Terrain Trips and Tricks: The Jeweler’s Saw

Hi, everyone! Today for Terrain Tips and Tricks, we will be learning how to use a jeweler’s saw.

A jeweler’s saw is one of the most useful tools in any hobbyist’s arsenal and, when used properly, can do just about anything. The nice thing about a jeweler’s saw is its ability to cut through most types of materials—I use it for metal, plastic, wood, resin, acrylic, and even some types of stone. Essentially, the sky’s the limit with a good jeweler’s saw. Of course, I switch out the type of blade (tooth density) depending on the type of material I am cutting. For example, if I am cutting something thick like wood, I use a more aggressive tooth blade and vice versa for something thin like sheet metal. That said, I normally stick to a #3/0 blade for overall general use. These can be ordered at fairly reasonable prices from most jewelry-making supply stores.

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Here’s the jeweler’s saw I use. Make sure the blade is tensioned tightly and that the teeth of the blade point down toward the handle. Jeweler’s saws are meant to cut on the pull stroke, so blade direction is very important.

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Another important aspect of cutting with the jeweler’s saw is keeping your work stable as you cut it. This will allow you to cut complex curves and parts without your piece moving around on you. (There is nothing worse than trying to hold a part while you cut it and having it wobble around!) To help with this, I make something called a bench pin. It is literally a piece of wood (I tend to use plywood for durability) that I cut a triangular groove into and then clamp to my workbench. I hold the piece down over this groove while I am cutting, and it allows me to keep my part in place while making any complex cuts.

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As you can see, the bench pin is extremely useful while cutting. I am trying to remove the fire from the spirit cauldron so I can use it on a conversion for my army. The jeweler’s saw makes this a quick, safe, and easy task.

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The jeweler’s saw also allows you to make complex detailed cuts. Here, for instance, I needed the knee pad from Defender X for a conversion I am playing around with. The jeweler’s saw allowed me to surgically remove just that part without damaging the rest of the legs, which will allow me to use those other parts later on if I need them as well.

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Even cutting through thick parts is not an issue. Here you can see the storage tank I removed from Vulcan. Just clean up and flatten the edge with a sanding block, and you are good to go!

 

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Cutting metals like brass or steel is a breeze as well. You can really do just about anything with a jeweler’s saw; I use mine every single day. Of course, as with every sharp tool, please be careful. These teeth may seem small, but they can cut you VERY quickly. (Trust me—I know from experience!)

I hope you found this article helpful and, if you haven’t already, you’ll try out a jeweler’s saw. At this point in my career, I cannot imagine not having one.

Until next time, fellow hobbyists, make all the awesome stuff!

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