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[PR] Lee Marshall Wins 2007 MJSA Innovation Award


Lee Marshall Wins MJSA 2007 Innovation Award

Add the Blanking Die Saw to Marshall’s List of Products that Improve
the Lives of Metalsmiths and Jewelers Chicago, IL - January 8, 2008:
He’s done it again. Lee Marshall, the creator of the Bonny Doon line
of metalsmithing equipment, has developed a new line of products
that is already improving not only the productivity but the health of
metalsmiths. The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America
(MJSA) has recognized one of the new products, a blanking die saw
called the Precision Saw Guide 2, with a 2007 Innovation Award. As
pleased as Marshall is to receive the industry recognition, the
gratitude he’s receiving from his customers is what genuinely makes
him happy. A long-time customer of Marshall’s, Jennifer Friedman of
Ventura, California recently told Marshall, “Without your good work
our bodies would be killing us. You do great work for us Lee.”

You may not be aware of the daily bodily punishment metalsmiths
endure. All four of the major causes of work-related back pain
identified by the Mayo Clinic - force, repetition, posture, and
stress - are of particular concern for metalsmithing jewelers. It
takes a great deal of strength to cut, bend, and raise metal, and
since 1990 Marshall’s hydraulic press line has been credited with
enabling beautiful metal work while saving the backs of the artists
who produce it. Another occupational hazard understood by all
jewelers is the ubiquitous sternum dent. It’s the painful spot
developed by all jewelers as they compress a saw frame between their
chest and the bench to tighten every saw blade. This is just one of
the problems solved by Marshall’s Precision Saw Guide 2, on which the
blade tensioning occurs by turning a knurled knob on the top of the
upper blade clamp.

The most aggravating problem jewelers experience when sawing metal is
constant sawblade breakage. The Precision Saw Guide 2 significantly
reduces blade breakage in two ways. First, the frame is designed for
extreme rigidity, with vertical alignment incorporated into the frame
itself. This rigidity ensures the blade will not deviate from perfect
vertical alignment. Second, a brass hold-down pin prevents metal from
binding and jumping - another cause of broken sawblades. The
hold-down pin also provides guidance and support to the blade itself,
allowing more pressure to be applied to the blade.

Jim Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts in Bellingham, Washington
and an MJSA Innovation Awards judge says, “The saw frame is in
alignment with the work in such a way that you can make precision
cuts by hand - cuts that previously were attainable only with a
machine tool. This is a tool for someone like me - a small jewelry
designer who is trying to do limited scale production but doesn’t
have a lot of money to sink into tools.”

Another exciting invention from Marshall is his Knew Concept Power
Saw, specially designed for metalsmiths to make controlled cuts with
safety, and with the slower speeds required to dissipate heat.
Renowned artist Daniel Brush is using Marshall’s power saw for his
current body of work in 1/8" thick stainless. He reports, “Every time
I’m with the saw I say the same thing to Olivia, my wife. I frankly
don’t think I could make these pieces without this saw - not because
of the time - but because of the smooth delivery. Cutting stainless
by hand is like an ice-breaker going through Alaskan waters, choppy
and irregular. This saw eliminates the inconsistency, and lets me cut
a nice swath through the very mean waters.”

What keeps Marshall, in his mid-70s and certainly successful enough
to settle into a well-earned retirement, developing new equipment?
He says, “I have a commitment to the jeweler/metalsmithing
community, and I can provide them with tooling and equipment that is
unavailable elsewhere. I was rattling around in semi-retirement when
I noted that my used saws (of an older design) were commanding
almost full price on the Orchid market ( Clearly
there is a need, so I decided to take another look at the Precision
Saw Guide.”

The Precision Saw Guide 2 is an excellent choice for the 2007
Innovation Awards. Innovation is best defined as the act of making
improvements by introducing something new. The Precision Saw Guide 2
is an admirable example of this concept, improving both quality of
product and quality of life for jewelers, and at a price ($385) all
jewelers can afford. To see the Knew Concept line in action, go to and watch the demonstration videos.

As Cynthia Eid of Cynthia Eid Designs commented: “I like this new
saw frame so much that I have been using it even when I am not
making a die. The angle of the handle is comfortable, and the
blade-tightening mechanism is much nicer than pressing a saw frame
between my chest bone and bench. The saw frame has potential for
appealing to all jewelers—whether they have need of the
blanking die capability or not. As with many inspirations, this tool
is brilliant in its elegant simplicity.”

Knew Concepts contact (great videos of saws in action here)
Phone: 831-234-4652

Or by mail at: New Concepts
PO Box 1338
Santa Cruz, CA 95061

High-resolution photos available upon request

Publcity Contact Information:
Jenna Wolfgram
Hill Management Consulting
ph. 312.239.8820
fx. 312.637.9610

1322 S. Wabash, Suite PH3
Chicago, IL 60605