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  • Question for Sam Keener

    Have your book on 128 Compound Scroll Saw Patterns and have a few questions. Love the work.

    What kind of wood are your photos in the book?

    What speed for saw do you recomend?

    I keep burning the wood and break blades while using pine to oak.

    Have used #5-7-9 blades but what type of blade do you suggest?

    Friends are amazed at the work.

    Thanks

    John

    Old Dust

  • #2
    Hi John,
    I've asked Sam to stop by and give you his opinions.
    Here's what I've found, though, when it comes to compound cutting:

    1. Set your saw speed as fast as you are comfortable.
    2. Use skip tooth blades--I use a #7--#5 are too small and #9 are too big, so the #7 is just right for me.
    3. Change your blade often. Compound-cut patterns are very thick and scroll saw blades are usually designed for cutting relatively thin stock. The thickness of the wood is going to heat the blade up faster, and that is why you get the burning--this also wears out your blade faster. Tape around the outside will help lubricate the blade some, but you will have to change blades a lot more often than if you were cutting 1/4"-thick stock.
    4. Check your blade tension. I err on the side of having too much tension when making compound cuts. If you don't have enough tension, your blades will actually break easier in the thick wood and won't cut perfectly square--which will mess up your compound cut.

    I'd practice with softer wood for a while (pine or poplar) before going to oak. FYI, if you cut Cherry, it is prone to burning whatever you do, so...

    As far as blade manufacturers, that is really a personal preference. All I can say is get some samples from a variety of manufacturers and try them all out. You're practicing your cutting on the less expensive wood anyway, so you might as well try out different blades too!

    Bob Duncan
    Scroll Saw Workshop
    www.GrobetUSA.com

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    • #3
      I did a few of the candle stick holder's from that book, kinda cool stuff in there.

      Don't know if this will help... but: Be sure to let the blade do the cutting, it will take longer to cut than thinner pieces. I use a #5 flying dutchman Polar blade. If you want to use harder woods for some reason I have found that Walnut is the easiest to cut. Why I don't know... but I'm not complaining. It could just be the wood I picked up that has a lot of burl in it. Got it real cheap ... $5.00 for 3" thick x 10" wide x 16" long. I got 6 of them.

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      • #4
        Walnut has a very tight grain, and it's not as dense as many hardwoods are. Pick up a piece of oak and a piece of walnut of similar size, and you'll immediately see what I mean. This makes it easier to cut than say oak or maple.

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        • #5
          First Attempt

          Im currently attempting my first go at compounding (making a chess set) and have found Oregon and WRC are good timbers to use for it. Timber place near me had 'scrap' Oregon that they gave to me for free.
          Brett

          Only Robinson Crusoe could get everything done by Friday!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Brett74
            Im currently attempting my first go at compounding (making a chess set) and have found Oregon and WRC are good timbers to use for it. Timber place near me had 'scrap' Oregon that they gave to me for free.
            Hey Brett, I hope you saved some of that Oregon for me!!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bishopkerrie
              Hey Brett, I hope you saved some of that Oregon for me!!!
              Im thinking I will go back for some more, so you never know
              Brett

              Only Robinson Crusoe could get everything done by Friday!!

              Comment


              • #8
                back in ashland

                Met Sam in ashland, when he had a small store near the middle of town. I made a couple trips from Louisville, OH to see his work and buy several of his compound figures. Looking over them, he would number them as he made them. My favorite is Sailboat/anchor #13 and Swan/Ballerina #23. I would love to hear back from Sam.

                An old Fan of his work,

                Larry

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