Saw piercing

Saw piercing

Saw piercing is a technique used extensively in jewellery making and silversmithing. It is a relatively simple process that requires some practice to master. It is a technique that can be used in many different situations. A piercing saw is capable of cutting through a range of different materials including metal and plastic although it is primarily used on Silver and Gold.A piercing saw is a steel frame into which blades are then clamped. Saw frames come with different throat depths 50mm, 100mm, and 300mm.

Saw blades come in many different thicknesses and your blade selection will depend on the material being sawn and nature of the work being done. For very fine delicate work, and for cutting very thin material use a finer blade, and for general purpose cutting a heavier blade. The best saw blades are made in Switzerland and need to be purchased from specialist suppliers. Saw blades have a range of sizes: 8/0, 7/0, 6/0, 5/0, 4/0, 3/0 (very fine); 2/0, 1/0, 00 (general purpose); 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (coarse).

Important

The saw blade in clamped at each end in the saw frame with the teeth facing towards the handle so that the saw cuts when it is pulled downwards, not like a conventional hacksaw that cuts when it is pushed forward.

How to insert the blade

*Hold the saw frame horizontally with the handle pointing into your stomach; push the other end with your hand.
*Apply slight pressure to the saw frame.
*Clamp the bottom of the saw blade into the frame. The other end of the blade should be clamped into the top of the sawframe.
*Release the pressure on the sawframe.
*The blade should now be held firmly and under tension in the saw frame. By plucking the blade like a guitar string it should give a high pitched ‘ping’ like sound. This tension is essential for effective cutting.

Marking out your work

This can be done in a number of different ways.Draw your design directly onto your work using a sharp point such as a scriber or the tip of a needle file.For intricate work it is easier to draw your design on paper then glue it onto the metal with a spray adhesive or similar.Place the work being sawn horizontally on a bench peg (a tapered wooden peg that is mounted to the edge of a jewellers bench).

*Hold the saw vertically with the blade against your work.
*Start sawing up and down in long even strokes using little pressure.
*The cutting happens on the down stroke.
*The hand holding the saw should be quite relaxed.
*Follow the design marked out on your work, turning the saw as required.
*When cutting very tight curves it is essential that you keep the saw cutting as you go, if you twist the blade too much it will break.
*When piercing (cutting inside your work), drill a very small hole in the material. One end of the saw blade is then clamped into the saw frame and the other is fed through the hole. The saw blade is then clamped into the other end of the saw frame. When sawing is completed, the saw blade is unclamped from one end of the saw frame and withdrawn from the work.
*If the blade becomes jammed in the work, try using candle wax to release it. If not, undo the blade and withdraw it from the work and start again.
*You can be sure that blades will break, have plenty in stock!


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