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Rastl

Jeweler's saw and setting blades

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I have a standard jeweler's saw frame and a buncha blades. For the life of me I can't see how to set the blades so they're nice and taut, much less keep them from breaking as soon as I try to saw anything.

 

Anyone have a reference or at least some ideas on what the heck is going on?

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When I used them I would get the blades really tight. On mine I would loosen up the frame, get the blade locked in at each end. Then pull it tight and lock the frame.

 

They are tricky to use; let the blade do the work. Don't put any pressure on it 'forward'. Just pull it up and down; don't 'push' through the material. Keep it nice and straight too; no angle. It's not like a wood saw where you put an angle on it and 'push' through the wood as you saw.

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Is the length of the "bow" part of your saw frame adjustable? If so, try making it shorter than the length of the blade.

 

Attach one end tightly, then while you're tightening the other end, pull the blade taut with a pair of pliers or strong fingers, holding it where it protrudes from the shortened frame. You should end up with nice tight blade that won't be as easy to break. Still easy, just not quite as much so. You still have to be pretty careful when cutting through anything with much thickness to it, and do expect that you'll break a blade more often than you'd like. You can shorten the frame again to reattach blades that have broken but which still have enough length to make your cut. It seems to me like the shorter you set the bow and blade, the less likely you are to break the blade. Of course, you're losing stroke-length each time you shorten the frame. But I think this might be a big part of the reason why shorter blades seem to break less...

 

You can also try extending the frame to "stretch" an already-attached blade into proper tightness, as morganm suggests.

 

I have no idea if this is how every/any one else does it, but it works OK for me.

 

Good luck!

 

Kang

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Also, try not to twist the blade at all while sawing- which is easier said (or typed) than done.

I run the blade thru a bar of soap before sawing to keep the blade from binding up while cutting. Wax works well too.

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oh you are talking avout a BOW saw for jewelry cutting. set it so the non cutting part of the blade (about 1/2 inch each side) can be screwed but not bended. Then find an hard surface where you can push the bow so it bend. your thighten to top part then the bottom part.

 

It will be thighten and ready to saw. Oh use wax on your blade. it will break less often !

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OK - here's the link to the saw frame I have. It's adjustable so I can set the tension on the blade.

 

I'm not sure if I can pull down on the blade, adjust the frame, and tighten the screw all at the same time. I'm pretty sure I only have two hands.

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Hook the top, inside, of the bow around the corner of a table or something. Then pull down to get it tight. Now crank down the wing nut to lock it in. The blade doesn't have to be super tight; just get it taunt.

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A lot of good advice so far here, which I will probably be repeating.

 

I always set the blade first while the adjustable arm is still loose. Once the blade is set and locked in on both ends, adjust the arm to where the blade is taut, then tighten down the arm. Make sure the teeth are pointing down. Always cut with the blade vertical in an up and down motion. Definitely use wax or soap to lubricate the blade. Don't apply pressure, let the blade do the cutting. I managed to make one blade last through half a semester of jewelry class and only had to change it because it got dull. Of course I've never managed that again, but with the right technique you'll get a lot more life out of your blades.

 

Another useful tool to have is a Bench Pin V-Slot w/ Clamp. This allows you to hold your figure or whatever you are cutting in place and sort of forces you to keep your saw vertical. To change the angle of your cut you have to change the angle of the figure.

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Rastl, that is exactly the saw we used at job. you see the top part that look like a finger (to be polite) this part is made to be pushed against the table (while the back bow is locked). Then you are still pushing with your belly (3rd hand) so it bend the saw just enough to be able to screw the top and then the bottom part of the blade. Pointy of the teeth facing thoward you.

 

This is the simplest and fastest trick on how to set it.

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I've seen a few places online (ebay and a couple other stores) and even found out that Xacto makes a jeweler's saw, but I've checked out local hardware and arts stores with no luck. I'd prefer to find one locally rather than order it online, but I'm wondering if there's any other choice.

 

_____

Jewelry Displays

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you know you have the right tension if it makes a solid twang if you pluck the blade like a guitar. if it sounds flat is either too loose or too tight.

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I'm still giving mine the stink eye and avoiding it for now. I don't have any projects that require it but I'm gonna get it to work for me.

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OK - here's the link to the saw frame I have. It's adjustable so I can set the tension on the blade.

 

To my everlasting shame, I only got one of these things like a year and a half ago. Before then, I just did nothing wreck clippers destroying entire minis for some part I wanted to transfer. The Jeweler's saw has made my life so much easier. :)

 

Hmm...so I wrote this huge wall-of-text describing the solution to the problem I think you're having. But it's a little confusing, even to me to read. So I'll use pictures instead.

 

post-2902-1233198709.jpg

 

Step 1: Once the blade is screwed in tight at both of the terminals (blade down, of course), gently pull the arm wide until the blade is taut. At this point, you shouldn't worry too much about it loosening up a bit - if your saw has a bit of resistance like mine does, it's important to get it about in the right position.

 

post-2902-1233198725.jpg

 

Step 2: Using a hand (we'll say right), hold the saw like in the picture (yeah, my hands aren't good - it's been over a decade since life drawing) and yes, for a jeweler's saw it's huge. Just think of it as oversized for demonstration purposes - most people will not be able to fit their whole hand in there like that. The key is to have your thumb on the end of the arm like shown. Push the arm out with your thumb (or if you have a weak grip you can use both hands to pull it apart taut) and use your thumb to keep the pressure so it remains taut.

 

post-2902-1233198742.jpg

 

Step 3: Using your other hand, you can now tighten the top screw or the side screw or whatever that holds the arm in place.

 

Hope that helps.

 

EDIT: As for sawing, I find the less pressure you use, the better. In fact, I give it a super-light touch and literally just use the weight of the saw and nothing else to saw through stuff. Using any kind of force or pushing force with the sawblade is a recipe for broken blades - just a medium-speed smooth sawing motion is best. A lot of people lubricate the blades with beeswax or something. I've yet to need any kind of lubricant myself.

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