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A couple of questions.

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  • A couple of questions.

    I am new to the scroll saw and first let me say that I have never used a scroll saw and have never even watched anyone else use one. I purchased the "Scroll Saw Workbook" and have just started to go through the lessons. The first lesson involves cutting some straight lines, angled lines, radii and other basic steps. The lesson calls for using 3/4" thick material (I am using Poplar) and installing a #5 skip tooth blade. I install a #5 skip tooth Rigid blade and start to make my first straight line cut. I am trying not to force the wood against the blade but to let the blade do the cutting. The rate of cut seems extremely slow and even after applying more pressure than I thought should be necessary I am still moving at a rate that appears to be extremely slow. I change the blade to a Flying Dutchman FD-P#5 thinking that the Rigid blade might be poor quality. After the blade change the cut seems better for a short period of time, then things seem to slow again. I put another Flying Dutchman FD-P#5 and things go better for a short period of time. So far on the first lesson I have gone through three blades. My questions are, what should I expect for blade life and what is a reasonable feed rate to be able to cut at? The Poplar material is pretty soft so I guess I was expecting to see a much longer blade life. Thanks in advance and thank you for the forum. It is great to have some place to ask the questions.

  • #2
    first let me welcome you to the wonderful world of scroll sawing and you have come to the right place for all your answers, now to your question 1st thing is poplar is considered a hard wood and at 3/4 in its very hard on blades rarely lasting more then 15 mins may I suggest a #7 tooth blade, I think part of your problem may be that your not getting good cleaning of the saw dust out of the kerf (area where your cutting) if this doesn't help try a softer wood till you get the hang of it HTH good luck and enjoy scrolling
    Daryl S. Walters Psycotic scroller with a DeWalt 788


    • #3
      Welcome to the family Steve. Might I suggest using thinner wood, maybe even planing down the popular. Most of the time the patterns call for thinner wood, Burch plywood most of the time.

      Even though popular is softer than other hardwoods, it is still a hardwood. I've used both plywoods & hardwoods such as maple & black walnut. The hardwoods seem to dull the blade a little quicker but the thinner the wood the better.

      Is your blade tension set properly? I know if it's not tight enough you have to push harder and tends to run offline, even with a new blade. But also keep in mind that this is a scroll saw and it will not cut as quickly as a jig saw or band saw.

      You are definitely at the right place to get good advice and direction. Don't get discouraged, keep asking questions and applying the things learned.

      Scrollin' with DeWalt DW788


      • #4
        Steve...I have cut literally several hundred board feet (or more) of 3/4" poplar while making segmented portraits. A #5 reverse skip tooth blade should last at least 1/2 hour or longer. The Flying Dutchman is a good blade as are Olson and Pegus. I've never used Rigid blades so I can't comment on the Quality there. Make sure the blade is in right side up ie; teeth pointing down. Also ensure you have sufficient tension on the blade and let the saw do the cutting, don't force the wood into the blade. If you have further problems, Email me and I'll try to help you through it. BTW welcome to the board. Lots of talent and experience here in virtually every aspect of scrolling!!
        If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!


        • #5
          Welcome to the forum Steve.


          • #6

            First welcome to a great site.
            Go check this site:
            Like others have said, tension is very important. The blade should give a high ping sound or should not move side ways more than 1/8" and that is almost too much. Let the blade do the cutting, if you push too hard into the blade the blade starts to cut with a bevel. The blades have a burr on the right side and wants to cut to the right, you have to move your wood some degree to the left to stay on the line. Using the 2" wide clear package tape over the pattern might also help. The tape has a chemical what releases friction. Don't turn the speed down too much a blade will cut better with higher speed, with low speed, you start to push too hard.
            SD Mike


            • #7
              From one Steve to another, welcome to the form.

              Steve in Mi.


              • #8
                Welcome to the group from yet another Steve

                Alot of good help at this site


                • #9
                  Welcome to the group Steve.
                  You will find a lot of good info here.
                  New owner of a Dewalt DW788


                  • #10
                    Thanks to all for your thoughts and suggestions. I appreciate you taking the time.



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