This question was originally asked by John Bowling last month. I have
been away for a week so I am just catching up on reading the orchid
posts that I missed. I also use Glarden Vallorbe saw blades and find
them the best for my purpose. Yes sometimes you will get a bl;ade
that runs untrue that is why they are sold by the gross. If you worry
about bad blades or breaking the blades then you will not be thinking
about your piercing quality. When I first started piercing, as an
apprentice, I was very conscious about the amount of blades that I
broke, but when no one told me off for breaking blades, I soon forgot
about blade breakages and thought more about the quality of the
piercing. In my experience most blades will suffer breakage or
distortion when the piercer is turning the blade in an interior tight
angle or corner. I taught my apprentices to cut into the corner or
angle twice, the second cut with the blade held at a slight sideways
angle which widens the first saw cut and enables you to turn the
blade easier in an angle. Also when sawing larger sections it pays to
check the wing nut tightness regulary. If one of the blade securing
wing nuts become loose the blade will cease to be taught and then
will distort while you are piercing, also a loose blade will wander
off the desired piercing line.
I read one contributer named Jesse, who suggested that using a
mechanical saw might be better for sawing with less broken blades.
Well mechanical saws are OK for piercing flat sheet, but I am sure
that a mechanical saw is not as adaptable when sawing shaped items.
Take a look at some of my piercing here;
The pierced cone was 8 inches tall and made of 18ct gold, the actual
labour time for me on this cone was 24 hours and that included
drawing and engraving the outline pattern, then finally piercing and
filing the design, although I must admit that the filing was only to
remove any saw cuts on the metal edge. The piercing fitted over a
cone of guilloche enamel and was part of the job that is shown on my
Orchid Gallery, titled Rock Crystal Bowls.
I don’t think that this type of piercing can be achieved by using a
mechanical piercing saw.
One final comment, I have been looking at some of the videos about
saw piercing that are posted on You Tube. I find them very misleading
and amatuerish, even the ones made by so called experts. I have seen
some by Art Jewelry Magazine and one by Rio Grande and I am surprised
at the lack of skills when handling a saw frame. Sorry to be negative
but I was hoping to see some skilled craftspeople at work. Over here
in the UK, the Goldsmiths Company are producing DVDs entitled
Masterclasses, I have bought a couple and am impressed by their
quality. If anyone is interested please let me know and I will post
some more details, the DVDs are made and sold by the Goldsmiths
Company as tuition aids and only cost 15 UK pounds each. So far they
have produced five which include silversmith raising, diamond setting
and polishing and finishing.
Peace and good health to all.
James Miller FIPG.