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  • Advanced patterns and reg. blades?

    I have seen some of Jeff Zaffinos advanced patterns in catalogs and on his website. It says he uses spiral blades exclusively to do those awesome potraits. My question is can they be done with a regular reverse tooth blade? I'm sure it might take a little more time to do but can it be done? I'm kinda intimidated by the spirals and haven't had much luck with them in regards to cutting where I'm supposed to cut and staying true to the line. Can it be done?
    Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
    Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.

  • #2
    Certainly it can be done. Not much more to say about it. Spiral or straight blades, it's a whole different theory of cutting. If you know how to make the tight turns with flat blades, you can follow any line a spiral can.

    Spirals will give you a wider kerf, which can be useful when you don't want a line to be too fine. Flat blades will give you the narrowest kerf, which can be useful when you don't want a line to be too coarse. A Spiral will make a kerf exactly the width of it's minimum entry hole, so you don't have to worry about tadpoles. A spiral blade can't give you an absolutely sharp inside corner, but the radius can be so small that it may not even matter.

    I don't use spirals, but I haven't really given them the chance. I need to sit down one night and just try it for more than a few minutes.

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    • #3
      Capt Weasel, I just completed Jeff Zaffino's Engine 86. I used 2/0, 28 t.p.i. reverse tooth straight blades. I didn't think it was that difficult once I got into cutting it. I cut all the small ones first then as I cut the larger ones I taped them back in place for more support. I have tried the spiral blades and just don't like them. Have been scrolling for 14 years with the straight blades. Mick.
      Mick, - Delta P-20

      A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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      • #4
        I use both; sprials for portraits and straights for just about everything else. I like the slightly ragged edges you get with spirals for portraits.
        Bob
        www.GrobetUSA.com

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        • #5
          I guess I'm afraid to try something advanced with a spiral cause I'm afraid I'll butcher it up and have some decorative firewood after I've been working on it for a week. I can't keep a straight motion without some wandering and the line ends up looking a little squiggly which might detract from a advanced pattern. I feel more comfortable with straights cause I've been using then for months now and I'm coming along nicely and want to step up to something more challenging.
          Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
          Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Bob;
            How interesting that you like the slightly ragged edges in portraits with spirals. They will certainly do that.
            That is a concept that I had never thought would be appealing but that was just my point of view and perhaps more people would prefer that appearance in a finished portrait .
            Great tip. Maybe there are more that like it that way than we realize.
            Gosh, if I ever get a request to have one made with slightly ragged edges instead of clean cut ones you might turn this old die hard flat blade user into a spiral user yet.
            W.Y.
            http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

            The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

            Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

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            • #7
              Don't get me wrong, if you look at the moose coatrack in the Spring issue (not sure if it's hit Canada yet), I used straight blades to cut the moose and tree silhouette--that needed straight lines. But I've started several of Kevin's portrait patterns and finished a Gary Browning portrait, and the jagged edges left by the sprials just softens the edge enough to give is a real shadowed feel--almost like the shading techniques tattoo artists use--the ragged lines soften the hard lines of the design--with a few mistakes, I can make the portrait look even more 3D <grin>

              Bob
              www.GrobetUSA.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Kool, . . or is that . . Cool
                Great tip
                Thanks .
                W.Y.
                http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

                The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

                Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love to use spirals but it does take practice-- don't give up and you'll get the hang of it in no time- and loosen your tension to where it is not to tight to break the blade but tight enough to give YOU the control , not the blade controling you.

                  good luck !!
                  Sharon

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                  • #10
                    I posted a few pics earlier in the gallery under my user id and one is a bobcat that is a great "learn to turn" pattern. It has a lot of squiggly lines and tight corners that are great practice but when you wander off the line it still looks pretty good (I messed up several times). Look for patterns like that to learn with so it isn't so frustrating when you wander off the pattern.
                    -Andy

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                    • #11
                      It's a matter of personal choice...I use flat blades unless the pattern exceeds the throat of my saw (which hasn't happened since I moved up to a 30" throat). Some folks can cut faster with spirals than flats, I average 50 - 75 cuts an hour with flats and I'm able to charge sufficiently at this rate for my work so I haven't really had the need for spirals.
                      Hey Bob....what do you mean you "started" several of my patterns???? Give up already? LOLOLOL. Well, I never said they were easy.

                      Kevin
                      Kevin
                      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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                      • #12
                        I worked on them more this weekend--they are presents for my wife so I have to work on them when she's not around...which is why it's taking me so long <grin>

                        Bob
                        www.GrobetUSA.com

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                        • #13
                          Spiral blades.

                          I have posted on this subject before, sorry if I repeat myself.
                          Try some of the "New Spiral" blades from Mike (flying Dutchman) they are very controlable. I also still feel that the front to back mechanical action of the saw that you are using has a dramatic impact on how easily you can cut with spirals. The more vertical the motion on all axis the better.

                          In my Humble opinion.
                          Rolf
                          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

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                          • #14
                            Oh man...whatever you do, don't tell my wife you're working on stuff for yours Bob. I told her she's on the family waiting list of 5 years for the stuff she wants (she does confiscate a piece every now and then though, LOL).

                            Kevin
                            Kevin
                            Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                            Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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