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Alternative to hand saw.

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mdfa.ca
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« on: November 27, 2014, 09:24:32 am »

Are there any alternatives to hand sawing silver sheet for your jewelry designs? I've had to cut out two designs this past week and even though I used new blades, my shoulder is in serious pain. I have issues related to pushing a mouse 8 hrs/day for the past 24 years. Can you use some kind of mechanical saw?
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metalartz
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 03:23:07 pm »

Hi mdfa.ca
Thought about sawing with a jewelers saw

When using a jewelers saw hold it like an over ripe banana,  you only need to use 2 fingers to saw.  Let the saw do the work.   Don't push the saw forward, if you push the saw you have to hold down your  metal harder, which means that you can push harder which leads to holding harder which leads to......  You are working way to hard. 

On some scrap  start a cut and then try to have the saw blade going up and down but not moving in the cut, not forward or back just going up and down.  Now  think forward,  so little pressure you are not sure you are using any, and start to cut;   this is how to have a lot of control of the saw and not use all of your muscles  .

 Also shoulders down, you don't need to use them,  work with heavy elbows, down comfortably BY your sides not out to the side

Not having seen you do any sawing

Saw blade face with the teeth pointing down and out
Use wax or some lub on the blade
There should be at let 2 1/2 teeth per thickness of metal

Hope this helps you

David
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tetonartgallery
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 04:03:45 pm »

I use a 4" angle grinder with a thin metal cutting blade  for a lot of roughing out - or a tin snips - i hate my jewelers saw and use it sparingly as i have shoulder problems too.  now i need an alternative to bezel pushing to save my shoulders.
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gemfeller
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 04:30:40 pm »

mdfa, to answer your question directly, yes there are alternatives.  MicroMark makes this little power jigsaw they say does a great job on jewelry projects.  I haven't used it so I can't give a personal recommendation.  I might invest in one if I ever get back into doing lots of silversmithing.

  http://www.micromark.com/MicroLux-Mini-Scroll-Saw-for-Hobby-Use,7114.html?sc=WGB&utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=GoogleBase&gclid=CL-h5eD2m8ICFQdsfgod1QcA2A
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 05:10:34 pm »

I've often thought about something like that.........But, with the intricate saw work I usually do I think the in-and-out of changing blade positions would be more labor intensive than the jeweler's hand saw I use.................................... dunno
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2014, 06:17:40 pm »

Steve, I usually use spiral blades for cutting wax for casting. I wonder if the spiral blades MM offers might work on silver sheet to take the pain out of changing blade positions?  They'd obviously leave a wider kerf of course.
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mdfa.ca
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2014, 06:29:48 pm »

Hi David,

you make some good points. I believe my form was correct but I probably pushed a bit too hard. Probably because doing it with barely any pressure takes a long time to cut something and even just the repetitive motion of going up and down, after a minute, will do my shoulder in. I took breaks and lubed the blade, but I'm certainly feeling it for a couple of days after. I realized for fine designs there is probaby nothing that will equal the precision of a human hand and eye, but I sure would appreciate something that could at least do the straight/uncomplicatedcuts.

Margaret.

Hi mdfa.ca
Thought about sawing with a jewelers saw

When using a jewelers saw hold it like an over ripe banana,  you only need to use 2 fingers to saw.  Let the saw do the work.   Don't push the saw forward, if you push the saw you have to hold down your  metal harder, which means that you can push harder which leads to holding harder which leads to......  You are working way to hard. 

On some scrap  start a cut and then try to have the saw blade going up and down but not moving in the cut, not forward or back just going up and down.  Now  think forward,  so little pressure you are not sure you are using any, and start to cut;   this is how to have a lot of control of the saw and not use all of your muscles  .

 Also shoulders down, you don't need to use them,  work with heavy elbows, down comfortably BY your sides not out to the side

Not having seen you do any sawing

Saw blade face with the teeth pointing down and out
Use wax or some lub on the blade
There should be at let 2 1/2 teeth per thickness of metal

Hope this helps you

David

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mdfa.ca
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2014, 06:34:17 pm »

Gemfeller, thank you for that link. That might work, at least for the simpler and uncomplicated cuts. Not too expensive either LOL. Since it looks like I'm going to get my torch as a Christmas gift I maybe should start saving for this little saw.

mdfa, to answer your question directly, yes there are alternatives.  MicroMark makes this little power jigsaw they say does a great job on jewelry projects.  I haven't used it so I can't give a personal recommendation.  I might invest in one if I ever get back into doing lots of silversmithing.

  http://www.micromark.com/MicroLux-Mini-Scroll-Saw-for-Hobby-Use,7114.html?sc=WGB&utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=GoogleBase&gclid=CL-h5eD2m8ICFQdsfgod1QcA2A
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2014, 06:36:16 pm »

Tetonartgallery,

what do you brace your sheet with when you use the grinder?

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tetonartgallery
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2014, 08:48:21 pm »

I mount the grinder in a vice and brace the sheet with my hands.  Be careful there are all kind of potential pitfalls using that grinder!
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2014, 04:31:26 am »

I have used a Dremel scroll saw, that takes jewelers saw blades, to cut sheet. It works great on the outline of a shape, but not to good for interior piercing work.
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T P
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2014, 11:40:37 am »

What height is your bench pin at?  mine is at 37" and when I am sitting the height is about 4 inches below my chin.  helps a lot to be at the right height.  When I teach at the local gem and mineral club their bench height comes in at about sternum level and the students have a terrible
time learning to saw.
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mdfa.ca
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2014, 10:24:54 am »

Tetonartgallery

yes, I can see this method could be potentially dangerous LOL.

Goldsmithy,

Hmm, a dremel scroll saw, now that sounds interesting. Will have to expolore this option. thanks!

T P,

My bench is at about sternum level when I sit down to saw. It's just my muscles, they get fatigued and cramp really quickly, no matter what I do. but something like sawing makes it worse.

Thank you all for your replies!
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2014, 04:04:30 pm »

If your bench height comes in at your sternum it is way to low.  MY own bench is at 37"  and is about 4 " below my chin when I sit down to saw. 
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