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Tension problems - Urgent

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  • Tension problems - Urgent

    I am needing to have this project done first thing in the morning, but for some reason my tension keeps going loose on its own. I have reset the blade several times, but that doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions as to what is going wrong and how to fix it?

  • #2
    You could try roughing up the flat ends of the blade with sandpaper, it might help the clamps grip.

    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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    • #3
      Thank you Chris, I'll give it a try.

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      • #4
        Yep, sounds like the blade is slipping. If Chris' idea doesn't work, remove the bolt that holds the blade and rough that up. It may have a burr on it.

        Good luck.
        Mike

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

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        • #5
          Not knowing what type of saw you have makes it a chore to figure out how to cure your problem.

          If you are using a Hawk you may want to check the torque screw under the upper arm, them things tend to need adjusting from time to time.

          For other saws...I haven't a clue if such a thing exists.
          Todd

          Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

          Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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          • #6
            Dang, I got to thinking...what is the name of the little set screw under the upper arm just past the clamp holder? I know it can't be what I called it initially. None the less whatever it is it is something worth checking for you G4 owners.
            Todd

            Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

            Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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            • #7
              I am using a Craftsman scroll saw. I looked for a screw under the upper arm and I can't find one. I also looked for the owner's manual and I can't find that either.

              But none of that seems to matter anymore. I have made 3 baskets and I have broken each one. I am getting so frustrated. Is anyone making collapsable baskets? What type of wood are you using? What direction is the grain suppose to go? How do you get the finish on the sides without breaking it? Why won't my baskets go down as far as they show in the picture? I have decreased the angle of my table, was I suppose to increase it? The directions said to decrease it. I am so close to throwing in the towel. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong.

              Terry

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              • #8
                Hi, Terry--

                I never made a basket, but can appreciate the problems you're having.

                The fit of the layers comes from an interplay between the angle you cut and the kerf of the saw blade you're using. I imagine that whatever pattern source you're using has instructions for which size blade to use, and what angle to cut, but blades vary between makers, and even from blade to blade sometimes, and the angle must be precise, because being off even 1/10th of a degree is going to affect your fit.

                If I were to make a basket, I'd test my setup on some scrap to make sure that I was getting a good fit of the layers before cutting the real thing. You don't have to cut a fancy shape for fit testing; a simple small circle will do. If you're not getting enough extension, you need to either decrease your angle or use a thicker blade.

                Once you're getting a proper fit, I would go so far as measuring the kerf with an automotive feeler gauge (maybe someone can suggest a better tool), and re-measure a test cut on scrap wood every time I change a blade thereafter.


                I took a fast look online about scrollsaw baskets, and see that people recommend making them out of (among other things) oak and poplar. From my experience, which is limited so I may be wrong, these are about the LAST woods I'd consider making baskets out of because of potential splitting.

                You need to find yourself a hardwood supplier nearby to help with your lumber selections, where you can go look at the woods and talk about your projects, maybe taking in patterns or samples. Maybe a nice dealer will save chunks of offcuts or ends for you, knowing what you do, My personal interest is in exotic plywoods, and I have found suppliers within driving distance that really know their stuff; it is a joy dealing with them.

                If I were to looking to make baskets, I would be asking about cherry, walnut, maple, and maybe Phillipine mahogany (not African). There may be others, like alder, butternut, hickory, pecan, who knows? You're looking for a fine grain and resistance to splitting, not necessarily hardness. Best thing is to take recommendations from a dealer, look at the stock, compare prices, and try them out.

                Pete
                Last edited by PeteB; 02-17-2007, 04:34 AM.

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                • #9
                  I don't make baskets, but if I did, I'd have all the grain running in the same direction so that they can expand and contract as a team. With blades, I bend the ends just a hair with some needlenose pliers...that always stops them from pulling/slipping. You should be able to use a pretty big blade on them baskets which allows for more tension to be put on the blade and less breakage...a number 7 or 9 would be good..you can still make the turns good and should get less smoking.
                  Jeff Powell

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                  • #10
                    Grain direction

                    Sort of missed this earlier question. Grain direction should be up and down, I'd think, for most uniform appearance of the basket from all sides.

                    Pete

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                    • #11
                      Thank you Pete and Jeff for your help. I have made all 3 of the baskets out of Poplar. The first one broke at the screw and the others broke at the begining of the kerf when I was applying the finish. I followed the directions that came with the patterns. They said to use a 5 blade and 4 degree angle. They also said if there is not enough extension to decrease the angel. I did that and it didn't help. I have used a different blade with each basket, because they go dull so fast and don't last past one basket. But each of them have been a number 5. As for the grain I have had it running in the same direction, but the first one that broke at the screw the grain was running the same direction as the screw. I thought that might be why it broke. So I changed the direction on the next one and the kerf was running the same direction as the grain and that is where the second one broke.

                      Thank you for the advice on which type of wood to use. I didn't know I could use a larger blade to help either. I am going to try ONE MORE TIME!!! I just can't give up, I'm enjoying this too much (well, except for the breaking part). The basket I made last night was suppose to be for my mother today, but it broke!!

                      Again, thank you for your help, I will try again!!

                      Terry

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                      • #12
                        Terry,

                        I assume these are spiral cut baskets (round not rectangular)
                        I have only cut one just to try it. When extending the basket you have to make sure each layer is extended equaly otherwise you will stress one area more than another. The other thing to watch for is that you dont twist it as you extend it. That would be a problem if your cuts are a little lumpy. Just for a trial, draw a line across the spiral before cutting and then try to keep those lines aligned when extending the basket.
                        I dont know how clear I am it would be easier to show than explain.
                        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

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                        • #13
                          I tried my hand at spiral baskets a couple years ago. They are indeed fragile and even when completed must be handled with some care. I'd recommend a larger blade, possibly a #7, to get a wider kerf which will help with getting more depth in the basket. Also decreasing the angle will allow the spirals to drop deeper. I just took a look at the last one I made. It's in a heart shape and made of 3/4 inch poplar with spacing between the spirals of about 1/4 inch. Also I didn't use screws at the swivel points. I drilled about 3/32" holes and epoxied brass pins in each side of the "handle". I never did put a finish on it as I lost interest in the project....Good luck and post a pic of the finished piece!!!
                          If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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                          • #14
                            Let us see a picture, broke or not so we are all on the same page as far as what you're trying to do. that may help too in solving the problems.
                            Jeff Powell

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                            • #15
                              Rolf, I think I understood what you were saying. I will try it and let you know how it worked.

                              Here is a picture of the basket I did for my mom. My husband put a screw in the broken part to hold it together and it seemed to help. Even though it was broken, she loved it. Just like a mother!!! She use to like our finger paintings too!!

                              Here is a link to other projects I have done, some of my baskets are on this site:

                              http://s88.photobucket.com/albums/k1...dttt/Projects/
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by ThCube; 02-17-2007, 09:56 PM.

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