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Blades continually breaking

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  • Blades continually breaking

    I am new to scroll sawing. I have a Delta 40-150 scroll saw. I'm not sure what i am doing wrong but the blades will break after 1 - 2 cuts. They don't seem to last very long at all. Is that normal? When the blade breaks the machine will make a very loud sound like it is coming apart until i turn it off and get a new blade inserted. I thought if I could find a way to slow down the motor that it would help save the blades and give me more control on my cuts, but I don't know it that is do-able on this model. Any input would be appreciated.

  • #2
    As others will probably tell you:

    Check that your tension is tight enough.

    Make sure you're not burning them up.

    Check the alignment between the top and bottom blade holders.

    Make sure you're pressing the wood straight into the blade and not sideways.

    Change the blades frequently. Dull blades are no good. Sometimes you can get 5" or 5' with a single blade, check them often and when the cutting slows, change it.


    • #3
      It sounds as if you are pushing the wood to hard into the blade when you are cutting, just gently guide the wood. Also it could be the make of blade. If you are using blades that came with the saw they are usually rubbish. Get some FD blades.I am not familiar with your saw, if it is a single speed i doubt if you can slow it down.


      • #4
        Yes, Delta's do sound as if the world is ending when a blade breaks. And new scrollers do seem to break a fair amount of blades until they get the tension and feed speed right.

        Hardware store blades have a very poor life. Get some Flying Dutchman or Olsons and get the tension so that the blade sounds like a guitar string when plucked. There should be less than 1/8" deflection side to side on a properly tensioned blade.

        The only blades I've ever broken from overtensioning are very small blades.
        When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
        Too early to leave, too late to call in.


        • #5
          When blades break it does create a racket on many saws. Make sure you are using quality blades and feed not force the wood. When you put a blade in and tension it then pluck it. It should make a nice musical ping and not a thud.
          Creator of fine designer sawdust.


          • #6
            I would recommend the same things that everyone else is recommending.

            Get some Flying Dutchman blades from MikesWorkshop. The best blades anywhere IMHO.

            Make sure that the blades are properly tensioned.

            Make sure you are pushing straight at the blade rather then forcing it to one side.

            Change the blade when it becomes dull. A dull blade will break as it requires much more pressure to get it to cut.

            You could also try using clear packaging tape on top of the cut line. The tape lubricates the blade during the cut and, from my personal experience, extends the blade life greatly.

            Also remember that a scroll saw does not cut as fast as other woodworking tools such as a bandsaw or a table saw. Just let the blade do the cutting. Do not, repeat, do NOT try to force the cut. You will end up frustrated, with sloppy cuts, broken blades, burned cuts, pretty much everything you don't want.

            Oh, one last thing, as Mr. McDonald said, don't worry about over-tensioning the blade. Breaking a blade because of too much tension is much rarer then blade breakage from insufficient tension. Matter of fact, I have only done it once in four years.

            I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. James Madison


            • #7
              Where are the blades breaking? Close to the ends or in the middle?

              If they are breaking close to the ends, it could indicate a problem with how they are clamped. If they are breaking in the middle, then it's likely one of the reasons already given.
              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."


              • #8
                Wood Scrolling Nube

                Hi rgr,

                I was having the same problem, and was extremely frustrated. I just kept adjusting tensions, speeds, and my technique until I finally got somewhere.

                I was also told that a cutting wax would help lubricate the blade when cutting, but found that when it came time for finishing, I had problems with my dye solutions skipping off of the wax.

                Slow and easy is the key for me, at least until I get better with my technique. I was always forcing more wood into the saw blade than it could handle, so the wood would start burning or my blade would snap.

                Since I slowed down, I have only snapped one blade, but that was my fault. My technique was flawed going around a really tight turn. I have already realized this skill will take me a little more time to try and get acquainted with, much less master.




                • #9
                  i'm working on project that calls for small blades 2/0 and had some trouble at the start seems that my tension was too tight sat up the blade again and it seems to be alright hope this helps Ron


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