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Get a better jeweler’s saw | Model Railway Hints, Tips, How To Articles and Reviews at Model Trains Online

jeweler-saw

Railroad modelers tend to have one or possibly two hand saws. Based on kitbashing articles, it seems that the most popular hand saw is an X-Acto Razor Saw or equivalent. I have one of these saws, but since I don’t kitbash, I rarely use it.

The other popular type of saw is the jeweler’s adjustable saw. These saws are designed to cut intricate external shapes and interior cutouts. They use thin blades held in an adjustable frame which permits blades to be drawn taut. Since the blade can be removed from the frame, this saw can also be used to cut an opening in the middle of a piece by passing the blade through a hole in the piece and then re-attaching the blade to start cutting.

Like many modelers, I purchased a jeweler’s saw many years ago. To use one of saws requires that you first clamp each end of the blade to the frame. But it can be difficult to clamp both ends of the blade so that it is parallel with the frame and thus not un-evenly stressed. Once the blade is properly in place, the frame is extended as needed to put the blade in tension and the frame locked into place. If the saw frame flexes or the blade flexes too much the blade can easily break. It is exasperating to put a new blade n place, tension it as much as possible and then have the blade break part way into the project due to flex.

Other times the blade would pop out of the clamps as I tried to tension the saw frame, just another frustration.

The shortcomings of my inexpensive jeweler’s saw could probably be overcome by taking more time to carefully position the blade in the clamps and tension the saw frame as much as possible. Bu I don’t have much patience, especially when it comes to the tools I use. Instead I prefer to replace the tools that don’t meet my expectations. After all, this is a hobby and I don’t like to keep using tools that cause me frustration.

The design of this saw frame is absolutely rigid, minimizing saw blade breakage. Blade placement is simplified by a design in which the ends of the blade are inserted into small holes and clamped into place. This eliminates the problems associated with the blade not being parallel with the frame. Once the blade is clamped into place, it is tensioned by a spring-loaded knob on one end of the frame. Much simpler! These saws are made in the USA using only USA-made parts including the screws. The saws use the same small blades as the hobby-quality jeweler’s saws. These saw frames cost $47 each compared to about $15 but I feel the difference in cost between a quality tool and the less expensive tool is appreciated every time you use the tool.

 

 

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