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  • Soft Wood vs Hard Wood

    Just thought I would mention something I personally found interesting.

    The first piece of wood that I cut on my scroll saw was a piece of poplar. Then I was reading different articles and I think a few posts here, that a beginner should start with a softwood such as pine to get used to their saw.

    So down I went to the local hardware store a purchased a bit of pine and some oak to try out some different woods.

    So far I have personally found the pine more difficult to cut with and have broken more blades on the pine than the other hardwoods. Maybe the pine was still a bit "wet"? even though it is supposed to be "kiln dried".

    Any thoughts?

    By the way all my wood was purchased the same thickness for comparison in cutting.

  • #2
    IMHO, using softwood is more of an ecomomical issue than ease of cutting. Pine is cheap and readily available. The logic being that you might as well use it to practice on instead of expensive hardwoods. I've never liked scrolling pine, the varying density in the grain pattern makes it hard to follow a line (for me at least). Also there can be a lot of pitch in pine that would gum up the blade and dull it faster than cutting hardwood.

    If I were looking for a cheap material for practice, plywood scraps would work. You can get a 5' x 5' piece of 1/4" baltic birch around here for about $18 a sheet.

    If you have a ready supply of hardwood (scraps & cutoffs are best for practice, don't be afraid to do a little dumpster diving ), then I would go ahead and use them. I think the biggest thing that beginners have to get used to is that a scrollsaw doesn't cut nearly as fast as other powered saws, so you have to learn to slow down and let the saw cut at its own pace.
    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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    • #3
      I totally agree with Bill. I'm just replying so you know others are paying attention to the question at hand.
      Jeff Powell

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      • #4
        Originally posted by workin for wood
        I totally agree with Bill. I'm just replying so you know others are paying attention to the question at hand.
        *ditto* for me too
        Mia

        We are the music makers.
        We are the dreamers of dreams.


        Easy scrollin' with a DW788

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        • #5
          I just thought it was kind of interesting.

          I've read quite a bit about some of the issues that beginners have to deal with and it's kind of funny, because I am finding it to be the opposite for me.

          As far as cost factor goes, it doesn't seem to be a big issue in my area and for the projects I am currently doing. The hardwoods are slightly more expensive, but not enough to make a difference.(for me anyways )

          I also am having no problems with straight lines. Sometimes I go off the line on other poarts, but not enough to make an issue about. I guess I just have a good eye.

          Also I have had better success with the super fine blades (sorry I don't get the number thing yet, but they are 20 tooth extra smooth finish cutting), which I haven't broken at all, but the heavy or bigger size blades I seem to break constantly.

          I guess the main thing is I am having fun and learning fairly quickly. I have cut about 8 little 3d jigsaw animals (you know the kind that stand upright) and each one was a little better than the last.

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          • #6
            Sounds to me like you are well on your way. Just keep doing what you are doing with whatever material is readily available and you'll be fine.

            Good luck and have fun making sawdust!
            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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