Dremel shell stringing/banding saw

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Project by madburg posted 12-10-2020 01:37 AM 1276 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For Brian Jones – my Heath Robinson shell stringing saw.

I occasionally use shell stringing on my work and trying to cut them without splintering the edges was difficult. So I made this wooden contraption to hold a Dremel which I can clamp in the vice. Instead of the small steel saw blades you can get for the Dremel I use these fibro/resin cutting discs/wheels.

They do the job really well, and give a very smooth edge, though they do wear down quite quickly. But as they are cheap its no problem. As you can see I didn’t bother with a sophisticated fence, just a piece of wood and a couple of clamps.

I get the laminated shell sheet that I cut the strings off from Australian Mother of Pearl. They sell standard thicknesses, but will do custom thicknesses if required. The range is amazing – pau, gold MOP, white MOP, muscle etc etc

-- Madburg WA

9 comments so far

View MrWolfe's profile


1528 posts in 1183 days

#1 posted 12-10-2020 01:42 AM

Very clever and practical jig.
Thanks for sharing.

View madburg's profile


325 posts in 1903 days

#2 posted 12-10-2020 02:21 AM

Uppsss!! Forgot to remind you all that some shell dust can be toxic, and certainly MOP dust makes me sneeze incessantly for a day or so. Well it did before I started wearing a mask when cutting. I also vac up the dust rather than just blowing it off into the atmosphere when I’ve finished.

-- Madburg WA

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7345 posts in 1642 days

#3 posted 12-10-2020 03:57 AM

Honey, I shrunk the table saw! Clever!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2758 posts in 607 days

#4 posted 12-10-2020 04:46 AM

That jig looks like it has seen some service. Great tip, thanks bunches!!! Especially for the dust warning.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View BurlyBob's profile


8748 posts in 3325 days

#5 posted 12-10-2020 05:02 AM

I have got to agree that is one uniquely creative jig. Good on You.

View 987Ron's profile (online now)


861 posts in 376 days

#6 posted 12-10-2020 02:59 PM

Have you used the jig for any other materials, say wood or veneer. Looks like this might reduce the waste from cutting wood stringing on the table saw, the kerf is small.
Like the idea, thanks for posting.

-- Ron

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4524 posts in 4169 days

#7 posted 12-10-2020 04:06 PM

World’s smallest table saw! That’s a good thing to know. I’ll keep this idea in mind if I ever do any stringing.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1199 posts in 2352 days

#8 posted 12-10-2020 06:00 PM

I can’t wait to see the projects you create with this clever jig. Can you post a photo of some string you cut with it?

-- James E McIntyre

View madburg's profile


325 posts in 1903 days

#9 posted 12-11-2020 12:12 PM

For Ron ….... yes I’ve used it for making stringing from ‘re-sawn’ veneer. I hardly ever use a table saw, too noisy, too much dust, and takes up too much space – but I do have a small portable one. I almost always use a relatively small 12” bandsaw for prepping my timber. Not really into saw sleds and jigs.

For James …..... check out my following projects, all have shell stringing cut from laminated shell sheet with the little Dremel saw.

Earth Treasures – the string on the out side and on all the drawers.

Tiger Top – the stringing on the trays and the outer and inner tops/lids.

Flight of Fright – shell stringing on the outside of the ‘chest’.

Dotti Kogie – shell stringing on the internal drawers.

Jarrah Cube – shell stringing on the inner trays.

The North Foreshore – all the building inlays.

So you see I use it a lot!

-- Madburg WA

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