Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

By bwlossie
Hi guys,
I am relatively new to scrolling. This is going to be a bit of a rant so please bear with me!
I bought an ASWF18 from Axminster a few months ago.
Only had it 6 months and in that 6 months it went back to them twice. Fisrt time PCB in speed cotrol and second time they did not tell me cause. Full refund.
I then bought a Hegner Multicut 2s variable speed.
I do quite a lot of Steve Good's patterns.
He quotes 1/8" or 1/4" Baltic Birch.
Do any of you UK scrollers in UK know of a 2nd Mortgage free supplier?
I use Wickes plywood and it is absolute Carp! I use the cheapest masking tape I can find. My reasoning being that, so cheap it will not "overstick" and pull the laminations apart when removing pattern. The Wickes plywood does! It is from PRC [China]
I use reverse tooth blades but the lamination just splits off on both the top and bottom cuts. YES I am using new blades.
Just done 2 Deer pattern in 1/4 inch [6.5mm] and it is an absolute mess.
I mix my own shellac! Do you think a coat of shellac top and bottom would help the laminations stay together? If so what sort of finish over shellac?
IMHO we really are the poor relations in UK.
Blue painters tape in UK double the price of USA.
Baltic Birch need to take out a loan for it.
Brand new Axminster Scrollsaw returned.
Are you getting the message that I am well and truely in a bad place at the moment???????
Can anyone help please?
User avatar
By Trevanion
Not a scroller, but...

Go to local joinery/cabinetmaking shops and ask if they've got any spare offcuts of decent ply, guaranteed some will have some good scraps and they might even just let you have the smaller pieces, if not for free they'll be for pence.

Just get proper cheap yellow masking tape, the blue tape is rubbish and the only benefit is it's usually UV resistant so good for outdoor work and use with infrared lamps in car body spraying, even then I've never really seen it used in that side of things.

Don't listen to Americans!
By bwlossie
Hi Trevanion,
I am using the cheapest "yellow" masking tape I can find but it is still pulling the top layer off the ply.
Out of interest, what sort of ply would the cabinet makers use? Too much plywood nowadays has voids in which looks terrible on the edges of cutouts.
User avatar
By Droogs
I get all my plywood from Meyers, they deliver to the door and sheets are 8x4'. Price varies as to qty/grade etc but less than wickes and the other sheds


edit forgot link
By whatknot
My first suggestion is to not use masking tape

Use self adhesive labels which you can print directly onto , once cut a light wipe over with turps subs and after 30 seconds or so the remains of the pattern will come straight off usually in one piece leaving no residue

But my next suggestion is to try another supplier for your plywood, I always bought mine from one supplier here in Cornwall, last couple of times I found they had a different quality of plywood, its very light in colour and does exactly as you describe, it flakes off at the edges, no matter what blades I use

Try and find a supplier with the darker plywood, no one seems to recognise "Baltic Birch" here, or if they do they want the price of a house to buy it

You can buy Baltic Birch ply via ebay but again it costs a fortune
By bwlossie
Hi Whatnot,
I have some shelf paper as advised by Steve Good.
Might try that then. Tight rolls at the minute so will try to press/flatten a few pieces.
As for prices, I know what you mean!
By whatknot
Isn't the shelf paper just wide sellotape?

I haven't used shelf paper as I am happy using self adhesive labels, all the tapes etc seem to me to cause more work and cost more
By bwlossie
Shelf paper I have is 10” wide and on long roll. Possibly about 5 meters.
Peel off the backing paper to use/stick down.
I got the clear version so hope to just print on transparent side, peel off and stick.
As long as it will print and not smear.
By Hornbeam
4 and 6 mm birch is about £25 for an 8 X 4 sheet. That provides one heck of a lot of scrolling. I would suggest that when you look at how much time you are investing into a piece, the cost of birch is not that high. At the other end of the scale, cheap plywood will only be half that price but will seriously compromise the quality of your work. With virtually all the things I have bought, I may have found some things expensive, but it is the cheaper things which fail that I usually wish I had spent more on
Last edited by Hornbeam on 09 Jun 2019, 16:36, edited 1 time in total.
By whatknot
So you still have the same problem as you would with sellotape, it adheres to the workpiece

You can't wipe that over with turps as its not porous

Can it be printed on? I thought it was a shiny surface ?

bwlossie wrote:Shelf paper I have is 10” wide and on long roll. Possibly about 5 meters.
Peel off the backing paper to use/stick down.
I got the clear version so hope to just print on transparent side, peel off and stick.
As long as it will print and not smear.
By loftyhermes
Barry, Baltic birch ply is used because it as no voids, try ebay, amazon or model shops to buy from. I've never used anything but repositionable spray glue to fix the pattern to the wood, currently using the Crafters Companion one in the purple can. Spray it on the back of the pattern, sand the wood to 240, clean off the dust then fix the pattern on. The only time I've used any tape it's been clear packing tape, it's purpose is to reduce burning of the wood.
By whatknot
I hear this about baltic birch, ie no voids, but all the bog standard ply I have bought up to the very recent lot have had no voids either

The last couple of lots I have had are very light , splinter up easily and have voids, so am looking elsewhere should I need to buy ply, I try not to buy any wood if I can avoid it, I much prefer reusing timber if I can
By powertools
I think you are looking at things the wrong way.
I can understand your annoyance with the problems you had with your first saw but you were given a refund that you then put towards the cost of the most overpriced saw on the planet.
It now seems that you want good results using the cheapest material on the planet that will not happen.
Wickes is a builders merchant and the ply they sell is fit for purpose, you need to accept that good results need good materials.