Scroll Saw Techniques
Basic Scroll Saw Cutting:
The most important thing to remember when cutting with a scrollsaw,
it to not try to go too fast. Most scrollsaws have very small motors
and very fine blades. They are not designed for speed cutting. If
you try to cut too fast, especially on hard woods, the blade will
have a tendency to walk in its own direction. The scrollsaw will
then be in control and NOT you. If you find that you are breaking
a lot of blades, this is a good indication of excessive speed.
Use an even consistent pressure, always pushing the wood into the
the front face of the blade and NOT the side. If you are trying
to cut a long sloping curve, try feeling the radius in your body
and flow around the curve rather than just using eye hand co-ordination
to constantly tweek your position relative to the pencil line. It
sounds kind of weird, but it will produce a more consistent curve
rather than a very jerky line.... try on an unmarked board first
to get the feel.
Always use the largest blade you can get
away with, since small blades are more likely to break and much
more sensitive to correct blade tension and operating speed.
When drilling initial pilot holes, be sure to use a scrap board
under your work, to prevent tearout on the back side caused by traditional
steel drill bits. This will not matter if there is lots of waste
wood to be cut off, but if it is a tight cut, the drill hole may
go side to side of the pencil holes and leave little opportunity
to remove any splintering that may have been caused by the drill
Always drill the pilot hole close to a cut
line, so you're not cutting wood for nothing. I like to place it
near a corner, to create turn room in tight places, but you'll find
every scroller has a different view. For very fine lines, use a
pocket knife to create an access slit...... but use with caution
and watch your hands!
When trying to thread the blade through fine
interior holes try sharpening the end of the blade to a point, for
Scrollsaw "veining" is the process
of cutting a single kerf line in your artwork to represent features
of the item being cutout... ie. like the veins in a leaf or the
folds of fabric in clothing.
Vary the size of your scrollsaw blade, to
change the thickness of the line you are trying to cut. Thicker
blades will create a more obvious cut line. For very fine lines,
use a sharp pocket knife to create a slit in the wood. It doesn't
always have to go right through the wood, as all you're really trying
to do is create an artistic feature.