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Chippygeoff

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I have been giving some thought to what materials we can use for the things we make on the scroll saw. For me personally there is no substitute for a nice range of hardwoods in my timber rack but sadly getting hardwood that is planed both sides to the thickness needed is no easy thing to get. One local timber merchant stocks just oak in hardwood 150mm wide and 18mm thick and charges £7-40 per metre, a bit on the steep side. I am saving up for a thicknesser but until then I have to make do with what i can get.

Other materials I am considering are laminate flooring. It is the right thickness for many things and although it is just a veneer on MDF the sides can be stained to make it look like something other than MDF. There is MDF itself which I use a lot for backing boards. I also use birch plywood in various thicknesses. I was wondering about UPVC that is used for facia boards, it comes in very wide sections and for things that are white is ideal I suppose. I am not sure if this can be sprayed a different colour. I have looked at solid hardwood flooring which would be absolutely perfect for many items and is cheap enough for a pack. The only snag is that it is grooved on the bottom and these would have to be planed off. Pine can be readily bought planed in various widths and thicknesses but getting a good finish on pine is a pain in the rear. It will be interesting to see if anybody can come up with anything else on this subject.
 

scrimper

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Depends on what you are cutting, pine is fine for some projects but not for delicate stuff, one useful source of decent timber for fretting is old furniture, apart for some plywood you can also find decent pieces of hardwood on the drawer sides etc also worth having if you can get hold off are those wooden sided open drawer things they used to use in shops, quite often the sides are oak and around 3/8" thick.

I am lucky having a thicknesser so I can thin stuff down as required, I have had success making boards up by laminating narrow strips side by side then thicknessing but I find that hardwood does not glue as well as softwood when making thin boards.

I was recently given 2 old wardrobe doors and finding just a frame with cheap veneered plywood either side decided it was only fit for the fire but when sawing up I found the outer skin was really good quality 3/16" birch ply covered with some peeling veneer, I cut it into 8 or 10" strips and run it through the thicknesser to remove the veneer and found some useful stock for fretsawing! (I find that sometimes it is easy to scrape or sand off old veneer quite easily if you don't have a thicknesser.)

Some people have success using old CD's but I have not had any success, I find the blade either jams with melting or the plastic is brittle and breaks too easily.
 

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