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How the heck do you make round cuts?

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  • How the heck do you make round cuts?

    I've been doing pretty good as a newbie and have been using 3/4" stock up till now. This morning I decided to try an ornament on 1/4" Baltic Birch. I know that it couldn't be me cutting because in the short time I've been scrolling, I've never done this bad. I understand where I may have gone wrong on most of it but does anyone have any tips on making the parallel circle cuts that delineate the outline of the ornament?


  • #2
    A sander perhaps? That was my solution for some of my ornaments...

    Other than that, it's just a matter of practice...cutting circles is a lot tougher than straight or semi-straight lines...



    • #3
      Slow Down.....Both the saw's speed and yours.



      • #4
        My guess is that you went from 3/4 thick stock,to 1/4 thick. There is much less resistance using 1/4 inch thick,its much hasrder to control your cut. Retry it,the same one, but this time,try stack cutting three layers of the 1/4 inch plywood. You will have much better control,and triple your production,all at once. try it
        Dale w/ yella saws


        • #5
          Yes what happened is you went from 3/4" stock which in itself makes you cut slower because of thickness but now you are cutting 1/4 stock which does not have as much resistance. You need to slow down as suggested and change your blade to a smaller blade. Helps make the tight turns better. Again need to practice but in no time you will master this also.
          John T.


          • #6
            Cutting Circles


            The advice you've gotten so far is excellent. You have to go slower and nothing beats practice. Here's how I went from making awful circles to ones that weren't too bad.

            Cutting a circle (or any other curve) involves two processes: pushing the blade through the wood and turning the wood. If you see yourself wandering outside the circle you must turn faster. If you move inside the circle you must push harder. The key is YOU MUST ALWAYS BE BOTH PUSHING AND TURNING. If you stop pushing you will create a corner. If you stop turning you will create a flat spot.

            I also noticed sometimes, especially on a large circle, that if I concentrate 1/8th to 1/4 of the circle ahead of the blade instead of focusing directly on the blade it helps too. That is, I look at where I want to "get to" instead of where I am at the moment.

            Hope this is helpful,


            • #7
              Some will differ with what I am going to say. but that never stopped me before

              Try cutting the circle in a counter clockwise direction, then try cutting one in a clockwise direction.

              You will notice the blade tracks better one way than the other.

              I once made a circle cutting jig for my saw. When I cut one way ended up with a spiral. When I cut the other direction I got a perfect circle.

              I just don't remember which was which <grin>
              CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
              "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
              Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


              • #8
                You may already know this:

                1 - Keep your wrist off the table. Use your whole lower arms and hands to move the project. Keep the back of the hands in-line with your lower arm.

                2 - Keep your thumbs off the project. Use only finger tips.

                3 - Most of your problems may come from you making quick "micro-adjustments" in an effort to stay exactly on the line of the circle.

                4 - This is an eye-hand co-ordination thing. Do not expect to do it correctly the first 25 or 30 times.

                5 - Practice on cheap plywood. Discard (or hide) the practice circles.



                • #9
                  my cuts are a little jerkybut i sand them down and they turn out fine


                  • #10
                    Practice cuts

                    If my PDF files will make attachments, here is a page of practice scroll sawing.

                    Tired this in past, but most people could not read or print the PDF file.

                    If it works, Great! If not, well I tried.

                    Last edited by GrayBeard Phil; 03-04-2007, 09:33 AM.


                    • #11
                      One thing if I may suggest, when scrolling delicate ornaments or any fret work look for the smallest cutouts and do those first. Then the most delicate and the the largest with the outside as last. This way you always have the most solid wood still there to help secure the piece. After awhile you will get to learn the sequence that works for you.
                      John T.


                      • #12
                        great practice sheets Phil
                        CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


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