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Sawing thin slits in end of rectangle silver rod

Trying to saw 2 slits, lengthwise, in one end of a 4-5 mm silver rectangle rod about 2 mm thick… (to be later bent up for a ring.). Besides the fact it’s hard to keep it straight, the thin strip breaks off… I’m about to can this idea and devise a workaround using solder, but am wondering how to hand saw almost as precise as a table saw to cut these slits in the end. I annealed it first but maybe that softens it too much… any info welcome and thank you.

Try using a very thin separating disc rather than a saw. Let us know how it goes. Good luck…Rob


I’d try and scribe some lines down the center of all sides then make them a bit deeper with the saw blade, to guide as I’m cutting. I’m a hobbyist and still learning and only tried that once. It was just ok, and was fairly uneven (then I broke off a prong in an unrelated mistake), but I’m better at cutting now, so I plan to try again when I get the time.

Practice appears to be the only way.
Im fairly new, and have attempted this a few times, getting better and better but still messy.

As Steven said, use dividers to scribe carefully, instead of pressing hard, do a few runs.
Lube up a thin blade, and cut. Just do 30 or 50 copper wires, and you’ll get great at it!

Now, if someone can tell me how to stop the pain in my thumb on the hand holding the metal down, i’d be all good.

Or, make a tool. File a V into your cutting block, saw a vertical line down the middle, and use it as a guide. Or aluminum. Or 3d print…

If you are making a split shank ring, make the ring first and then cut the split with a separating disc. Open the split with a tapered tool like a nail punch. You can buy or make tools that will tightly hold your sheet while you saw. Look at Rio #110006. Eurotool makes a great sprung metal sawing vise that I use a lot. It is Rio # 112187. I have also used a woodworking clamp to hold down steel plate when I saw out pancake dies. Regarding learning to saw, as mentioned by others, it just takes practice. Get some copper sheet and wire and practice away. Good luck…Rob



on a related sawing note…if your blade is too tight, it will “pull” to the side…like a car with bad wheel alignment…which makes it hard to saw a straight line…we are often taught to string up a tight saw blade, but no one ever told me about issues when saw blades are too tight…i picked it up in the Oppi Untracht book…

if you use a “just big enough” blade, maybe a 4/0, 6/0…the blade will track better in the cut than a very thin small blade…like 8/0…

is your primary issue a lack of control due to holding a smalk piece…?…i made a sawing/ piercing bench pin…out of oak…it has very thin perpendicular sharp edged slits in it…i am able to hold small things very flat and steady…pieces do not rock or tip like with larger V shaped cutouts…consider slit positioning and angles on pin that will facilitate easier holding of pieces…

also, you might find it helpful to try out different holding tools…parallel pliers, pin vise, etc

why is the slit piece breaking off? is it getting too thin? is your saw blade too thick? the slits should end up around 2x1mm
that sounds like it should be ok…i prefer ring shanks at least 1.2-1.6mm…perhaps slightly thicker (and wider?) stock will give you the strength you need, while maintaining the look you are agter…

just a few thoughts…


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Hearty thanks for all this kind and good advice. I am currently trying it all - will update post and let you know… starting with “practice seems to be the only way”…


That’s what I would do too!

If this is to make a split shank of say, 2mm wide, make two 1mm wide rings and tack them together at what will become the bottom of the ring. This makes a much cleaner job than the saw. Let’s face it, the cleaner the job-the more it is worth.

Great idea!

Try using a really thin saw blade for the first cut, then switch out to a larger a blade to widen the cut. Scribe guide lines on both the top and bottom of the rod; go slowly and lubricate your saw blade often. Start the cut, then back the blade out carefully and check the bottom guide line to make sure that your cut is straight and level. You can make small adjustments as you go.

I’ve been cutting down a similar size rod in brass to make bezel pushers for my classes. The trick is to take your time starting your cut (and practice, of course). Good luck!

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Can you show us what your bezel pusher looks like? Thanks…Rob

On the left is the brass stock I cut down and on the right is the finished bezel roller. The handle is polymer clay; I have no wood working skills to speak of. The whole tool fits into the palm of your hand and the thumb and first finger rest in the cut-outs, which give you maximum control when setting.

This was my first serious attempt at making tools and I was under a deadline. I was scheduled to teach a bezel ring class on Saturday; when I stopped by the makerspace where I teach on Thursday to prepare materials, bezel rollers I requested had not been ordered. I needed a solution in a hurry. Fortunately my son had ordered this brass stock on a whim. I got to work making four of these.

I made them with a jeweler’s saw and a file. I didn’t have a seperating disc or I would have tried that too.

Thanks, they look great and I assume work well. Making your own tools is very satisfying, especially when they work…Rob

Regarding a tight sawblade pulling to the side. Properly made sawblades don’t do this. Oppi Untracht wrote that book a while ago. It is not my experience. Only saw with the tightest blade possible with your saw frame. In my experience, the knew concept frames hold the blade much tighter and saw far more accurately.
Judy H

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As long as my saw frame is not warped and the blade is installed properly and tight, I can saw straight. This is especially true of my Knew Concepts frame. The only precaution is that the Knew Concepts frames that allow you to set the blade at an angle will, at least for me, do this without me knowing it. So I check to make sure that one end or the other hasn’t rotated a bit before I start to use it. Thanks Judy for pointing this out…Rob

Hi Judy,

I must have been making my sawblades ReALLy tiiiight!:rofl::joy:

After scouring Oppi for a possible solution, and tripping over thst one sage sentence, in a book of 700+ pages!…i loosened my saw blade and the “veering off” subsided! I was so happy!

I love my Oppi!…i have learned so many things from him…I am sure I have forgotten 90% of what i read, but he is always there for me to refer to!

I wish I could have learned how do niello!!