Today we are continuing our 'How To' series with an edition on sawing. Just like the processes described in our earlier posts, sawing is a very important part of how we make our jewelry. In the video below you will see Rebecca saw a round circle, which she then files and will later use to create a Satellite Brooch.
It is surprising how complicated something as "simple" as sawing can be. There are many little things to keep in mind. First, the direction of the blade relative to the saw frame is key. The blade's teeth need to be facing out and pointing down. Since the teeth are so tiny, we like to use our fingers to lightly feel the direction of the teeth to make sure. Second, it's important to make sure to put the right amount of tension on it because if there is too little you won't be able to saw. You achieve the right amount of tension by pushing on the handle against the bench pin while placing the blade in the frame and tightening it into place.
Once you place the blade in the saw frame with the correct tension and direction you can start sawing. At first it's a little difficult, but once you find your flow it gets a lot easier... Until you have to make a turn. When you saw around a corner, you have to be careful to slowly move the blade with the curve, otherwise it will break. As you will see in the video, Rebecca uses a technique she calls the "two finger split" to stabilize both sides of the metal over the bench pin to avoid cutting herself. Stabilizing the metal is very important, because if it isn't stable it can easily slip and cause your blade to break or cut into your metal.
When you are done sawing, you will probably want to file the edges to make them smooth. As Rebecca demonstrates in the video, it is always very important that you stabilize the metal by pressing it against the bench pin so that you can apply maximum pressure to file efficiently. It is also important that you always file from top to bottom of your file in order to keep your file "healthy" and get a nice smooth finish.