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

By whatknot
I wouldn't see any problem in doing the portrait posted with flat pinless blades

I use whatever I can get, standard ply mostly, we don't have a great many baltic birch suppliers round here, so it would be expensive mail order or make do with what you can get

I quite like the grain to show in a portrait but its all a matter of personal taste I guess

Axminsters postage for blades is fairly cheap so why not order some spirals and try them out, I was always wanting to try them (until I did ;-)
By hawkinob
I have only ever used ply, and "ordinary" ply (if there is such a thing) at that. Timber selection here (W A - Oz) is a bit limited or I'm too lazy to look around. I go to our Bunnings - B & Q like? I've never tried a portrait on solid wood but don't doubt that it could be done however rereading the book I have - Scroll Saw Portraits (Gary Browning) - and I've reread it due to this post - he says he prefers 1/8 or 1/4 inch birch or oak ply and mentions that using solid woods have or might have short grains and could become very fragile on cuts that are very thin.

As for blades he only uses spirals and says "try moving the wood backwards, forwards, left and right while cutting. Try not to rotate the wood clockwise or anti clockwise" (he really said "counter- clockwise" but that's Yank talk and I'm Tottenham born and bred!!!).
Bob H.
Thanks for that hawkinob.

I still have some spirals left and must try them again - "one of these fine wet days"!

I must confess that when I tried them I was trying to turn corners in the usual way (as with "normal" blades) which didn't work too well - of course. I quickly realised that I must try and go backwards/forwards/sideways like your book says, but it felt really strange and un-natural. I'll try them again - one day!
Interesting site, however it is US-based (so presumably all saws are 110 Volts, so a BIG hassle in Europe unless you have/or buy a transformer?) all prices are in USD, and such European "favourite" brands such as Excalibur or Hegner receive small mention.

In addition the well-known Delta machines, which seem to have a good reputation, but seem to be very rare (or non-existent in Europe - e.g. I've never seen a Delta in Switzerland) are heavily featured.

Nevertheless, I've bookmarked this site, thanks for posting.
By whatknot
Quite so, useful for the American market but the machines are not really relevant for the UK or Europe

The WEN is basically the same machine as sold by Aldi for half the price or less

I have never owned a Dewalt 788 but given the number of posts I have seen regarding breakdowns and the need to buy an add on arm to keep the top arm up I wouldn't rate it as best quality personally

Some of the advice given is relevant re attributes but otherwise its USA only