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wdmartin

Jewellery saws

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I've got a couple of pewter minis I want to rebase, and the clippers I've been using in the past are probably not going to do the trick.  One has a a long sweeping dress that covers almost the full base she's on, and the other has great big gallumphing feet that kind of sink into the terrain.  So I've been thinking of trying a jewellery saw.  Any recommendations?  I'm not sure what to look for in one of those, but I hear the blades vary in quality quite a bit.

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I usually cut off the thicker parts with clippers, I also use a jewelry saw and then file the surface to flatten it again.

 

I use a jewelry saw I bought in a DIY store with a blade made for metal sawing.

No idea about brands or quality issues.

 

You need to be careful about the force you apply and guiding the saw.

 

I recommend you take a look at this:

http://www.reapermini.com/TheCraft/31

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I'd recommend two things:

  • Razor saws don't break (unless you're really brutal) and make very flat cuts. I prefer them to jewelry saws for this sort of thing.
  • Whatever saw you use, lubricate it with a light machine oil like 3-in-1. I would recommend not using WD40, as it's not primarily intended as a lubricant, but if it's what you have and you don't want to buy a better lubricant, it will certainly help.
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I bought my jeweler's saw off of Amazon, and a zillion blades for pretty cheap. 

 

I use Marvel Mystery Oil for lubricant, but what Doug said. It also helps to lubricate your pin vise and drill bits when drilling metals. 

 

I'll have to try a razor saw. 

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Be careful to brace carefully when using a jewler's saw. They don't take any torque really; you can get a slight sideways pressure but no twist. Twisting is how you usually break a blade. Could also get the tube of saw lubricant at Rio Grande jeweler's supplies. Figure out how to "string" the saw. Too loose and it gets stuck. Too tight and it is brittle.

Hmmm... yeah, jeweler class long ago and that's about it for our purposes here. Keep in mind that we spent almost a week on sawing because it can be a pain in the butt. And blades break just less often afterward. 

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I find a razor saw too thick to use around the feet.  Just for hacking off lumps it is fine.  As others have said, buy the blades in packs, they break easily, but you will learn how to use them.  

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I am fortunate enough to have a very good friend who is a jeweler.  This helps in that he spent an hour or more with me showing me the ins and outs of using the saw properly.  But essentially keeping the blade straight, nice even/smooth draws with it, lubricating it to keep it moving easily, and making sure you are well braced were all things to learn and practice.  Let the saw do the work!  And he also can get me an endless supply of blades darn cheap!

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Great advice, thanks!

 

I think I'm going to try a razor saw.  I found a fairly inexpensive Zona one on Amazon with a .008" kerf and reviews saying people cut through brass with it.  If it can handle brass, it can handle pewter.

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If you like that razor saw, can you link it on here or in PM? I'd like to snag a saw that is less tweaky than a jeweler's saw. 

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Sure. I don't have the link handy, but it was a Zona 35-050. If you search Amazon for that, it should come up.

 

I'll try it out and report my impressions once it gets here.

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5 hours ago, wdmartin said:

Great advice, thanks!

 

I think I'm going to try a razor saw.  I found a fairly inexpensive Zona one on Amazon with a .008" kerf and reviews saying people cut through brass with it.  If it can handle brass, it can handle pewter.

 

I was looking at getting an Xacto X75300 Precision Razor saw because the blades are fairly thin and are replaceable, but Zona Ultra Thin Razor Saw has an even thinner kerf. Thanks for posting about it. Looks like it could be a worthy option. *added to cart*

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When I purchased my jeweler's saw I also purchased a pack of 144 blades because everyone warned my how fragile they were. 

 

Three years later I am still on my first blade.  :B):

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About thirty years ago when I went to a jewelers school we used beeswax on the blades to reduce friction. Do not put weight on the blade, let the weight of the saw do it and you will break a lot less blades. There are also different types of blades for cutting different materials. I've actually cut a Master lock with a jewelers saw before.

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