A few weeks ago, I attended a class that was an introduction to using a jeweler’s saw. (This site has a picture of one with a blade in the saw frame.) We first learned about the different blade sizes and how to string the blade. It was quite challenging to get it in so that it had enough tension, but I actually did it pretty well on my first try.
I had had my own idea of what I wanted to make, but since it was an introductory class, we were told to stick with simpler patterns. We were also recommended to start on copper, since it is easier to work with than the other metals, so I went along with everyone else and used copper. I would have preferred the silver colored metal, but it contained nickel, and I have a nickel allergy, so I didn’t see a point in making a piece that would irritate my skin.
I actually did a pretty good job for my very first time, though my line of sawing wasn’t as smooth after I got to the other side of the heart shape. Then my saw blade snapped when I was a close to completing the heart, so I had to re-string my saw. That is why I had to re-enter my cut portion about a centimeter from the endpoint. (If your saw blade breaks, it would be nearly impossible to get back to where you left off by tracing through the path you already cut, which is why you’re better off making a new cut.)
After I finished sawing my piece, it was time to file it. I had a lot of filing to do on one side, since I didn’t saw it smoothly. After the filing there was more filing, using a file with a smaller grain. Then we had the option to punch holes. I first made the hole on top, but as we were cleaning up, I decided to add a hole at the bottom as well. Unfortunately, I used the other end of the hole puncher, that made larger holes, so it doesn’t match the one at the top. Oh well, it can’t be changed.
I had the option to texture the piece, but I had not learned how to do that before, so I skipped it. Lastly, I polished it. Since I still don’t have the correct tool for making a larger jump ring, I will have to hold off completing the rest.
I’m not sure if I want to continue sawing. I would be able to try out more of my jewelry designs and come up with more ideas if I explored sawing to its full potential. However, there is a lot of metal dust, and the risk of it entering the body. Hence, the warnings before undergoing an MRI scan. Not only that, it’s messy, which is why it’s recommended that you wear an apron when sawing.