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  • Blades and wood burning

    Hi - I've been scrolling for a while now, but with great gaps in time due to school and young children. I never have seemed to get the hang of which blades to use when. Is it basically the thicker/harder the wood, the bigger the blade? And are Olsen the best to get or blades at Home Depot ok? This is my relaxation and escape time and would like to get the blade idea straight. Thank you!! Also, I am thinking about getting a wood burning tool for the once in a while burning I get the urge to do. Is a simple craft shop set ok? I don't want to spend a lot, but would like to have this tool.

  • #2
    Hi katyeo and welcome to the group, generaly the harder and thicker the wood the more aggresive the blade needs to be ie less teeth per inch a # 5 or #7 skip tooth works fine for me or you could try #2/0 spiral blade all of which you can get at Home depot if you like I have tried Olsen blades but I find them too aggresive and they really require alot of concentration cause they like to pull to one side, does your local Home depot carry ryobi blades? thats all mine carries, if you really want to expand your self try looking at Flying Dutchman blades you will find a link to his site in the links section of Fox Chapel HTH
    Daryl S. Walters Psycotic scroller with a DeWalt 788

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    • #3
      Welcome Katyeo.

      Blades are the most contoversial subject you will find here. I believe some blades work better for some people and in some saws and some blades work better in others. The main thing is to acquire good brand name blades. The most common three are Olson, Pegas and Flying Dutchman. Each brand has it's followers for different reasons. Don't let anybody sway you one way or another. What works best for one may be crap to somebody else. It's taken me over 3 months to finally find what works best for me.

      I just scrolled 1/2" hardwood with a #2 Olson skiptooth and it worked great. For 1/8" - 1/4" I have found the Olson #0 skiptooth works best. I don't find them too agressive at all. I actually find them the easiest to turn.

      Other than that, Daryl had good points. Normally, the thinner the wood the fine (smaller number) the blade. Other than that, experiment with different brands, sizes and styles.

      Good luck and we're here for you.
      Last edited by Minnesota scroller; 10-05-2006, 10:15 PM.
      Mike

      Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
      www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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      • #4
        What Daryl says is good advice. Check out the blades he suggested.Your blade choice should be based on the density of wood, thickness you are cutting, and how tight your turns are, as well as saw speed, and many other factors. I would suggest getting yourself a few different sizes and styles to try. What thickness do you tend to cut mostly, and what type of wood? Also, is your saw a variable speed saw? The thicker, denser the wood, the higher blade number will be your best bet. For instance, if cutting 1/2 inch red oak, I tend to use a #3 Flying Dutchman Two-Way (FD-TC)cut blade.If the pattern isnt really difficult, I will use a #5 FD-TC blade. If I got to 3/4 red oak, I generally use a #5 FD-TC if intricate,or a #7 . If I am trying 1 inch thick, I go to a #7 or #9 blade without any reverse teeth so the sawdust will clear out of the cut. Dale

        Edit As for a woodburner, sorry I cant help you much, but I know a few good woodburners that swear by a Colewood brand machine, they arent cheap though, but I have no idea if they are cheap or expensive compared to other pyrography machines. Good luck, and keep us posted.
        Last edited by lucky788scroller; 10-05-2006, 09:16 PM.
        Dale w/ yella saws

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        • #5
          Welcome, Katyeo!

          I suggest a good read through Rick H's site for much solid instructional material:

          http://www.scrollsaws.com/

          The Search button above is also very good for researching a particular issue. If questions remain, just ask. There are many many helpful folks here with all kinds of experience.

          Pete

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          • #6
            Thanks

            Thanks to all. I use a DeWalt 788 and love it. I have never ordered blades from someone, just going with the fast way to get them at local hardware stores. I tend to work with 3/4 pine, 1/4 poplar with some of the thicker woods, too. I am just going to go ahead and order some blades from different makers and try them out. I will also play with the speed of my saw. I appreciate the input. I love this hobby, but don't have a huge amount of time to spend, so I try to use my time making things and just use the blades on hand. Thanks.

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            • #7
              Katy,
              Welcome!
              All the blade advice is good - I'd avoid the hardware store or HD or Lowe's blades if possible. If the other choice locally is Olson, then try an assortment of their blades - you'll find a lot of difference between the types. Before I found mail order, I thought Olson blades were the greatest. They seem to be much better than the common ones. Now I use FD mostly because Mike is so nice, but I have ordered some others to try also.
              For the woodburner, it depends on what you want to do with it. Just a few lines or some darkening of a few areas, and the craft store/Walmart will be fine. But if you want to do some really detailed pictures, or shading, or some really fine accurate lines, then a wire-tip adjustable-heat burner is the way to go. And don't think you can just add a rheostat (temperature controller) to the cheapie - the tips are still rather clunky. I use a Colwood, and I highly recommend it, but there are good reviews for most of the quality units. I think maybe the carving board has a lot more discussion of the brands, so you might browse over there. The Colwood may be the least expensive, and still you will be spending about $100.
              Good luck to you, whichever you try!
              Sandy

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              • #8
                Sandy, all salesmen are nice when they're trying to sell you something. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying he's not nice but the people at Sloan's where I get Olson blades, are super nice too. So is Ben Fink at Ben's Scroll saw.com.
                Mike

                Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
                www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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                • #9
                  Katyeo,

                  May be nothing wrong with the hardware/home center store bought blades. I've used them in a pinch. Bought several Delta branded ones at the local Ace hardware a year or more ago and they were fine. I have no idea who actually manufactures them. However my experience has been that the selection is generally very limited and they tend to be much more expensive, usually 50% - 100% more than buying on-line or mail order. Once you find an on-line or mail order supplier, you will be more satisfied, regardless of which brand you choose.
                  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."

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