Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Happy newbie with a scroll saw

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Fiddler

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2012
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
Morecambe
Hi all, I'm new to the forum, woodworking and scroll saws. I had a scroll saw given a month ago on the grounds that it was useless. I took it home and played with it and it was indeed useless. It struggled to saw anything over 1/4" and always wanted to spiral to the left, following a straight line was impossible. I tried several new blades, experimented with tension and feed speed all to no avail, so I gave up.

After reading everything I could on the interweb I decided to give it one last chance and buy another set of blades. The Olson blade selection I ordered was more expensive than other blades but they arrived today. It's going dark outside so I popped out quickly to the garage and inserted one of the new blades. WOW! What a difference! 1/4" plywood; no problem, 1/2" pine; fantastic, I cut a keyhole out :) Then something almost 1"; nice curves and a good finish.

I'm so happy, I just wanted to tell someone :D . I fancy making one of those puzzle boxes that slide together like a jigsaw!
 

Gill

Established Member
Joined
3 Sep 2003
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincs
Were you using blades that had been originally supplied with the saw? The blades that are supplied with scroll saws are a complete mystery to me. Why are so many manufacturers determined to make their products run poorly because of the terrible quality of the blades they provide? It would only cost a few pennies to supply decent blades. Anyway, buying new blades was definitely the way ahead; I'm delighted you persevered and have begun to achieve satisfactory results. As a matter of interest, what saw do you have?

You might find Bruce's boxes interesting if you haven't already seen them. They're not exactly what you have in mind but I reckon they're still worth looking at :) .
 

Fiddler

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2012
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
Morecambe
Yes Gill, the blades were the ones originally supplied with the saw which is a Powercraft. It had previously been used to cut thin sheets of balsa for model aircraft, the blade that was installed when it was given to me had no teeth whatsoever on the inch or so of working area. The flexible blower pipe is missing, but I can live with that at the price I got it for.

I'd post a picture but I haven't posted enough to get that privilege yet.

Oh, and now I've got my hands on a second hand bandsaw; it's a Delta 28-185 :)
 

Fiddler

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2012
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
Morecambe
Thanks for the link to Bruce's Boxes, a bit complicated for me yet I think but I've bookmarked the page.
 

Fiddler

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2012
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
Morecambe
.....and now that I've got my three posts in I can post a pic of my saw!

 

Fiddler

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2012
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
Morecambe
As you can see, I had a go at cutting a curve in a thicker piece of wood. It all started off ok, but towards the end I think the blade started to get clogged up with sawdust and bind in the slot. I used a 10tpi blade, would you recommend one with less teeth or a particular pattern of teeth?
 

Mike M

Established Member
Joined
23 Feb 2007
Messages
122
Reaction score
0
Location
Brandon, SD USA
I think the problem was more that the blade got dull and you started to push too hard into the blade.
Cutting thick wood like that you need very good tension good speed and low feed rate.
FD Mike
 

Gill

Established Member
Joined
3 Sep 2003
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincs
It looks to me as if you've been cutting cheap construction-grade pine. The good news is that if you can cut construction-grade pine, you can cut anything :) . Blades can struggle to find a purchase on its soft, woolly texture. Try cutting cotton wool with a serrated knife and you'll see exactly what I mean :) . What's more, the wood usually has an abundance of resin which can make the teeth clog and heat up the blades quickly, losing their cutting edge. I suggest a skip-tooth blade for this sort of wood, especially with it being rather thick. Skip-tooth blades are more efficient than regular blades at dispersing sawdust from the point of cut. Be prepared to vary the stroke speed of your saw too; you will find that cutting along the grain (ripping) can often mean the teeth of your blade have difficulty catching the wood fibres and that adjusting the stroke speed up and down can help you. Strangely enough, I find that cross-cutting construction grade pine is often much easier than ripping. Perhaps that's because the wood fibres are more densely packed.
 

davethesax

Member
Joined
15 Feb 2012
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
Burnham on Sea
I once read somewhere – can’t remember where – some cheaper blades have a burr left on the back edge from the stamping out, causing the blade to run with a bias. With the saw running touching the rear corners of the blade gently with a stone or file should remove the burr.
Though haven’t tried it myself, hope this helps.
Regards David
 

Fiddler

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2012
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
Morecambe
Gill":2wfil5jg said:
It looks to me as if you've been cutting cheap construction-grade pine. The good news is that if you can cut construction-grade pine, you can cut anything :) . Blades can struggle to find a purchase on its soft, woolly texture. Try cutting cotton wool with a serrated knife and you'll see exactly what I mean :) . What's more, the wood usually has an abundance of resin which can make the teeth clog and heat up the blades quickly, losing their cutting edge. I suggest a skip-tooth blade for this sort of wood, especially with it being rather thick. Skip-tooth blades are more efficient than regular blades at dispersing sawdust from the point of cut. Be prepared to vary the stroke speed of your saw too; you will find that cutting along the grain (ripping) can often mean the teeth of your blade have difficulty catching the wood fibres and that adjusting the stroke speed up and down can help you. Strangely enough, I find that cross-cutting construction grade pine is often much easier than ripping. Perhaps that's because the wood fibres are more densely packed.
Thanks Gill. As for varying the speed and stroke of my machine, that isn't an option I have on mine. I'm also limited to what type of blades I can use because it uses the end pin style blades, I haven't seen anything other than regular blades in end pin style.

When you say "construction-grade pine" do you mean the new wood that you get from the DIY store as opposed to old seasoned wood? Or do you mean there is a different quality of wood I should try? Sorry if that question sounds a bit daft but I'm a total newby as far as wood goes. I'm used to working with metal, I can always weld a bit on if I take too much off and it doesn't split and splinter like wood! :roll:
 

Fiddler

Established Member
Joined
13 Feb 2012
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
Morecambe
davethesax":sm1ef8uz said:
I once read somewhere – can’t remember where – some cheaper blades have a burr left on the back edge from the stamping out, causing the blade to run with a bias. With the saw running touching the rear corners of the blade gently with a stone or file should remove the burr.
Though haven’t tried it myself, hope this helps.
Regards David
Thanks for that tip Dave, I've just seen a video on Youtube where someone uses a stone on the blade before cutting. I may be able to use that bag of blade that came with the saw yet :-k

So Dave, you play sax and I play fiddle; there's too much sax and violins on the internet!
 

Gill

Established Member
Joined
3 Sep 2003
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Lincs
Not all wood is suitable for all uses. The DIY sheds tend to sell pine which is grown fast and has little substance, making it adequate for modern construction work but little else. It is considerably cheaper than wood which has been grown slowly and is therefore denser with a wider range of uses. That's why builders use pine battens to fix plasterboard instead of birds-eye maple :) .

Try cutting different types of wood (if you can find some) and you'll find that each will have its own properties. Most builders merchants and timber yards should be able to get you some hardwood, even if they have to order it for you. However, it would be far better to pick your own wood from, say, one of the retailers listed here. The problem with buying wood in this way is that you will probably have to do some work to trim the boards and prepare them for scrolling. Not all scrollers have the resources or inclination to do that, so they buy prepared pieces of wood instead from retailers such as Hobbycraft or Hobbies. Good quality plywood is excellent for scrolling - plywood was actually created for scrollers in the 19th century before its much wider uses became apparent - but again you will be much better off if you can avoid construction grade plywood which tends to be coarse and have internal voids.
 
Top