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Brand new at this.

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  • Brand new at this.

    Have a 16inch. Tradesman scroll saw. Bought some skip tooth blades. Know idea were to start, what type of wood etc. How do you blow up to 100%. Isnt it already 100%?I am using pin-less blades. Some patterns the cuts look to small for the blade. Whats the trick, I am getting close to cutting the scroll saw in half on my table saw. I just need a few tips. Thank you.

  • #2
    All good questions John!

    Before we can help you select wood we need to know what type of pattern it is.
    I think Baltic Borch ply is a good starting point. It can be use for many types of projects and you don't have to worry about the grain direction.
    Once you copy your pattern., I love your 1005 comment you are 100% correct. You can spray the back of the photocopy with temporary glue. This will allow you to stick the pattern to the wood.
    You will need to predrill the starting points.
    You said some of the lines look too small for the blade. Remember that when the pattern is cut and removed, no one will know how thick the original line was.

    You are using pinless blades so we know they are not too thick...unless they are pinless 12's
    The best thing to do is to start cutting. You will surely drift off the line but don't get discouraged. The only way to get better is to practice.
    If you have any questions about a specific pattern or technique just post it or email me. I will help if I can.
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3
      Welcome John

      Hi, and welcome to our little corner of the world.

      The blowing up to 100% question relates to making photocopies. Since the pattern used in a project is destroyed, you don't want to use the original. So this gives you the scale to make the copy, and permits the publisher to print patterns smaller for magazines (if required).

      The type of wood, depends on you. You can use just about any type of wood, but should select according to what you like and want to do. As Carl mentioned Baltic Birch ply is a good choice for fretwork, whereas you would prefer "real" wood species for intarsia.

      The blades do make a difference in my opinion. You should get some good blades such as Pegas, Flying Dutchmen or Olson, among the good ones, they help in getting a smoother cut.

      You need to drill the holes in accordance to the blade size; I believe Olson publishes a good chart on the type of blade and size for different materials.
      You can find a link to their website by clicking the "Other Great sites" link under the "Scrolling Community" header on the left, then click "Advertisers"

      Hope this will help alleviate some of your frustrations.

      Do post pictures of your work, we like to look at them.
      Keep your first piece, no matter how bad you think it is, as a reminder of where you started from. You'll be amazed at your progress in a short while, and will have a comparison point to encourage you.

      And do not hesitate to ask questions: the only stupid question is the one not asked

      DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

      NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


      • #4
        Never Never cut up a scrollsaw on your table saw, you need a good quality metal cutting blade in a band saw to do it properly.
        All joking aside, one thing my fellow scrolling club members have tought me is patience. When I first started I wanted to zoom through the cuts like they seemed to be doing. The wood just flew in their hands. I tried to go as fast and had trouble staying on the line, they made me slow down the saw speed and my speed until I developed a feel for the blade and the wood.
        Now I can go just as fast as them if the design calls for it. I still like taking my time after all this hobby is supposed to be relaxing, therapeutic and most of all FUN.
        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


        • #5

          First I would contact Fox Chapel ( and get the book from John Nelson. "Scroll Saw Workbook". It is a very good book to learn from. One of the best.
          Second I would go to some sites with a lot of information, like this site has a lot of good tips. How to cut corners, tention on the blade, how to stay on the line and many more.
          It takes practice and more practice but before you know it you are hooked and never would cut your saw in half.

          Mike M
          SD Mike


          • #6
            Thank you

            Ordered some blades from olson, bigggg! difference than the ones with the pins from the big stores. Got a piece of just plain birch plywood 1/4 inch.
            Found a free pattern for a dogs head. I took my time and cut it out. Looks like the dog got hit by a car. Were can I get the small drill bit for the tiny areas? Is it a hand held or drill. The smallest i could find was not small enough. What do you use to highlite the back of a cut out?Is it wood or some other product. I would like to thank everyone for thier help. The scroll saw lives to see another day.


            • #7
              glad to hear the saw lives on, as for the backing, I sometimes use felt, sometimes I will use another type of wood or a different color stain to bring out the details that are cut out. The small drill bits are available from a number of sources just look for the numbered drill bits (#60-80) usualy available in a set or individually. I know Mike has them available on his web site sold individually by number ( ). Keep cutting and you will be suprised how quickly you progress.

              You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus...Mark Twain


              • #8
                Hi John. I just wont to welcome you to the forum too. you came to the right place. we just love helping each other. I was wondering, did you know you can buy a stand for your drill. it holds it and works like a drill press. they hold almost any hand drill. it makes drilling lots of holes much easyer, and makes your drilled holes straight. that meens alot when stacking. just thought i would trow that in. Mike gave you some great advice, and i think his sight gives alot of good impho. I order my small drill bits from him. and they don't break so easy like some of the others. you also may need smaller culits (drats did i spell that right?) to hold the smaller bits. welcome , your new friend Evie


                • #9
                  collet is the spelling you were looking for hun ! Glad your home, safe, and unmugged!!
                  Dale w/ yella saws


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