Well, I almost didn’t even make it on Wednesday. What a busy day. As soon as this post is done, I am going to bed.
Today’s TTT isn’t exactly a tutorial. It is more a tool review and my thoughts on a saw. Not just any saw, but a really cool looking jewelers saw. I have heard so much about this saw from many of my colleagues. So when my friend Jeanette started to carry it in her shop , I figured I would give it a try.
Things I have heard about this saw include how much nicer it is to cut straight lines, load the blade, the stiffness of the frame and the most unexpected one, is how light it is.
The frame is made with aluminum and is RED! Apparently the red helps with focusing on the line and keeping your blade going where you really want it.
I love to pierce metal. It is one of those things that once you get going, you just keep going…. especially if you can do it without breaking too many blades. I have gotten fairly decent with my sawing and don’t break as many blades as I used to. But I have to admit, I still go through quite a few.
So here are some pictures and commentary.
You can see the simple design I decided to cut out and my metal that will be pierced. The loading of this saw is very interesting and I have yet to get used to it. Instead of collapsing the mouth of the saw frame to create the tension on your blade, you put the blade into the holders, tighten them up (at this point your blade is so loose it actually bows) then you twist the little knob above the top blade holder to tighten the blade tension. I will have to get a better picture of this. The saw frame itself is rigid and does not flex.
Here is a neat little trick, if you didn’t know it already. When I place an image or design to be cut out onto my metal, I paint both the back of the image and the metal with rubber cement. Then LET THEM DRY completely. Once both surfaces are dry, place your image. You only have one shot at this though as the dried rubber cement sticks immediately and doesn’t move.
I remember my first pierced piece, I painted the surface of my metal with rubber cement and immediately placed the image onto it. Then I began to cut. GAH! What a nightmare. The image kept moving around. Even though I had actually let it sit for about 20 minutes or more trying to let the glue dry. Well, of course the oxygen couldn’t get to it to dry it out and it never did. So this little trick has really saved me when piercing.
Here is the cut out design. This is before any clean up. I have to agree that the straight lines are certainly much straighter. There was far less drifting during the cutting, even on the curved areas. There are some irregularities, but that was all operator error.
Here is the pendant that is in progress. It is three layers, acrylic, copper, acrylic. I still have a bit of clean up work to do on this one, but you get the idea. The blue is one of my favorite pieces of acrylic as it is transparent. I only have just a small piece of it left too. I guess I will have to go out and find more.
Oh, one thing I had heard about this saw is that you cannot use really fine saw blades in it. I found that to be quite untrue indeed. For this last pendant I am using an 8/0 saw blade. It is like cutting metal with a hair. But it is working wonderfully and I haven’t broken that little blade yet. I am sure in a piece like this I might break a couple, but so far the blade is in tact.