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  • Blade Speed Question

    I've been scrolling for several months, learning new things from the forum and from trial and error. I've seen some posts on blade tensioning but wanted to get some advice on blade speed. Is there a recommended speed at which to run the scroll saw ? Also, does it vary when using hardwoods compared to pine or Baltic Birch and/or the thickness of the material being scrolled ? Any advice will be appreciated !

  • #2
    Re: Blade Speed Question

    There are a ton of variables involved. The speed you use will vary from saw to saw, wood to wood, your skill level, agressiveness of the blade, even blade to blade within a batch, etc. The only real constant is start slow and as your skill level increases so will your blade speed. You'll eventually get a feel for what speed suites you on an individual project. Probably haven't told you anything you alread haven't figured out for yourself.

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    • #3
      Re: Blade Speed Question

      Ol-Ed said it very well and I will second every thing he said!!!!
      John T.

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      • #4
        Re: Blade Speed Question

        OK..I have a question for you...I am working on an idea for a carving, the bandsaw isn't really practical for this particular shape and the scrollsaw would be ideal, but the wood (basswood) is about 2 inches thick! I have done some scrolling on thin stock 1/8 1/4 and even some 1/2 but not that thick....what blade speed is good...I am assuming high speed....also what blade? thanks Dave

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        • #5
          Re: Blade Speed Question

          Dave I don't know if this will be a help or not...just an observation on scrolling I've done with my old Boise Crane jigsaw.  This is similar to a scroll saw but is a lot bigger.  Originally it had a very slow blade speed and it vibrated something fierce.  I changed the driven pulley down to a 1' one and the speed and vibration improved dramatically. Also helped a LOT with blade breakage.  Next time I get down to the hardware, I'll pick up one or two bigger drive pulleys and see what that does.  With this old giant of a saw, I can handle up to 4' thick material and up to a 1/2' wide blade. It's just an old dinosaur but I really hate to get rid of it!

          Anyway, so far, the faster my blade speed, the better and easier the cuts.  I suppose there must be a point of diminishing returns, but it looks like I have a long wway to go before I reach that point.  Probably should get the pulley size and stroke ratio and figure out exactly what the drive RPM and SPM rates are. Later.......

          As far as blades go I've been using standard coping saw blades (knock out the pins) and salvaged broken bandsaw blades. Easy to come by and puts the busted ones to good use!

          Al

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          • #6
            Re: Blade Speed Question

            ok, thought maybe high speed was better, about blades was wondering if a wider blade?, spiral?, pretty sure a small blade would not be desirable....thanks Dave

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            • #7
              Re: Blade Speed Question

              If I don't have a lot of detail to cut in the roughouts, I use a 1/4', 6 tpi lenght of bandsaw blade. This is too heavy a blade to do a whole lot of sharp turns, though, but if you can back up and take another swipe, it cuts fast and is almost impossible to break. For anything that requires any turns of consequense I use a standard 10 tpi coping saw blade.If your scrollsaw can adapt to either one of these, give them a try. cheap and easy to find.

              For most work, even with the smaller blades, I run the tensioning spring out to almost 3/4 length. That's probably 20 to 30 pounds of tension. I know that is a lot more than most scroll saws are capable of, but that's what I use. Like I said, this saw is a beast, but I don't want to get rid of it. I inherited it from my dad about a million years ago!

              Al

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              • #8
                Re: Blade Speed Question

                I think we are still talking scrollsaw so to answer that If your scrollsaw can handle 2' cutting depth not all saws can, you want to use a fast speed a #12 blade, lots of tension, and most important let the saw cut the wood and try not to push sideways. If you put too much sideward preasure you will not get a straight up and down cut it will have a bevel to it. Good Luck!
                John T.

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                • #9
                  Re: Blade Speed Question

                  ok thanks to all!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Blade Speed Question

                    Actually, in an upcoming issue of SSW, we address that a little bit. One of our pros said to put your hand flat on the table of the SS and (with the saw off) press your thumb against the blade. It shoudl give about 1/8 inch.

                    The article will be under the Tips and Tricks section (I don't have it in front of me right now, and I can't remember what else the pro said.)

                    Bob
                    www.GrobetUSA.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Blade Speed Question

                      Sure glad you said 'with the saw off', Bob.....otherwise my thumb would probably 'give' and eighth of an inch, until the pain kicked in!

                      Al

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                      • #12
                        Re: Blade Speed Question

                        Al,
                        Well, this is the beginner Scroll Saw Section.....for safety's sake, you can't be too careful.....
                        Bob
                        www.GrobetUSA.com

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