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Begining Scroller

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  • Begining Scroller


    I am just starting my scrolling experience and have a few questions about blades.

    First of all I am using a ace 15" scroll saw with a 2" opening for cutting. It's not mine and there isn't any manual with it.

    The question I have is; How often should blades be replaced?

    I have gone through 3 blades for no apparent reason. I left the saw running after cutting a pattern and next thing I know the blade broke on it's own accord. is this normal?

    I have adjusted the tention both to a tight and snug postion but still the blade broke.

    Any advice??? Help!!!

  • #2
    It all depends on how hard you are pushing into the blade and how thick the wood is...What were you cutting? If you tell us that, I can give you a better response.

    Bob Duncan
    Associate Editor
    Scroll Saw Workshop


    • #3
      Hmmmmmm............questions I usually ask myself....

      If the blade is breaking when you're not even cutting, it could be unrelated to what you are cutting. Is this an old saw? New saw? Do you have the blades in correctly? (teeth pointing down) Does the saw make any abnormal noises or does it vibrate excessively? Are you using pinned blades or non-pinned? Have you broken any blades while cutting? Are the blades you are using new?

      I am a newbie also. I found that reading the information at this link helped me understand some things immensely. This may give you an understanding about blades and the use of blades. Also about tightening and such.

      Also check this out:

      A lot of information.....maybe directly and indirectly related to your problem.
      Keep in touch here and these guys can assist in helping you with your questions and problems.
      Mike P.

      He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has.
      - Epictetus


      • #4
        Go to and check "Selecting a Blade" and "Q & A". You might find some good help.
        The book by John Nelson "Scroll Saw Workbook" is one of the better books to learn scroll sawing from.
        I just don't understand why a blade should break when the saw is running and not cutting. Could it be that the blades are old and rusty? Does your saw not have an insert for that 2" hole? All saws do with that kind of a hole. Maybe you make some out of plastic to fill it. With a big hole like that, it is hard to cut nice intricate patterns.

        Mike M
        SD Mike


        • #5
          Hi Mike P,

          You beat me just by a few minutes. Did not see your post before I posted mine.

          Mike M
          SD Mike


          • #6
            I've had some blades break while not cutting. It usually occurs after I have been doing a lot of cutting resulting in what I think is a weaker portion of the blade. When I start cutting again, the blade breaks in the middle. Tension might also be the reason.

            What kind of material are you cutting?? I know cutting plywood (especially numerous layers of it) is tougher on your blades than cutting pine or other solid woods.

            Generally, the harder the wood (oak and walnut vs. pine), and the thicker the material, the larger number blade you should use. If you are cutting inch thick walnut with a number 3 blade, it is more likely to break.





            • #7

              You will have to supply a little more info about your problem. I will say this and it happens to any saw. Blades come through with traces of oil on them from the manufactoring process and this needs to be cleaned off or the build-up will have consequences. What happens is the blades slipp in the holders and when the tension becomes loose as the saw goes up and down it snaps the blade and this is how they break and from what you said it does it without cutting it is a possibility this is the problem. I always tell people to run that test and you did it already.

              To clean the blades I like to use acetone and wipe the ends off each dozen before I start using them. You can also use denatured alcohol or some use mineral spirits. Another method is to hit the ends with a little sandpaper. Another thing that should be done on a regular basis is to take the thumb screw out and hit the end of it with some sandpaper because as you tighten the blade in the holder the screw turns against metal and metal rubbing on metal leaves a shiny and slippery spot. I would try these things first and if this does not work there are things to look for in the alignment of the blade. But this you will have to give more details of the saw for I do not know that saw.
              John T.


              • #8
                thank you for that message! I didn't know blades came with oil on them! And your suggestions should solve the problems I have with the blades coming out of the thumb screws!!




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