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What wood do you use?

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  • What wood do you use?

    What type and thicknes of wood do you use for cutting the patterns with all the spectacular detail? What type of blades?

  • #2
    That depends mostly on what exactly I'm cutting. If its a plaque sort of thing, I use 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch, depending on the design.If its something like a Christmas ornament, I use 1/8th inch or 1/4th inch, again depending on the pattern and the look Im after.For the fancy clocks, most of the time its 1/4th inch, mainly because thats what the pattern was designed to be built of most of the time.Check your pattern instructions to be sure BEFORE you buy wood.For portrait/landscape type cuttings, its usually 1/4 or 1/8th thick, both on baltic birch plywood or hardwoods.It all depends on the look I think will look nice with the particular design. I will say, the majority of my cuttings are in the 1/4 and 1/2 thicknesses.
    As for the type of wood, I think most things look beautiful in red oak. Cherry is another good wood, as is maple and walnut . For more antique looking things, I just about always use a dark wood like walnut, and sometimes a dark piece of cherry.
    The main thing is to look at your pattern and decide what you think it will look nice in, and go from there if there arent any specifice requirements.After you build up a pile of extra pieces of wood, you will tend to cut things that fit the availability of your wood stock, as well as choosing for look.Grain direction should always be considered as well, to help hold the brittle pieces intact and to look pleasing to the eye. Blade choice questions on here start a fuming war everytime, but if you get yourself some #3,and #5 flat blades with reverse teeth on the bottom, and some #2/0 spiral blades, you can cut just about anything, unless you are going into 1 inch thickness or more, then a #5 or #7 without reverse teeth.Ordering your blades online from suppliers is much cheaper then going to the BORG, check it out. I hope that helped a little . Merry Christmas, Dale
    Dale w/ yella saws


    • #3
      Thank you for that information. Will be printing it. The patterns don't always have the information included.
      Owner of a nice 21" Excalibur
      Owner of a Dewalt 788
      PuffityDragon on AFSP


      • #4
        If its ever a specific project, ask for a suggestion, I'll help whenever I can. Dale
        Dale w/ yella saws


        • #5
          I've only cut about 8 patterns but so far I'm using 1/8" Baltic Birch plywood. This thickness is just right for cuttings that will go into a store bought frame. The frame backing bows slightly so I use button stops to hold everything together.

          Craftsman 16" VS, Puros Indios and Sam Adams!
          Scrollin' since Jun/2006

          My Gallery

 (reciprocal links welcomed)


          • #6
            My wood selection depends on the project.
            If it has a lot of veining or small details I think a light wood shows the best, (baltic birch) most of my ornaments are in 1/16 Finnish birch(stacked 6up). Pictures, the lichterbogen ( just posted in the gallery by) all call for 1/8 baltic birch. (stack cut) for inlays and other projects I use whatever wood enhances the project most. I don't like thick wood, it tends to be too clunky for my taste. I like the illusion of delicate. I am sure many of you will disagree with that, that is why this is such a wonderful forum.
            Of course Intarsia is a whole nother story.
            The attached image was done in the 1/16 birch, if it was darker you lose all of the detail.
            Attached Files
            RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
            Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
            Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
            And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


            • #7
              Rolf, that is a very nice cutting and pattern. Thank you for sharing.
              Chuck D

              When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
              Jean De La Bruyere...

              Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw


              • #8
                I tend to use 1/8" baltic birch mainly due to the fact that everything I make is for sale and I can stack 6 or so pieces. I've also cut fairly intricate pieces out of Mahogany which is a joy to scroll as well as Brazilian cherry, oak, walnut, maple, purple heart (very brittle however), padauk, etc. It all depends on what it is I'm cutting.
                Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


                • #9
                  Is there a wood that stands out above the others for beginners? I've been scrolling for a whole week now (lol) and know nothing about wood. The wood I have used is just scraps from what my husband left around the garage. Just trying to get used to how it works and feels. From all the choices from wood there has to be some that are much easier to cut (for beginners) than others.


                  • #10
                    You just can't beat MDF! It's stable, it's cheap, it's readily available, it's paintable.

                    Perfect .

                    Added to which, it's difficult to get hold of anything else where I live .

                    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


                    • #11
                      Thanks Gill! Thats perfect then. We have PLENTY of MDF in the garage. I'll have to sneak a few pieces from my husbands stash when he isn't looking.


                      • #12
                        MDF is a good choice, but try not to inhale to much of the dust from it. Dale Another good choice is Baltic Birch plywood. And a nice hardwood to play with is walnut, its relatively soft, yet looks pretty. Dale
                        Dale w/ yella saws


                        • #13
                          For beginners, I'll cast my vote for baltic birch plywood, however most any material that is free is good for scrolling. Keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to do a little dumpster diving. Lots of good wood gets thrown out with the trash. I've scavenged wood from pallets, crates, even worn out furniture.

                          The advantages of BB plywood are that it's stable and strong, available in many thicknesses, relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. You can use thin material for delicate patterns with less fear of breakage.

                          Once you get more comfortable and experienced, you may want to try some hardwoods. The advantage of using hardwoods is the sheer beauty of the material. Hardwoods come in many different colors and grain patterns which can really make your project stand out.

                          Good luck and have fun making sawdust!
                          Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


                          • #14
                            Hi Cathy, and Blue. when I started cutting, I found it easy to use 1/4 inch, plywood. oak was what was availabale in my area. watch out for the voids in cheep ply though. I didn't stack at first. for I just didn't have the wood or money. and wonted to pratice. I found wood at cabnet makers, they have some great 1/8th and 1/4 inch plywoods. even door skin worked ok . I used the small blades too. like skip tooth. #2. and 0.2 go slow and just chop away at the wood. thats what worked for me. learn how to turn. and make circales, and straight lines first. to go straight. turn your wood at a angale. don't go straght into the blade. there is so much to learn, and it is so fun. welcome, and have fun. your friend Evie
                            Last edited by minowevie; 01-13-2007, 06:59 PM.


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