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  • Segmentation Blades?

    what are the best or preffered blades to use when cutting segmentation portraits? I've never tried one and would like to, but i don't want the thicknes of my blade ruining my project. (would spiral blades be a DONT on segmentation portraits? they have always been my prefferance.)

    Thanks for any and all advice (as always)
    ~Tim Bonner
    'smile it makes people wonder what your up to, and brightens anothers day.'

  • #2
    I don't see why spiral blades wouldn't work, what your concerned with is the thickness of the cuts so it's pretty much your preference.
    Bruce F. Worthington

    www.intarsia.net 2 free e-books on Intarsia
    http://intarsia.hostcentric.com/home/homepage/ patterns
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    e-mail [email protected]

    You never stop learning..

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    • #3
      Contact Mike (3M here on the board)

      He has some new spiral blades, that suppose to be alot better than the old spiral blade configuations. He'll send you a sample for a $1, if you ask!

      Good Luck!

      Rick
      Last edited by BobD; 02-01-2007, 02:07 PM.
      Old Scrollers Never Die...They Just Saw Away!

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      • #4
        For segmentation I use a number 1 FD blade (FDTC-#1). What your after is a blade with a small kerf, and can achieve a tight turning radius . Dale
        Dale w/ yella saws

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        • #5
          I'm baffled that you should be considering spirals for segmentation. To get the tightest fit, you need a blade that is as thin as possible to make the turns required for the thickness of material that is being cut. Depending on the brand of blade, I can't imagine wanting to go higher than a #3 flat for detailed cuts. I wouldn't even consider a spiral.

          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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          • #6
            You're so right Gill! One of the biggest things about blades for segmentation is that the kerf (thickness of the blade). The smaller the kerf, the smaller the amount of wood being removed and the tighter the pieces fit together when it's all cut.

            The brand isn't the issue, since I firmly believe that the brand is entirely a person's preference.


            Take care
            Toni

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            • #7
              Do you use soft woods mainly for segmentation? I use a #7 for most of my intarsia- a finer blade wouldn't go through most of the woods. Just curious. Also what thickness of wood do you usually use when you're doing segmentation?
              Janette
              www.square-designs.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by IRMSRUS
                what are the best or preffered blades to use when cutting segmentation portraits? I've never tried one and would like to, but i don't want the thicknes of my blade ruining my project. (would spiral blades be a DONT on segmentation portraits? they have always been my prefferance.)

                Thanks for any and all advice (as always)
                ~Tim Bonner

                Tim, I was thinking about your question a little more last night - guess the tv show wasn't holding my attention (no surprise there). I recalled a project I worked on, made a life form project (or segmentation portrait as you called them) and cut it out of acrylic. WELL. That was a learning experience for me.... I had never had a problem cutting acrylic and had my favorite blade at hand so it was routine. I realized through the project that the brand of acrylic was different and the thickness was just a little more than what I had used previously. I had never cut a segmentation portrait out of acrylic either, so I was having some cutting difficulties. Not thinking for a moment, I put a larger blade in cut... nope still not making good cuts. I hesitate to use spirals at any time since I have a hand tremor that really makes spirals incompatible with me. LOL. I ended up with the spiral in the saw and completed the project. Stubborn huh?

                The project didn't fit together at all, and lovely scrap acrylic is what I ended up with and a valuable lesson on the changing of blade sizes and styles (remember I did end up using spirals) . The best thing that came from the project is that I got to practice with the spirals and would NEVER use them for portrait segmentation. That is a personal choice however.

                Complex segmentation portraits can only be compared to intarsia in some ways. Since intarsia often has the soft curves and bends to the cut, it is easier to sand the cut edges and have the cuts match. Complex segmentation often has the twists and turns that capture the detail in the project. The blade will play a role in the success of the project.

                Jannette asked about wood and the thickness. You simply have to love segmentation for the fact that you can choose wood to your preference. Availability and costs are often issues when it comes to intarsia. Not everyone has the choices. Segmentation offers you the opportunity to work within your wood availability. We often use pine, cedar, poplar, walnut, butternut, aspen and of course baltic birch plywood. The thicknesses of these pieces range from 1/8" to 1 1/2". I am not sure about Sue Chrestensen, but I use nothing larger than a #5 on the projects.

                What project are you planning? I enjoy watching the segmentation portraits unfold and would love to see photos.

                Take care
                Toni

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                • #9
                  Hi Jannette

                  The thickness of MDF I use for my segmentation varies according to the nature of the project. Generally speaking, it's about 18mm (3/4"); lately I've taken to stack cutting 3 x 6mm boards. If the pattern calls for intricate shaping, I'll use a #2 but normally I use a #3.

                  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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