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  • Question about loooong straight cuts

    I have a pattern to cut that includes a frame as part of the pattern. A straight inside 7" cut in one direction, the other is 8.5". My straight cuts aren't too bad but the certainly aren't dead on straight. I'm wondering if anyone has ever set up some kind of jig or straight line template. How do YOU handle these cuts.

    Harris

  • #2
    I don't use a jig, but I hold one finger against the edge of the wood. When I push the wood along my finger I can swivel it back and forth to correct any errors encountered while following the straight line.
    It works like a pivot fence on a band saw.
    I have seen pivot fences used on scroll saws before to duplicate curves on multiple pieces.
    There is one saw that does have a fence but the only reason it works is the blade clamps can be rotated to compensate for blade drift.
    And thats all I have to say about that...in my best Forrest Gump voice
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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    • #3
      YEAP WHAT HE SAID... BUT ME ...... i HAVE A 1/2 INCH BALTIC BIRCH over my saw table that allows me more work room and I hammer a guide to that with brads ( so I can remove later) I made the guide out of a old ruler but anything would work that is truely straight and using brads for the attaching it is easy to take to a different place to re-attach.. just be sure to check that your guide is true all the way down and you dont attach it crookededed
      Sharon

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      • #4
        I know this is a cop-out response, but sometimes an absolutely perfect straight line (which is nearly impossible on a scroll saw) can be instead cut as sort of a random wavy line - and look as if it was intended to be that way. I'd much rather cut a randomly wavy line that looks perfect than a "straight" line that looks as if I tried but couldn't quite make it.

        Unless I have a lengthy edge that HAS to be cut along an existing straight line, I usually cut such edges with a sort of wavy line, making sure my average distance from the center of the piece is somewhat the same all way around.

        Remember, folks, that most of my lengthy edges are around jigsaw puzzles. There I will always go with the wavy line when I can. People like those unique borders better. I think, however, that this principle can apply elsewhere as well. It's very possible that we cut straight lines where they are not always necessary.

        Another goofy thought from.............Carter

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        • #5
          Thanks for the info. I Couldn't figure out what I was going to do. BTW Carter, a wavy line isn't a goofy idea at all. I see how easy it would be to substitute that for a straight line and no one would know the difference.

          Harris

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          • #6
            Hi Harrisg

            I find that aiming an inch or so ahead of where my blade is helps enormously when I'm cutting a long straight line.

            Gill
            There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
            (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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            • #7
              Theres no substitute for experience, except luck, and we know how hard that is to come by these days. Like Gill, I too watch a ways ahead of the blade, it helps keep the line straighter I think. Before you begin your cut, know what type of drift your blade has, and once you bite into the wood on that cut, dont stop, just keep an even pressure on the wood and watch from a short distance ahead of the blade. Sometimes, even your stool placement in front of the saw makes a huge diffrence, as looking at it from more of a dead center to your blades actual cutting, versus center of the saw.A straight line (within reason .005 thousanths of an inch) can be done, with practice.Im not sure on setting a fence to acquire a straight line, as the blade drift changes as the blade is gettin worn. Good luck.
              Dale w/ yella saws

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              • #8
                Sorry, I can't remember what saw you have...but here's what I learned when I took a class on scrolling.

                We were using hegners, which have a square table. We practiced on scrap until we could figure out the drift of the blade. Then we started cutting and put one finger down to ride along the edge of the table. Once you have the drift down, you can use your finger as a guide along the straight edge of the table. That helps out a lot for a beginner.

                Bob
                www.GrobetUSA.com

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                • #9
                  Harrisg, I find when cutting a long straight line if I push the wood through a little faster than I usually do and if you start to go off the line come back to it gradually. Trying to correct it quickly you end up overshooting the line and then you are off on the other side. Practice, practice, practice, the more you scroll the better you will be. Then after you don't scroll for awhile you can start all over again but it comes back faster. Have fun scrolling, a lot of the mistakes you make no one will notice but you. Mick
                  Mick, - Delta P-20

                  A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone for your info. Evie, Don't worry, I understood every word. I am going to try something that came to me in the night while I was agonizing over this. If any of you have tried this and it didn't work, just tell me I'm wasting my time.

                    How about laying some of the non skid rubberized material on the line and placing a steel straight edge on top. My thought is to keep the blade against the straight edge while scrolling straight. What ya think,

                    Harris

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                    • #11
                      Hi Harris

                      You might find this thread useful. In it, we discussed the use of metal templates and some very forthright opinions were expressed to the effect that the sort of guide you're proposing will not work. One day, I intend to try making a metal template myself, but it's a pretty low priority for me right now.

                      Let us know how you get on if you decide to go down this route.

                      Gill
                      There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                      (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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                      • #12
                        Wow, there's some heavy duty ideas in that thread Gill provided. However, what I was talking about was for making long straight cuts, not metal template patterns. I wouldn't consider this using a template but instead a blade guide. Someone in the thread Gill mentioned said a scroll saw was like a car and was meant to be steered. Ever watch a Nascar race. When the car is racing down the track, it's definitely steered. However, when it hits the rail, it just follows the rail and if the rail is straight the car goes straight. That's the thought I had. If the steel straight edge was the rail and the saw blade was the car and enough light pressure would put the side of the saw blade against the straight edge, would the cut be straight?

                        After reading this, I think I liked the thread about the singing curly wood a lot more. Anyway, I'm going to try it tomorrow and will let you know if I'm some psycho that wants to push out the sides of the box or whether I will be thought of as brilliant by the scrolling community.

                        Harris

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                        • #13
                          IF there's waste on one side of the line, I just try really hard to cut straight, looking ahead and all that, but absolutely to stay on the waste side of the line. Then I clean up to the line with a sanding stick. Following many of the good suggestions here, and with some practice, you will find there's not much to clean up.

                          If there's no waste, then you do it like the way you get to Carnegie Hall.

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                          • #14
                            I have used the straight edge before. First I used a sharpening stone on the right side of the blade which greatly reduced its tendancy to wander that way and kept it from biting my ruler so much. In essence, you are making it a flush cut blade. I did not use any rubber or tape; I just held the ruler on the line. I stood on the right side of the saw and kept my hands in place through the cut, moving the piece with my body and arms. I point that out because that is generally bad form to be avoided.

                            Disclaimer - This works for me and I hope it works for you. No other guarantee is expressed or implied.
                            Additional disclaimer - Did not!
                            Last edited by arbarnhart; 01-11-2006, 09:54 AM.
                            -Andy

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                            • #15
                              Just a thought to add to the ruler thing. Yes a blade has the teeth set to one side but this is not the case for all blades. Now putting a rule of steel or whatever next to a blade that is flimsy may catch a tooth when it hits grain and cause it to now veer and cut into the rule. I think you are better off served if you practice your straight line cutting without gizmos and gadgets. With the proper tension, proper blade, and proper techniques you will be cutting straight lines with the best of them. This goes for curves also. Woods that are highly grained such as oak make it a litle more difficult but in this case anticipation plays a big part. Being able to feel the next tough grain in your finger tips. Relax when cutting long lines and do not tense up. Try to keep an even push on the wood. Look slightly ahead of your cut but keep the saw blade in your vision. If you stray off the line do not make an abrubt correction make a gradual correction. Practice practice practice.
                              John T.

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