Bench Pin and Saw Frame


A number of years ago I acquired a jeweler’s saw or saw frame along with some vast quantity of blades.  My attempts to cut brass sheet with it were not very successful.  Upon acquiring Simon Bolton’s books (Weekend Reading: Scratch-Building Model Railway Locomotives by Simon Bolton), I learned a bit about what I was doing wrong and determined to have another go.

Things I learned:

  • Get a bench pin.  This some sort of wood block that clamps to the edge of your bench and projects out allowing you to get right up close to the sawing.  Jewelers typically have high benches so they can get their faces right up by the work.
  • Pins are consumables.  You can customize for your needs, for example I cut a notch in the top face of mine to improve holding of round bar and tube I needed to cut.
  • Get the right size of saw blades.  I bought #4 blades, what I should have got is 4/0-6/0 blades.  These are much finer and don’t snag on thin .005″ brass stock.  A 6/0 blade can fit through a #79 hole allowing you to start a cut in a very small area.
  • Lubricate the blade.  Jeweler suppliers sell purpose made lubricating sticks.  I am making do with a surplus candle until my next order.
  • You don’t need to work hard to make a cut. Properly sized and lubricated blades cut very quickly.  Unexpectedly so, for me.  Thus the scrap metal pile did increase and learning took place.


3 thoughts on “Bench Pin and Saw Frame”

  1. Based on your mentions, I ordered both of Simon’s books. The 4-4-2 volume arrived first and I’m halfway through it. My God, why hasn’t this volume existed before?! Everyone interested in scratch building in brass, a loco or anything, would do well to read both volumes. Real confidence builders and full of helpful tips. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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