Easy base removal of supports

For a while I was using my rotary tool with a cut off wheel to hack the base of the supports off to make it easier to trim the rest off the prints. Recently I snagged a jewelers saw frame and put on a fairly fine blade. I font it far less messy and easier to control to saw along the base of the supports freeing up the posts so they are easier to trim off.

Jewelers saw frames are fairly inexpensive and typically rain aroun $15 for a descent one.

can you link to this tool?

I have one with a 4 throat and is plenty big. I usually buy from Contenti but the saws are usually fairly easy to find.

Thanks @KenCitron

And thanks for the nice tool website as well. What’s your favorite blade for this?

Im using some blades around 60 tpi, not sure because I have a ton of them in the same package.

when sawing I find it easier to old the supports base and to saw the shortest supports first. These blades are sharp so it doesn’t take any real pressure. usually slightly more than the saws weight should be enough.

Yes I do like Contenti, one of the nicer companies out there and lots of cool toys.

Never thought of using a jewelers saw for this purpose. I actually seldom have problems removing the supports, the flush cutters seem to be adequate for that purpose…However.

I have taught jewelry making, silver and pewtersmithing and practiced the same for decades. So, I can give some insight to the use of the saw blades and frame and blade selection.

I have used 8/0 up to 8, I see that Hercules blades go up to a size 14 though I have never used above 8. I used #8s for sawing through silver flatware ingots that were easily 1/8" (3.2 mm) thick and they were plenty strong enough for that task. That said, I would think #8 would probably be a good choice for sawing through your supports.

The size of the saw frame is measured from the blade to the back of the frame. For most of my work I use a 1 3/4" (44.5 mm) frame but as KenCitron noted a 4" frame should work well with the Form1 build platform…I would think the 6" might be an even better choice.

When you put a blade in the frame I usually load the bottom (handle end) jaw first. After hand tightening, LIGHTLY tighten the wing nut with a pair of pliers. I stress “lightly” as I have seen students snap off the wing nut more times than I care to recall over the years. If you only hand tighten your blade will, most likely, not remain in the jaws or at the least will slip and you will lose your tension.

The teeth of the blade should be pointing toward the handle. After you have the blade in the bottom jaw you will want your blade tensioning wing nut loose so that the top jaw of the frame can be moved down to accept the top of the blade. Place the top end of the blade in the top jaw and tighten lightly with your pliers.

At this point you will need to tension the blade. With a #8 blade it will be difficult to over tension the blade but you should easily be able to tension it enough with just your hands. Wrap your finger around the bottom section of the “C” of the frame while pushing up in the movable part of the frame with your thumb. Using your other hand, tighten the blade tensioning wing nut. Re-tighten this wing nut (again lightly) with your pliers and you are ready to start sawing. You will want to “pluck” the blade with your thumbnail to get a nice “ping” sound. You will learn what tone is best for what size blade once you have some experience with the tool.

As noted by the OP, these blades are very sharp and will cut you quite quickly and deeply. Keep you non-saw holding hand out of the path of the saw.

I would buy the cheapest blades Contenti offers and buy at least 2 dozen. The blades are brittle and break easily if twisted…Not so much with a blade as big as a #8 but it will happen.

When you break a blade, if your tensioning wing nut has not loosened you can simply load the lower jaw with the new blade, hold the saw frame handle against your belly and flex the frame against the work bench so the new blade is in place in the top jaw then tighten the jaws as before. This avoids the separate tensioning step.

Hope that helps…Verbose teaching mode OFF…

The main reason I started using a saw to hack the base of supports off is I have been making some fairly delicate parts (recently small containers with 1mm walls) and I found trying to just rip the supports off or hack them with the flush cutters would leave dings in the surface. By getting the big base out of the way I found it much easier to get close and carefully nip the ends off. The whole process is much quicker for me.

I did use a rotary cut off blade in my flex shaft but had more plastic flying around. With the jewelers saw I can cut the base off even when the part is still wet (after initial cleaning) and the part is very pliable and forgiving.

Thanks TJ for explaining saw usage and blade selection.

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