consider those pliers to have been well worth the price, as well as a genuine pleasure to use.

As I said, I can see both sides of it: one side says ‘get the tool, get the job done’, and the other side of me is still a broke 20 year old student, horrified at the idea of spending $50 for a ‘texturing hammer’ that I could have made out of a swap meet hammer for $5. But I know how, and I’ve always had a problem with properly valuing my time. Time’s the one thing you can’t make more of. The only question is how you decide to use it.
And then there are people who’ve decided that they only have so much time left to spend, and they’d rather spend it making the stuff that interests them. That’s a valid choice too.



I of course suggested nothing of the sort…:-)… The partial, out-of-context quote of mine in Hans’ post made no reference whatsoever to Hans, his prototype, or his intentions.

Firstly, I absolutely agree with you that there are many gadgets on the market that are of dubious use and value.

But Janet, you made these comments in a show and tell thread that I started about a proto type saw machine.

Rubbishing all tools and gadgets as something that metal smiths should learn to make ( and are somehow less skilled for not doing so), implies that I am doing the same and insinuates out that my proto type saw falls in that category as well.

And it is not even remotely like that.

It took many, many months of design, years of making six proto types, and eventually a well working saw that I made primarily for MYSELF.

Sure, if I could figure how to produce this machine at a low cost I would love to bring it to the market, but my prime goal was to see it I could build a machine that takes the drudgery out of cutting loads of brass pieces for the sculptures that I make…

Perhaps a better solution for you and Ted would be to start a new thread instead of hijacking an existing one, because now pliers are under discussion, which is very far removed from the tread’s original title.

HI Hans,

Well, to get back to saws, there actually is a commercially available powered jeweler’s saw.
Lee’s original Knew Concept saw. The first KC saw was the powered one, not the hand saws. And we still make it.
It’s expensive, but it exists, and it does work.
Lee ‘gave’ me one for Christmas a few years back. Since I was the one making the parts for it, that was a little circular, but it gave me an excuse to make one ‘for me’. So mine’s blue, and has engine turning on the frame. (Before anybody asks, no, the production saws will always be red.) I joke about it being the Blue Max.

The red one is what the production ones look like, in my freshly cleaned home studio. The blue one is what mine looks like, in the real Knew Concepts shop.
The main trick with them is that they use a cable going up and around the frame to hold the blade. If the blade snaps, the cable goes slack, and the motion dies. Which means you don’t have any problem with it ramming a broken blade into your fingers.
I’ve thought about other ways to make them, smaller, and I keep coming back to the cable design. It’s the only thing either Lee or I could come up with that was simple, light, and killed the motion instantly, without relying on any other gear that could misfire, or fail to function.


PS–> Hans, if you’re looking for production, drop me a line, if I can’t fix you up, I may know people who can.


Hans Meevis,
Sorry that instead of seeing the
awesomeness of your creativity, someones
focus was about their personal issue, their
opinion, and the lack of support for creativity,
as expressed, for making jewelry, or designing
a tool to create with.

1 Like

Hi Brian, both your (Lee’s) and Hans’s designs are intriguing to me, as Im for making tools I need that I cant buy to interpret an idea for a product.
If you havnt seen the pics I posted earlier this year, I think it was in reply to Janet, of the way i made my 1 ton medium
1880’s drop hammer a fully transportable demonstration production tool. Ill re post them. Just ask!
The B’ham (UK) jewellry quarter were amazed what I did, but it was to do a job no one else had attempted on a proper industrial scale. And, it turned out to be a money spinner.
With reference however, to a mechanised reciprecating jewellers saw, Im just pleased for Hans that he had the time to make all those prototypes and the final product he has put 500 hrs of presumably production work there upon.
To me that would be a waste of time but its his time not mine so im in no position to comment nor wish to put down his efforts.
So with reference to sawing via a reciprecating motion, its just one way to saw metal. I had to cut some 100 2in cuts in 1/8in thick nickel brass and my very narrow bladed band saw did each one in less than a minuite. a mechanised jewellers saw would have been a waste of time. Like wise apart from internal piercing where one drills a hole, puts the saw through then cuts out the shape, an external continious running band saw is a much better answer now that the very fine saws are available.
As to my comment to Janet, its based on personal experience in teaching.
Heres the true story,
I was coming up to my 50th b’day, and my better half said to me Ive a lovely surprise for you! so whats that, i said?
youl’l have to wait 9 month for that!
I replied, thats wonderful! I thought to myself however, just my luck! it shure to be another girl, having had 3 already.
however, it was a total surprise that on arrival it was a boy!
To cut a long story short, as soon as he crawled into my w/shop and started to ask questions? I gave him his own small anvil, and similar tools, to play with, but with the proviso that I was always asking him how do you see this,? or how do you think it should be done?
I made him think ahead from around 3 yrs old.
He is now a high flier in the sonar world travelling the world and asking! all his customers questions! how do they see their requirements? Trouble shooting, problem solving, product development.
and it all started some 30 yrs ago when he was 3.

Nice work Hans! I’ve thought about making something similar for the last 20 odd years. There’s so much basic, 2D-style sawing/piercing that’s done which could be dramatically sped up by a machine like this. I mean, look at carpentry. . . there’s so many varieties of scroll saws, band saws and such because it is economically advantageous to make use of such tools rather than spend the time hand sawing such basic things. Given, that doesn’t change the situation for piercing curved surfaces and such which basic sawing teaches, but for those that already have the skill-set, a machine like this would certainly increase productivity.

As always, thanks for sharing!



Sure, I can’t find your email address.

Milne is

HI Erich:

Actually, there is an attachment widget for the KC power saw that does let it work on curved surfaces.
We’ve never put it into production, but I’ve got the prototypes. It’s not that hard to make up, we just never had the combination of time, tools and interest to turn them out in quantity. It’s also sort of a pain to install: you have to remove the entire table and replace it with the widget, which takes about 5 minutes of fussing.


1 Like

This is FANTASTIC, well done!

Interesting! Without having seen it, it’s a bit hard to imagine, but your comment of it requiring some “fussing” makes sense. I did not spend much time on my designs, but when it came to curved surfaces, I couldn’t figure out how to make a machine to cut them that would be quicker than just doing it myself (by the time I reconfigured the machine). Still, it would be neat to see it in action sometime!

Thanks for the info!

I just checked my stash of oddball bits, and found the hemispherical cutting widget, so I do have the thing. This discussion has moved me to ponder making some ‘how to tweak your saw’ videos this weekend, as I’ve never had the time to update the instructions that come with it, which are…suboptimal.
If I do that, I’ll put the bowl cutting base on it, so people can see how it works.



Hey Hans,
I certainly appreciate some of the difficulties of making a usable machine saw. I say “some of” because I’m extremely confident in my lack of ability to design and build one from scratch for myself ! I accept my deficiencies in some areas (lack of formal engineering education of any sort) and try to maximize the use of my inherent abilities (creativity, stubbornness, obsessiveness , inventiveness driven by specific necessity, for starters) . I’m perhaps a genius at tweaking and modifying existing pieces of engineering proficiency , so , back when I was wanting some kind of motorized solution to my die-sawing problem, I had no desire to, nor any expectations of making one myself . I relied upon the actual engineering genius of Lee Marshall , and once I had the prototype saw he made , I proceeded to use and adapt it to my exact needs and liking (better structural support, beefier /faster motor, hold-down aids , bigger table, arm rests) .

The result is , at this point, very hard to understand by looking at it in pictures. Partly because it’s so cluttered with strange-looking modifications, and partly because my entire 2-saw saw- table area is itself a clutter of funky incarnations , built on top of and around each other over the years. I started taking a few pics a week or so ago, but gave up, because I thought it seemed too complicated to try and explain things in enough detail so that anyone would have a chance of getting wtf I was trying to describe. But I tried again today, and then realized that the only way to make it make sense was to also shoot some video. I probably would have left it alone if I hadn’t come here and see that you’d said you’d like to see it, even though I had wanted to. So, there is going to be video , and pics, and words, someday; perhaps reasonably soon . I forewarn you though, the thing is pretty frightening to look at ;far scarier than a dragon (^;.


I was going to edit out the part about me being a genius ,(but I waited too long) at tweaking things other people have invented. Maybe it’s true , but it’s also true that I’m as dumb as Beavis half the time , so you might say I’m a very balanced (if unhinged at times) type of person . (^8


Hi Dar,
Would like to see your machine ,even just as an ordinary jpeg.
As you may have read I make my own dies as well, tho there using 5/8ths to 3/4in thick O1 steel for the female, 90% hard, and the same for the male, the punch tho is half hard.
Thats then on a 1in dia steel shaft some 2in in length, that is locked into the slider of a fly , or power crank press.
the biggest I blank is in 1/10th in thick 70/30 brass or nickel brass some 3.5in by 5in dia oval. no shear! on the tooling Use for that the 25 ton crank press. Foot operated single shot set up.
To mint the front for this I use a 100 ton drop hammer with the blank red hot in a reducing atmosphere muffle, propane fired.
Many of the die sets, particularly from the 1900’s all have 3/4 in dia threads with 8 tpi. An unusual b/ham UK standard.
Now these are all to be used as open tooling, no die sets. IF! you have set up the press very well, the alignment will hold for hundreds of punch cycles. when the punch gets tired, you clamp it in a leg vice, then hammer the end to swell it back to size, broach through the die and your in production again.
Just the way the commercial metal workers here in b’ham and W Midlands developed production methods from around 1875 onwards. nothing really new!.
with this kind of w/shop setup, im able to do production runs up to 2500 off., Tho ill still do one offs if it profitable.
got some poor pics of my w/shop press and bench area, Like a look? the big machines are in another building.

Hope this is of interest .