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Blade size for wood thickness

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  • Blade size for wood thickness

    I saw a post in the newbies section but I am replying in here

    This is not a hard fact but these numbers work for me.

    #2/0 good for wood up to 1/8"
    #2 good for wood up to 1/3"
    #3 good for wood up to 1/2”
    #5 good for wood up to 3/4"
    #7 good for wood up to 1 1/4”
    #9 good for wood up to 1 3/4"

    That being said there are times when I push blades to thicker woods because I need a thin kerf for a tight fit.
    A good rule of thumb is to use a blade that has at least three teeth in contact with the wood at any time.
    You will also find that some blade styles cut more aggressively than others.
    Try different blades on different woods and write down how they feel. Don't go by memory, it fails more than a dull blade does.
    Last edited by CanadianScroller; 10-25-2005, 07:51 PM. Reason: Dumb Candan spelling mistakes :D
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

  • #2
    Hi Carl,

    "You will also find that some blade styles cut more aggressively than others."

    The reason for this is that a single tooth blades cut more aggressive as a double tooth blade. A double tooth blade is easier to control for a beginner.
    I agree with the numbers except a # 12 would be better in 1 3/4" however said that, it all depends how intricate the pattern is.
    Also remember when pushing a little too hard into thick wood, the blade will start cutting with a bevel.

    SD Mike


    • #3
      Great Topic!!!!!



      • #4
        I use #3 FD-SR's for just about everything up to 3/4", on caveat is that I seldom cut anything under 1/2", thinner than that and I'll stack cut the pieces. Last night I cut some 2 1/8" Padauk, the largest blades I had were some #9 Skip Tooth Olsons, they wouldn't cut the stuff worth a squat. I switched over to #7 FD-SR's and more or less breezed through the cutting. I occasionally use #1 FD-SR's for extremely intricate cuts or on those rare occasions when I'm cutting something thinner than 1/2".

        Scrollsaw Patterns Online
        Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


        • #5
          tonight i'm cutting some 1" pine. what would you recommend? i'm thinking a FD-SR #7. agree/disagree?


          • #6
            I'd agree. Since you're cutting pine, you could probably use a #5 and have good results too.

            There's a fine line between woodworking and insanity, I'm just not sure which side of the line I'm on!


            • #7
              Switching Blades during a project

              I'm new to this.... very new. I have been trying to cut at least one piece a night to get better.

              Tonight I needed a very fine cut and switched to a 2/0. The 2/0 blade cut almost directly from the right side instead of from the front. Is it common for a smaller blade to be off like that? Is there anything you can do to straighten them?

              I've been thinking when I need a finer blade I should use the smallest spiral blade I can find instead of a flat blade.

              When switching from one blade, or brand, to another that cuts a different way what do you do to "compensate" for the difference? Whatever it may be.

              Help........ I really want to learn this the right way.




              • #8
                How thick is the wood you are cutting?
                I can't cut a straight line with a 2/0 FD-SR blade, when I need that size blade I use an Olson or a FD-PSR 2/0.

                Delta P-20 & Q-3

                I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!


                • #9
                  I don't know what you are cutting or how thick your wood is, but a #2 is small enough for most cuts and I use them even in 3/4" wood for segmentation projects. I do, however, use 2/0 spirals and 2/0 flat-end spirals (Olson) for flat pictorial work like Zaffino's patterns. I use an Olson #5 PGT (precision ground) DT or ST for most segmentation cutting (puzzles too) and they cut 3/4" Oak with no problem. Yes, they are more expensive, but I have yet to break one and they last a long time before getting dull.
                  Old Mooner


                  • #10
                    Blade drift

                    Sellersam.....the blade drifts to the right due to the way it is manufactured. It cuts faster on the right edge of the teeth than it does on the left. You can eliminate some of the problem by holding a sharpening stone lightly against the right side of the blade while the saw is running to remove the burr created during manufacture. Additionally, the small blade will tend to drift if the wood is too thick and you are forcing the stock into the blade. Most scrollers realize that the blades naturally tend to drift and learn to compensate through experience. Although I've read about the sharpening stone trick, I've never had occasion to try it.
                    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!


                    • #11
                      Thank you all for your replies. It gives me MUCH more to think about now.

                      While cutting 3/8" Baltic birch plywood the Olson seem to drift to the left while the FD drifted slightly right. I was able to pick up on this and finish the cut ok.

                      Then I stacked three 1/8" pieces of Baltic birch. (I learned real quickly that I don't like cutting single pieces of 1/8".) The cut seemed to be the same as before. The problem came when, in one area, I wanted a smaller cut and switched to a 2/0 FD. It was almost like the blade was bent to the right so I screwed up the cut I was trying to make.

                      I understand there is a drift to the right and have been able to compensate for it as I get the feel of the saw. I'm trying to figure out the best way to compensate when switching blades. Until I get more familiar with the way different blades cut, when I switch blades, I'm going to do a test cut to see how it cuts before going to the piece I'm working on.

                      Soooooooo much to learn and I really appreciate you guys helping me out.

                      You guys are GREAT!!



                      • #12
                        Sellerssam.....all the little kinks work themselves out as you gain experience on the saw. The true secret to scrolling is simply scrolling itself. The more you do it the easier it becomes. Have you experienced the workpiece chattering on the table yet?!!
                        If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!


                        • #13
                          lol....... yep......

                          Funny.. When I first started I was wearing my hands out trying to hold the piece down as well as move it around... Not near the down pressure needed you might think...


                          • #14
                            Found alot of chatter tonight with SEARS blades

                            I'm attemping to cut some baskets for x-mas presents. I'm using 1/2" Red Oak. I used my last FD the other day and my new order hasn't arrived yet. As impatient as I am I went ahead and started with some 5R SEARS blades I had from when I first started about 2 months ago. I am sold on the FD's by the way! Well the SEARS blades cut abosolutly GREAT! For the first 2 inches. After that it went kaput. The wood would start chattering up a storm and raising cain,dust going everywhere, teeth rattling couldn't get it to cut a turn in a cul-d-sac. To top it all off, it took me 2 blades per 8" circle to cut. It took 14 blades to cut 1 pattern. When it gave out it gave out quick. I got it down to 10 per after I eased up on the feed rate (lesson learned). On my final piece I switched to the lone FD-PSR #7 I had. This circle was about 10" and it was like cutting butter! I could have fed it with my pinky. It cut slower but it lasted the whole circle with life left to spare. The wood even looked better after I cut but it still has a dark tinge to where I cut. Might be just the wood ehh?
                            Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
                            Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.


                            • #15
                              sellerssam, I have found that no two blades seem to cut the same even out of the same pack. You have to make a slight adjustment when changing to a fresh blade, it all comes with experience. Happy scrolling. Mick
                              Mick, - Delta P-20

                              A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


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