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table squareness / wood thickness

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  • table squareness / wood thickness

    Ran into an odd problem. My new 788 been cutting like a dream. Found out it wasn't square early and fixed it. Been great ever since, until.
    I starting delving into stack cutting and its been going good until I found that it wasn't cutting square. I checked and rechecked the sqaureness and it was dead on. Cut a smaller 1/4" piece and it was fine. Then I cut a 5/8" puzzle out of poplar (not stacked) and the pieces were tight and a tad off. I had to abandon my 2 1/4" oak pieces because the bottom one was to thin in spots.
    What's going on? I haven't been doing anything different that I can tell and I still use the same blades. I used a FD-SR 5 on the poplar and 1/2" oak ( stacked ). Is it the blades, me or the saw? Only thing I can figure is maybe the blades are undersized for the wood and I pushed to hard. Any other ideas?
    Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
    Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.

  • #2
    The only thing I can think of is front to back squareness.
    If the blade is square to the table when looking head on, then maybe the upper or lower blade clamp is off slightly.
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3
      How do I fix check that or is it in the owners manual?
      Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
      Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.


      • #4
        Table squareness

        Generally, especially with hard woods, you want to use the biggest (thickest) blade that will work for the size cuts you are making. Smaller (thinner) blades tend to bow while cutting thicker wood and it gets worse if you apply any side pressure to the blade. Also check the upper and lower blade clamps. There is a set screw on both that can be adjusted in or out to ensure the blade passes through the center of the hole in the table on a true vertical plane. Front to back squareness of the table really isn't mechanically adjustable. You can look at the bushing on the table adjusting knob and make sure it's seated properly inside the trunnion or semi-circle opening that the table rides on when being tilted. Hope this helps a little
        If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!


        • #5
          When I encounter stuff like you described, it is 99% handler error - I pushed too hard or hurried - and I can correct it by going s-l-o-w-l-y, letting the saw do all the cutting, and keeping a really light hand on the wood - so there is as little as possible distortion front to back or side to side on the blade. The other 1% is a non-sharp blade - easily remedied by replacing it.
          For puzzles from thick stock, I use a rather undersized blade if it is for adults (so that the pieces fit rather snugly), and a bigger blade if it is for youngsters - to make it a bit easier (also the youngster's puzzles usually have less detail)
          Be sure to let us know how you solve the problem (I'm positive you will)


          • #6
            Solved !!

            Figured it out. I was using to small a blade and it gave it bowed just enough when it started getting dull and when I had to apply a little more pressure because of it. I don't know what I was thinking when I used a #5 on 5/8" thick wood, duuhhhhhh????? I went to a #7 and it worked great and cut straight. That and during some long cuts where I don't have to release the blade to reinsert I occ. stop and let off tension, unclamp blade and let it straighten up then retighten clamp and reapply tension. This seems to help because as the blade stretches it loses tension so unclamping/reclamping helps. I finally cut a puzzle that'll stand up and not fall over. My first one did but I cut it out of 1/2" instead of 5/8"
            Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
            Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.


            • #7
              A #5 should be fine on 5/8 thick.I use a 5 on 3/4 thick hardwoods all the time without problems. One thing that wasnt brought up is the direction you cut. Always cut in the same direction. What I mean is, get in the habit of always having your good piece on the right hand side of the blade, your waste on the left side. It can be described as cutting clockwise/counterclockwise, but that gets people confused, as it depends on if its an outside cut, or an inside cut. Even the smallest variation in your table angle can be noticeable if you cut some parts in one direction, and others the opposite.On something like a puzzle, where there is no waste, it shouldnt be that big of a deal, but for stack sawing (which I do regularly on clocks and such) I ALWAYS ALWAYS cut with my waste to the left side of the blade. I hope that made sense, and didnt confuse you. Dale
              Dale w/ yella saws


              • #8
                And that is why us southpaws never make any large pieces. The waste is always left to us.

                I know how to fix that though. Sit behind the saw when I cut.
                Sawdust King

                If there is one thing I can make perfect every time it is sawdust.


                • #9
                  I did notice however that my #5 blade has a good bit of flex to it after it is tightened down. I can easily push a 1/16" either way and that is with the tension turned to 4 - 4 1/2 on the 788. I figured that was where my problem was and I didn't get that the #7. I usually start with the tension on 3 1/2 and go up as blade stretches. When I cut a piece of 3/8" oak with the 5 I have no problems, just on the 5/8" poplar. Could it be the blades?
                  Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
                  Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.


                  • #10
                    After much, and I mean much, trial & error and blade breakage, I found that anything over 3/4" I just automatically use a #7 blade. Depending on the hardness of the wood and what I'm cutting, I sometimes use a #9. This has saved me much frustration and unfinished pieces!!! I read somewhere, when I first started cutting "The thicker the wood the higher # blade, the faster the speed." As I have a hegner I can adjust tension & speed while cutting. This seems to work 99% of the time for me, the other 1% I just walk away until another time I did find that if I am cutting alot of intricate cuts, I will let my blade "rest" for a minute or so to cool off after a few cuts. I am finding I have much less blade breakage and burning.


                    "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital


                    • #11
                      Waste to the left....I like it.


                      That is interesting about keeping the wast to the left. I will have to try that I am cutting my 5 X 5 quilt square out of red oak and I have been going either way, so I'll keep the wast to the left. I am having to use a #3 blade because of the small pattern. Well, enough rambling now.... I'll go.

                      BTW thanks for the tip.


                      My saw is a DeWalt788 Measure twice; cut once; count fingers after cut


                      • #12
                        The point about trying to cut in one direction is a good one - thanks Dale.

                        Does the waste always have to be on the left hand side, though? Since blades have a bias to the right, I'd have thought it would be safer to have the waste on the right hand side just in case the bias takes you off the cutting line. That way, you'd cut into waste wood.

                        Not that I'm suggesting for a second that any of us can't follow the line we're cutting .

                        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)


                        • #13
                          Gill, its ok, none of us can follow a line,thats why we remove the pattern!!!! It appears to me the right edge of the blade leaves a little smoother finish on the wood, possible from the way the blades are stamped, or possibly just my imagination. You can keep your waste on the right side if you want, but I would try to keep ALL of your cuts the same on a project.Try it with the good on right, then try it with good on left, and you tell me if it appears one surface is smoother, then I will know if I need to call the little white padded van (as kerrie says about me sometimes) to have myself committed. Dale
                          Dale w/ yella saws


                          • #14
                            Gill. I normally cut with the spurr against the line too. it seems to give me a better cut.
                            If you was driving your car. and you have some play in the stearing wheel. and it pulled to the right. it would be easyer to hold it to the right with alittle pressure . if you tryed to hold it to the left, you would be constantly weaving back and forth. does that make sence? I find the burr helps you stay in the wood better.
                            when I cut on the left side, as I do , sometimes. and come to a corner, or v or y , I sometimes back out turn around in the waist wood back up into the v, and keep cutting on the left. the blade does not wont to get back into the wood. but when I cut on the right. the burr helps me cut into the wood right from the start.
                            I think it is a good idea to learn to cut both ways. your friend Evie


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