Scroll Saw Basics

by Lee Bowman - Date: 2007-01-23 - Word Count: 410 Share This!

Scroll Saw Basics


Lee Bowman

If you are wanting to try your hand at scroll work, and have not yet bought a saw, I hope these guidelines will help.

I like at least a 16" scroll saw as it gives you more working area.

The saw should be a variable speed saw. Different woods cut better at different speeds.

The controls for on/off, and to set speed, should be right up front.

Next check to see if it comes with adapters so you can use pin-less blades as well as pinned blades.

Some scroll saws come with a light mounted near the front to make it easy to see your pattern lines.

Speaking of patterns, DO NOT use carbon paper to transfer your patterns to the piece you are going to work on because the carbon paper will stain the wood.

The best way to transfer your patterns is to use WAX FREE Graphite paper. The graphite will not go into the grain of the wood. You can get WAX FREE Graphite paper at art supply stores and most stationers stores.

Before mounting the scroll saw on your bench, get some good carpet padding 1/2" thick, sufficient to cover the bottom of the saw times 2. The padding is to eliminate most of the noise and vibration of the saw.

Next set the saw on your bench where you want to mount it and mark the 4 corner holes to bolt the saw down. After you drill the holes, take both pieces of the padding and fit them over the holes.

To create the holes in the padding, take a ball-peen hammer and tap the padding over the holes. Leave the padding in place and set the saw down to match the holes and bolt the saw in place. Make sure the bolts are long enough so you can put a flat washer and nut on the bottom.

Now lets talk about blades. There are lots of different blades, some are pinned and some are pin-less. Pinned blades have a pin on each end which holds the blade in place. Pin-less blades require a bracket on each end that is furnished with the saw if the saw is designed to use both types of blades.

I use 1/8" flat blades for general cutting. The round blades are great if you have a design with right angles. With the round blade you don't have to back out when you come to a right angle. You just turn the material a 1/4 turn and keep cutting.

Related Tags: scroll saw, scroll work, scroll saw blades

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