Sawing Out Negative Spaces Inside a Metal Framework

See the tabs below for all products and tools used in this technique, plus any additional tips that may be helpful to you!

Add detail to a sheet metal shape or create a unique design by cutting out negative spaces with a saw.
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Tip 1This technique requires finesse. Avoid powering through it – let the saw blade do the work. It may be helpful to practice on a piece of scrap metal before you begin your project.
Tip 2Always hold the saw lightly in your hand and let the saw teeth do the work in the downward stroke. Use your hand simple as a guide for sawing, not for applying pressure. Beginners usually break a lot of saw blades. Don’t worry if this happens – you’ll become more proficient with practice.
Tip 3While sawing a negative shape, avoid cutting on the line – try sawing just inside the line. You can file the shape later. You can always remove metal, but you can’t add it.
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Step 1

Choose a design, digitize the image and print it onto self-adhesive label paper. Download the flower image here.

Step 2

Cut the image out of the label leaving plenty of space around the image. Apply the label to the stamping link.

Step 3

Decide where you want to pierce the stamping link. We marked the selected spot with a pencil.

Step 4

Pierce the stamping link with a hole punch in the designated spot.

Step 5

Apply cut lube to the back of the stamping blank.

Step 6

Follow Steps 1 through 3 in Setting up the Saw Blade in the Saw Frame Technique.

Step 7

Thread the saw blade through the hole in the stamping blank, and attach it to the bottom nut of the saw frame. Tighten the frame (refer to Steps 4 - 6 in Setting up the Saw Blade in the Saw Frame Technique).

Step 8

Place the stamping blank on the bench pin. Hold the saw lightly, keeping your forearm and hand relaxed and at a 90-degree angle to the metal. Gently make a couple of downward strokes on the edge of the metal where you will start to saw. Remember to cut inside the line of the design.

Step 9

Move forward in the metal while moving the saw frame up and down. To turn a corner, shift the metal while moving the saw up and down in one place. For more detailed instructions refer to step 9 - 13 in the Sawing a Design out of Sheet Metal Technique.

Step 10

Once you have finished sawing out the shape you can free the stamping link from the blade by undoing the bottom nut on the saw frame.

Step 11

Peel off the label and wipe the stamping link clean of residual adhesive. Congratualtions! You have successfully cut out a negative space inside a metal framework.

 

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Fusion Beads Inc, Beads, Seattle, WA