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Author Topic: Bench Pin and Jeweller's Saw for Model Work  (Read 6873 times)
WP Rayner
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« on: May 11, 2019, 08:59:24 AM »

A couple of years ago, I made this bench pin for a clock repair project that required cutting a freeform shape from sheet brass. The pin was made from a piece of purpleheart from my scrap box and set into the workbench top so the top surface of the pin was flush with the top surface of the bench providing a larger support area for the brass sheet being cut (in the background under the jeweller's saw). The pin is held in place with the flathead machine screw, allowing it to be removed in the event the bench needs to be moved.

A jeweller's saw can be a valuable addition to the model shop, especially if you have to cut freeform shapes or door and window openings in sheet brass or other materials. With practice, the correct blade and proper setup, it is possible to produce precise and accurate results. It's worth noting that the blade should be mounted with the teeth pointing away from the handle so it cuts on the upward stroke and the blade must be set to the correct tension in the saw frame, when it produces a clear "ping" when plucked. As always, a better quality tool will produce better results. If you have need of such a tool, I recommend purchasing a saw and blades from a jeweller's supply house rather than the versions available in the average hobby shop. In Canada, Gesswein Supply https://www.gessweincanada.com/default.asp is an excellent source. In the U.S. I used Rio Grande Jewelry Supply https://www.riogrande.com/.


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Paul

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Lawton Maner
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2019, 11:27:09 AM »

     Everyone should shop at Rio Grande.  They are a REALLY, REALLY good toy store for modelers like the members of this forum.  As for jeweler's saw blades, I enjoy their laser cut Swiss ones combined with their cutting fluid and wax.  Just draw the blade through the wax and happily cut away.  And, the liquid works great when tapping.

     
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WP Rayner
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2019, 02:08:19 PM »

Yep... major toy stores for modellers.

Yes, waxing helps with cutting. I run the back of my blades through beeswax which works a charm.
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Paul

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peterh
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2019, 02:32:20 PM »

Paul, I think your spell checker is playing up. A jeweller’s saw has the teeth pointing towards the handle, so it cuts on the down stroke.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 02:53:30 PM by peterh » Logged

Peter
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2019, 04:26:04 PM »

Paul,  It looks like you have a Gorbet saw. I really like using them.  I have several set up with different blades. A hint. I tear a tiny square of paper and poke a hole in it and push it down over the blade to cover the blade socket. This keeps fine swarf from getting in the socket. I really like you hardwood bench pin.  Having had surgery own my neck I have to have my pin elevated so I came up with this quick and dirty design. It is getting pretty bad shape and I need to replace it. I like you idea of hard wood so will sacrifice some of my smaller scraps. I also built a little wood vise on the back side for cutting miniature dove tails. I added a longer base to it so I can turn it around when using the vise. I agree with Peter about the laser cut blades from Reo Grande.

Bill


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Bill Hudson
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2019, 07:13:35 PM »

Paul, I think your spell checker is playing up. A jeweller’s saw has the teeth pointing towards the handle, so it cuts on the down stroke.
No nothing wrong with my spell checker Peter. Most tutorials do advise you to install the blade with the teeth pointing toward the handle, to cut on the down stroke. However, after discussing the issue with one of my watchmaker clients who does a lot of piercing work on watch bridges, he prefers to have the teeth pointing away from the handle to cut on the upstroke. He feels it gives him greater control and precision as there is less weight and stress on the upstroke pulling on the blade. Having tried both methods, I prefer the upstroke cut for the reasons he stated, plus I found I break fewer blades that way. One possible objection I've heard to this method is that the stock you are cutting may vibrate on the pin on the upstroke, which we believe, assuming you're holding the piece firmly to the pin, means you are using too much pressure on the saw to make the cut. In the end, I think it's simply a matter of personal preference and what works best for you.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 07:45:54 PM by WP Rayner » Logged

Paul

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WP Rayner
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2019, 07:32:57 PM »

Paul,  It looks like you have a Gorbet saw. I really like using them.  I have several set up with different blades. A hint. I tear a tiny square of paper and poke a hole in it and push it down over the blade to cover the blade socket. This keeps fine swarf from getting in the socket. I really like you hardwood bench pin.  Having had surgery own my neck I have to have my pin elevated so I came up with this quick and dirty design. It is getting pretty bad shape and I need to replace it. I like you idea of hard wood so will sacrifice some of my smaller scraps. I also built a little wood vise on the back side for cutting miniature dove tails. I added a longer base to it so I can turn it around when using the vise. I agree with Peter about the laser cut blades from Reo Grande.

Bill

Your elevated multi-function pin is an excellent solution for your situation Bill. I have back problems as a result of a workplace injury many years ago along with too many years riding a hard-tail, so I can definitely relate to the need for a higher level work surface. My workbench was originally my Grandfather's watchmakers bench, which as is the custom, is higher than most regular workbenches. If I sit at the bench in a regular chair, the bench pin is just below my chin, so no stooping and it's very easy to see what I'm doing.

You are right, it is a Grobet saw, best saw frame I've found yet and I recommend them without hesitation, and yes the laser-cut Swiss blades are definitely the preferred choice. This is one case where spending a little extra pays off in the long run. I like your idea of the little piece of paper over the blade socket, though since I cut on the upstroke, my swarf falls on the piece being cut, just have to blow or brush it away every so often.
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Paul

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Lawton Maner
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2019, 08:16:52 PM »

     Does your Grandfather's bench have elevated supports on either side to rest your elbows on while working?  When working with small items and magnification resting your elbows helps to keep your back straight.  I have an add on for my work station that allows me to work close on small parts.
 
     If you don't want to play "I wonder where that #$%^& part went" add a bib apron which is attached to the bench to your kit and most of the errant pieces will land in your lap.  Obviously, if you are working with silver or gold, the swarf created by cutting and filing will be contained and recoverable.

     Every craft which utilizes fine handwork has techniques which we can adopt to make our model making more comfortable.  Study how other do things and life in the shop will be easier.

     
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WP Rayner
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2019, 08:41:56 PM »

     Does your Grandfather's bench have elevated supports on either side to rest your elbows on while working?  When working with small items and magnification resting your elbows helps to keep your back straight.  I have an add on for my work station that allows me to work close on small parts.
 
     If you don't want to play "I wonder where that #$%^& part went" add a bib apron which is attached to the bench to your kit and most of the errant pieces will land in your lap.  Obviously, if you are working with silver or gold, the swarf created by cutting and filing will be contained and recoverable.

     Every craft which utilizes fine handwork has techniques which we can adopt to make our model making more comfortable.  Study how other do things and life in the shop will be easier.

     

You are absolutely right Lawton. Study and ask questions. Even those who do, as you say, fine handwork in disciplines that may seem remote to model-making can offer ideas and inspiration that will prove valuable when adopted to model work.

No, my bench doesn't have the traditional elevated arm supports, though being as high as it is, I'm not sure they would be that much more helpful. I just rest my arms on the bench itself when I'm working from a stool. It's high enough that I can use the machines while standing without stooping. It is a two person bench, and there are slide-out catch-all trays in both positions which more than once, have saved me from crawling around on the floor looking for a part that would inevitably have vanished, never to be seen again. The left half of the bench is the machine area, where my bench machines are mounted, while the right half is left open for handwork, assembly and so on.
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Paul

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peterh
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2019, 02:40:30 AM »

... I prefer the upstroke cut for the reasons he stated, plus I found I break fewer blades that way ...
I flipped my blade around and I’m keen to see how it goes. I made guide for a jeweller’s saw to make right angle cuts, and with the blade this way round it cuts closer to vertical. Thanks for the idea.
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Peter
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2019, 05:30:03 AM »

Paul, I really like your inset pin, look beautiful. I made mine elevated and just use a small bar clamp to attach to the bench when I need it. I've used blades pointing in both directions but its usually with teeth point towards the handle.

I have a nice grobet saw frame but I'm going to recc. this saw, its really nice, even if it does not have the "traditional" look:

https://www.knewconcepts.com/
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Paul
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2019, 10:36:02 AM »

I flipped my blade around and I’m keen to see how it goes. I made guide for a jeweller’s saw to make right angle cuts, and with the blade this way round it cuts closer to vertical. Thanks for the idea.

That's great Peter... pleased you tried it and that you are pleased with the result.
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Paul

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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2019, 10:52:15 AM »

Paul, I really like your inset pin, look beautiful. I made mine elevated and just use a small bar clamp to attach to the bench when I need it. I've used blades pointing in both directions but its usually with teeth point towards the handle.

I have a nice grobet saw frame but I'm going to recc. this saw, its really nice, even if it does not have the "traditional" look:

https://www.knewconcepts.com/

Thanks Paul. Yes, the Knew Concepts saw frames are very interesting and would definitely be a worthwhile investment if you were needing to do a lot of sawing or piercing work. For the occasional need that I have, the Grobet fills the bill perfectly, can't really justify the expense for the Knew Concept versions. They also have a precision power saw for those who are into major production work, at least if you can afford the near $3000 (Cdn) price tag!
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Paul

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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2019, 11:59:22 AM »

Here's a little tip for what you can do with a broken saw blade. If you're using a jeweller's saw, it's inevitable that you're going to break a blade no matter how careful you are. Don't throw out the broken blade. If you chuck it into a small pin vise, you now have a miniature and flexible file, useful for getting into very tight quarters! This works best when using the very fine blades.
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Paul

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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2019, 02:20:23 PM »

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Peter
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