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  • The best blades?????

    I am just getting back into this again after years of non-cutting. Things have really changed. I need some good advice. I have the Ryobi scroll saw, and am trying to get back into the swing of things. I need to know which blades are the best for cutting designs, names etc...form 1" thick pine. I am snapping blades left and right. I have tried the Ryobi blades and Craftsman blades. I think part of my problem was the speed I had my saw set to. I lowered that and it helped some. I keep breaking my blades down toward the bottom. Don't know if my tension is wrong, or I'm pushing my wood too hard or I just have crummy blades. I am using 18.5 to 25 tpi blades because I have some tight turns. I am also experimenting with the skip tooth blade, I think that's what I have. That seems to help in the tight turns. Does anybody have suggestions on the best blades for me on this? I want to bring in a little income with this and I LOVE doing it, but it frustrates me to have to change the blade so much.

    Thanks,

    Jason

  • #2
    As most scrollers will agree with, there are 3 major high quality brands of blades available. They are Olson, Pegas and Flying Dutchman. You are better off sticking to 1 of these 3. Any more elaboration could refuel a blade war. If you need online sources for any of these, send me a PM. If you still encounter problems after using one of these brands, let us know.
    Mike

    Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
    www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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    • #3
      To elaborate a bit...blade choice among many scrollers is akin to choice in cars...Ford fans vs. Chevy fans...and the debate can get very heated!!! My standard suggestion is to try them all and see which you like best! If you look under "other great sites" in the left column, you can find links to retailers for all three blades.

      In general, for 1"-thick pine, I'd use a #5 blade or something very close to a #5 (a #4 or #6 would work as well...). Since you're just getting back into it, I'd suggest a skip-tooth blade; that will clear the sawdust better, which keeps the blade from getting as hot, which weakens the blade.

      Tension: You shouldn't be able to bend the blade more than 1/8" when you press on it. Tension until the blade is that tight. I tend to over tension rather than under tension.

      Speed: I run my saw as fast as I feel comfortable cutting. The faster the saw is running, the less likely you are to put pressure on a blade and break it. If you are running your saw at a slow speed, you have a tendency to feed the wood into it too quickly, which can break your blade.

      Bob Duncan
      Technical Editor
      www.GrobetUSA.com

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      • #4
        I'm not touting one brand over another here but I would recommend you try the Olson #5 PGT (precision ground). The reason being is that this blade is quite a bit sturdier than the others and more forgiving of errors in sawing technique, ie; side pressure etc. Once you become familiar with the saw again you can use any of the good brands successfully. At least you will be able to practice without the frustration of frequent blade breaks. Just be advised that the PGT is a pretty aggressive blade and cuts pretty fast.
        If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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        • #5
          Jason,

          When you say the blades are breaking toward the bottom, does that mean they are breaking at the lower blade holder or at about the table height? I'm not familiar with Ryobi's blade clamps, but if the clamps are crimping the blade, which could be caused by a burr on a set screw or some kind of uneven pressure in the clamp, that will weaken the blade, causing it to break easily.

          If the blade is breaking above the table, then it's probably a combination of feed rate, tension and pressure and perhaps too small a blade. Making tight turns in thick material, with a thin blade can shorten their life expectancy as well. Do you feel the blade grab, trying to lift the wood off the table just before it breaks? if so, that's a sign that you are forcing the blade.

          It's likely that the Ryobi and Craftsman blades are made by one of the major manufacturers anyway, so quality of blade probably isn't as big a factor. I suspect that it's more an issue of the proper size and tooth configuration than the particular brand you are using.
          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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          • #6
            I have never had any luck with Olson blades- just me! I use On-Line Platinum #7 for just about all of my intarsia work- which is usually 3/4" to 1" wood - even pine. You can get them at JGR's site. Could be your tension that's causing them to break but it's hard to say. I used to break a ton of blades with my little Delta but with my DeWalt, It's very rare that I do.
            Janette
            www.square-designs.com

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            • #7
              The Best Blades???

              Thanks for the replies!!!
              In response to where my blades are breaking, they are 98% breaking about 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the lower clamp. They just go...and I don't feel like I'm pushing too hard. Seem that the most breaks occur while getting into the wood. I'm concentrating hard to get into it easily.

              I will look at all the blades suggested, and thanks greatly. BTW, what's a PM?
              Sorry, I'm new to these kind of posts.

              I really do appreciate the info, and don't want to start a war.

              Can these blades be purchased only online? Or is there a retailer that sells them?

              Thanks,

              Jason

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              • #8
                It's generally much cheaper to buy blades on-line. Typically Olson (for example) will retail for $5-$6 a dozen locally. You can buy them on line for around $2-$3 a dozen.

                Just as a test, next time you put in a new blade. Clamp & tension it as normal. Then remove it without cutting anything. Look to see of the bottom end of the blade is bent where it clamps into the blade holder. If it is, then your problem lies with the blade clamp.
                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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                • #9
                  Use the biggest blade you can get away with. The bigger the blade, the harder to break them.
                  Jeff Powell

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                  • #10
                    Besides having a defective lower clamp, you may just be tightening it too much. This cause the blade to bend somewhat around the tip of the set screw. Then when the saw runs, the bent area flexes and ultimately breaks.

                    Pete

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                    • #11
                      Jason
                      PM is a private message that you send to a member of the board.
                      Diane
                      Dragon
                      Owner of a nice 21" Excalibur
                      Owner of a Dewalt 788
                      PuffityDragon on AFSP

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                      • #12
                        Can't help with your problem Jason but welcome to the forum
                        kevin/pitbull.

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                        • #13
                          The Best Blades???

                          Thanks to all for the feedback.
                          Thanks for the explaination for PM!! Now I feel educated!!

                          I'll try the different blades and see if it helps or if I'm just a klutz......

                          Jason

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                          • #14
                            Jason, does your saw use pin end blades, or flat end blades? and which style are you having trouble with? Welcome aboard, we will try to figger out your problem. Dale
                            Dale w/ yella saws

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                            • #15
                              Jason, if you are cutting 1" pine you don't want a blade with 18 or 25 t.p.i. You should be using a blade with less t.p.i. such as a # 3 or #5 with about 13 t.p.i. Using a blade with that many teeth the sawdust can't get out and causes a lot of friction thus breaking your blade.
                              Mick, - Delta P-20

                              A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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