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  • uneven cuts???

    I make 1 1/2" wood standup puzzles. I have been cutting with a 18.5 pinned scroll blade on a Porter Cable 16" saw. I just bought a Dewalt 788 which uses plain blades. I have been unable to cut even from top to bottom with this new saw. I have tried a variety of blades, tensions and speeds. Nothing works. Any Ideas??
    I must be doing something wrong.

  • #2
    That is pretty thick wood. I would not use less than #7 blade and you will have to cut very slowly so that the blade does not flex.
    It will take a lot of practice, not to press/push too hard on the wood influencing the cut rate or feed rate of your project. Try making a cut and abruptly stop feeding the wood and watch, does the blade still have to catch up to where you stopped? if the blade still continues the cut, you are rushing your work, you must let the saw do the cutting.

    What species of wood, and why do you prefer to use such thick stock? Most of us use 3/4" thick stock for stand up puzzles.

    I hope this helps some with your dilemma.
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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    • #3
      Mike has given some great advice....

      You didn't mention making sure that the blade is square to the table.
      If you don't have a square small enough to fit below the top holder, a lot of folks use a credit card type, (I've used my old AAA cards), to be sure that you table is square. a good way to do this is to put something white behind the blade and pull the card just a fraction away from the blade and check the light. It's easier on the eyes.
      Last edited by JimSawyer; 08-27-2011, 05:20 PM. Reason: typos
      Jim

      The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
      No task is too tedious for Art.
      Rock and Scroll

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      Featherwood Woodcrafts

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      • #4
        I cut ! 1/2 inch pine, both # 2 and select, for a number of toys that I make. I use an Olson
        # 5 PGT blade for this; you must take care not to put sideways pressure on the blade when you make turns; this has often caused uneven cuts for me. If the slant you have on a piece is slight, you might be able to fix it with a split mandrel sander, but this is tedious, and I've never been happy with the result. The # 5 PGT also works well for 3/4 inch hardwood, by the way.

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        • #5
          I've had the same problem with the #5 and #7 cutting 1.5" pine. I ues old headboards to make boxes and name plaques. I've found a spiral blade works so much better. You have to go slow and be careful, but it cuts with less effort on the blade. Don
          Don

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          • #6
            Mike hit it right on the head.
            I like to use high speed and let the blade do the cutting.
            Also you should know that most blades have a burr on the right side, to stay on the line you have to move the wood some degree to the right.
            FD Mike
            Last edited by 3_M; 08-27-2011, 05:21 PM.
            SD Mike

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            • #7
              Hi Rob, I generally cut 1" Mahogany and use a #5 or #7 Polar or XL blade. It's slow but it works for me. I tend to avoid the reverse blades. I don't like the kick up the sometimes dish out.

              I recently notched a bit of 4x2 using a #9 blade - came out far better than chiselling.

              What blades are you using?

              Good Luck
              Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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              • #8
                Each make of blade is different too, even though it may be the same number. I usually use 3/4 to 7/8 in thich wood. As others have stated go SLOW. Pain stakingly slow. The thicker or harder the wood the slower you go. You don't even know you are pushing the wood sideways until you are done and the pieces don't slide apart easy in both directions. How slow , well you should barely push on the wood, let the blade cut it. It should almost feed itself. When you feel you have to start to exert extra force to push the wood. change blades. It's a challange sometimes. Have fun though.
                Last edited by determined; 08-28-2011, 12:20 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by robwrix View Post
                  I make 1 1/2" wood standup puzzles. I have been cutting with a 18.5 pinned scroll blade on a Porter Cable 16" saw. I just bought a Dewalt 788 which uses plain blades. I have been unable to cut even from top to bottom with this new saw. I have tried a variety of blades, tensions and speeds. Nothing works. Any Ideas??
                  I must be doing something wrong.
                  Sounds like you have bowing and cupping when cutting thick material. The cause of that tends to be that you are forcing the cut, the saw is running too fast and with most manufacturing techniques of scroll saw blades they are stamped out which leaves a lip on the back side of the blade.

                  If when you are cutting wood that thick and you stop moving the wood but the blade is still cutting you are forcing the cut.

                  Slow the saw speed a bit, you are not in a race to get the cut done so let the blade clean the cut as it is cutting.

                  After installing the blade take the time to clean the back corner edges of any possible lip that might or might not be there from being manufactured.

                  Lastly with a bit of practice a new reverse spiral will cut that thick easily with no deviation up and down. Mikes Workshop sells Flying Dutchman blades and they have the FD-SP-Rev No.2/0 which should cut your puzzles decently, might be worth a try.


                  DW
                  Life is hard. It is even harder when you are being stupid.
                  John Wayne

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