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Saw Blades for a beginner

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  • Saw Blades for a beginner

    I am a scroller wanna be who has just bought, (not yet delivered) my first scroll saw, a dw788. I would like to order a variety of the blades I should use to learn. From reading entries in this forum, I have gotten the idea about buying some of the quality blades such as Flying Dutchman, Olsen etc. and probably pinless, but don't know the sizes, how many, etc. that I should get. Any advice will be appreciated.
    Thanks, Dale

  • #2
    Dale-

    Go here for good advice on blades. Be sure you read the Q and As for answers for your blade questions.

    I have a 788 as well and it is definitely pin less blades, you got a good saw there.

    Good luck and lets see some work real soon.

    -Bill
    -Bill

    My saw is a DeWalt788 Measure twice; cut once; count fingers after cut

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Bill for the info and the reassurance about my choice of saw.
      I have visited the link for Mike and will re-visit later when I have more time. I plan to contact him. What an interesting story he has. Some of the pics of his work won't come up for me.
      I can hardly wait for my saw and beginner books to arrive. I'm no spring chicken and feel like time is a wasting.
      Good Sawing, Dale

      Comment


      • #4
        Dale, I have a 788 as well and truly love it ! I bought some Olsen " variety packs " initially ....double tooth, reverse tooth, crown tooth etc with different sizes and just started making a mess and learning about the blades. I had some truly triumphant moments and others where I just wanted to spit ! It was good, dusty fun though and helped me understand better when I read up on the various blades. So far I have found #2 and #5 reverse tooth work best for what i am currently doing ( your results may vary ) a lot of projects and patterns list the authors blade of choice and I usually try those as I am still pretty wet behind the ears and they know what they are doing. It usually works well but if it doesn't I am not afraid to go with what works for me . I am still totally a rookie but that's my 2 cents
        ...~Robert~
        DW788 and Hawk 226

        " Please let me grow to be the man my dog thinks I am "

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        • #5
          You will love your new saw. I been running the yella ones for a few years now ( I got two of em), and other then the dust-in the switch problem once, never any other troubles. Get yourself a samplepack of blades from a source youve seen mentioned in the previous post. and just putz around with each. DONT go to home depot or lowes and buy a hunk of cheap plywood to scroll on, thats one of the most common mistakes new scrollers make. Either get yourself some quality plywood, like Baltic Birch, or Finnish birch plywood if thats what you want to practice on. Get yourself a small mix of wood to try. Dont just go buy a few pine boards from the big box store. Get yourself a piece of cedar, a piece of oak, some walnut or cherry, maybe a little maple or poplar. I think 1/2 inch thickness is relatively easy to scroll, and to control while scrolling, but again, experiment.
          The main thing is to relax, and have fun at it, let the blade do the cutting, and dont expect to turn on the scrollsaw and in 15 minutes be ready to glue up the dome clock. And, no matter what questions you come up with, dont be afraid to ask for advice, no matter what topic you post it in. We are all beginners, just some of us been beginning longer!!! Dale
          Dale w/ yella saws

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          • #6
            I don't want to start a blade war but just a bit of advice. If you have a lot of trouble following a line with a particular blade dont hesitate to try different manufactureres. You will become comfortable with the saw and blade with practice. I use 2/0 blades a lot and I always come back to the same blade that works for me.
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              There are no "blades for a beginner." All the different blades have different characteristics and are like musical instruments. What works best for one sawer might not work so well for another. You have to try different sizes, types, and brands to come up with your own "best." We all have a little different technique when sawing--some are gentle, some are rough. Some of us try to "manhandle" the machine and some of use a lighter touch. I use several different blades depending on what I am trying to do. For segmentation and thicker woods I, personally, like PGT blades. For fretwork portriats I use spirals, but can't recommend anything because some folks just don't like aggressive blades or spirals.
              Moon
              Old Mooner

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              • #8
                Thank you all for your advice and thoughts. I live in a very small rural community in Southern Utah, but we do have a cabinet maker here who is a friend. I have asked him for various small scraps of his woods to practice on. I will post a followup when I get my new 788. It is on its way on UPS. I can hardly wait to get started with the "larnin".
                Dale

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                • #9
                  Dale,
                  You've gotten some terrific advice on choosing blades (and wood), so I won't even try to expand on that, but I do suggest you figure out some easy way to mark your blades - like envelopes or tubes or whatever - and well labeled. If you are like I am, you will not be able to remember what brand or size blade is which! It is pretty easy to tell the spirals from the flats, and a 2/0 from a #12, but a #5 from a #7? Or a FD from a Pegas from an Olson?? Not unless you are a lot better at it than I!! (Gosh - you don't have to ask how I know, do ya'?)
                  It is not encouraging to find a blade that you love, and not be able to remember which one it was!!
                  By the way, welcome to the family here. You are in for a lot of fun!
                  Sandy

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                  • #10
                    Sandy,
                    Thanks for your advice too. It's nice to get these hints now rather than after I have found out I should have had a system. I will figure something out before I get started, even if I want to change it later.
                    Dale

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Dale, you sure got some good advice so far. and I agree, with all. I started out with 2x4s big old blades, and tryed to cut puzzals.LOL well I got her done. but ask me how many owies I got out of that job. I had a hard time just holding my saw still and hold on to the wood. trying to stop and turn the dang thing off, while my cheep craftsmon saw, was going 1700 rpms. no dust blower, and no light. wwwwwwwwwuuuuuuuu was that a bigging for me. it didn't take me long to go get a better saw. sounds like you are starting out with a good one. the right blades to use , was a mistery for me too. and how fast to run my machine. the right tention, and all. but in a short time , with some good magazines, and books, I leared fast. I also , had some really great 1/4 inch oak, plywood from the cabnet shop i worked at. and I found the #2 skip tooth blades work the best for me. they have about 24 teeth per inch. and i could move slower, turned easy and was thin enouph to do the tight turns, I agree with DAle, don't buy the cheep 1/4 inch plywoods from home depot. they are full of voids in the filler. your cabnet shop probley has some good stuff. anyway, theres lots to learn. and we are glad you are here. Oh the one reason i point out the skip tooth, with 24 teeth per inch , instead of the reverse tooth. is they are both the same , except the revers tooth has teeth , that point up , on the bottom of the blade. which is great for a smooth cut from the bottom , as well as the top of the work. but it was just easyer for me in the beggening, for the revers tooth will pull some dust back up with it. and can make your wood jump more, which will make your blade work harder,and you too. and we need all the help we can get at the begging. hope this helps some. Evie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        TThanks much Evie, you have all given me much wood for thought, Dale

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Dale;
                          Welcome to the site. You have received lots of good advice and here is a little more about your original blade question.

                          There are three main groups of blades.
                          Olson have been preferred by some for many years
                          TrueCut blades and FD made by Niqua in Germany along with some other stencil lines of the same thing with different brand names are preferred by others.
                          And there are the comparitively newer on the market Swiss made Pegas blades which are my top choice of any blade made after spending many years scrolling and using the various brands. But what is best for some is not necessarily best for others.
                          It is generally reccomemnded to try the various brands and see which ones you like the best for your particular style of scroll sawing .
                          Pick up a copy of any scrollsawing magazine and you will see adds for all the different brands and try some of each.
                          If you need information on where the best prices are on the various brands I could supply that privately.
                          Enjoy your new hobby.
                          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


                          • #14
                            Here we go again.

                            I don't know were B. Y. gets his information but he sure does not know much about blades.
                            First, Olson does NOT make blades. They are made by Haunstetter in Augburg, Germany. True Cut Blades does not buy from Niqua. They bought at one time from me but now they buy someplace else. What is a "stencil lines". Never heard of it. All blades from Haunstetter, Niqua and A Swiss comp. are all milled. I had the pleasure of meeting the owners of the first factories.

                            Remainder of post edited by Moderator

                            Mike M
                            Last edited by 3_M; 07-25-2006, 07:49 PM.
                            SD Mike

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hello Dale M.

                              Looks like you got all the advice here you need on blades. Just ordered myself a bunch of FD blades from Mike M. since I was running low and found out that he wouldn't be attending the Richland Center, WI picnic this year. He offered the 10% discount that he had at Branson so couldn't pass that up. 'This is not an advertisement only passing along info on what I thought was a good deal.' Well, I guess it would be an ad after all!!

                              FD and Pegas are the only two brands I am using now, except for a few left over Tiger blades. I am still learning which are the better blades for which project. I sometimes switch out 2,3,4 different blades before deciding which one is working better for the particular project I have going. I guess with practice will come the education. Besides, looking at all the makes, models, sizes, and added accessories was becoming to mind boggling. Tried a bunch, picked a couple and will stick to those until a need arises to change.

                              Paul S.

                              Paul S.

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