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Spiral blades

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  • Spiral blades

    I'm looking for some advice on spiral blades. I've used them only once with not so good results. However, I want to work at bettering my scroll saw skills.

    I've recently purchased a plan that suggests spiral blades. So:

    1. What are some basic tips for using spiral blades?

    2. I believe I am going to use 1/4 inch curly cherry for this project. What speed(s) would you suggest I work at?

    3. Size - Most of this project - a portrait of Christ - has pretty wide spaces to be cut out. What size spiral blade do you feel would be a good all around blade to use for this project? And finally, I've noticed that Olson has a spiral end and a flat end blade...suggestions?

    Thank you for ANY help you can offer. I do plan on a lot of practicing before jumping into the actual piece, but I want to start out on the right foot.

  • #2
    Re: Spiral blades

    : Depending on your saw I suggest the flat end spiral blades. Frankly I don't like Olsen blades. Flying Dutchman are much better. Check tension freqently. They tend to stretch. For the 1/4 inch a 3 or 5 should be best. Work SLOWLY. Don't force. Relax. Enjoy. A Tung Oil finish should look great on the cherry.


    • #3
      Re: Spiral blades

      Thanks for the advice! I'm going to give Flying Dutchman blades a try. As I said, I plan on doing a lot of practicing before working the the project itself.

      I'll keep you posted.


      • #4
        Re: Spiral blades

        I had a project that I was using oak that was ten years old. I broke every blade :'(I used until the spiral blades I had. If you can't cut it with any other blade try a spiral blade. 8)


        • #5

          All I Have Ever Used Is Spiral. One Note Here-spirals With Flat Ends Are Much Thicker That The Regular Type. And Stay Away From Olson. Mike At Fd And Or Galaxy Is What I Have Used For Yrs Now. I Cut 3/4 Inch Slabs And Mostly Use 2/0 Or A #1 . As Far As Getting Use To Them, Like Everything, It Comes With Pratice. You Can Get The Galaxy Through Wildwood Designs But I Just Bought Some From Mike That Arrived Today And They Are Great Blades. Good Luck !!! Rain Man


          • #6
            Hi Rikk38. I have not yet mastered spirale blades yet. But one of the things i have found that works for me is. (first i have a hegner. bottom feed. ) and one of the things i had troubale with. when i changed to a new hole the blade got longer and narlyer.( bent and twisted on the top of the blade) harder to put in the top clamp. so i discovered. that if i would put my blade throught the hole on my work piece. then clamped it in the top clamp first. that way you can turn it to where it wonts to go. Then put the bottom clamp in its holder. it made it easyer. the top of the blade gets messed up, at least for me it does. so this took the hassale out of trying to get it in. no plieres needed to straiten it out. also you can give it a twist. after you put in the top clamp. before you put it in the bottom clamp. I think they come untwisted alittle. so this helped me. does that make sence. your friend Evie


            • #7
              As for spirals, I would reccommend you use a 2/0 . The bigger blades hog out a lot of wood, so you will actually be cutting slower. You should have no trouble with a 2/0 spiral on wood up to at least 5/8. I have cut many projects out of 3/4 red oak using a spiral, and thats pushing the blade a little. At 5/8 thick, it seems to work just super.So on 1/4 thick, I would definatly stick with a 2/0 . Of all the Olsen blades, the spiral seems to be the only ones I like .I havent tried the new spiral FD blades I have here yet, but they have been getting great comments. I need to make time to throw one on the saw and play with it. I didnt care for the rev tooth spirals, I broke a few of those, but I do think its because I was using a 2/0 on 5/8" red oak so I am thinking the dust was getting trapped in the cut. If you are expecting a good clean smooth finish on your cut, I would suggest a regular blade, as the spirals leave the wood a little rougher. Id run the saw about 2/3 wide open (on my dewalt anyways). I havent used the flat end spirals so cant help ya there. My only other advice I can think of is take your time, and practice a little on that 1/4th curly cherry. Pick a bigger waste area and practice a little there before moving on to the real thing. Good luck, and happy scrolling. Dale
              Dale w/ yella saws


              • #8
                I have used the "NEW" spiral blades from FD they are much easier to control than the standard spiral. It is a shame that the truly round blades are no longer made. They are awesome for veining (large veins.) They looked like a small round file for those of you that never saw one.
                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


                • #9
                  Here we go again with the blade thing. I have used spiral blades for a long time and they are good for some things and not so good for others (naturally). Please do not be lead astray by folks touting certain brand names. Most of the "big name" blades are good. I use Olson all the time as well as FD and Pegas. They are all good, but cut a bit differently and some folks find one easier to control or do what they want. I use #2 spirals for clearing out the larger areas and 2/0 for smaller work on the details. The flat end blades are easier to intall in most blade holders. I haven't noticed the differnce in thickness that was mentioned, but maybe I wasn't paying attention. As for saw speed, I set my RBI at about 750, but speed is also a personal preference based on the operator's ability to control the cut.
                  BobD, what does the n/a mean under # of posts?
                  Old Mooner


                  • #10
                    Spiral Blades

                    Dale Is Right



                    • #11
                      The NA under the posts means that they are no longer members. The post was 2 years old when it was ressurected again, and we've got a purge after 1 year of no activity...

                      So if you're a member, you've gotta post of PM at least once a year to stay a member <grin>



                      • #12
                        Does that mean I am a member for the next 1000 years
                        CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


                        • #13
                          I think so carl. your stuck with us now. for a 1000. + years. I can dill with that. can you dill with me for the next 400. hahahahaha your friend Evie you might spell differant. lol


                          • #14
                            I think the key is to use the type of blade you're comfortable with, especially when doing rather detailed work. There's a poplular myth that you can't do intricate portraits unless you use spiral blades. I do use spirals on occasion, they have their place in my tool arsenal but the majority of my cuttings are done with regular ol' flat blades and I regularly cut portrait type cuttings with upwards of 500 cuts in them. I'm most confident and comfortable with flats, doesn't make them better or worse, just my preference. I urge you to make up your own mind and take what the "experts" say with a grain of salt.

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