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  • Is it just me?

    I seem to have a reoccurring problem with the blade grabbing the work and bouncing it up and down on the saw. The hold down foot helps, but a little. I’m normally cutting 3/8” to 5/8”work. The only way that I’ve been able to overcome the bounce is to make a free-hand jig that clamps down on the work, and feed it in to the blade. Is it my blades, or just me?

  • #2
    This question should really go to the pro's. But I was wondering, are you working with 'flat' pieces of wood? I have found when I cut some wood that is warped in some way or another, I get the bounce...especially when trying tight turns.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Grizz
      This question should really go to the pro's. But I was wondering, are you working with 'flat' pieces of wood? I have found when I cut some wood that is warped in some way or another, I get the bounce...especially when trying tight turns.
      Yes, the work is always flat. The problem might well be the size and weight. When I use the scroll saw, I'm almost always working small. I'll sometimes cut some inlays for picture frames, and here recently I'm doing some inside cutting for some piggy banks.

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      • #4
        blades?

        I don't want to state the obvious but we have to illiminate all the possibilities.

        • Are the teeth facing down? if they are facing up they will pull the wood off the table,or at least pull the pattern off the wood.
        • Are there enough teeth on the blade contacting the wood. If there are not enough this can cause jumping
        • Is the blade only lifting the wood on tight turns? The back of the blade can be binding on the turn


        The type of blade can make a difference too, skip tooth, reverse tooth.
        I am sure others can think of causes but this is a start.
        CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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        • #5
          Ditto about blades and turns, etc. as to the reasons this happens.

          The big answer here is to keep a steady pressure down on the workpiece. You shouldn't have to strain yourself for this; catch-and-hammer usually happens as you adjust your grip while turning or even just moving forward into the blade. When the hands are still or moving steadily without adjusting your grip, you don't need much pressure.

          If the workpiece is too small to keep a good grip, try leaving it attached to a bigger piece right up until the last cut. When I'm making small pieces I like to cut several of them off a long stick, keeping a good handle at least until the very last piece.

          One other tip -- feeding too fast adds friction right at the cutting edge. THis friction can make it grab on the up-stroke. You should be letting the saw nibble away at the work, not force-feeding it. The harder you push, the more the blade wants to pull the work up.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the input, fellows. As far as I can tell everything seems to be right with the blade. I’m doing some production work, so the increased speed may be my problem. The items are sort of small, so I had to attach them to the jig below. These jigs makes things go smoother, but only when you’re doing some kind of repeat production work. It takes a whole to build the jig. Another plus is that I can stack the jig, when the lower blade begins to become dull.
            I’ll just have really to slow down when I’m doing other small items.

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            • #7
              Awesome Jig

              The jig looks great. Good idea!
              I think you are right about the production speed.
              This also seems to be the time blades tend to break for me. Wanting to shave a few seconds off here and there.
              This could be why I make a better Meter Reader than a production scroller
              Last edited by CanadianScroller; 06-17-2005, 01:57 PM.
              CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
              "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
              Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CanadianScroller
                The jig looks great. Good idea!
                I think you are right about the production speed.
                This also seems to be the time blades tend to break for me. Wanting to shave a few seconds off here and there.
                This could be why I make a beter Meter Reader than a production scroller
                Thanks for the compliment, Canadian Scroller.
                I'm not a full time scroller, so there is a lot of the finer points that escape me. It seems to me that patience is a must with the scroll saw. I'm not so great on that. Thankfully, the scroll saw is one of the safer tools in the shop. Now, the band saw is another matter.
                It seems that I spend more of my time making jigs than turning out work. Oh, well.

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                • #9
                  I looked at your home page and see that you have problems with burning on some pieces. You might need more tension on the blade and might have to use a higher numer blade what you are using now. Did you turn the speed down? I like to use hight speed cutting wood that thick. Don't push too hard into the blade, let the blade do the cutting. A scroll saw is not like a band saw. If you don't the blade starts to cut with a bevel. Also remember that most blades want to cut to the right To stay on the line you have to move the wood some degree to the left.

                  Mike M
                  SD Mike

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                  • #10
                    While doing a couple of hours of cutting this afternoon with this question fresh in my mind, I tried to keep tabs on what I did to keep the workpiece down, and especially to try to notice what I did the couple of times when I got a little catch-and-hammer.

                    What seems to make the difference is to have one hand, or at least a finger or two, on each of two sides of the blade. Letting go of one or the other lets the blade pull up on the work like a lever with my fingers at the short end of the fulcrum.

                    By the way, I sure wouldn't call what you show in the picture as a "small" item for scroll sawing! Apart from flat pieces, that would rank four times as big as just about any 3d piece I work on -- even without the jig!

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                    • #11
                      Paw-paw

                      Now you are going to have to correct me here if I am wrong. But from your picture it looks like thejig on the bottom is your template and the piece you have on top is the good piece. I see two things happening here. First you are cutting with the center of the blade and the pushing of the wood has to be cutting into the bottom part of your jig thus changing the cutout almost every time you make a new piece. you can not use a piece of wood as a guide for a blade without that blade cutting into the wood. I would not do what you are doing that way.

                      My suggestion is to use a router with a ball bearing either on top or bottom and use your jig as a template and route the center out and you will get the same cutout every time. You can also do the outside that way too or you can scroll that without a jig. It would be ten times faster and more accurate. A small trim router is all that is needed.

                      If you do not want to go that way I would elliminate the jig because you are not saving a thing using it with a scrollsaw. Draw you cutout and drill a hole and cut away. You still are cutting as fast with the jig as without it because you are cutting the same material. You would have better control because you are using the bottom part of the blade.

                      Now unless I am missing something here these are my suggestions and please feel free to correct me.
                      John T.

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                      • #12
                        Let me get caught up here with the post replies.
                        First of all, thanks to everyone for their replies to my post. One doesn’t learn a thing, if one doesn’t ask. I don’t even mind any and all criticism. Heck, my time on the scroll is a drop in the bucket to what many have spent.
                        Like I mentioned before, I should slow down. As Mike said, I should take the time and let the blade do the work. Steve you make perfect sense, when you mentioned having equal pressure on both sides of the blade.
                        John, the jig isn’t a template, at all. The jig is designed to simply be a freehand hold-down. It consists of a base and a sub-base. The interior is cutout a little larger than the work piece, in order to avoid the blade. The bordering dowels are sat out to allow for small adjustments. The thumbscrews and washers are simply the hold-downs. I added the sub-base to move up on the blade when the lower teeth became dull, thus extending the life of the blade. Once your work piece is clamped down you simply move the whole contraption into the path of the blade. I submitted this jig to a woodworking magazine contest, but never heard back from them, so if anyone can use the idea, be my guest. I normally just draw a cutting line with a pen or pencil.

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                        • #13
                          I have to agree with John T. It would be a lot easier not using the jig but just draw a line. Drill a hole and cut away. You might save a little to make the blade last a litle longer, like you doing with raising the jig but remember that the strength is pertty well gone out of the blade and the blade does not cut as fast anymore. That might be some of the reason that you start pushing a little to hard into the blade.
                          I like the idea to use a router bit.
                          Did you get my email?

                          Mike M
                          SD Mike

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 3_M
                            I have to agree with John T. It would be a lot easier not using the jig but just draw a line. Drill a hole and cut away. You might save a little to make the blade last a litle longer, like you doing with raising the jig but remember that the strength is pertty well gone out of the blade and the blade does not cut as fast anymore. That might be some of the reason that you start pushing a little to hard into the blade.
                            I like the idea to use a router bit.
                            Did you get my email?

                            Mike M
                            Got your email, Mike. I checked out your great site, as well. You might have missed my reply to you guys above. The jig is only for production work, and it's only a moving hold-down. I'm drawing and following lines after I drill a hole, as well. I beg to differ somewhat about the blade life. At least on my saw, the blade's downward motion is only about 3/8" to 1/2", so on a standard 5" blade there are a lot of unused inches. Seems to me that by raising the stock to new teeth, you could lengthen the life of your blade. It seems to work for me, but I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer. LOL!

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                            • #15
                              It looks in your picture as if you have a Delta scrollsaw. I bought what looks to be the exact scrollsaw last year and had the same problem that you're describing. I couldn't get the wood to stop jumping either. The only thing that seemed to help some was changing the height on the table insert so that it is perfectly level with the surrounding table. I also had a little luck with an auxiliary table made out of a thin piece of plywood. I upgraded to a DeWalt this year and have had none of these types of problems with it. May be some sort of production flaw with that model of scrollsaw. Hope this helps.

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