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    Just bought the Dremel 1680 at Lowe's on closeout.
    Been using John Nelson's Scroll Saw workbook. Got through the first 3 patterns using 3/4" pine. Decided I would try my hand at using a hardwood. Started with a piece of 3/4" oak and can't believe how slow I have to cut? Is it my blades or what(I have ordered some of Mike's Flying Dutchman blades but they are not here yet)
    I was using the same #5 skip tooth blade that I was using on the pine. I am assuming 3/4" hardwood is a little too big too cut, but I am very interested in eventually trying my hand at the Gentlemen's Box in the Fall 2005 Scroll Saw Workshop. It calls for stack cutting [email protected]/16" piecs of hardwood of my choice. That's a little over 1/2". Is this going to be possible with my saw? My saw is rated at 1.2 amp 500-1700 spm (which seems to be in line with even some of the more expensive saws like Delta, Dewalt)
    Last edited by sdj; 01-19-2006, 08:33 AM.

  • #2
    Welcome aboard!!!

    Hardwood is tougher to cut...no doubt about it. But there are people who do amazing work with a hand fretsaw in hardwoods, so don't get discouraged!

    I started out the same way--with 3/4 pine. Then I tried a project in 1/8" baltic birch plywood--and it cut even faster. After that, I moved to hardwoods like cherry and oak, and marveled at how slow it cut..

    It's all just a matter of letting the saw do the work. It may take longer, but the saw will still cut. While blades have a lot to do with cutting (and everyone has their own favorite), any blade will work if you take your time.

    One thing to remember is that blades are relatively cheap (individually), so don't be afraid to change them if the cutting slows down. i used to keep a blade on there until I broke it, but i've started changing them when the cutting slows down, and noticed a world of difference!

    Now, lets see what you've made!!!!

    Bob Duncan
    Scroll Saw Workshop
    www.GrobetUSA.com

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    • #3
      Hi SDJ,

      Just to relate that, while I'm still very much a beginner, I've done quite some challenging cutting on my Dremel 1680. I've cut a LOT of 3/4" purpleheart (in fact, that's what I STARTED on... didn't know about this forum, nobody advised/warned me, and I saw the purpleheart and Woodcraft, and said "Gee... wouldn't that be a beautiful clock!?!?" And just came home, put a fat blade on the saw, started cutting, and thought it would take me forever! Slow!)

      Anyway, 3/4" purpleheart, 3/4" sapele mahogany, 1-1/2" of stacked poplar, as well as thinner birch stuff. Anyway, just getting to know the saw is a big education in itself. I've BBB'd blades (broken, burnt, bent) right and left, but not so much now. I'm learning how to better select, clamp, and tension blades so that now BBB'ing is rare. On the thicker woods, I use high speed, slowing down only if the wood seems like it's in danger of burning (the purpleheart burns easily). On thinner woods, like 1/8" Baltic Birch ply, I don't slow the speed, but use a much finer blade and just go slowly.

      These little Dremel's may not work as silky-smooth or as long as one of the more expensive, heavier models we might grow into, but I think they'll do about anything the biggies will, just not as well or as long, maybe. Mine's cutting EVERYTHING, though, and today it has to cut 3/4" plywood for the sandbox I'm building.

      Anyway, be sure to read the manual and keep it clean and oiled according to the directions. Also you'll need to order a set of replacement motor brushes to have on hand ($6.25 shipped free from Dremel) so that you can keep the all-important brushes up to par. If you have trouble finding SAE20 motor oil, Dremel told me 10W30 is fine. That's what I've used and so far, so good! I took off the blade guard and hold down clamp as well, also shimmed the blade-insert table up a tad to bring it perfectly even with the table, and it works great now for smaller, more intricate cuts on small pieces.

      We've been discussing taking care of the table, too; see the thread about removing wax from the table in the beginner section. I started it and got lots of great advice, and now my table is BETTER than new!

      All the best, and congratulations on a really nice little saw!

      Ann

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ann
        Hi SDJ,



        These little Dremel's may not work as silky-smooth or as long as one of the more expensive, heavier models we might grow into, but I think they'll do about anything the biggies will, just not as well or as long, maybe. Mine's cutting EVERYTHING, though, and today it has to cut 3/4" plywood for the sandbox I'm building.


        Ann
        Ann, I must say I agree with your comment there! Very well put! It doesnt have to be a rolls royce to go to the store to get a gallon of milk! Make the best of what you have. Its mainly the operator...the saw is just there to do what you feed it! Dale
        Dale w/ yella saws

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        • #5
          More than enough power

          I stacked 3 @3/16" oak boards yesterday and decided to experiment with the inside cuts of the gentlemen's box. There is definetely enough power in the saw to do what I need. What a ton of fun! Really addicting. I keep saying just one more cut tonight. I finished 22 of the cuts. (boy are they ugly compared to the picture of the finished box in the magazine) Even my 10 year old daughter was doing some of them.
          Now for the hard question. I cannot seem to get clean inside corner cuts. I have Spielmans book and Nelson's book. Looks like I just need more practice. The books make it look easy. Not sure when I should do a "turnaround" cut and when I should back out and take the cut from another angle. Also cutting nice looking arcs is going to take quite a bit of practice. I'll just push on. Thanks for all the enouragment from the members of this board.

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          • #6
            On the spot turns

            sdj....You're probably better off backing out and cutting from a different angle, as explained in the book, to form sharp inside corners. It takes a lot of practice to make good "on the spot" turns and even then you can wind up with a little hole where you wanted a sharp corner. I recommend saving the "on the spot" turns for practice sessions and taking your time with corners in your real work. Don't worry ....you'll get the hang of it in no time!!!
            If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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            • #7
              One pattern I am working on right now has turned out to be a clinic on corner making. It's a train engine one of my kids wanted. The inside of the wheels have several little pie slice shaped openings. This particular pattern came out of an old book, but it doesn't look all that unique. I am stack cutting 3 out of some maple that is about 3/16". I find cornering easier in thicker stuff because of the resistance; slowing progress is a good thing sometimes...
              -Andy

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sdj
                The books make it look easy. Not sure when I should do a "turnaround" cut and when I should back out and take the cut from another angle. Also cutting nice looking arcs is going to take quite a bit of practice..

                sdj,

                Dont rush, get comfortable and keep the speed slower at first, you'll build more control skills as time passes then you can run full tilt.

                Keep the blade tight..
                "I WISH THESE SAWS HAD A BLADE TENTION INDICATOR"

                when making a decision of needing to back out or turn a cut i make that decision at 90 degree corners.

                i find to cut to the apex of the corner, while holding a slight back pressure on blade against work in the corner as you turn the work slowly the teeth will file enough wood to make the turn, "with a fine blade its hardly noticable"

                anything less than 90 degree i backup and work across scrap to finish cut into meet the apex, it surely keeps cuts and points cleaner,

                when stack cutting watch out for un-intended side pressure. i loosen my grip,"but not control" occasionaly to see if the work will spring back to center,,

                if you make cuts with side pressure the middle part of the stack will be different than the top and bottom, becuse by applying side pressure the blade bows and dosent cut through the stack 90 deg. to the table,

                cutting archs. pin one finger pressure to table the work pivot, depending on size of arch adjusting finger distance from blade. and feed with other hand...
                Dremel 1680 & Delta ss250 shopmaster

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