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Sawing straight


#1

I need to cut two pieces of silver, each about three inches long. I
cannot saw straight, so I would like to use those guillotine-like
shears. I have no idea where I could use this for two minutes’ worth
of time. I thought about buying one, though at this point have no
idea as to how much it costs and whether I would use it enough. Any
input? (and pricing?)

Thank you,
Laurie


#2

Hi Laurie,

The Guillotine shears work great ( for me at least ) but they can be
pricey I purchased mine from Shor international. They start at
453.00 like I said kind of pricy. They do have the regular bench
shears, I have never used them and not sure if they will give you as
clean and as straight of a cut as the guillotine shears… Shor
international web page is http://shorinternational.com/ and the
direct link to the bench shears section is
http://shorinternational.com/BenchShears.htm Hope this helps.

Michael Woltmann


#3

G’day; go to a hobbies modelers shop and get one of their ‘razor
saws’. No you can’t shave with them, but you can easily cut a dead
straight line in sterling sheet up to 2mm thick. They are a kind of
baby brother to a woodworkers tenon saw except they are made of
razor blade steel and have very fine teeth. Just keep the saw at a
very low angle.

I experimented with one (they are very cheap) and put a handle on
the opposite end of the saw to normal and found, like the Japanese,
that such saws are easiest to control using pressure on a back
stroke. Use a like beeswax or a candle on the teeth to lubricate
them. Try it; you’ll like it.

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ


#4

Hi Laurie; As others will tell you, a good pair of these shears is a
hefty investment. Why not work on your saw piercing technique? I
have a couple pointers you might try.

  1. First, make sure you’re using the right saw blade. For 16-18
    gauge sheet, I prefer a 3/0 blade, a 4/0 for finer gauge up to 20
    gauge. The distance between the teeth should always be less than one
    thickness of the metal you are sawing.

  2. Make sure the blade is well tensioned in the saw frame. If it’s
    too loose, it will sag and twist while cutting, and steer itself away
    from where you expect it to go.

  3. Don’t use too much pressure. The blade will cut fine with only
    enough pressure to keep it in contact with the metal in front of it.
    Take your time. Try to use the entire lenght of the blade with each
    stroke. That will accomplish faster cutting than bearing down on the
    blade (especially when you take into account time in changing
    blades).

When I have students that break a lot of blades and can’t seem to
cut straight, I always make sure their blade is tight enough in the
saw frame to make a nice musical “ping” when plucked. Then I make
them try sawing holding the saw handle with only their thumb and
first finger. You can actually do all your sawing with that light of
a grip, as long as the blade is sharp. And try a bit of carving wax
on the blade as a lubricant, especially when cutting silver or
copper.

Finally, when you are sawing on a straight-a-way, lean the top of
the saw frame forward towards the direction of the cut. This will
cause the blade to cut through the sheet at an angle to the surface,
wherein you’ll be cutting a thicker section of metal, but the blade
will also cut a leading channel in the metal and the blade will keep
itself cutting straight, as long as you’ve met the aforementioned
criteria of right blade, right tension, and right grip/pressure.
When you get the technique down for using a jewelers saw, you’ll find
that saw piercing is one of the more enjoyable efforts in jewelry
making.

Practice on some brass sheet.

David L. Huffman


#5

Laurie, you might try your local community college - or maybe call a
sheet metal shop and see if they could help you. another thought - if
you glue or tape a slightly thick straight edge to the sheet you
want to cut - say with double sided tape and a metal ruler or the
type of steel that is used for stamping blanks - something that you
wouldn’t easily cut into- it might help you saw straight - guiding
your blade along the straight edge?? Michelle

www.sumiche.com
creating what you want in platinum, gold and silver


#6

Hi Laurie:

I use a straight cutting metal shear {compound leverage] I have cut
thru as thick as 4 gauge but ya better have some strong hands! The
straight metal cutting scissors available from most supply houses
are sufficient to cut up to 10 gauge. The only disadvantage to the
first option is it leaves a small mark you have to file, the shears
clean cut Ringman


#7

Hi Laurie,

Do you have files? I would have thought you’d pobably be better off
just sawing the piece as best you can and then filing it to get a
neat straight edge.

Kind Regards,
Karen


#8

Go to the garden dept. in walmart and look for their garden shears.
The spring loaded black handled Fiskars brand that sell for $6. is
what you are looking for to cut metal. They are great.

Now go to the fabric dept. and look for small Fiskars spring loaded
gray handled shears. These are the absolute best solder snipers
you’ll ever use. They sell for $9.

For less then $20. you have two fabulous tools you’ll use every day.


#9

Laurie, Sawing a straight line doesn’t take all that long to learn.
The direction your saw accidently turns can be due to the blade
itself OR YOU! To control the direction of that dang blade: Don’t
’manhandle’ the saw frame. Hold the frame gentle. BARELY hold it.
A brand new blade will go exactly the direction it is
used…so…if you try too hard it will show it and just go and
go the wrong way. Now, I have been told a few different ways to saw
straight…but, one way works for me better than others. Saw
straight up and down a stroke or two, then tip the blade forward and
this tipping forward will create a kerf that the blade will follow
when sawing straight up and down…so, stroke straight up and down
then tip forward, up and down straight then forward a stroke or two
and SO ON and SO FORTH. Good luck. Steven


#10

Hello Laurie, Although it is limited to thinner gauges (<22 ga) of
the sheet metal, a heavy-duty paper shear such as you see in schools
and offices will give you a straight cut. I got an old one from a
photography shop going out of business. It’s got a cast iron frame
and cutting bar. Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
B.A.E. 237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhatttan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936 FAX (785) 532-6944


#11

I have cut thin sterling on a regular paper cutter quite a number of
times (& it still seems to cut paper just fine). Mark Chapman


#12

Sawing straight can be difficult in many ways.

Here is a tip to improve your accuracy when sawing long straight
lines: Tilt the blade forward at an angle. The lower the angle the
straighter the cut. Doing this helps in several ways. 1. It enables
you to sight down the straight blade to line it up with the straight
layout line you are following. 2. While the skinny little blade is
perfect for cutting sharp detail and corners when upright, it tends
to wobble off course when following a long straight line. But when
laid down, more of the blade is in contact with the metal than when
the blade is in its normal position, cutting straight up and down.
Like using a straight, stiff “back” saw the blade is straight when
used at a low angle, so its cut will be straight as an arrow.

Good luck.

Alan
Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street - Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94102
tel: 415-391-4179 fax: 415-391-7570
web: http://www.revereacademy.com
email: alan@revereacademy.com


#13
    Laurie,  Sawing a straight line doesn't take all that long to
learn. 

Laurie - another thought. When you are sawing a line (curve or
straight) don’t look directly at your saw blade and the line, but
look ahead down the line (think of how you drive and steer your car -
you don’t look right down at the road but out front and automatically
steer where you are headed).

If you do this, you will almost always saw straight - plus don’t
grip the saw too tightly. A relaxed hold and looking ahead of where
you saw are all it takes - that and a couple hundred hours of
practice.

Kay


#14

Hi Judy,

Although it is limited to thinner gauges (<22 ga) of the sheet
metal, a heavy-duty paper shear such as you see in schools and
offices will give you a straight cut. 

Great advice! There’s just one caution. If you buy a new paper
cutter, be sure to get one with a wooden bed. The ones with a
plastic bed tend to flex when you’re cutting more than 1 or 2 sheets
of paper. This isn’t good & leaves a ragged edge, if it even cuts at
all.

Dave


#15

In addition to everyone else’s suggestion, saw outside the scribed
lines, then swipe the cut edge on a flat piece of sandpaper until
the edge is smooth and straight. If you are doing two pieces of
metal the same size, saw and sand them together. Nancy
www.psi-design.com


#16

Thank you to both David H and Alan R Even though I have been piercing
metal for years and love sawing by hand I learned a couple of points
that I did not know. Tilt the blade forward at an angle. The lower
the angle the straighter the cut. The distance between the teeth
should always be less than one thickness of the metal you are sawing.

Both of these tips help even though I have little to no trouble with
my sawing. Now I can better explain to my students why to do these
things.

Perspective can sometimes be everything. Blessings on all in this
year of the Monkey. This is supposed to be a good year to make money.
May all of you come out ahead.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady” (@Rocklady)
K.I.S. Creations
May your gems always sparkle.


#17

I have cut thin sterling on a regular paper cutter Me too. I do
suggest that no one use the “plastic” kind.


#18

Laurie, Sawing a straight line doesn’t take all that long to learn.
The direction your saw accidently turns can be due to the blade
itself OR YOU! To control the direction of that dang blade: Don’t
’manhandle’ the saw frame. Hold the frame gentle. BARELY hold it. A
brand new blade will go exactly the direction it is
used…so…if you try too hard it will show it and just go and
go the wrong way. Now, I have been told a few different ways to saw
straight…but, one way works for me better than others. Saw
straight up and down a stroke or two, then tip the blade forward and
this tipping forward will create a kerf that the blade will follow
when sawing straight up and down…so, stroke straight up and
down then tip forward, up and down straight then forward a stroke or
two and SO ON and SO FORTH. Good luck. Steven


#19

I have cut thin sterling on a regular paper cutter quite a number of
times (& it still seems to cut paper just fine). Mark Chapman


#20

Laurie

When I was starting out as an apprentice I discovered that a fine
line of a Sharpie pen drawn on the outside of my cutting line and a
very good bench light and baby rubber syringe were my best friends,
I have used them with a bench pin that is padded to prevent scratching
the metal and now and then, in the teeth of a vice with copper and
leather jaws.

Now and then I think I would really love to have a shear, but
because I don’t do huge numbers of the same item, it is not a
necessary tool. What IS necessary is to saw slowly, with an easy
pace, not pressing hard or feeling hurried. It takes a little time to
learn to do it with high precision, but the trip is fun, and the
result is a jewelry ‘‘high’’. Skill is more fun than having ALL the
tools. Ohh nooo! Did that come out of my mouth? Me, a certified
tool junkie! Well, learn to saw well before you invest in time and
labor saving tools, There may be many things you will need far more
than a bench shear.

Good luck! The trip is as grand as the destination,

Frif