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  • trying to stay on the line

    I was hoping for a little help to try and follow the line I made on my project. I will be cutting, and the blade tends to wander off the line, sometimes in the scrap, and sometimes in the good. When it goes in the good part, I have to spend extra time sanding my project.
    I may be using the wrong blade, I may be using the speed, or I maybe pushing to hard. Any help that you can give me would be appreciated.
    Thanks Richard

  • #2
    Blade Wander

    Richard....It's common for most blades to tend to track to the right due to the way they are manufactured. Folks just learn to compensate for that. If the blade is "wandering" both left and right while cutting in one direction it's probably caused by too little tension on the blade. Try increasing the tension in increments and see if the problem goes away.
    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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    • #3
      Hi Richard, when you are cutting a line with the scroll saw try to look ahead of the line.
      It is like driving a car on the road. You don't look at the point where the car touches the road but ahead of where you are going.
      You will find that the errors will drop and eventually you wont do any sanding to correct it at all.
      CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
      "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
      Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

      Comment


      • #4
        Staying on the line

        Hi Richard;

        I am relatively new to scrolling myself and have experienced the same problem. I have found, through experience and from members on this forum, that straying off the line is usually caused by, any one of or a combination of, the following:

        1) Improperly tensioned blade, usually to loose.

        2) Concentrating on the blade and the line at the cut, rather than looking ahead of the blade a little. I usually concentrate about 1/8 inch or so ahead of the blade. This especially helps in preparing for turns, sharp or gradual.

        3) Feeding the material in the wrong direction. Pushing left or right instead of straight into the blade will cause the blade to bow/bend just enough for it to stray off line. Usually happens to me when I don't concentrate and start pushing the material into the blade rather that letting the blade do the work.

        4) The type of blade you are using. Some blades are manufactured in such a way which leaves a burr on one side of the blade. This can cause it to cut the material more aggressively on one side. This requires that the material needs to be fed into the blade at an angle. In my experience usually to the left a couple of degrees.

        5) Feeding the material to into the blade to fast. This again can cause the blade to bow/band causing it to stray off course. Let the blade do the work and your fingers do the feeding.

        6) Speed is set to fast. As I gain more experience I have found that I can turn up the speed a little more while still maintaining control of the material, feed rate and still stay on the line.

        I am sure others here with more experience will provide a better explanation and/or suggestions to help you out.

        Paul Stroik

        Paul S.

        Comment


        • #5
          Practice!

          Hi Richard,
          These folks have given you terrific advice! The only thing I can add is to practice, practice, practice! It's amazing to discover how skilled you can become by just cutting projects over and over.

          Dan

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          • #6
            What I did to learn was to make probably 50 straight lines on piece of scrap wood and just cut the lines. Then I added a few curves, and freehand lines. It got to be, as Carl explained, almost like driving a car. But nothing will take the place of practice!

            Bob
            www.GrobetUSA.com

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            • #7
              My advice is to line up a ruler exactly parallel to the blade of your saw (kinda like a rip fence on a table or band saw) and feed a scrap piece into the blade. You will be able to see how much offset (wander) you are getting. Try it a few times to be sure of the offset. Then you compensate for the "drift" by slightly angling your piece into the blade. In flying it is called "crabbing". To fly a straight line north, you might have to have the nose of the aircraft a bit east or west. Same with the scrollsaw. Like Neal said, some drift is inherent due to the way blades are made.
              Moon
              Old Mooner

              Comment


              • #8
                What everybody says above is 100% accurate but I'm gonna throw my 2 cents in too. When I cut a long straight line I've found it easier when I look a tad ahead, use at least 1 blade size higher for that cut, increase my saw speed and feed a tad faster. I also try to stay off the line just a hair and then sand down to my line. When I'm cutting I cut in the direction that puts the waste on the right. That way if the blade does wander it'll do it into the waste and not the good stuff. I'd rather sand a hump down than a whole side. Cutting straight does take practice and patience.
                Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
                Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.

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                • #9
                  thanks

                  I would like to thank you all for your help. I have realized a number of things that could affect the wandering of my blade. 1 of them is, the tension of my blade. It moves around alot, I didn't know you could adjust the tension on it, so I will be looking at that sometime today. Another thing I didn't know was about different blades, I plan on getting some new blades. I realize they are numbered, and I believe it refers to their size, so I will be talking to you again as to what blade size is good for what. Practice, practice, I will as soon as it warms up a little. I have an outside workshop, without any heat, I don't usually work out there until the temperature reaches -2 or -3 degrees c.
                  I plan on insulating this summer, and putting some heat in it. I will be able to work out there all next winter.
                  Thanks again Richard

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've been cutting just about a month, mostly on plywood, and so I didn't realize until this week when I started on pine that wood can have soft spots and hard spots. All of a sudden my blade was going every whichaway until I figured that out. Hope that helps

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Richard, I will add my 2ยข worth. Private message me for Mike's Workshop's web address. Mike is a great guy and very helpful. When cutting straight or curved lines if you start to wander off the line come back to the line gradually rather than quickly. Trying to get back on the line too fast you will most likely overshoot and then be off on the other side. Good luck. Mick
                      Last edited by BobD; 02-28-2006, 11:41 AM. Reason: Edited to remove web address per Bill of Rights
                      Mick, - Delta P-20

                      A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by richard
                        I would like to thank you all for your help. I have realized a number of things that could affect the wandering of my blade. 1 of them is, the tension of my blade. It moves around alot, I didn't know you could adjust the tension on it, so I will be looking at that sometime today. Another thing I didn't know was about different blades, I plan on getting some new blades. I realize they are numbered, and I believe it refers to their size, so I will be talking to you again as to what blade size is good for what. Practice, practice, I will as soon as it warms up a little. I have an outside workshop, without any heat, I don't usually work out there until the temperature reaches -2 or -3 degrees c.
                        I plan on insulating this summer, and putting some heat in it. I will be able to work out there all next winter.
                        Thanks again Richard
                        yep, I'll bet its the tension, I'm surprised you could really cut anything without the blade breaking with no tension on it. I just started scrolling this last month and I have similar issues with following the line but for me it seems to be curved ones because you are supposed to pivot off one finger but it seems if I do that only it doesn't get fed into the blade. So I end up pivoting as I push slightly to feed it into the blade and get the arc. Another thing that can help is slowing the speed down just until you get comfortable and then I would crank it up as Capt. Weasel said, I can actually parallel a straight line that way.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi . and Welcome. sounds like you are doing all the things i did in the begening. hahah. the one thing i had to do was . relax. I found i had to know where my hands were.I was trying to push my wood with both hands. both hands on the stering wheal so to speek. so . I found i needed to hold down my wood with one hand , finguer rely. i use my right hand middale finguer.or which ever finguer your confortabale with. next to the blade. and guied the wood with my right hand. you can switch off . then relax. I don't follow the line. makes me wevey. i cut outside the line. it is easyer to see. then , look alittle ahead , not much. again relax. let the saw do its thing. the blade goes up an down. only you move the wood. so listen to the chetter chatter of the blade cutting. and just chop you way through the wood. I found going slow at first was easyer. for me. you can build speed later. once you have your hands and where you are going down pat. then just cut away. when i cut a straight line. i have my wood at a agale. from right to left. thats becouse the burr on the right side of the blade wonts to cut easyer than the left side. that takes practice. then when i cut a curve. you just have to keep turning your wood. if you don't you will have little straight lines. and not a curve. hahah i have done that alot. your not doing anything rough. its what we have all had to learn. it just takes pratice. and youll be cutting all the things you wont to cut. just remember RELAX. let the saw cut . get your self some good howto books. they rely help. and will save you money in the long run. long winded i know. your new friend Evie

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                          • #14
                            Mag -- that is why most of us don't scroll on pine . try BBP ( baltic birch ply) - it is a good medium or better yet --poplar

                            Sharon

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                            • #15
                              I do like the baltic birch plywood--I got it to make some little boxes. I'll look for some poplar next! I got the pine to make nameplates for my friend's horses' stalls and used the rest to make the Easter rabbits in this month's Scroll Saw Workshop...I might have gotten carried away though...there's rabbits in the yard, rabbits on the tables, rabbits on the floors...

                              I must be doing OK though because not only did my friend wax ecstatic over her horses' nameplates, she also took 3 pairs of bunny rabbits

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