Knew Concept piercing saws + rolling mills
Hi folks, I have had a little bit of money fall out of a clear blue sky today - a totally unexpected inheritance from my step granny who died last year. I want to invest in some better tools than I currently have, specifically upgrades of my cheapest-on-eBay piercing saws. I have been looking at these Knew Concept ones on the Cookies site, but as there are no reviews on any of them yet, I wondered if anyone has any opinions on them? I do quite a lot of sawing, and break blades for a pastime. Would better engineered saw frames help, or am I just crap, I wonder! I can saw some pretty intricate things, but find the frames I have quite wobbly and blades prone to go off in the wrong direction more often than not.
I'm also considering the Value Rolling Mill, the reviews seem encouraging if a little guarded - I want to texture metal mostly, maybe thin some sheet or wire as and when. I'd be grateful for any opinions!
the Knew concepts isn't to everyone's taste from what I have read. However, I love mine. It is lightweight, sturdy frame, beautiful handle. The blades can be a little fiddly to put in at first and when you think you have got it right, they fall out. It has taken some practice but I can get mine to stay in now every time (fingers crossed). I only use Valorbe blades with it though, the blades seriously make a difference too. I do use my standard frame sometimes - but for the most part, I use the Knew Concepts. Andrew Berry has done a sort of review - this is available on youtube. Type in Andrew's name, he will come up.
There are different types of models to consider. This is a huge purchase for one saw - you could get several standard frames for the cost of one of these.
Blades are really important - some fracture more readily than others, some cheaper makes are shorter - go for what you can afford. There is a lot that could be said but I am not a professional, only a hobby person who sells her creations to keep my addiction to making jewellery going. I am sure there are many views and different opinions on the saw frame, this is just mine.
Mills, again go for what you can afford versus what you want to use it for. My old work horse has lasted well and does many patterns, but it doesn't hold the roll very well and sometimes the cogs stick so it won't turn as the calibration is off. Again, only my opinion.
Last edited by Wallace; 06-03-2012 at 09:28 PM.
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The discussion on saw frames started here Melanie http://www.cooksongold.com/forum/sho...highlight=Knew, and if you put Knew into the search box you will find lots more.
Some members settled down with them and others, myself included, found them nothing but trouble and put them away. My feeling is that if you do lots, they will possibly ease strain on the hand or wrist, but for occasional use they are not worth the bother.
A rolling mill will improve your quality of life. Buy the best you can afford, because they go on for ever. It is particularly worthwhile having a wide area for flat sheet, so aim for at least 80mm if possible. Also having gears will reduce the strain on you and on the mounting. You do not necessarily need a stand: a sturdy bench, or butchers trolley were suggested, but if you get a stand it has to be bolted to the floor. All this was discussed quite recently. Dennis.
Last edited by Dennis; 06-03-2012 at 10:34 PM.
I'd echo what everyone else has said. The Knew Concept saw is fantastic once you've got the blades in but I find it's all a bit hit and miss. I know you can take them apart and re-jig them but I really object to having to do that with a piece of equipment that costs so much.
I don't know about the rolling mill. I've got a Durston and love it. As Dennis said, you need gears. My old mini-mill was really hard work.
Check out the Knew Concepts website, click on questions and there is also a Knew Concepts forum. I have been using these saws for the past three years and find them a pleasure to use. See; http://www.knewconcepts.com/index.php
If you are interested in the Knew Concept saws the I would advice getting the £60, 5 inch with the quick release lever, see;http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery...rcode-997-3304 , don't go for the swivel head models as they were really developed for wood workers and a lot of jewellers who have bought them don't get on with the models.
I have the titanium version of this frame and it is my most used frame.
You cannot beat a Durston, I have a D2 130 model and it is superb.
Last edited by Goldsmith; 07-03-2012 at 08:14 AM.
Thanks guys, I did do a search of the forum and found Goldsmith's review after a Google search too, that bowl is just stunning! I'm a little confused by the three levels of blade attachment and tensioning though, I'm always drawn to the most expensive option by nature ;-) The swivelly blade feature sounds cool... Could I get away with just the three inch, in that case? All the threads have stripped on my cheap one, so I have to repace it anyway :-(
Thanks also for the rolling mill advice, maybe I'll just blow the lot on a Durston one ;-)
Thanks James, think you must have posted yours while I was still typing mine! Just had a lightbulb moment, obviously I can use the five inch frame for everything, and don't need the three inch frame as well. Duh!
I need sitting up with sometimes, really I do...
Ah. Just looked at your Durston, James! I didn't get quite _that_ much :-) Maybe one day...
[QUOTE=Melanie De Castro Pugh;46485]Ah. Just looked at your Durston, James! I didn't get quite _that_ much :-) Maybe one day...
Melanie, I am semi retired now, but when I was earning regularly, buying tools was preferable to giving large chunks of my profits to the taxman. Remember that if you are self employed 100% of the cost of tools is allowed against tax, which is why my workshop always had the best of tools, although now I am gradually selling some of my larger items that I don't expect to use in the future.
By the way, I bought my mills and the cabinet stand for them, direct from Durston as Cookson didn't stock them in those days.
Last edited by Goldsmith; 07-03-2012 at 11:33 AM.
I don't make enough to bother the taxman, but I do spend anything I do make on the best tools that I can, and silver, of course! I think it's crucial to have the best tool for the job, be it kitchen knives, spanners etc in the garage for my motorbike or tools for making shinies. With kitting out the shed, I started with basic level stuff just to see how I got on but am upgrading to the best I can now.
The Knew saw arrived this morning, and it is an absolute joy to use! I got the one James recommended, and am a little bit in love with it. It has made a huge difference, so accurate and easy to steer that it's saved a lot of filing time. I have a few ideas developing for some much more intricately pierced pieces than I had ever dare imagine before, specifically a Celtic lion design from silver and copper that I've been wanting to make for ages. Now I can cut the pieces for it, I can get cracking in working out how to put it together!