The Keys to Precise Piercing - Originally posted in the Orchid Forum 11/30/2010
Originally posted in the Orchid Forum 11/30/2010
The weight of a saw frame, combined with a good ergonomic handle is crucial to repetitive and delicate piercing. For years I have used the Swiss-style frame with a short and wide throat, and a stubby and cushiony handle combined with a quick-load feature for blades.
If you have an old-style wood handle, new-style rubber handle or the wonderful Knew Concept style, to achieve consistent piercing without pain, you must loosen your grip. Those tiny blades know exactly what to do. Let them. You should be able to pierce while holding the saw frame with only two fingers. The rest of your hand just helps you drive. Keep moving your hand up and down at all times.
Beginners often put a death grip on their handles, trying to force out "wood juice", thinking if one grabs onto the handle and forces the blade to their will, the metal will yield. A pile of snapped blades grows around their benches, shoulders tense and their poor saw blades and frames scream. The fusion between the maker and tool creates a particular sound, and piercing is no different.
Piercing is not unlike driving. You don't GRIP a steering wheel. With the aid of power steering, you GUIDE the steering wheel. Or think of a whisk for making an oil and vinegar dressing. To create the perfect blend, one must move the whisk around quickly and deftly by loosely holding the handle of the whisk and allowing the shape of the tool to do its work. A saw frame is no different. It is a wonderful tool to guide the tiniest small blades to create intricate and detailed piercing. Large blades can chomp through thick metal with ease.
Here is one example of where pain is not gain. Let your tools do the walking.
Note: Different metals pierce differently. Use the correct saw blade to match your metal. Manufacturers of saw blades are a whole other topic.
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