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Thread: Saw for Inlay Artists only

  1. #1
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Saw for Inlay Artists only

    Okay, I finally bit, and dropped some cash on Knew Concepts 3" Jeweler's Saw with the cam lever.
    http://www.knewconcepts.com/3-inch.php#

    In conversation with Lee Marshall, seems I should've gotten the one with the swivel, for my needs. I was thinking about the 5" saw, because I actually use a 4" all the time, but I thought I'd start small first. Its still a toss up right now, but Lee may have me convinced to get the 3" swivel, rather than the 5" non-swivel version. Not that he wants to sell me more saws, just that he wants to help me fit my needs (anyone want a slightly used 3" at cost, free domestic shipping?).

    Anyway, I couldn't figure out why I would want to spend about 3x more on a saw, when everyone else uses a "standard" Jeweler's saw. Well, I looked up on my wall, and I had hanging, 3 Jeweler's saws - a 3", 4" and 5". I could've bought one Knew Concepts for the price of those. But the question was "Would it be worth it?"

    Of course its worth it, or I wouldn't be posting this. You can read all the reviews on his site, and I just wrote a quick article for the `Ukulele Guild of Hawai`i Newsletter.

    There's another builder here that has one (or two), and I'd venture to say the cost of the saw was made up for in the first inlay that was done.

    In a nutshell, this saw is like a Custom Instrument. Customs are built for the player, and can/will allow the player to become/perform better (you need a custom instrument to understand this). Yes, general statement, but mostly true. This saw is like that Custom Instrument - it is just THE right tool for the job. If you've never cut an inlay, or are having trouble, this saw will help.

    I gotta run, but I'll post more comments later. Maybe that guy from Pahoa has some comments in the meantime. . .

    -Aaron

  2. #2
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    This may be me being naive, but a custom instruments plays the same tunes as a bog standard one, it's the player that makes the real difference. I recently bought a jewelers saw of flea bay for around 4 including a pack of blades. It cuts in exactly the same direction as I point it! It is also adjustable to all the sizes you mention. OK, so it has bog standard fixing screws, but it takes me longer making sure the blade is in the right orientation than it does to change them!
    Personally, I'll save my money.

  3. #3
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    And now from Pahoa.........
    I just spent 12 hours with this saw, thanks to the tip from Kekani. As I mentioned to Aaron, I tend to change blades now when they are dull instead of when I break them. The frame is so rigid the saw will pay for itself in the amount of blades you'll save. I bought the one with the automatic tension adjuster and love it. Less time fumbling with the adjustment knobs on other saws. As Aaron alludes to in the title of the post, this saw is somewhat of a luxury but it's a must have if you do a lot of inlay work.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  4. #4
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    Those saws are utterly incredible looking! The power saw... The titanium saw... The guided saw frame... Wow! If I ever get back into doing inlay, I know where I'm going to spend some dough... To me this is like getting a really good...expensive...hammer if you're doing a lot of carpentry. An amateur would not think that spending well over $100.00 bucks on a hammer makes any sense. Ask a good framing carpenter, though, what his or her arms are worth. It's about time and comfort, and if you're saving time (and blades) and you're more comfortable, you'll do better work. Well worth it...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukulian View Post
    This may be me being naive, but a custom instruments plays the same tunes as a bog standard one, it's the player that makes the real difference. I recently bought a jewelers saw of flea bay for around 4 including a pack of blades. It cuts in exactly the same direction as I point it! It is also adjustable to all the sizes you mention. OK, so it has bog standard fixing screws, but it takes me longer making sure the blade is in the right orientation than it does to change them!
    Personally, I'll save my money.
    Its all about the mana, my friend. When my clients meet with me, they know its not just a build for me - every instrument is a part of me. As a builder, there is a difference from a mental and spiritual perspective when I know who the instrument is going to, compared to when I don't. Not that I put any less effort, or that any instrument comes out substandard, nothing like that. Its just different, and this manifests itself when you present the instrument to your client, they play it, they don't put it down. They stare, strum, stare, turn, cuddle, and all manner of things, if I've done my job right. They KNOW this instrument was build specifically for them.

    I can tell you right now, my friend has two instruments, one I built for him, and one I didn't. Suffice to say, he is in his groove when he plays the custom. When he doesn't, anyone who knows him can tell - the music isn't the same. Don't get me wrong, its good, and if you don't know him, it'll probably sound the same. But if you know him, you can tell.

    As for the saw, I couldn't justify spending the money on one of them. After trying it, I don't know why it took me so long. Even if it doesn't pay for itself in blades as Chuck mentioned, value is in the hands of the user. This one. . . has value. . .for me.

    And obviously, others as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Turner View Post
    Those saws are utterly incredible looking! The power saw... The titanium saw... The guided saw frame... Wow! If I ever get back into doing inlay, I know where I'm going to spend some dough... To me this is like getting a really good...expensive...hammer if you're doing a lot of carpentry. An amateur would not think that spending well over $100.00 bucks on a hammer makes any sense. Ask a good framing carpenter, though, what his or her arms are worth. It's about time and comfort, and if you're saving time (and blades) and you're more comfortable, you'll do better work. Well worth it...
    I figured you'd enjoy this one, Rick. And you couldn't have said it better.

    Key points that you cannot tell about the differences unless you use it are the stiffness of the frame, larger handle, light weight, stiffness of the frame, and the light weight. The larger handle also helps. It the sum of the parts that make it for me. Yes, you could probably make one yourself, and end up spending more. Cutting inlay is so relaxing and meditative as it is, this just helps you along to that place. Chuck just sent me a pic of work done with the saw - not that any of his previous work isn't as good, but this one has joints that will knock your socks off! Unbelievable. To do what he did, in the materials that he used, well, I know what he was up against, and I know how much easier it must've been. I ALWAYS break blades in recon stone, not to mention breaking the stone itself.

    -Aaron
    Last edited by Kekani; 12-10-2011 at 11:29 AM.

  6. #6
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    I just realized that Lee is here in the Santa Cruz area; he can't be any more than eight miles away from me. I emailed him, and I want to check out all of his saws. I sent a link to Larry Robinson, too.

  7. #7
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    I have one of Lees saws for woodworking, and I have used it for veneer work and use it most for Dovetailing... removing the waste, it is perfect for this because you can tilt the blade 45* right and left to clear the work... I love mine and I also have a flea bay special, imo there is no comparison. Great saw.

  8. #8
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    Here's the inlaid headstock Aaron is referring to that I just finished using the Knew Concepts saw. Aaron's been a valuable resource of info to me for inlay tools including the best bits and blades to use. As with everything, using the right tools makes everything so much easier.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  9. #9
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    Point taken :O

  10. #10
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    Remember ukulian, you are playing with the big boys here That saw looks great. Pity I don't have the chops to do that inlay work. Love how clean your mitres are Chuck. is that wood/fibre purflin or plastic?

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