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  • Intricate Fretwork

    I am a new scroller and as I look at all the great work on this site and read through some of the messages I just hope I can be half as good as some of these hear. Great forum, thanks for all the great info. Now to my question. I have done a couple of pieces and as soon as I figure how to load the photos will share with all. I have used FD3/0 blades so far and have had some problems with small work but overall not bad. What is the best blade to use for fretwork?

    thanks all,
    Pops

  • #2
    Blade selection is based on material, thickness and size of the fretwork pieces you are making.
    I have to say the best choice is a matter of personal preference, Try many blades out and keep track of what works for you and where.

    Some blades cut more aggressively than others. If you like a blade that is too aggressive you may want to put some plywood under your fretwork and that will increase the load on the blade offering you more control.

    Change blades often, we tend to hang on to blades way too long. A dull blade will drift no matter what brand it is.
    I tend to use thin blades, but I also get some problems with the blade bowing if I work them too hard.
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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    • #3
      Carl just gave you all the advice you need. Experiment with different brands, styles and sizes. What one scroller loves, the next scroller will hate. It's all about personal preference.
      Mike

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

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      • #4
        I'm not going to make myself popular here, but I really suggest that you get used to BOTH spiral and flat blades. I've taken the time to get comfortable with both, and it has done WONDERS to help my scrolling abilities. It's really just a matter not limiting yourself and using the tools that make the job the easiest!

        Now all the purists can jump me in the back alley <GRIN>

        TODD...HELP!!!! LOL

        Bob
        www.GrobetUSA.com

        Comment


        • #5
          I have to agree with you Bob. I don't use spirals enough. They do have their place.
          I have used them in portrait work before. I could not use them for cutting a smooth long curve like the oval outline around a fretwork frame so I switched back to flat blades there.
          That reminds me I need to pick some more spirals up
          CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
          "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
          Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

          Comment


          • #6
            I think everyone pretty much covered it. The best blade for intricate fretwork is the one you feel most comfortable cutting it with. Personally, I prefer #3 Flat reverse tooth blades, but have used #2/0 and #1 flat reverse as well. I occasionally will butcher a piece with a spiral as well. There is no single "best" blade.
            Kevin
            Scrollsaw Patterns Online
            Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BobD
              Now all the purists can jump me in the back alley <GRIN>
              Bob
              Bob, Bob, Bob...... {sigh}

              Look, other woodworking forums have long threads about sharpening planes and bench chisels. REALLY long threads. This is on purpose; all the 'purist' get to vent on those threads while everybody else just carries on.

              We don't have any plane iron sharpening on this forum. I bet most members here never heard of the 'scary sharp' debate; or how about the ceramic stones threads? So where are the purist supposed to go and pontificate?

              Well, I suppose we could re-visit the old solid wood purists vs plywood purists, but wait, didn't that get beat to death a few years ago?



              Well, I guess, just stay out of dark alley-ways.

              Phil

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              • #8
                I'm a power sharpener...sandpaper on a wooden wheel, then a leather wheel, and finally a buffing wheel. Does what I need it to with my carving tools <GRIN>

                But I do have a set of Japanese Waterstones, a set of diamond stones (getting a new sample to try out next week), slipstones, and a couple pieces of MDF with different grits of sandpaper glued to it...

                I'm also getting some paper wheels to review soon...

                So I've done that all too <GRIN>

                Bob
                www.GrobetUSA.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BobD
                  I'm not going to make myself popular here, but I really suggest that you get used to BOTH spiral and flat blades. I've taken the time to get comfortable with both, and it has done WONDERS to help my scrolling abilities. It's really just a matter not limiting yourself and using the tools that make the job the easiest!

                  Now all the purists can jump me in the back alley <GRIN>

                  TODD...HELP!!!! LOL

                  Bob
                  Jump you in a back alley????? Why??????

                  I actually think this is the best post you've ever made here.
                  ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

                  D. Platt

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                  • #10
                    Aww...shucks...LOL

                    Bob
                    www.GrobetUSA.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with you Bob. I only used flat blades for years and complained that spirals sucked big time because the first time I tried one was a disaster and all I got was designer firewood. I cut the pattern Wolf Drinking Water from WWD with straight blades . Oh how much easier it would have been with spirals. Now I am into cuttting Jeff Zs patterns and use spirals all the time.
                      When I first started scrolling I would read how other people said keep the waste wood to the right because thats the way the blade will want to go. In fact I can cut with trhe waste right or left depending on the need. My philosophy is you cut whichever way is comfortable for you useing what ever blades you determine are best for you.
                      Last edited by B Smith; 02-23-2007, 03:22 PM.
                      Smitty
                      Dewalt 788

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                      • #12
                        What BobD is true.
                        I almost never use them, I have been scrolling about 20 yrs.
                        I don't use them because I'm to lazy to learn how to use them.
                        Maybe some day.

                        Bob
                        Delta P-20 & Q-3

                        I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Having just only just used spirals for the third time I can still see why people don't like them .. but I did find that I was getting used to them more by the end of cutting the "pups" , partly in terms of control - and partly getting the **** things to stay tight in the bottom blade clamp!

                          I still can't figure how to cut a dead straight line with a spiral! When I did the little sqaure window panes on building on that last cutting I switched to a #1FD SR blade to do them - cheating? Or just using the best tool for the job?
                          Ian

                          Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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                          • #14
                            Best tool for the job is right on. No such thing as cheating. For straight lines I slow the feed rate waaay down. Usually does the trick.

                            Paul S.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GrayBeard Phil
                              Bob, Bob, Bob...... {sigh}

                              I bet most members here never heard of the 'scary sharp' debate; or how about the ceramic stones threads?
                              Phil

                              Your right I don't know what those are!!

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