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Question about blade sizes

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  • Question about blade sizes

    Last week I took an Intarsia class and ran a scroll saw for the first time. I'm hooked and have already bought a like new DeWalt 788. My question is what determines what size blade you use? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    If you're only doing intarsia, I don't know much about that. BUT, if you decide to expand into fretwork and other projects, the blade size is usually determined by thickness and hardness (which varies by species) of the wood you're cutting, incatracy of the lines you'll have to follow, and the size of the hole you're cutting. Most of the fretwork things I cut can either use a #3 or #5. I may use a #7 for 3d cuttings sometimes, or if I'm stack cutting a pattern pretty thick, but then the pattern has to be able to allow a #7.

    I think a lot of intarsia scrollers use smaller blades for tighter fits, but then I'm not an intarsia dude.

    I'd suggest gettin several sizes so that you can get a feel for what each size can do. Experience is gonna play a big key for ya on that one.

    Some people can tell you exactly what blade they use in every situation. I just make a guess at what I THINK will work and then if I'm wrong (it happened one time!) then I adjust accordingly.
    Friends call me Matt

    I'm just a sawdust junkie looking for a fix

    My Album
    Free Patterns by Matt Dickson (hey, that's me!!!)


    • #3
      Oh, and not to complicate things, but another thing is what STYLE of blade we're talking. Different styles have different tooth patterns, which have varrying degrees of aggressiveness. Can make a difference in the final decision.

      Clear as mud?
      Friends call me Matt

      I'm just a sawdust junkie looking for a fix

      My Album
      Free Patterns by Matt Dickson (hey, that's me!!!)


      • #4
        Subscribe to the magazine & do some of the projects. They tell you which blade the author used & pretty soon you will be able to judge for yourself.


        • #5
          uasly the lower the number on the blade the finer the cut,for intarsia where you would be cutting alot of wooods in 3/4 inch thickness ,uasaly i would use a number potraits i use a number 1 spiral,
          not doing much
          and busy doing it

          having fun making sawdust.


          • #6
            Here's a copy & paste of a reply I had given someone else a while back. Maybe it will help you as well.

            The 3 most common styles of blades are reverse tooth, skip tooth and spiral. There are several others with different variations of tooth configuration, but in general, these 3 will cover most scrolling applications.

            Reverse tooth - probably the most popular style of blade, used for cutting fretwork, very good for cutting thin material, provides a very clean and smooth cut, the reverse teeth at the bottom of the blade help minimize tearout on the back of the wood.

            skip tooth - all teeth point in same direction, no reverse teeth. every so many teeth there is a gap which is to allow better removal of chips/sawdust from the kerf. This helps prevent heat build up and extends blade life. Good blade for thicker material or where burning of the wood is likely. Slightly more aggressive than a comparable reverse tooth, but still leaves very smooth edge. Slightly more tear out on the bottom of the wood.

            spiral - blades are actually twisted in a spiral and have lots of teeth on all sides, allowing you to cut in any direction without turning the workpiece. Often used in cutting portraits or projects too large to spin within the throat of the saw. Leaves a pretty rough edge compared to reverse and skip tooth blades.

            As noted above, there are other styles. Log onto Sloan's or Mike's Workshop websites to get a feel for what else is out there. You can also call either place and talk to someone in person who can describe their blades, proper application and offer great advice on selecting the correct blade.
            Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


            • #7
              Go to Mike's Workshop English featuring: my life story, a cancer survivor, scrollsawing samples and tips, community service, list of favorite sites and Flying Dutchman fretsaw blades for sale. . There you will find a description and picture of all the Flying Dutchman types of blades. Mike is real good about sending samples of his blades.
              he also has an assortment package, and will answer questions. Tell him what you are cutting and he will recommend a blade type. Check it out and see if you can find what you want.
              Hank, in Georgia - Dewalt 788 Scroller.


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