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SS for Dummies - When To Change a Blade?

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  • SS for Dummies - When To Change a Blade?

    So...last night while I was getting used to spirals for the first time and going through many blades due to breakage, it occurred to me that I really don't have a strict reason why I change my blades in general, spiral or not.

    I tend to change my blades often. The rationale to that is that I do not want to wait for the blade to get dull and give me a better chance to screw up. ( I do that on my own without help.)

    What are your general guidelines on when to change a blade?
    Last edited by owler; 12-14-2006, 08:33 AM.
    Dan

    -Just do'in the best I can every day

  • #2
    You have a good grasp of it Dan.
    As for me I do not change them enough. then the blade will start to wander off the pattern. Or worse set the smoke detector off in the shop!

    I wish there was a time limit but it depends on how thick the wood is, how hard the wood is and how intricate the pattern is.
    You will also find that feathering of the back of the scrollwork increases as the blade dulls.

    Blades are so inexpensive they should be changed and thrown away more often than not.
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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    • #3
      I agree with Carl, especially when the blade starts to wander during intricate cuts. At the first indication of dulling, which usually requires a little more feed pressure on my part, I will replace the blade. I do save the blade for future use in 1/4 to 1/2 soft woods if there is plenty of blade life left.

      Paul S.

      Paul S.

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      • #4
        I usually change them out right after I hear a ~snap~ and the upper arm of my Hawk slaps me in the forehead.

        Honestly though, I change them out as Carl stated, when things get to wandering around.
        Todd

        Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

        Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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        • #5
          I am finding, cutting puzzles on thin ply, that two things are telling me the blade is getting dull. One is when the feed pressure is such that the pressure needed to make a cut gets a ringing "ping" from the blade when it leaves the wood, instead of a gentle "snick". The other is when I can swing increasingly tight curves when cutting a knob because the blade stops cutting when the pressure is relaxed. Sometimes that seems to be a benefit, at least with freehand cutting, there is kind of a sweet spot where the blade is no longer aggressively sharp but not yet so dull that it is difficult to control.
          "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

          Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II

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          • #6
            Mr Rivari stole the words right out of my head. when I cut small intricate pieces I find myself pretty close to the saw and if the blade breaks I get whacked by my hawk in the forehead. One time it actually scratched my head for a few drops of blood, I almost smashed it, but somehow regained composure.
            Normally I can tell when the blade is dull, it just won t cut fast, so then I change it out.
            Jeff Powell

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            • #7
              I was just joshing a bit, my hawk hasn't knocked the pimento out of my olive yet but it sure has come close. I always thought it would hurt just a tad if it ever made contact.
              Todd

              Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

              Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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              • #8
                Nice to see the updated avatar Todd!
                CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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                • #9
                  I guess I am lucky cause when I break a blade it stays in the holder--but owler if you are breaking a lot of spirals then you need to loosen your tension on your blade.-it took me a long time to learn they are easier to use and I don't break so many
                  Sharon

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rivari
                    I usually change them out right after I hear a ~snap~ and the upper arm of my Hawk slaps me in the forehead.

                    Honestly though, I change them out as Carl stated, when things get to wandering around.
                    I thought I was the only one that used the snap criteria for changing blades. Only difference is I don't get hit in the head with the arm, it hits my mag lite and breaks the tube!
                    Buzz
                    We Danes are very even tempered. We're always mad about something!

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                    • #11
                      We're supposed to change blades??? Gees, now you tell me.

                      Actually, I'm using the new PMGGSTRP (precision modified ground geometry skip tooth reverse polar) blades from Acme Scrollsaw blades. They last forever, cut perfectly straight (which causes some problems on curves) and are only $400 each. LOL.
                      Kevin
                      Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                      Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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                      • #12
                        That must be some impressive blade. I spend $50 a year at the most on blades, so that is 8 years worth right there.
                        Jeff Powell

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                        • #13
                          You're all soft.

                          My blades are tipped with Uranium-238 and it says on the pack they are the first choice scrollsaw blades at NASA (which is apparently how those Space Shuttle panels are cut...they have the same trouble with glue that I do...)

                          I only ever change a blade when it reaches critical mass and creates a small thermo-nuclear event in the shop, launching one arm of the saw through the window. The broken blade then takes out my eye.

                          Of course I am very inexperienced. I am only on my third blade, so I'm just feeling my way at the moment.

                          Chris
                          "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

                          Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II

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                          • #14
                            Ha, I got you all beat!
                            My blades are made from recycled adamantium. Stan Lee melted down Wolverine's claws and skeleton and Thor's hammer to produce them. They are indestructable. I wear out scroll saws faster than blades!

                            Bob
                            www.GrobetUSA.com

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                            • #15
                              Thank you all for your replies. Most of them were helpfull, the others were fun to read.
                              Dan

                              -Just do'in the best I can every day

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