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Can Your Scroll Composite Wood?

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  • Can Your Scroll Composite Wood?

    Hi!
    We are currently building a deck with composite wood material.
    Since there will be some chunks of it leftover, I was wondering, can you scroll saw it? Would it be too hard on the saw blade? Would it be really messy?
    Has anyone tried it? Oo, and finishing it... how would you do it if it's sawable?

    Thanks,
    Sandy
    Wytyger (Sandy)

  • #2
    By composite wood do you mean a waferboard? or more of an MDF?
    Both can be scrolled, but MDF will finish better.

    You may find that waferboard is not bonded quite as strong and may end up with a few flakes or splinters coming off the edges.

    I can see lots of possibilities with both products, although most traditional scrollers will say run away and call me crazy.

    The materials you chose will dictate what type of scrolling you can do. I would not do a Victorian fretwork pattern with waferboard, but then again it may be fun to try.

    Just don't get discouraged trying a new material. Enjoy what you learn.
    CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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    • #3
      Can Your Scroll Composite Wood?

      Carl,

      From what I know, it is a combination of wood saw dust and plastic.
      Once installed, the decking does not need to be stained because the material is colored (brown in this case). We haven't started cutting pieces yet, but the composite got delivered this morning so there will be leftovers soon!
      It's pretty thick so I wouldn't try fretwork on it, but maybe some chunky animal puzzles or something might be possible.

      Sandy
      Wytyger (Sandy)

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      • #4
        You'll just have to do a little experimenting Sandy. The only thing I know for sure about that stuff is that it's as hard as a woodpecker's lips!!! I
        'd guess it will eat blades pretty quickly!!!
        If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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        • #5
          I made my deck out of composite "TREX". It is recycled milk cartons and cedar chips. I also made a flower pot, a bench and a fountain stand out of the leftovers. I have planed it, table sawed it, routered it, and can't imagine why you couldn't scroll it. It's just like cutting plastic. I would plain down your boards before scrolling. I don't know about your boards, but mine are molded slightly higher in the center so that water runs off the side of the boards nicely...preventing any puddling. You need the boards to be flat to scroll them safely. Also, you can screw it, or you can glue it with PL Adhesive. You can sure sand it too, but you need to go to finer grits than you would with regular wood because of the plastic, you may need to go all the way to a wet sand.
          Jeff Powell

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          • #6
            I must be in the dark ages. That product never even crossed my mind.

            I would love to see any projects you do in it.
            CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
            "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
            Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

            Comment


            • #7
              Sandy,
              One thing you have to be very careful with when planing this material down is not to get it too thin. I once tried to make a trellis out of it and sliced it into 1/4" thick slats. At that thickness it was VERY brittle and became useless. The least bit of bending pressure just snapped it. You may want to consider a scrolling project that needs thicker stock.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Can You Scroll Composite Wood?

                Thanks for all the advice!
                And you are not kidding, that stuff is "harder than a woodpeckers lips!"
                We were so anxious to start the floor boards of our deck, we opened the bundle that was dropped off yesterday and cut a few boards. The stuff is even hard to drill into!
                I didn't know I'd need to plane it, but that seems right, considering the uneven surface on the bottom. (I didn't know about that until I flipped it over.)
                I think with all the new knowledge I am obtaining, I will wait a bit and think how much work this "wood" might be.


                Sandy
                Wytyger (Sandy)

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