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  • Favorite wood to scroll

    Hi everyone.
    It seems like people are always trying to scroll different types of wood...so here's a question:

    What is your favorite wood to scroll (for the projects you are most interested in/have the most fun doing/do the most of)?

    Why does that wood work so well for that type of project?

    Bob
    www.GrobetUSA.com

  • #2
    I use Oak,Walnut,Cherry,and Baltic Birch.
    In past years I have made a lot of Christmas ornaments, for them I use oak, walnut, and cherry. I like red and white oak the best.
    Bob
    Delta P-20 & Q-3

    I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!

    Comment


    • #3
      Bob,

      I like to do a little of everything. I'm currrently finishing up a Desk Clock for my brother-in-law who is a mechanical engineer. It has Depth Gauges, Calipers...etc on it with a clock. I really went crazy on this one. The base is Walnut, the 'instruments' are tiger maple, a small rod is red oak, a 'block' that the caliper's are 'measuring' is paduak and the name is in cursive font made out of Holly to make a good contrast witht he walnut.

      Comment


      • #4
        Until recently, all my stuff was made out of MDF! Proper wood is (believe it or not) very difficult to acquire in these parts. Recently, however, I've had some oak and mahogany to work with. I found mahogany much easier than the oak because the grain is less pronounced, so there wasn't as much variable blade resistance.

        I've got some lime and sycamore awaiting my attention - they should be quite straight forward to work. In fact I've worked a little lime in the past (about 3 cuts only!) and found it very friendly. I anticipate enjoying the lime more than any other I've used to date.

        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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        • #5
          Out of the woods

          I have to say my favorite is cherry for its beauty and the ease of cutting. I also like black walnut. For years I frowned upon plywood. Then I read that plywood was originally created for fretwork because of the stability. I don't frown quite so much. Baltic birch is my choice of ply. I like the number of plys and the consistancy of the material. I have scrolled in everything from red oak to luan panelling, each has its merits.

          The more I get into scrolling the more I realize there is not one species of wood that is "best" for scrolling, much of it depends on the project you are doing. I have also found that the grain of the wood plays a bigger part than the species. I could have some quartersawn cedar that would be better for a project than a piece of ripped cherry the same size.

          There is no teacher like experience. Even if you cut a project only to find it is unstable, it is not a total loss, you have learned something about the materials you are using. The main thing is have fun. I don't know why anyone would scroll if they didnt enjoy it.

          Happy sawdust making
          CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
          "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
          Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

          Comment


          • #6
            Gill,

            What you call Lime in your neck of the woods is what we call Basswood in the states...right?

            Bob
            www.GrobetUSA.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BobD
              Gill,

              What you call Lime in your neck of the woods is what we call Basswood in the states...right?

              Bob
              Is it really? Well, you learn something new every day! Thanks for pointing it out - I'll try to remember that.

              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


              • #8
                I meant it as a question....Is basswood lime?....


                Sorry I wasn't more clear!
                Bob
                www.GrobetUSA.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here I thought he had cut down a fruit tree!!

                  T
                  Theresa

                  http://WoodNGoods.weebly.com

                  http://woodngoods.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Bob

                    Apparently, the answer is yes - basswood is also known as lime. However, the American lime is somewhat different to the European lime, according to this description:

                    While Tilia americana is the most commercially important and abundant of the native basswood species in the United States and Canada, there are others.

                    The next most common basswood species is Tilia heterophylla or white basswood. Other species include Tilia venulosa of the southern Appalachians, Tilia neglecta and Tilia alabamensis — but these trees grow in much smaller quantities. The less common species are rarely separated commercially but usually sold as white basswood. In some markets the heartwood is sold as basswood and the sapwood as white basswood.

                    European lime, primarily from species Tilia vulgaris and Tilia europaea, is known commercially as lime, linden and tilleul. While basswood has an average weight of 27 pounds per cubic foot, European lime’s average weight is 34 pounds per cubic foot. European lime is used for many of the same uses as basswood although carving is still considered its most important use.

                    It is also used for making cutting boards used in leather work because of its resistance to splitting. It is also used for hat blocks, piano keys, harps, toys, artificial limbs, clogs and shoe soles. A small amount of European lime is also sliced into decorative veneers.
                    Interesting stuff .

                    Originally posted by Theresa
                    I thought he had cut down a fruit tree!!
                    I presume 'Gill' is a masculine name in the US? It isn't in the UK !

                    Gill
                    Last edited by Gill; 05-04-2005, 11:20 AM.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Being relatively new to scrolling I haven't tried an abudant variety of materials yet but I thought I'd chime in with my observations anyway. I have used luan, pine, walnut, mdf, and press board thus far. Luan seems to splinter ALOT and no amount of sanding seemed to help me. Pine was soft and forgiving, I enjoyed it very much. The walnut cut slower than the pine obviously but gave the prettiest finish. It is where I will need to learn patience for the craft. MDF cuts well but the speed needs to be right, I suffered a bit of chipout until I got the feed rate set. Lastly, press board cuts ok, thin and useful for certain projects I guess. It cuts really fast as it's pretty much cardboard so you can make a mistake in a hurry. I actually used peg board to make a key holder, so the other thing to beware of there is when the blade breaks through to the next peg hole. As long as you are maintaing good control of the workpiece it's pretty easy I think.

                      BTW, it's a toss up between the ease of pine and the finish of walnut for me thus far.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Go to my web site and click on scroll saw samples and you will see that I use mainly oak and some walnut for trim and a few other kind. Oak is used the most. Years ago all houses had dark cabinets about everything had to be dark. Now it has to be light. Most houses of the last 15-20 years is Oak cabinets and oak trim. Just go dumpster diving and you will see almost nothing but oak pieces. When you go to a craftshows you will sell more items made from light wood, like oak as from walnut. Have sold at many craftshows over the years and most people always went for the lighter looking items. Luan is very bad for scroll sawing. The inside is soft, that is why they use it as an underlay in houses. It splinters and very hard to sand. Before you know it, you sanded through the wood. MDF is not used much. It has a lot of glue which dulls the blade very fast. Baltic Birch plywood is good, they like it for making portraits. Press board is about the same as MDF not used much. Pine is soft and cuts a little faster as hard wood but hardwood is the choice for me and most of the other scrollers.

                        Mike M
                        SD Mike

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                        • #13
                          As far as favorites I really do not have one but I only use hardwoods. I will on occasion use a oak plywood or baltic birch or finnish birch but not often. I will scroll and use all hardwoods including many exotics. But the most widely used is red oak. It is the cheapest I use and finishes very well. As far as cutting the easiest I would have to say the mahagony family and walnut. They are a softer version of hardwoods.
                          John T.

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                          • #14
                            Money-wise and availability-wise, I use what I can get at the nearest Home Depot - which is red oak, occasionally birch, and poplar. (All 4/4, or actually 3/4") I have become quite fond of the poplar - it has a lot of color variation (although it fades somewhat with time) attractive grain, and it cuts smooth and slick - like a good hardwood (which it is). I also cut some mahogany, and some of the 1/4" and 1/8" baltic birch plywood. What I found out there is those thin woods like to be cut in a stack, or they will tend to break out and generally misbehave. I am looking foreward to the time I can try some walnut or cherry - I know they are yummy to carve. Sandy

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                            • #15
                              One of the problems I've encountered with mahogany is that it can be fragile when you rout it. I had a very frustrating time recently after cutting some, then trying to round it over using a Dremel set in a router table. I must have had the cutter set too aggressively.

                              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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