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..Basic Description & Use
..Best Scroll Saw?
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..Scroll Saw Blade Guide
..Blade Tension & Misc.
..Basic Cutting Skills
..Pattern Transferring
..Cutting Multiples
..Cutting Plexiglass
..Scroll Saw Safety Rules

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  HOME TECHNIQUES SCROLLSAWING Scroll Saw Techniques

Scroll Saw Techniques
... and basic how-to scroll saw cutting ideas

Basic Scroll Saw Cutting:

Speed:
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.

Pressure:
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.

Pilot holes:
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 bit.

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 easier insertion.

Veining:

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.


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theWoodbox.com Jan 2007