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  • Backing up thin ply

    Scrollers,
    I'm going to be doing some fretwork on 1/16" ply and was wondering about the best way to support it. I was thinking of backing it with a piece of card stock or the cardboard from the back of a pad of paper and gluing the pattern on top (both over contact paper). Would this be enough, or would I need to put another piece of cardboard on top (under the pattern) also? I haven't tried to scroll anything this thin before and would like to only do it once TIA for you input.
    Bruce
    . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
    visit sometime
    Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

  • #2
    Cutting a single piece of 1/16"? I think I'd stack at least a few even if I wasn't going to do anything with the other pieces. I've never cut a single layer of anything that thin. Sorry I don't have more to offer Bruce.
    Kevin
    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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    • #3
      The thinnest ply I've ever cut was 1/8", and I had a heck of a time controlling the blade. I would add nothing less than 1/8" to the back of the 1/16".
      Mike

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

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      • #4
        I cut almost all of my ornaments in 1/16 Finish birch ply. I dont have a backer but I do a minimum of 6 in a stack. I use a 2/0 to a max of #3 blade depending on the detail. The 1/16 ply is tougher than you might think. But I would Not cut a single layer without a backer for more control.
        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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        • #5
          I would back it with any old piece of thicker scrap I have laying around. I would go at least 1/4". I don't think card stock will offer enough resistance to the blade to give you good control.
          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."

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          • #6
            I've been cutting 1/16 ply for puzzle cards.. granted there is also the card on top... there is nothing on the bottom. I also cut out small frame holders singlely at times out of of 1/16 with no problems.

            I use Fly Dutchman Penguin Reverse 2/0 and 3/0 when single cutting 1/16 ply with no problems.

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            • #7
              I would suggest a stack as well (Bet you knew I'd say that). If it is definatly only one you wish to cut, I would sandwich it between two layers of sacrificial scrap, either plywood or hardwood 1/4 thick. apply pattern to the top of that stack, then cut.this way your cutting through 9/16 thickness (better control) and your pattern is on a waste piece (no surprises from trying to remove the pattern from the thin piece). Dale
              Dale w/ yella saws

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              • #8
                Thanx, all, for your suggestions. I didn't get to that piece this weekend, so I have some time to look for an appropriate backer. It's only one piece, and because of the nature of the piece it doesn't make sense to cut more than one. I'll let you know what I come up with.
                Bruce
                . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
                visit sometime
                Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

                Comment


                • #9
                  Finally got into the shop to cut this piece. I didn't have a piece of thicker ply I was willing to sacrifice, so I ended up using a piece of thick cardboard (from an old desk blotter calendar). I covered both sides of the ply with clear Contact paper and glued the cardboard to the bottom. Glued the pattern to the top and went at it. Cut nicely and the cardboard was sufficient for a backing, but I didn't like the way it drilled or cut (doesn't do either very cleanly). Next time I think I'll find a piece of ply to sacrifice. The beauty of the Contact paper is that it releases so easy and clean that even with the 1/16" ply cut up like swiss cheese there was absolutely no difficulty removing either the backer or the pattern. Thanx so much to Cathy Wise for that hint.
                  Bruce
                  . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
                  visit sometime
                  Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

                  Comment

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