The Jeweler’s Saw: How We Finally Became Friends 

I still remember the rough sound of the jeweler’s saw grinding away the silver sheet at hand with such unnecessary force, a death grip so hard my knuckles turned white, and wondering why the saw blades were breaking a dozen at a time.

“It’s going to take me forever to get the hang of this -“

After relentlessly hacking away at home, my mind kept trying to figure out if it was the saw frame, the type of saw blade, or even the DIY wood block set up as a make shift bench pin that was causing this horrendous mess.

It only took multiple reminders from my metalsmithing teachers to get these tips drilled into my mind, and a self-assigned saw piercing project to finally make friends with the jeweler’s saw —


– do not use a death grip, this will cause too much weight pushing onto the blade and the blade will break

– hold the saw with a loose, gentle grip, keep your wrists flexible

– push using less force than you think you will need, let the saw blade do its thing

– saw vertically, not horizontally. Even if you are able to saw horizontally (good luck), you’ll end up breaking more blades this way.

Exhibit A: 

How NOT to use the jeweler's saw
How NOT to use a jeweler’s saw

SELF-ASSIGNED PROJECT: saw pierced mandala cuff (copper)

Saw-Pierced Mandala Copper Cuff


I had so much fun and was so impressed with the outcome that I made a saw-pierced mandala necklace to match!

Bohemian Saw-Pierced Copper Mandala Necklace


Lesson Learned:

It was not the saw frame, saw blades, nor the DIY woodblock turned bench pin that was the issue. It was all in the grip and lack of flexibility in my wrist, and pushing too hard!

If this all sounds familiar to you, you will become friends with your saw blade too!

Keep at it, give yourself a project focusing on saw piercing, & no matter how many blades you might go through … don’t give up!!

Thank you Kelly Allanson, Robyn Cornelius & Ron Vauthrin for the needed reminders when hearing my saw blade make that dreaded eee-errrr sound.


Happy jeweling!


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