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Musing while "spiraling"

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  • Musing while "spiraling"

    One of the things that most people have an opinion about on this forum is the use of spiral blades. I have used them for veining and some portraits but, in general, don't care for them. I decided to tackle the lichterbogen in the Holiday issue. Probably a big mistake as it is above my skill level. I started cutting and it seemed that much of the pattern would lend itself to spiral blades, if I knew how to use them. I had bought some of FD's new spirals with my last order and decided to give them a try. I practiced some -- seemed OK -- but OH those fuzzies!

    Whilst (for our English and Canadian friends) I came up with some thoughts about spirals:

    These "new spirals" do cut easier and seem to be a lot more durable than the others I had. They don't seem as brittle. But they are still spirals.

    Don't try to back out of a kerf with the saw running. They cut both ways you know.

    Don't "spin" the wood.

    Do stop the saw and turn the piece if you have a long run so that you are pushing the wood into the blade. I have a hard time steering when pulling the wood towards me.

    What am going to do about the fuzzies?

    I'm the only one who knows how the pattern looks. Going off line is just a "personal enhancement."

    Wish I would have printed the pattern in some color other than black. It is hard to see where you are cutting.

    Why did I use a backer board with so many black dots on it. They all look like holes.

    What am going to do about the fuzzies?

    Argh, I'm getting too many "personal enhancements."

    BB ply doesn't even make good fire wood.

    I dread seeing what it will look like when I take the pattern off.

    Important! Try to keep as much of my hand on the table to provide stability.

    Don't try to steer the wood. Use the Music Man way of cutting. Think about where you want to cut and let the muscles do it. Over steer is not only a problem with my car.

    How do professional cutters do this all day. It doesn't take long and my eyes start going in circles. Time to read the SSW forum.

    EarlinJax

  • #2
    Hi Earl-- I couldn't help but notice that you are going to fast with your blade speed-- and it sounds like you don't have your tension set right.. I Love using spirals and I can solve most of your problems- you will first have to get over being afraid of spirals.
    I know it sounds silly but that is the best way to put it. You are afraid of making mistakes and aren't enjoying what you are doing. That blade isn't going to cut where you don't want it if you don't put it there. I can tell you are going full throtle on the speed from the problems you are having. I never use full throtle-except when I am on the last leg of a blade and am stack cutting.
    The frizzes can be stopped by using posterboard behind your board as you cut. I like posterboard because it is cheap and doesn't have the designs all that free cardboard cereal boxes have. Spray on with spray adheasive and apply to the back of your piece the first thing --even before pilot holes and you will see a big difference. I keep poster board cut in 8x10 or so pieces and apply one as soon as finish applying my pattern. This also makes it a lot easier to see the pilot holes . doesn't matter what color you use.
    Make sure your tension isn't to tight or you will break blades.. some say make it in a high C pitch but I wouldn't know a high C from a dog fight so just make it so it is tight but doesn't break. seems tension mistakes and speed are the problem for most when they first learn to use spirals. Spirals are a lot easier for me than straight blades but then I do a lot of spiral work. They are really my blade of choice but I have things I just have to cut with a straight blade.
    Once you learn how to use spirals you will enjoy using them-- then you can make the pretty portrate and landscape pieces..Try these things and you will see a big difference.
    Enjoy
    Sharon

    Comment


    • #3
      earlinjax, ever tried the torch method to remove the "fuzzies"? Make sure you place a backer board on the front side of your cutting, then use a propane or butane torch, turn the flame as low as possible and pass it over the "fuzzies" burning them off. Having a backer board on the front keeps the flame from going through and scorching the front side. Works great.
      Mick, - Delta P-20

      A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

      Comment


      • #4
        earlinjax, I am also a newbie to the dark, twisted world of spirals and have fallen in love with the FD 'new spirals' . I too use the torch method and it works great

        Sharon, that is an awesome idea on the posterboard Do you remove it when you are done ?
        You're a pretty sharp cookie ...thanx for the tip !
        ...~Robert~
        DW788 and Hawk 226

        " Please let me grow to be the man my dog thinks I am "

        Comment


        • #5
          yes Robert I use a spray bottle with mineral spirits in my shop just for removing patterns and backing from my work. I find if you sand before you put your paper or pattern on and use the spray method you don't have frizzies nor a lot of anything else to do to your work other than to enjoy it.
          Somrtimes if the large pieces of board need to be cleaned I just spray a little on a paper towel and lightly brush it off. Be sure to let the spirits dry --about 5 minutes or so. before applying your sealer.
          The spray bottle use to contain kitchen cleaner and if you spray it uses a tab of spirits and the same results. and you don't have to open a big container and try to brush it on - which I do when I am to lazy to fill up my bottle.
          Sharon
          Oh -- if you have any pieces of paper towel left on your work just allow to dry and a dry paint brush will remove it -or a air compresser.

          Comment


          • #6
            Musing while "spiraling"

            Hi Earl & Sharon,

            I too haven't been fond of spirals in the past but haven't tried them in awhile. Sharon what brand & size spiral do you use most often? I am thinking I should give them another try!

            Comment


            • #7
              Randy -- I only use Flying Dutchman Blades- seems they work better for me -but some preferr Olson or Who ever that other one is ( I drew a blank on the memory )I use all the sizes depending on the size kerf and how thick the wood.
              The thin blades are only good for lightweight cutting and don't take as much tension as the thicker ones will- but to each his own preference.I have tried Olsan and I do like their crown cut and I have no problem with the blades themselves -but I am leary about sending money over the internet or to someone I don't know- and I know Mike (3M) and I know he will do me right.
              Sharon

              Comment


              • #8
                Randy;
                I have tried all the so called new and improved spiral blades and didn't care for any of them . But since I started using Pegas spirals I have a whole different outlook on cutting with spirals. They work so much better than any of the ones I had previously tried.
                Although I am a dedicated flat blade user for 90% of my scrolling there are times when I need to use spirals for projects that are bigger than the 20.5" capacity of my saw. The Pegas spirals cut cleaner and track better on the line than any other brand I have used..
                And now that I have found that Pegas spirals work so good for me I sometimes cut out even smaller things with them just for the fun of it.
                W.Y.
                http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

                The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

                Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sharon and Randy,

                  You do not have to worry about sending money via the internet to Sloans Woodshop. They have a toll free number so you can just call them and they will normally ship within 24 hours. I've been getting quite a bit of stuff from them since I started scrolling. They are good and efficient people to deal with. Give them a try. You'll be glad you did. They carry the full line of Olson bits and blades and tons of lumber, hardware, glue and miscellaneous.

                  http://www.sloanswoodshop.com/
                  Mike

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey Mike;
                    I agree . Sloans are a great supplier of scrollsawing supplies. I don't deal all that much with them because they don't ship to Canada but by the size of their full page adds in the scrollsaw magazines they must have a very prosperous business going there. Perhaps they have all the business they can handle just in USA and don't need to ship out of the country.
                    Fortunately I have a USA postal box just over the border from where I live and a UPS pick-up place as well for my USA orders. The very thin plywood I got from Sloans for making bookmarks was of excellent quality.
                    W.Y.
                    http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

                    The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

                    Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Musing while spiraling

                      Hey Mike,

                      I do agree with you on Sloans--I have ordered a 1/2 dozen times & have had excellent service. How are sales at the store going for you? Good I hope!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Update

                        When I finished that piece and separated it from the backer and pattern I was pleasanly surprised that the fuzzies were not too bad on the good piece. I still am disappointed that the ply chipped out in a few places. This had been in my stash for a while and I don't think it was usual stuff that I use now.

                        I'm working on the arches and following Sharon's advice am using a cereal box for a backer. The "spiraling" is going much better with more practice. Never had a chance to try Pegas blades but I find the new spirals from FD are much better than the old ones I tried.

                        I found the greatest help was not so much saw speed, however, I do not cut at full speed to keep down heat and blade breakage, but feed technique makes the difference for me. As much hand on the table as possible to help make the subtle feed necessary for me to get good results.

                        I am not a convert yet, but will be using spirals more often.

                        EarlinJax

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bill, How much problems has the passport requirements for Canadians effected you? I know it is a pain. Like showing your passport when going from one state to another. Of course if you are going to California I can understand it..
                          Chuck D


                          When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
                          Jean De La Bruyere...

                          l
                          Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Chuck.
                            No passports required until the middle of 2008. But they are getting stricter at the border. Used to be just drivers license picture ID. Now they want birth certificate as well as asking when you picked your nose last and a bunch of other unnecesary questions .
                            Me and millions of others refuse to get passports so when it is compulsory we will stay in Canada and a lot of Americans will stay in USA.
                            It has already hurt the tourist trade on both sides and it is only going to get worse.
                            W.Y..
                            http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

                            The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

                            Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Earl,
                              You pretty much described all the reasons I use flat blades for most of my cutting. I do use spirals occasionally (shhhh....don't tell anyone) when the project is too big for the saw.
                              I simply prefer the cut quality of flats and I often have my fingers so close to the blade when cutting that they get hacked up with spirals.
                              Kevin
                              Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                              Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

                              Comment

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