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

By aramco
hi again I am about to tear my hair out with my axminster ex 30 scroll saw, the reason is it will not cut straight up and down on anything above 3/4 inch I have attempted tonight to do a puzzle box - from hans meier 's site - in 1 1/2 inch wood 4 attempts and 4 failures, as the key and puzzle bits are all wonky, I have made sure the table is straight to the blade, and the blade is square - made a cut in a piece of 2 inch wood and stopped the saw and the back of the blade went in no bother, I have also played with the speeds from max downwards , and slowed my feed rate down, still the same
,I am using a flying Dutchman #5 ultra reverse blade, this has been happening since the saw was new, it has not long been back from axminster and it remains the same, any advice please.

take care

By loftyhermes
Try increasing the blade tension. Are you sure that you are not putting sideways pressure to the wood when cutting, this is the most common cause of puzzles only coming apart one way.
Not being pedantic (honest) but on the EX 30, unlike most other machines, you do NOT adjust the table, you adjust the angle of the arm from the big knob on the quadrant under the table at the front (cutting end).

The easiest way to check this (apart from a small square) is to take a small but fairly thick offcut and cut half way into it. Then without touching anything else, remove the offcut and try to push the cut piece onto the blade FROM BEHIND. If the cut slides nicely into the cut you've just made then the arm (blade) is at 90 degrees to the table. If not, then you need to adjust the angle of the arm (as above) and cut again until the offcut does slide neatly onto the back of the blade. The cut is now definitely at right angles.

Once you're sure of that then I'd agree with Lofty above, you probably need a bit more tension. I don't know the FD blade you're using myself, but if blade tension and cut speed are definitely OK (try different speeds) and you've checked for square as above, then you should be able to produce a square cut in wood as thick as the machine will accept.

If still not so, try another blade (same type if you like - the one you're using MAY have excessive burring on the tooth side from when if was first made), or try another blade brand.

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By Droogs
+1 for all the above. Andy is spot on.

It is surprising how little force is needed to cause quite a large deflection/twist in the blade and consequently, the cut. I've always found that there seems to be more risk of the kerf bowing in the cut the thicker the piece being worked. I would suggest that you slow the saw right down 5-10 strokes a second and try a piece at the thickness you want and cut a marked straight line and film it from behind the blade. watch the film in slo-mo to see if you have blade deflection due to your technique. I would almost certainly expect that you do. If you find that you are "squinting" the piece as you cut ie that you are following the line but the marked straight line on the piece itself is not parallel to the saw arm, then it is your technique at fault, as you are applying some side or twisting pressure on the blade.

By aramco
hi and thanks for your suggestions most of them I have already tried, and I taped a piece of cardboard around the blade and over the hole and tried cutting some thick pieces to see if I was pushing the wood, and making the blade deflect, and I am pleased to say that I was not, which amazed me, so I will go back to basics and retry all the above once again, unfortunately I do not have a camera, but that is a really good suggestion.

take care
By whatknot
if your card around the blade is close to the blade, if you push the travel of the arms to its highest, and while pressing them down to the lowest, any movement side to side should be noticeable against the card, if there is no movement between the two the blade is travelling at 90 degrees to the table

If there is sideways movement refer to p11 of your manual (assuming you have the same manual ;-) which describes adjustment using the grub screw opposite the clamp knob

If the above proves okay, I would try a different blade manufacturer, such as Pegas

I would also try a higher number blade say a 7 although I have done those puzzles with Pegas 5's if I remember rightly
By aramco
hi put a new piece of card round the blade, ran the saw no lateral movement of the blade, any suggestions to an alternative blade to #5 ultra reverse flying Dutchman.

take care

As suggested above, a No. 7 - even a No. 9! In both cases play with cut speed and how fast you feed the blade into the job - the idea is come up with a combination of speed and cut effectiveness that requires little or no sanding after cutting.

As above, I've no experience of FD, though they have a good rep. Also as above, I like Pegas myself (but must admit that that's not only because they work but also because I can get them easily)!
By aramco
hi droogs havnt sussed out pms yet this is the first one, thanks for the offer, will look into getting some pegas and see how they work out .

take care
By aramco
hi i am going to order some titanium blades from Judy gale Roberts site, I have used them before with good results especially on corian, so then my problems hopefully will be over, the next one is getting axminster to answer mine and the trading standards communications, over the arm not staying up I keep adjusting it and after a few cuts it is dropping again, I would dearly like to do a real big Charles dearing pattern but not when I have to constantly block the arm up, imagine doing that 700 times.