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  • Blades for compound cutting

    design that works better for this type of scrolling? I'm not looking for a blade manufacturer, but rather a tooth configuration (ie. skip vs reverse vs whatever). What do you out in scrollerdom use for this? I'd like to try more of these, but not with the blades I have on hand.

    Bruce
    Bruce
    . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
    visit sometime
    Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

  • #2
    Hi Bruce

    I'm also a newcomer to compound cutting and I'm using oak that's about the same size as yours. I've found that applying low tack masking tape to the wood, then applying the pattern over the top really helps the cut enormously. It seems important to keep the blade lubricated. Although I'm following a Diana Thompson pattern and she prescribes a #5 skip tooth blade, I've found that a #9 will do the job quite happily. She says to avoid reverse tooth blades and I can see why - when you 'catch' a 1.5" block of oak and it hits your fingers, you know all about it!

    Something else I've found is that I cut faster if I slow the saw right down. On another thread Carl said you should cut 'as slow as molasses' and he's right. I believe the secret to succssful cutting is to stop your blade overheating and losing its tempering; to do this you've got to cut very slowly indeed.

    Gill
    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)

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    • #3
      I don't know how you feel about spiral blades, but I used #3 FD spiral blades to cut my compound christmas ornaments with no trouble. I used 1.5x1.5 poplar for my wood.
      Bill

      DeWalt 788



      aut viam inveniam aut faciam

      God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....

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      • #4
        I mostly use a # 5 skip tooth, sometimes I will go as high as a #9. Clear tape also helps lubricate the blade. You do have to take tour time and give the sawdust a chance to clear the kerf or the blade will heat up and loose its temper and dull very quickly. I like the Precision ground blades they seem to stay sharp longer.
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Bruce,
          I use a #5 Polar blade, no skip tooth or reverse tooth. I use full tension on the blade and almost full speed on the saw, I have a Dewalt and I think the highest speed is 7 and I run the saw at 6. I mostly cut poplar, cedar and pine, although I used some maple to make some ornaments this year. I adhere my pattern directly to the wood, and wrap the whole thing in clear packaging tape. I drill my entry holes before I wrap the wood in packaging tape, then just a little poke with the blade and it goes through the tape quite easy. I also use a clamping jig which makes the block of wood much easier to hold then the clamps, I found the clamps were always getting in my way

          Block Holding Jig 002.jpg

          Here's a pic of some of the compound ornaments I've done this year. The ones on the left are poplar dipped in Minwax clear sating sealer and the ones on the right are maple, stained with golden oak and sprayed with glitter spray.

          Compound cut ornaments 006.jpg

          Marsha
          LIFE'S SHORT, USE IT WELL

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          • #6
            I use an FD-Polar blade, a #7 , which is a skip tooth blade. DO not use one with reverse teeth as they will trap dust in your cut. One person I consider an expert on 3D cutting is Marsha, she will know all the right info for you. Dale
            Dale w/ yella saws

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lucky788scroller
              I use an FD-Polar blade, a #7 , which is a skip tooth blade. DO not use one with reverse teeth as they will trap dust in your cut. One person I consider an expert on 3D cutting is Marsha, she will know all the right info for you. Dale
              Thanks Dale, I didn't know a Polar blade was a skip tooth. Quess I'm not so expert after all. LOL
              Marsha
              LIFE'S SHORT, USE IT WELL

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Marsha
                Thanks Dale, I didn't know a Polar blade was a skip tooth. Quess I'm not so expert after all. LOL
                Marsha
                Quess again Marsha..With pictures like that, I will still call you an expert!!! Dale
                Dale w/ yella saws

                Comment


                • #9
                  I too tried my hand at compound cut ornaments this year for the first time. It was a learning experience. The blades I used were Olson #7 MS blades because that is what I had. I started out with #5, but found the going too slow and switched to #7. I was cutting poplar and soft maple and there were some rough spots, so I may try skip tooth next time.
                  Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                  • #10
                    Okay, now I'm really confused
                    We've got
                    skip tooth blades, as slow as molasses
                    We've got
                    no skip tooth or reverse tooth, almost full speed
                    Gill, I'm cutting Diana's Guardian Angel from her Compound Christmas Ornaments book I picked up at the Open House in September. Since the face of the block doesn't matter, I glued the pattern directly on the wood and covered it with clear packing tape. Other than the blade choice, it probably didn't help that the body was mahogany and the wings were curly maple. An inch and a half of that can be a tough cut with a scroll saw (and the wrong blade). I think the #5 I had did have some reverse teeth and I now know that's not the way to go. I tried different speeds but the cutting didn't seem to improve with one over the other.

                    Bill, I haven't met a spiral yet that I've liked

                    Marsha, I love the clamp you made. If I decide to keep doing these I'll definitely have to 'borrow' that idea.

                    Thanx all for your input.
                    Bruce
                    . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
                    visit sometime
                    Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Bruce

                      I've got an enormous amount of respect for Marsha's scrolling and I was rather taken aback when she advocated high speed cutting. However, the DeWalt she uses can only slow down to 400 strokes whereas my Diamond can go down to practically zero. I estimate my compound cutting to be at about 60-80 strokes. It could be that there's a range of cutting speeds between very slow and very fast when the sawdust simply gets compacted instead of getting thrown clear. Perhaps high speeds kick out the dust effectively and slow speeds prevent it accumulating in the first place.

                      I'm just speculating.

                      Gill
                      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)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Marsha was using an FD Polar, which is a skip tooth blade...

                        Diana suggests a regular tooth blade, but they cut too slowly for me <GRIN>

                        I also suggest a skip-tooth blade; and use the largest that you can maneuver around the piece.

                        Bob
                        www.GrobetUSA.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Like Marsha, I turn up the speed as high as it can go on my Shop Smith...and feed very slowly...

                          Bob
                          www.GrobetUSA.com

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                          • #14
                            Beautiful work on the ornaments Marsha. I'm just now copying the pattern for the compound cut guitar by Steve Miklos that was in last years Holiday issue. Thought I'd make a few for the Holiday Craft Show at Cedar Lakes this weekend. The clamp in your photo looks like just the ticket!!! Now I've got to build a clamp first!! I also like your "drying rack"...simple yet functional. Thanks for the great photos of your work and the other ideas I'm going to "borrow" from you!!!
                            If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bob D,

                              Dianna Thompsen uses the Polar # 5 and 7. That is a skip tooth blade with no reverse teeth, what you don't need with compound cutting anyway. You throw the pieces what have the fuss on it away anyway. A blade cuts better with an higher than a low speed. With low speed you might just push a little too hard into the blade and the blade will start cutting with a bevel.

                              Mike M
                              SD Mike

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