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I need ideas of thick wood to cut on a scroll saw

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Ives

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There are things I want to make on my scroll saw with wood about 1. 5 inches thick. So far my maple and oak are smoking and breaking my Flying Dutchman blades. Any recommendations of wood that's darker than poplar and pine, that at 1.5 inches won't break my blades? i was thinking ash? I'm saving up for a band saw, but wonder if there's anything that would work in the meantime on the scroll saw.
 

gerrybhoy70

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Hi Ives,

I've cut a few different woods on the scrollsaw so I can use them on the lathe (I don't have space for a bandsaw, so I make do), and I've managed to get through a 3" thick piece of apple.
It's around the same density as pine (approx 33lb/inch cubed), so cuts at about the same speed - although at that thickness I did take it very slowly.
It didn't leave any burning on it, so I'd guess you'd be able to get through a bit 1.5" thick without to much problem.
If you stil have concerns about burn marks, cut it slightly over sized - just enough to touch up with a bit of fine sandpaper to smooth it off and remove any marks.
If you've never used apple before, it can be quite dark in places. It takes a great finish too.

Hope this helps.
 

Gill

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You can certainly cut 1.5" ash with a scroll saw but it isn't a forgiving wood. So long as you aren't cutting fragile bridges, I suggest you try sycamore; although it's a fairly light colour when freshly milled, it does darken more than pine and fairly quickly too.
 

Mike M

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You should at least use a # 7 or higher to cut 1.5" wood. Also you need very good tension and good speed and use a very low feed rate. If not the blade will start cutting with a bevel. Let the blade do the cutting, they say. To help with burning. I use the 2" clear package tape on top of the pattern. Some use the blue painters tape on the wood. The tape has a silicone on top what will release friction helps to eliminate burning.
FD Mike
 

Chippygeoff

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Hi Ives. I cut thick hardwood all the time and the best I have found for ease of cutting is western red cedar, there is a vast range of colouring to be found in this wood and some of the grain patterns can be interesting. In some respects it is like pine and needs a little extra sanding on the bottom edges, even using ultra reverse blades from Mikes workshop. I am using oak and ash up to an inch thick at the moment and as it has been kiln dried is very hard but as Mike says, covering the wood with clear packaging tape really does help, it prolongs the life of the blade and prevents burning but it is still a slow process. The reason the blades break is because you are possibly pushing the wood into the blade or using a fast speed, which will heat the blade.

Geoff
 
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