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I am new to scroll sawing. How long should it take roughly to make a chess piece using compound cuts.

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Mickey14

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I have a Clarke inter CSS16VB scroll saw and have tried to make a chess piece. It took 12 hours in total. On the advice of some one who is experienced, I changed blades to use a pegas skip #3 blade 19.5 tpi on a squared piece of pine wood 1 1/2 inch. This time it took me about 4 hours to make another chess piece. This still seems to be rather slow. I am a beginner so I really would appreciate any advice.
 

Dee J

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If you've taken that long on a chess piece then you've got the patience of a saint. Perhaps a photo would give a clearer idea of exactly what your design entails and how the time relates.
 

Mickey14

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Thanks for your prompt response. The first chess piece was the King, the second one is a pawn and only took 4 hours!
 

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Mickey14

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Sorry, meant to send this photo too of the pawn
 

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AES

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If you really are a beginner to scrolling, then I think you're actually doing rather well. Yup 12 hours is "a bit long"(!!) but compound cutting really is one of the most difficult things to get the hang of, especially with a pretty complex piece like your King. Have a search around for exercises to improve you speed/skill (you'll find many, especially websites in the US like Steve Goode - and several others too). And this IS "only" a hobby isn't it? (Unless you're trying to run a business making chess pieces). :)
 

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Thanks again for the advice. I really am a novice. Bought my scroll saw in April and somwhat foolishly on reflection, after mastering how to cut a straight line, dived in at the deep end compound cutting the chess pieces.
I have watched a fair few utube tutorials but nothing seems to give a realistic time frame in cutting out chess pieces.
One chap Bob Bloods worth, was kind enough to cut out the same King piece using my pattern. He messeged me to say that it took him 12 minutes to do!! Then he suggested the pegas blades # 3,which I used to. make chess piece no. 2,the pawn. This speeded the process up to 4 hours. He still thought that was too long and suggested skyping to watch the saw in action while I was cutting a chess piece. For reasons unknown he didn't reply after this.
If I try and push the wood into the blade, it does not like it and I get burn marks on the wood. Sorry for such a long rambling reply. I just want to know how to speed up the process a little if possible.
 

bourbon

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Who is to tell you that you have taken too long making a piece. So the guy can make it in 12 minutes. Big deal, he's either BS's you or he is very experienced. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you are doing.
 
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AES

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Agree with the above. IF it's a hobby, then it's NOT a race!!! And don't forget, a lot of these YouTube vids are often speeded up.

As far as burning is concerned, I can only say that with all sorts of sawing - any type, any material - you don't "push" the saw, you let the blade do the work (easy to say, not so easy to get used to)! And if you're getting burn marks after you stop pushing into the wood so hard, then try adjusting the speed on your machine - maybe slower, but possibly faster.

Sorry to be so vague, but it really is a question of matching material, blade TPI, machine speed, etc, and sorry again, you just have to try and try until you get to what works for you. It's called "experience". :)

Good luck.
 

Mickey14

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Who is to tell you that you have taken too long making a piece. So the guy can make it in 12 minutes. Big deal, he's either BS's you or he is very experienced. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you are doing.
Thanks, that gives me hope. It is fun to do anyway, I just thought I was doing something wrong.
 

Droogs

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You do realise your saw came with an electrical plug to be used in a socket? :LOL:

Though all joking aside it should take you about 10 to 15 min to make the piece you have in the picture depending on experience. check you have the blade at the correct tension. twang it and you should get no more than an 1/8th of an inch/2-3mm deflection and a high pitch long lasting ping rather than a thunk. You also may have the blade in upside down or the wrong way round depending on the size. All these things will still let the saw cut but be very slow. If you have adjustable speed try slowing it down and carefully watch how the blade behaves and then gradually increase the blade speed.

hth
 
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Mickey14

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You do realise your saw came with an electrical plug to be used in a socket? :LOL:

Though all joking aside it should take you about 10 to 15 min to make the piece you have in the picture depending on experience. check you have the blade at the correct tension. twang it and you should get no more than an 1/8th of an inch/2-3mm deflection and a high pitch long lasting ping rather than a thunk. You also may have the blade in upside down or the wrong way round depending on the size. All these things will still let the saw cut but be very slow. If you have adjustable speed try slowing it down and carefully watch how the blade behaves and then gradually increase the blade speed.

hth
 

Mickey14

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Sorry it took so long to reply but I've only just stopped laughing at your hilarious comment about the electric plug etc. LOL! Anyway I have checked all the other things you have mentioned and yes, I have managed to put the blade in the right way, all to no avail. I will just practice more and hopefully speed up in the process.
 

Droogs

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I would say, just time and practice and you will get quicker. re blade wrong way, I still do it now at times and then panic that my saw is broken.
 

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I don't know your saw, but daft question, if it's variable speed, do you have the speed at full? Packing tape or selotape will help to reduce burning, and maybe try #5 blade for that thickness of wood? I use pretty much entirely pegas modified geometry blades now, a 5 or a 7 would be better for that thickness. If you don't have, I could send you a couple to try if you like? I spent a fortune trying out different blades over the years 😳
 

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Hi I can’t expand your photos up to see details but looking at your wood, is it dry or wet pine. If dry are you catching the grain lines of hard sap if so the saw might struggle and need to speed up, or the sap might be fouling your saw teeth, try waxing with candle before cutting it is so difficult to say. I made some reign deer for a Christmas decoration and each one took about 20 mins but most of that was taken with rewrapping with tape after each cut. I agree with the last post 5-7 pegas are my most used blades. And clear wrapping tape makes the cut easier.
 
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Mickey14

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I don't know your saw, but daft question, if it's variable speed, do you have the speed at full? Packing tape or selotape will help to reduce burning, and maybe try #5 blade for that thickness of wood? I use pretty much entirely pegas modified geometry blades now, a 5 or a 7 would be better for that thickness. If you don't have, I could send you a couple to try if you like? I spent a fortune trying out different blades over the years 😳
 

Mickey14

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Thanks for your advice. I have a Clarke inter CSS16VB scroll saw 16inch.90 w motor. variable speed of 550-1600spm.I do use packing tape too. Like you I have bought and tested numerous blades all Pegas, from super skip #7 11tpi, skip blade#7 15 tpi., double reverse blade #7R, skipblade#5 16:5tpi and finally skip#3 19:5tpi.
Today I used the skip#3 19.5tpi to compound cut a pawn piece. It seemed slow at first but after applying some pressure(although I know you are not supposed to) it speeded up the process. It took me 1hour 45 minutes to complete using 1 1/2 inch pine wood. So it's certainly getting a bit quicker to do. It was very kind of you to offer to send a couple of blades, are they the same Pegas ones I've mentioned though?
 

Mickey14

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Hi I can’t expand your photos up to see details but looking at your wood, is it dry or wet pine. If dry are you catching the grain lines of hard sap if so the saw might struggle and need to speed up, or the sap might be fouling your saw teeth, try waxing with candle before cutting it is so difficult to say. I made some reign deer for a Christmas decoration and each one took about 20 mins but most of that was taken with rewrapping with tape after each cut. I agree with the last post 5-7 pegas are my most used blades. And clear wrapping tape makes the cut easier.
 
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