Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Saw blades and techniques


#1

Hi, I am wanting some advice in 2 areas of piercing. 1: are there
different quality saw blades and do they make a difference in time,
smooth work and less breakage? What companies would you all
recommend? Are there blades intended to aid specifically in
piercing? I saw online some companies advertise ‘piercing blades’.
And 2: as I search online for techniques in piercing and sawing, I am
not finding resources in how to professionally file the pierced
works. I realize that practice is the key,yet my squares on not tight
and edges not as even as need to be for a professional finish.

thank you all, brenda


#2
Are there blades intended to aid specifically in piercing? I saw
online some companies advertise 'piercing blades'. And 2: as I
search online for techniques in piercing and sawing, I am not
finding resources in how to professionally file the pierced works. 

Nowadays, almost all blades work well. Buying Swiss or German made
will keep you out of trouble. You will need all sizes from 2/0 to 8/0
and larger than 2/0 if you work in heavy gage.

More important is matching saw blade to a saw frame. If you want
seriously master piercing, get several frames in different weight and
stiffness. For jewellery work 3 inch frame is the largest you would
ever need, but they come in different stiffness.

Try to work with the smallest blade that you can handle. In that way
the need for filling is largely eliminated.

If filling needed to be done, you would need escapement files. I
recommend 2/0, 4/0, and 6/0 if possible. Quality escapement files are
not cheap. You would have to build your assortment slowly.

The most important component is time. The more time you spend
practicing, the better you would be. I publish couple DVDs. Any would
be good demonstration of piercing.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#3

Brenda,

Yes, there are many different qualities of sawblades. Although many
will give their favorites, my main suggestion would be to not buy the
cheapest ones. You want ones that will cut straight, and have the
strength to last a while when cutting. Spend the money on good
sawblades, they are well worth it.

The blade sizes will be important, depending on what you are
cutting, the thickness of the material, and the detail you need. For
most of our work we use a 3/0 blade, but for finer work I’ll
recommend a 5/0. Cutting off sprues would need a #0. For cutting
carving wax, I’ll use a # 10. These are all personal recommendations,
and each metalsmith will have their own preferences, in both brand
and blade size.

My recommendation is to learn to use the sawblade to pierce out your
designs with such precision that you won’t need to use a file. In the
finer detailed piercing, the only tool small enough to get into the
sawn openings is… a sawblade.

Keep that blade tight, don’t push forward very hard, use a light
touch, try to keep the blade vertical, and listen to the even sound
of the cutting strokes with your ears.

Good luck. The jeweler’s saw is a profoundly useful tool, and a
supreme joy to master.

Jay Whaley


#4
as I search online for techniques in piercing and sawing, I am not
finding resources in how to professionally file the pierced works.
I realize that practice is the key,yet my squares on not tight and
edges not as even as need to be for a professional finish. 

I bought this really cool flex shaft tool called a DieProfiler like
these here: http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1o I made one of those alert
things on eBay looking for one and grabbed one that went up with a
make-an-offer deal. I offered $200.00 and the guy sold it. I’m
EXTREMELY happy with it!

here’s another:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1p


#5

brenda,

There are different qualities of saw blades. In general you get what
you pay for. I generally buy upper middle to high priced ones, the
difference is maybe $5 per gross. Good blades are more fun to use.
And they are all piercing blades, well maybe not the bottom of the
food chain ones from countries I can’t even find on a map :slight_smile: Good
blades make it easier to get good results. Make sure you have a
minimum of 3 teeth in the metal thickness (if possible) Saw blades
cut, pierce, and are a good finishing tool. They are much cheaper
than high end little escapement files, small bits of emery paper
wrapped round tooth picks can be avoided.

Good tools and practice vs slow fools and impatience, your choice.

jeffD


#6

Brenda- Sawing and piercing are the same thing. That is unless you
are a “Body Piercer”.

My best advice for saw piercing is to relax your grip on the handle
and focus on making the blade just go up and down straight. Do not
lean forward on the frame to try to cut the metal. Just relax and let
the blade do the cutting. Don’t move the blade for turns, but move
the metal. Just keep going up and down like a machine.

It’s a zen thing. You must become one with the saw Grasshopper. Lots
of folks here will have some strong ideas about frames and blades,
but the best tools won’t work unless you use a good technique.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#7

Hi Brenda,

Those of us who do saw piercing will all have our own favourite
blades and even sawframes. My blades of choice are Swiss made,
Glarden Vallorbe, jewellers saw blades. My favourite saw frame is my
five inch deep framed Knew Concept titanium frame. I have written
before on orchid about my own piercing preferences and methods, and
have also commented on some YouTube videos showing saw piercing. I
pierce to a standard that requires very little filing work after
piercing, I mostly only use needle files to remove the cuts left by
the saw blade.You are right in saying that practice is the key, but
there are a few tips that I can give that might be useful. Firstly
your bench peg should be firmly attached to the bench, flat side
upwards. I cut a deep Vee in my bench peg for the purpose of saw
piercing. Most of my piercing is done with the saw frame held at
between 45 and 90 degrees to my eyeline, this means that I pierce
across my bench peg and that I can see where the saw blade is going.
Use the correct size of saw blade for the metal thickness you are
piercing. As a rough guide I use sizes=A03/0 and 4/0 for 0.5mm. to
0.70. thick metals,sizes 0 and 2/0 for 1mm. to 1.5mm. thick metals
and for 2mm. thick metals I use sizes 1 and 0. For delecate piercing
I will always use the smallest size blade possible. For lubrication
I use a wax candle, which I rub on the rear of the saw blade, this
lubricates the blade without blocking the blade’s teeth with wax.

Practice makes perfect.

The attachment shows photos of my first major piercing effort using
one of my aluminium Knew Concept saw frames, the silver bowl shaped
overlay was 1mm. thick and I managed to pierce the whole bowl design
of eighty plus interior holes,=A0using=A0a single=A0 Glarden Vallorbe =
2/0
size saw blade without breakage, this tells me something about the
benefits of using a good sawblade set in an exceptional=A0saw frame.

Peace and=A0good health to all=A0
James Miller FIPG=A0


#8

I would also like to know more about saw blades - it was something
that I’ve been meaning to ask the Orchidians.

My experience is that there are basically two types, stamped and
milled. In the UK, the only milled ones I’ve seen are a US brand
called Pike - these are generally well made, and as long as the
tempering was done well, they are very strong (we had a badly
tempered batch once, that broke easily).

Everything else is “Swiss Made”, and all stamped, regardless of how
expensive they are. The process of stamping seems to leave burrs (or
whatever the technical term is for leftover metal on the bottom side
of a stamping. This can often cause the blade to favour one side or
the other, and the shape of the teeth is very irregular when looked
at under a microscope. We’ve even had one batch where the lengths of
the blades were all slightly different, requiring us to constantly
adjust the length of the saw frames.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Jamie
http://primitive.ganoksin.com


#9
and as long as the tempering was done well, they are very strong
(we had a badly tempered batch once, that broke easily). 

there is an easy remedy for under-tempered blades. take a cigarette
lighter and anneal both ends, an inch or so. It takes a second and
extends blade’s life. If the whole gross is bad, bury it in some
quartz sand and bake it in regular kitchen oven at 450 for couple of
hours. In most cases it restores their usefulness.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#10

Brenda,

Another standard when checking your saw blade size; I was taught to
make sure you have a saw teeth count vs. the thickness of your metal
the that is 3 to 1. Meaning eyeball your saw blade and make sure
there are at least three teeth tall when compared to the metals
thickness. It really works well as a standard, and as you do more
piercing and cutting you can actually feel when there aren’t enough
blades doing the cutting for you. You will “catch up” on the metal
frequently when your blade has too few teeth and it will not cut
smoothly for you. Practice makes perfect, and you can actually get
into a rhythm when cutting that is a lot like the kind of "Zen"
feeling I get when plannishing & hammering.


#11

James,

Just for starters, I want to complement your piece, it is stunning!
Thank you for the tips and knowledge.

I am just a beginner but I got so discouraged that I just hated my
$12 jewelers saw. I hated sawing/piercing and would avoid it at all
costs if I possibly could. I would break blades left and right. I
love the delicate detail that you get with piercing but I would just
get frustrated.

I received a gift certificate at Rio and knew, no pun intended,
exactly what I was going to buy. The 3" Knew Concept Titanium Frame
is the best tool I have purchased in a long time! I have just started
piercing images into my work. I still need a lot of practice piercing
but I do not get as frustrated. Piercing at a 45 degree angle does
make it easier to see where you are going as long as you let the
blade do the work. Inserting the blade into starting holes in the
pattern and adjusting to the perfect “ping” is also so much easier
and less painful with the Knew frame. The frame also makes it easier
to “file” some of the rough patches due to my inexperience. I really
only had to use a little sandpaper to smooth my starting points.
Using a smaller drill bit should help make the starting point look
less obvious. I use Rio Laser Gold Blades usually in sizes 2/0 and
3/0 since most of the sheet I use is between 26gauge and 22gauge. I
have never used any other saw blade so I have nothing to compare them
with. Perhaps I should try some different saw blades as well.

Monica


#12

I am like to you about sawing metal, my problem is can’t cut it
straight and no matter how I try the cut always go other way not the
way I want, what did I do wrong? Can any one help me please?


#13
I am like to you about sawing metal, my problem is can't cut it
straight and no matter how I try the cut always go other way not
the way I want, what did I do wrong? 

What we have here is a lack of tension. Let me use the analogy of
taking your Doberman for a walk in the park. Since you are going to
be amongst a lot of people, and the dog has been known to snap at
folks, you keep him on a tight leash. With him up close, with his ear
almost resting on your calf, you are in control.

If, on the other hand, you allow him to wander off a foot or so, you
are not really in control. The dog is free to wander around as long
as he stays within the area. Using this scenario, I think that you
can see the similarity. A taut blade is the leash. The saw provides
you a very taut blade, and the tighter you make it, the more control
you have.

The point of this is to show that if you can make the blade a totally
mindless slave, you have total control. It will only go where you
want it to go. Accurate sawing minimizes filing! Piercing becomes a
pleasure, not a dreaded part of the design. The saw frees your
creativity, as you can now do what your mind sees.

As an aside, the only saw that can provide this level of tension is
the knew concepts (shameless plug).

Lee (the saw guy)


#14
I am like to you about sawing metal, my problem is can't cut it
straight and no matter how I try the cut always go other way not
the way I want, what did I do wrong? Can any one help me please? 

You are trying to hard.

Sawblade inserted in frame acts like a leaf spring. If you force it
to go in one direction, the blade will bow in opposite direction.
Natural tendency of bow to straighten out will force the blade in
direction opposite to indented. The harder you try, the more you
deviate. Instead, relax you wrist and slow down. In the beginning,
do just one stroke and stop to correct the direction. Proceed stroke
by stoke correcting yourself as you progress. With sufficient
practice the stop and go with become smooth continues motion, but not
right away. You don’t have saw like a machine. Precision more
important than speed.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#15

Having just received my Knew Concept saw (aluminium) for Christmas,
I can definitely recommend them. My lines sawn straighter and cleaner
with no broken blades. I have lent it to some colleagues to try, at a
class I attend, and they are all converted and are placing orders,
although in the UK they are more expensive. They may cost more
initially, but the saving in saw blades, time cleaning up and less
wasted metal more than makes up for this.

Hilary Sinclair
www.hilarysinclair.com


#16

sawing and piercing, success

I have noticed a marked improvement in my sawing. No longer am I
stopping more than I am sawing and I am able to stay on or close to
my lines w/much less filing. Thank you all for your suggestions!

brenda


#17
They may cost more initially, but the saving in saw blades, time
cleaning up and less wasted metal more than makes up for this. 

Not to mention the tremendous increase in your social status and
coolness rating. I’m certain that just owning one of these saws could
likely get you admitted into any of the coolest most exclusive high
class night clubs. I haven’t actuallly tried it yet, mind you, but
I’m sure it will work. Got to figure out a suitable belt holster for
the thing though…

:slight_smile:


#18

Peter,

Got to figure out a suitable belt holster for the thing though...

I was thinking that I need to prominently display my Knew Saw on the
living room wall like those cool bike dudes do with their fancy
schmancy 20 speed bicycles. The red color will definitely contrast
with my walls and furniture, and will get noticed by all!

; )


#19

Peter,

Perhaps SNAG should sponsor a “Tools of Style” competition at one of
their upcoming conferences. I would LOVE to see you wearing your saw
holster and saw! I’m ALL about enhanced social status and “coolness
factor”! I plan to actually get a social status and a “coolness
factor” someday, once I figure out how. Yeah, tools could be
considered less utilitarian and much more High Fashion!

For instance, I’ve been telling my students how important Sharpie
pens are to me when I’m teaching, but I can never find one nearby
when I need one. I’m thinking of designing a “Sharpie Bandoleer” for
myself, to fill full of Sharpies and sling around my shoulders like
an old time Mexican bandito! A damn good look, I think, and really
practical!!

If I do make my Sharpie Bandoleer, you can be sure I’ll model it at
the SNAG Conference in Seattle!

GOT IDEAS?

Jay Whaley


#20
If I do make my Sharpie Bandoleer, you can be sure I'll model it
at the SNAG Conference in Seattle! GOT IDEAS? 

Or buy premade. Sharpies in quantity from Costco, along with one of
these:


And somehow, given current events, I find something oddly satisfying
about using a device intended to hold lots of bullets, instead
holding lots of art potential instead. If the belt has unused
openings, one might also fill those with flowers? Sort of hearkening
back to the 60s…

Then to add the quickdraw sketchpad…

Peter