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!