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  • Spirals

    Aarghhhhh! I need a beer!
    Ian

    Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

  • #2
    Ian, I was pretty surprised when I went back to the board and saw the title of your message, and here's why.

    I spent a couple hours in the shop this afternoon trying out spirals, I had tried them before but never cut anything with them except some letters and practice lines. Today I actually cut something, with them. I wanted to know what all the hype was about so I gave them an honest try. What I decided is
    1) They are very aggresive and you must have absolute control over your piece of wood. I was cutting 3/4" pine and the blade went through it very easy.
    2) They will move in any direction you want, and it was more like tracing the line then cutting it. You sorta steer the wood as opposed to turning it.
    3) The kerf is very wide, compared to a straight blade.
    4) They create a tremendous amount of dust, much more then a straight blade.
    5) I might try them again but I doubt they'll become my regular blade.
    Here's a couple pics of my first attempt,
    backButterfly 1.jpg frontButterfly 2.jpg

    Marsha
    LIFE'S SHORT, USE IT WELL

    Comment


    • #3
      Marsha;
      You did very well for your first try at using spirals. It is generally easy to see if a finished piece was cut with spirals or with a flat blade and this is one of those cases. . Did you find yourself wanting to spin the wood occasionally even though you were using a spiral. ? ? That happens to me whenever I try them and I have to correct myself and move the wood in all directions instead of spinning it around with my finger tips.
      Your findings on them about wide kerf and tremendous amount of sawdust are right on with what most die hard flat blade users report not to mention the roughness of the cut on the edges compared to the smooth edge that flat blades produce.
      Sounds like you will be joining the majority of scrollers that uses spirals just when you need to when the size of the piece is too large to spin within the throat of your saw.

      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


      • #4
        Marsha you did very good for your first time. I love spirals and soon you will be able to even shave those little fuzzies off with your blade. Just rember that spirals do have a direction to insert them - sticky side goes down when you run youur finger along the blade. and I am not sure but that is what looks like is why you have the fuzzies ( maybe the blade was inverted) I really do hope you continue to use spirals and it will open up a whole new avenue to scrolling for you.
        Sharon

        Comment


        • #5
          Looks like you got smoother cuts with your spirals than I did, Marsha. What size blade were you using?

          I was cursing the spirals when I managed to chop out a piece that was meant to stay after forgettting momentarily that spirals cut all ways .. duh! If you look at the pic you can probably see what's missing ...

          I do kind of like the effect the spirals gave on the piece I cut though... it's the first time I've used spirals other than for a couple of bits of veining once before...

          Other than the straight edges on the feather section and the shape of the wood itself this was all cut with a #5 spiral ... maybe a smaller one would have been better ...

          Yo're right abot the dust for sure ... I was covered in cedar sawdust when I'd finished!! Think wood-coloured snowman

          Wood is just over 1/2 inch thick red cedar ... the piece is about 14 inches high. Perhaps harder and thicker wood might make the spirals easier to control?
          Attached Files
          Ian

          Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

          Comment


          • #6
            The best way I've found to control spirals is to use FLAT blades

            Before I get blasted, I'll explain...... I'll use spirals if I'm cutting a pattern with "spots" as they remove a bunch of wood fast. For all the other rare times I use spirals, I almost ALWAYS run a flat blade down the pattern line first. Then, if the "vein" would look better "wider", I'll run a spiral down the flat blade cut. piece of cake to control it that way.......
            ‎"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

            Comment


            • #7
              That's an interesting way of doing it BF - I'll give that a try next time ..
              Ian

              Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

              Comment


              • #8
                My first try using spirals was almost a disaster! No only did I lack adequate control but installing the blade gave me a fit. When I would tighten the blade down, it would bend the end of the blade making it impossible to thread into a gate hole. It I tried to straighten it out, the tip would break off. I may try them again but what it the trick to installing the blade.
                Mike

                Craftsman 16" VS, Puros Indios and Sam Adams!
                Scrollin' since Jun/2006

                My Gallery

                http://scrollcrafters.com (reciprocal links welcomed)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mike, that is about the same experience that I had with spirals. After fiddleing around for awhile I got one to stay in the holders. I used them to cut letters out of a board that was too long to turn around in my saw. It turned out all right for what it was used for.
                  Bill

                  I have an RBI Hawk 220-3 VS

                  Visit my Gallery
                  and website www.billswoodntreasures.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can't seem to get on with spirals, so i do like BF does.
                    --- i must try harder---

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have spirals but have not used them yet and thank Sharon, I didn't know there was a up and down on those. Thought they could go which ever way.
                      Dragon
                      Owner of a nice 21" Excalibur
                      Owner of a Dewalt 788
                      PuffityDragon on AFSP

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Are all spirals flat-ended? I noticed on Mike's site that some are described as being flat-ended but others don't say?

                        What kind of spirals are people having trouble with clamping? That's one problem I didn't have ..lol
                        Ian

                        Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I tried one once and had a lot of trouble because the ends are spiral and not flat. So I guess you have to clamp extremely tight for it to stay in there properly. It rolls between the clamps.
                          Dragon
                          Owner of a nice 21" Excalibur
                          Owner of a Dewalt 788
                          PuffityDragon on AFSP

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dragon.
                            For the twisted ends if you have thumb screw type blade holders just straighten out the ends by twisting them between between two pairs of pliers or tap them lightly on the ends with a hammer while putting the ends on a piece of steel like a vice anvil. On my saw the blade holder straightens the ends itself without having to straighten them first because it has two flat plates that come together to clamp the blade in the holder.
                            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


                            • #15
                              I used spirals extensively for the first time making Christmas projects this year. It didn't take me long to get the hang of cutting with them and I actually found them kind of fun to use........once I got the blasted things to stay in the blade clamps!

                              I too had a lot of trouble getting the spirals to clamp in my saw. I tried straightening them before inserting them and broke several. Then I tried twisting them slightely with pliers while tightening the thumbscrew, but found that extremely tedious because I was making a lot of inside cuts.

                              Many times the clamps would crimp the end of the blade and it would break before I even started the saw. Then there were the times the blade would slip out of the clamp during a cut, get crimped in the wood and break.

                              I must have broken 3 dozen blades on this project and was about at my wits end by the time I got it finished. Not sure I am too anxious to try them again until I figure out what I'm doing wrong or maybe I should buy the spirals with the flat ends.
                              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."

                              Comment

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