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  • Round Blades

    In discussions of blades I have not seen anything on round blades. I have some, but yet to use them. Are they a cop out from using the more difficult flat blades? Appreciate your comments.

    Scott Ish

  • #2
    Spiral blades do have a place. Some people swear by them for portraits.
    I used them this year to cut out a three foot door topper. My saw only has an 18"throat so it would be difficult to swing the wood around.
    It is certainly a different feel than using a straight blade.

    I think a scroller should practice with all styles of blades, you never know when you need to use each one.
    I did find that the inside edges of the cuts were not as smooth as a flat blade. That could have been due to the quater-sawn wood I was using.
    I am not sure, I am certain someone else could answer that.
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

    Comment


    • #3
      The "round" blades you speak of,are more then likely spiral blades,and they are good for some things.The reason I say that is because some time ago Mike M did in fact have some round blades.They were actually round, not spiraled ,but worked much in the same fashion.Dont consider spirals a cop-out for using a flat blade.The spirals are a great blade for doing things with many odd shaped cuts,and mostly on things where a real pattern doesnt have to be followed exact.Like mentioned, on some of the portrait type patterns,theres so many twists and turns that it gets tiring to spin the wood so fast and so much.Also mentioned,was using them on large projects where you cant turn the wood because of your saw throat.I agree with Canadianscroller,you should try every type of blade and see just what each is good for,and how they react to use on diffrent media.One thing I like the spirals for is for veining where a wider kerf is desired.Its really hard to run a #5 flat blade down across the wood so close as to widen a kerf without it getting too wide,or looking like crap from the blade cutting ,then not cutting as you try to keep it close to the other cut.The spirals tend moreso then other blades to head for the least resistance,that being the softer grain.To get a nice straight line on somthing needing a wider veining line,try running a regular flat blade along that pattern line,then switch to a spiral blade,and chase that through that cut from the flat blade. It'll make a straight,wide kerf. They do leave more fuzzies then other blades,and there are reverse tooth spirals avail.too,although I didnt like those ones myself.They also do naturally leave a rougher surface on the cut,regardless what wood,or direction you cut the grain, and they also create a bit more dust. I only like using a #0 or #2/0 spiral,it seems I get the best control with them.
      If you think a spiral is a copout for using a flat blade....try scrolling a straight line 6 inches long on a piece of red oak using a flat blade,then try using a spiral to do the same thing.You will see,its not that easy with a spiral!
      Dale w/ yella saws

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      • #4
        Lucky,

        You are right, at one time I had round blades which came from East Germany. Volker Arnold found them. They are all gone even the factory and equipment is gone. There is now a new spiral blade what is more round than any other spiral blade and this one has flat ends more or less, the old round blades had just round ends.
        These spirals have a complete new tooth design what makes it easier to control them and are made from better steel what makes them last longer. You can read what Jeff Zaffino has to say about them in CWW&C March issue. I can't remember what issue it was in SSW magazine but someone wrote a little article about them.
        Lucky you should post your experience about veining in the post "Veining Help Needed". Most scrollers I know use the spirals like you suggested for veining.
        Mike M
        SD Mike

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        • #5
          Oh My Gosh.
          Don't get me started on spirals. A spiral, is a spiral , is a spiral. One brand was supposed to be the best for about 7 or 8 years acording to some. Then they recently went through several so called *new and improved* versions.
          I tried every one and could not see much difference except for the round ones that were like a piece of wire with bumps on it and they scraped their way through the wood.Little wonder they are not manufactured any more and the company is out of business.
          Which brings me to wonder why, if they were supposed to be the best on the market , then why all the so called new and improved ones that some said they thought were better but only a few..
          I really do envy the people that swear by spirals and can control them properly . I know a lot portrait cutters use them. But I have seen portraits sawn with them by some very qualified scrollers and they did the same wandering off the lines as I would have done if I used spirals instead of flats.
          On an identical pattern that I compared where there were a lot of white areas very close together and the black area had to be cut out, mine showed every white area in the finished sawing and in the person that used the spirals, the entire group of white areas were gone so only a black background showed because it was impossible to cut that many lines so close together and not wander off the line with the spirals.

          For me, spirals certainly have their place in cases where the wood is too big to be spun around flat blades due to saw size limitations. I use them myself for that reason only.

          I know that some will disagree totally with me but lets face it. What would the percentage of spirals used be compared to flat blades. Maybe about 5% spirals to 95% flat ones? . That kinda speakes volumes for itself. And then a prominent blade distributor told me not so long ago that spirals are practically unheard of overseas . Must be primarily a North America thing.

          I guess I am not just good enough a scroller to be able to use the spirals the way some say they are better than flats and I repeat, I really do envy the ones that are good enough to use them and still maintain the quality of cut and detail that can be acheived by using flat blades.

          In my last 8 years od scrolling I have read on different sites that one brand of spirals was better than another and I have also proved it myself. But there is one more brand that I have not tried yet so I cannot comment on whether they will be worse or equal or better. I don't know when I will get around to trying them because I generally use spirals only when I *have* to but I may make an exception one day and try them on something smaller just to satisfy my curiosity about them.

          These are my own personal views on spiral blades and I hold utmost respect for all the scrollers that like to use them in preference to the more popular flat blades.
          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


          • #6
            lucky788scroller,

            Can't tell you how much I appreciate your comments. I use spirals to follow a flat blade cut for my veins. I also use spirals if I have a bunch of real small internal cuts. Pictures of the mule deer and rainbow trout in my gallery are two examples. Boy have I been given grief for doing it that way by other scrollers! It works for me and I'm glad to hear others do the same!
            ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

            D. Platt

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            • #7
              Take all the grief they can give ya,let it run like water off a ducks back. What matters is your finished product,whether its for personal satisfaction,or for a customer.I've used a spiral many times for that purpose,to widen a veining line.The spirals arent my favorite choice for general cutting,but a favorite for certain things.I actually prefer a #3 or #5 FD-SR for most things. As for who makes the best spiral,that is up to the user I guess. As long as what I'm using is working well for me,I'm happy. Your gallery looks great ,I especially like the bighorns. Excellant choice of woods! I should get myself a gallery in here one of these days. I have a few pictures of some stuff.Keep on using the method what works best for ya, and $&@* the rest!!! Happy New Year!
              Dale w/ yella saws

              Comment


              • #8
                Good thinking lucky788scroller. That is exactly what I do also. I use whatever works best for me while at the same time I am always on the lookout for ways of improving myself. Technology changes over the years and I like to keep abreast of it. A perfect example would be comparing a 5 year old computer with a new replacement one today.
                I supposed it could be classified as progress.
                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
                  I pretty much agree with what everyone had to say here. I have heard supposed "experts" claim that you can't cut an intricate portrait with flats or a clock with spirals. In both cases, this is just BS. I've used spirals on occasion, but basically didn't like the finished cut with them. I've also seen folks with tremendous clocks done with spirals. I use flats for everything (including intricate portraits) while there are others who use spirals for everything. The bottom line is use what you're comfortable and confident with.

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, as I have said before, you gotta use the tool that gets the job done and that is a personal choice I reckon. I use both flats and spirals because they each offer me unique capabilities. I find that I prefer flats for long, straight lines and if a very sharp corner is needed (although if you use a #2/0 spiral, the kerf is so small that a person with eyes like mine can't tell the difference) and the spiral for intricate scenery and/or portraits (Browning says he does all his portraits with spiral blades). I also use spirals when the project sizw exceeds the capacity of my saw (20" RBI). Like the fish scene in my gallery. That is a 3/4" Pine board and a large spiral worked very well. Having said that, it should be noted for those who have never used spirals, that it is a very different technique. Some folks just do not like sawing "sideways" or "backward" rather than pushing the work into the blade. It takes some practice to gain control. Personally, I hate "spinning" the project, especially on the larger pieces. I think everyone should be aware of the differences and the capabilities of different tools of the trade and use what works for them.
                    Moon
                    Old Mooner

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                    • #11
                      Round, Spiral, etc.

                      I thought I would jump into the fray. And the following is only my opinion
                      I have cut many of Volker Arnolds designs, the Disney Castle being one of them, it has many viens that need to be of uniform width to look right. I have used "regular" spiral blades and gave up. I then got some of the last true round blades from Mike's Workshop. I guard these with my life and use them sparingly ( the kerf is a bit wide for many of my projects) I recently bought some of the 2/0 "NEW Spiral" blades from Mike, they are supper. I can go in any dirrection with full control. If you can't controll these blades then there is something else wrong.
                      I need to clarify that before someone gets offended. I have 2 saws the Delta 350 and an RBI Hawk.The Hawk has virtually no front to back blade motion unlike my Delta which has almost 1/8 inch. The front to back blade will dramatically affect how a round blade cuts. If I move sideways on the Delta the wood sees 1/8 of motion, versus the thickness of the blade straight on.

                      Have Mike send you a sample of the new blade. If they don't work for you maybee you can justify a new Toy ( machine) I use every gambit in the book.

                      Happy New Year
                      Rolf

                      PS Check out some of my work in the Gallery @
                      http://www.liwoodworkers.org/
                      Rolf
                      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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