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Scared Of My Scroll Saw!

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  • Scared Of My Scroll Saw!

    hi all,i have never used an electrical tool in my life,but have bought myself a CLARKE 16" SCROLL SAW. I HAVE LOTS OF PATTERNS DRAWN ON SOME GREAT WOOD THAT I WANT TO 'TOLE' PAINT when it is cut,thing is i get all shakey and am scared the blade will break and hit me .. and also i cannot make the peice turn .is there a good reference book, or web site on the basics;do and don'ts, and different blades to use for different thicknesses of wood????? any help greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I am not familiar with that brand of saw, however the scroll saw is the safest of all the power tools.
    Scroll Saw Workbook 2nd Edition by John Nelson is a great beginners book
    You can order it from a couple of sources here on the forum. I think the user 3-M carries it at MikesWorkshop
    This link has some of the selections from Fox Chapel
    I also like the Scroll Saw Bench Guide by Zachary Taylor
    All good books,
    Don't be afraid of the saw. Try some nice soft wood to start with, make sure your blade is tight enough so that it will ring when you pluck it.
    Take it nice and slow to start with and you will be scrolling on no time,

    Welcome aboard and good luck
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3
      The scroll saw is just about the safest power tool you can use, providing you follow safety precautions (like...don't throw it in the bathtub ;p ).

      I like this book and this one

      If you practice with the workbook you'll be doing all kinds of things you didn't know you could do And don't worry; I'm totally non-mechanical so I know that if I can learn to use a scroll saw, you can too.

      Read down these posts to learn lots of good tips, or use the search button at the top for looking up special items of interest. Then go look at the gallery to make yourself drool over the items these folks can make!

      Good luck!


      • #4
        Welcome Martha, I have been scrolling for about 14 years so have broken a few blades. Yes, it will scare the heck out of you when one breaks but I have never been injured by a broken blade. I do wear safety glasses while scrolling. Draw some straight lines on a board and try to follow them as you push the wood through, let the saw do the work and try not to push sideways on the blade. Next draw some curved lines and follow them. Try to relax, if your neck, arms and hands are tense it is difficult to follow the lines. Practice, practice, practice. Soon you will be making all kinds of things. Go to for good advice on which blade to use for whatever wood you want to use. Have fun scrolling. Mick.
        Mick, - Delta P-20

        A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


        • #5
          Whenever I introduce someone, an adult or a child, to my scroll saw and they exhibit a little fear, I show them how the blade, especially the thin ones, can be touched while it is moving without receiving a cut. That's not the case with any other power saw I know. It usually eliminates their fear right away.

          I echo what everyone else has said. A hammer is hundreds of times more dangerous than a running scroll saw.

          We, including our dog, have a couple of prescriptions where we take a half of a pill. I cut those pills on the scroll saw, even though one of them is only 1/8" in diameter. True, it's hard to keep the halves from falling down the little hole, but I've become pretty good at it and it produces perfect halves without danger, even though my fingers are just a millimeter or so from the moving blade.

          Good luck...the best way to conquer your fear is to scroll more!



          • #6
            Check your Private Message Box.

            Martha check your private messages

            James (Huntsville, TX.)


            • #7
              Try your local library for books mentioned here, and...

              ...try this video. The quality is not theater standards but it gives you some good information if you haven't been in front of a scroll saw before.

              You can play it or download it using the menu on the right when you get there.


              Then go to Mike for the best advice, service, quality and price for blades.




              • #8
                That's a very useful video for beginners .

                Martha, am I right in thinking that your saw is a Machine Mart own brand?

                You'll probably have to get your blades from Machine Mart or somewhere like Hobbies of Dereham since I believe that all the Flying Dutchman blades have flat heads and therefore won't fit your saw.

                As Rick says in the video, scrolling isn't dangerous. If your saw vibrates a bit you might feel unconfident, so see if you can clamp it to a worksurface to reduce the vibration. Then, switch the saw on at a low speed and feed in some wood; don't worry too much about cutting a pattern, just cut some wood and make sawdust whilst you're getting a feel for the saw. After a few minutes you'll be away .

                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)


                • #9

                  Martha, I also share your fear. Not scrollsaws, but routers. I find that if I put in ear plugs or ear protectors (big, plastic ear muffs) it helps a lot. In my humble 67 year old woodworkers opinion, it is the noise that makes on a little bit shaky.


                  • #10

                    Everyone has told you the truth about the scrollsaw. That is what makes it such a popular hobby and one easy to learn. It is relatively save but there are always good safety practices to abide by. I am not a big fan of showing that you can put your hand on the blade because that is misleading. If your finger travels up and down with the blade yes it will not cut you but if you hold it on the table it sure as heck will cut you. So don't try that demo. If for some reason and it is a small chance you finger does slip against the blade it will only nick you not be a big deal. Just pay attention where your fingers are and learn to anticipate your next move with the wood. The other big thing is wear a dust mask of some kind because it will get into the air. Other than that enjoy and have fun.


                    Now when you talk routers you are talking 2 different animals. The router is one of the most dangerous tools if not used properly. But it is like all other power tools it require respect and full consintration when using them. There is always a right way and a wrong way to use them. But they can be a very useful tool.
                    Last edited by jttheclockman; 12-12-2005, 11:47 AM.
                    John T.


                    • #11

                      That video is available to purchase from SAW for a total cost of $9.50, includes shipping.

                      I produced the video and turned over the copyrights to SAW. It is designed more to introduce new scrollers to the hobby. This is something a person would use to put on a 30 minute program for a group.

                      I do have another instructional video available for learning more techniques.
                      Rick Hutcheson


                      • #12
                        The most dangerous thing about a scroll saw

                        I am also a tole painter, and I got tired of waiting for my husband (and he wasn't as "particular" about his work as I would have wished) so I jumped into cutting my own blanks. The most dangerous thing I have found, is that I am addicted to my scrollsaw now. I updated to a nicer model a few years ago and found I do very little painting anymore and have really been expanding what I can do with my scrollsaw.
                        I wish you the best of luck (and skill) as you master the new machine.

                        On a side note, if you sew at all, I view the sewing machine and the scrollsaw as very similar machines to use.


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