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Tips For Using A Scroll Saw

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  • Tips For Using A Scroll Saw

    Hello. I am a student in a wood shop class. The project we are doing requires us to cut intricate curves on the top of a shelf. I have used a scroll saw before but I have made several mistakes on my last project with it. :-[ The teacher requires us to use the scroll saw to cut the curves, so I am wondering if any one has any useful tips on how to cut the curves out nice. Please. :'( I really love my wood shop class and I would like to pass it.

  • #2
    Re: Tips For Using A Scroll Saw

    I am no expert with a scroll saw, but I suggest you drill more holes to realign the blade in and cut to the outside of the line.

    Most important, take your time and remember you can back up a little and restart a cut.

    Without knowing your exact problems, it is difficult to suggest a correct course of action.

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    • #3
      Re: Tips For Using A Scroll Saw

      Add to what Rick has said, just don't rush the process. If you feed slowlyy ou won't have to make as many 'corrections' as you go along, resulting in a much smoother kerf. That requires less sanding when finishing and gives a more consistant cut. Might help to make a few practice pieces to get the feel of the saw, and how you react to the cutting process. Most woodworkers and carvers that I know work a few practice pices on almost everything they do at least until they get comfortable with a particular tool or process.

      Al

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      • #4
        Re: Tips For Using A Scroll Saw

        The only thing I can add is to leave the line on the wood when you cut and use a rasp to smooth out the wood. Good lighting and feed the wood to the blade very slow. If you're having a problem making tight turns, turn off the saw, get a file and smooth off the edges of the back of the blade, this will help keep the blade from snagging your work!
        My Site Missouri Ozarks

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        • #5
          Re: Tips For Using A Scroll Saw

          Don't dispare, the problem is one of experience. In a classroom setting, you have very limited exposure to frequent use of the saw. Consequently, when it is your turn to use the machine, you tend to be a little nervous. Most of what experienced woodworkers do is from habbit developed over time. I would suggest practicing with a piece of scrap wood prior to working on your project, each time you use the machine. Good luck.
          Ric

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          • #6
            Re: Tips For Using A Scroll Saw

            A couple more hints: Use good blades and a #3 or #5 is probably easiest to use. If you are cutting 3/4' oak or simular, you might want to go up to a #7, and remember to feed slow. Tension the blade till it 'sings' when you pluck it. The tighter the better. A scroll saw doesn't cut 'Square with the world.' Because there is set to the teeth on one side of the blade only, it cuts a few degrees to one side of straight ahead.
            Most scrollers use a fine line and 'Saw down the center of the line.' It's easier to cut on a line than keep a fixed distance from it. When you get off the line, just 're-aim' and get back on the line slowly. Aim the blade towards a point about 1/16' ahead of the blade. Also easier said than done.

            When you take the pattern off, no one but you will know if you followed the line or not. Remember to feed slow, a good smooth cut with little or no sanding is what you want, not speed . Very little fretwork is ever sanded. If you want to cut fast, borrow a saw from Colin.

            Have Fun Ken

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            • #7
              Re: Tips For Using A Scroll Saw

              One other thing - it sometimes helps if you look at the blade and line you are trying to cut from a slight side angle instead of straight on.

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