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Monkey Paws

Learning to use a scroll saw

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@Fred Wilson

@Smallpatch

@Artie

@Wichman3

@oleglenn

@Harry Brink

@Just Larry

@DuckSoup

@jttheclockman

@RustyFN

 

Opportunity to share your expertise and experiences. Thanks in advance.

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Is it variable speed? If so what speed are you cutting at? What blade are you using? I use a DeWalt. I cut on around half speed. It might be a little different for me because I use spiral blades 99% of the time. It also goes from hard to cut to easy for me. I don't know if it is the difference between cross grain and with grain. I like to rest my hands on the table while I cut so when it does get easy and wants to cut faster I can slow it down faster and keep it under control. Circles are hard to cut, keep practicing. You also might want to use a less aggressive blade to slow the cutting down. The chatter is probably from the saw running too fast. Hope some of this helps.

Edited by RustyFN

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I don't understand your comment about it chatters. Are you meaning the wood is jumping up and down?

 What size blade? or how many teeth per inch are you using.If you are new to scrolling using a blade with reverse teeth on the bottom of the blade will make the the blade jerk the wood up off the table. So if that is happening I would suggest getting fine tooth blades with all teeth going the same direction.

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What you are exspeircing is sawing across the grain. Some wood is harder to cut like that so you need to slow down you feed speed and possibly use a more courser blade. Go slowly with either blade. Let me know if this helped you or not.

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Okay, bout all I can add to this is I scroll sawed (?) for the first time earlier this year, so I’m probably closest to you in experience,  (or more accurately, inexperience). After following your work in other post, this is definitely the grasshopper talking to the master LOL.  It was suggested to me to try the “Scrollsaw Workshop” There are many free online classes there, lots of free advice and plans, and quite frankly I don’t think you could stump Steve with any questions. I highly rate the website. I have a lot of fun, but can’t cut a straight line to save my life, never mind a circle. Pinless blades cut much finer than pin blades, at least for me. Good luck Artie

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The main thing to remember is, let the blade do the work. Don't add a lot of presser

 

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Thanks guys. I have an older Sears Craftsman 16" 1/6th hp SS. What blades would be best if I am doing fine cuts on wood 1/4 to 1/2 wood on a regular basis? I bought some cheap blades from Amazon a while back and I am wondering which brand is best.

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How close are you to a store like WoodCraft that might have a ss set up for demonstration?  Or to another woodworker with a ss?

I had a cheap Craftsman that I never did get proficient with.  Bought a DeWalt and the difference was "night & day", especially on thicker stock.  This might be one of those "Honey, I liked that saw you gave me so much and had such fun with it I went ahead and upgraded...":rolleyes:

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I have been using my Dewalt for close to 20 years. I have replaced a few parts through this time as well. However, it has surpassed my expectations and am very satisfied with it. The big thing I like about this saw is the ease of setting the blade tension.

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 You could try working with some thin stock plywood, this might make it easier to get a feel for the saw. Start out with some simple patterns this helps and you can finish a project sooner without getting frustrated. Based on some of your previous post you'll have no problem incorporating this into your other projects.

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Monkey,

   Please bear with us (the gang) while we try to trouble shoot your issues.

In no particular order:

1. Is the blade installed correctly, teeth down?

2. pinned or pinless

3. what size blade?

4. Teeth per inch?

5. table sanded and waxed?

6. are you applying downward pressure on the wood to hold it securely to the table? It only takes a couple of pounds of pressure for this and most of us do it unconsiously.

 

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10 hours ago, Cal said:

How close are you to a store like WoodCraft that might have a ss set up for demonstration?  Or to another woodworker with a ss?

I had a cheap Craftsman that I never did get proficient with.  Bought a DeWalt and the difference was "night & day", especially on thicker stock.  This might be one of those "Honey, I liked that saw you gave me so much and had such fun with it I went ahead and upgraded...":rolleyes:

There is a WoodCraft store in Spokane, so that may be an option for you.

 

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14 hours ago, Smallpatch said:

It sounds like your saw uses pin type blades instead of pinless . Pin type has little round pins in each end of the blade to hook into the saws arms. Been a long time but course teeth might be all you can find. But just starting out you need fine teeth to learn to control the board you are cutting...

  Don't try to push the board through the blade, just let it do the cutting with out much pressure against the blade. 

  If you decide to get a better saw then a pinless blade saw would be the way to go. There are so many more blades to be had in the pinless type. 

  All pinless blades will give you a very smooth surface on the side of the wood. The blade is actually buffing the wood as it is cutting..

       The spiral blade is the one exception.Teeth are sticking out in all directions so the edge of the wood will look like a person is driving through hell on cloudy day. But if you choose to use spiral blades that's up to you. The only thing when using a spiral blade , you don't have to spin the wood for the teeth are pointing in all directions. What you give up when using a spiral blade is no experience if later you have to use a straight blade for the type of sawing on certain patterns.

482354483_sameforthesepiecesalso.jpg.1f993d931e4cbb35d2984f0431121e7f.jpg

 All the edges of the wood in these pieces are extremely smooth so when the saw stops running I am through with these pieces as no edges needs smoothing. You can see the shine on the wood if highlighted just right. The picture in the four ground is about 2 1/2" long.

  When sawing, don't completely stop sawing and sit in one place for it will alway show later.

 

  It take many moons sitting behind a scroll saw learning what the saw will do and with using a spiral blade you are getting no experience of controlling the blade when going back to a regular blade..... like a scroll saw was designed to do in the first place. Also the inside cutting on some things needs a small hole drilled to insert the blade. You un hook the top of the blade, insert the blade through the hole, tighten the blade back in its holder then cut out the inside part...If done right and the hole was small enough there will be no evidence there was ever a hole drilled in that area.

 I would use # 5 blades to start with, nothing bigger and it don't hurt if you go smaller.  Just don't use as much tension on the smaller sizes for you will pull them in two.

  Most blades are not lined up with the table when clamped in to the arms. The way they are made a person needs to sit to the right of center. I keep my good eye exactly in line with where the blade will be cutting..

 If the table is not smooth, I use a very fine wet or dry sand paper then finish with a paste wax for more smoothness so the wood will be easier to control around the blade.

  As I am cutting I frequently relax my hold on the wood to make sure I am not pushing the wood sideways. And if I am doing it right  the wood should sit there and the blade staying in the same hole not trying to move one way or the other...But you do have to keep you fingers on the wood at all times just relax them a little to be able to see if there is any pressure from any direction.

  Got some sawing to do right now but when needing more answers all these guys can help I bet.

That is some beautiful work. Maybe someday I will be that good. Thank you for the advice. Slow and steady

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7 hours ago, Wichman3 said:

There is a WoodCraft store in Spokane, so that may be an option for you.

 

I will have to check out the Woodcraft store.

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18 hours ago, Cal said:

How close are you to a store like WoodCraft that might have a ss set up for demonstration?  Or to another woodworker with a ss?

I had a cheap Craftsman that I never did get proficient with.  Bought a DeWalt and the difference was "night & day", especially on thicker stock.  This might be one of those "Honey, I liked that saw you gave me so much and had such fun with it I went ahead and upgraded...":rolleyes:

The wonderful Gal I am married to has been buying Dewalt tools for me for a while. I think I may be able to convince her of the upgrade. Thx

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15 hours ago, Smallpatch said:

It sounds like your saw uses pin type blades instead of pinless . Pin type has little round pins in each end of the blade to hook into the saws arms. Been a long time but course teeth might be all you can find. But just starting out you need fine teeth to learn to control the board you are cutting...

  Don't try to push the board through the blade, just let it do the cutting with out much pressure against the blade. 

  If you decide to get a better saw then a pinless blade saw would be the way to go. There are so many more blades to be had in the pinless type. 

  All pinless blades will give you a very smooth surface on the side of the wood. The blade is actually buffing the wood as it is cutting..

       The spiral blade is the one exception.Teeth are sticking out in all directions so the edge of the wood will look like a person is driving through hell on cloudy day. But if you choose to use spiral blades that's up to you. The only thing when using a spiral blade , you don't have to spin the wood for the teeth are pointing in all directions. What you give up when using a spiral blade is no experience if later you have to use a straight blade for the type of sawing on certain patterns.

482354483_sameforthesepiecesalso.jpg.1f993d931e4cbb35d2984f0431121e7f.jpg

 All the edges of the wood in these pieces are extremely smooth so when the saw stops running I am through with these pieces as no edges needs smoothing. You can see the shine on the wood if highlighted just right. The picture in the four ground is about 2 1/2" long.

  When sawing, don't completely stop sawing and sit in one place for it will alway show later.

 

  It take many moons sitting behind a scroll saw learning what the saw will do and with using a spiral blade you are getting no experience of controlling the blade when going back to a regular blade..... like a scroll saw was designed to do in the first place. Also the inside cutting on some things needs a small hole drilled to insert the blade. You un hook the top of the blade, insert the blade through the hole, tighten the blade back in its holder then cut out the inside part...If done right and the hole was small enough there will be no evidence there was ever a hole drilled in that area.

 I would use # 5 blades to start with, nothing bigger and it don't hurt if you go smaller.  Just don't use as much tension on the smaller sizes for you will pull them in two.

  Most blades are not lined up with the table when clamped in to the arms. The way they are made a person needs to sit to the right of center. I keep my good eye exactly in line with where the blade will be cutting..

 If the table is not smooth, I use a very fine wet or dry sand paper then finish with a paste wax for more smoothness so the wood will be easier to control around the blade.

  As I am cutting I frequently relax my hold on the wood to make sure I am not pushing the wood sideways. And if I am doing it right  the wood should sit there and the blade staying in the same hole not trying to move one way or the other...But you do have to keep you fingers on the wood at all times just relax them a little to be able to see if there is any pressure from any direction.

  Got some sawing to do right now but when needing more answers all these guys can help I bet.

I will check out my saw to see if it needs a tune up.

 

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Smallpatch - GRRRRRRREAT writeup.  Not much I can add to it.  If the problem is with the reverse teeth at the bottom you might give the Flying Dutchman Ultra Reverse.  These have "up cut" teeth every 4 or 5 "down cut" teeth.  Takes the sudden "gotcha" cut from the bottom.  Again - let the blades do the work - it will save YOU work in the long run.

 

(Just my 2% of a buck)

 

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On 11/9/2018 at 10:26 PM, Monkey Paws said:

Thanks guys. I have an older Sears Craftsman 16" 1/6th hp SS. What blades would be best if I am doing fine cuts on wood 1/4 to 1/2 wood on a regular basis? I bought some cheap blades from Amazon a while back and I am wondering which brand is best.

I use Pegas SS blades. You can feed your pattern straight into the blade instead of an angle. Just try a few and see if you like them. I thought if I don't try them I will never know. This is the blade I use most. Modified Geometry (MGT #5

 

https://www.dndsawbladesonline.com/page/79818204

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