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Scroll saws and their use

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I have seen some wonderful tutorials on Table top saws and other power equipment but never seen on on Scroll saws 

Hope fully I am not an idiot and I know where the ON switch is but some tricks of the trade would be very useful 

I have a Ryobie Scroll saw possibly not the best, but the best for my budget. The center piece of plastic has a large hole in the center ( much larger than the blade) with two slots at 90" from each other made for angling the table top but with loads of space between the blade and hole edge. It is not flush with the work surface .5mm out has any one modified this 

The Blowing bellows would be use less on a 1 year olds birthday cake but been a non smoker i can still manage to blow away any dust 

So my question is really Scroll speed, Number of teeth and speed (RPM not narcotics) 

Thank you 


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I have book and I forget where I bought it (possibly Lowe's)...  Big Book of Scroll Saw Woodworking from Fox Chapel Publishing.  It's supposed to be the "best" from Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts Magazine.  ISBN 978-1-56523-426-0,   I've found it very helpful and I continue to reference it.

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I'm no expert with the scroll saw, being a relative newcomer to this piece of machinery, but to overcome the issue with the large-ish hole in the centre of the table, I just made a new table top from 3mm MDF. It is exactly the same size as the original but with only a very small hole in the centre - just large enough to pass a blade through. The new top is simply placed on top of the original and held in place with clamps. It works a treat. One "upgrade" to this idea might be to coat the MDF with wax of some sort to make it easier to glide the workpiece over, but I haven't found this to be an issue........yet.


From trial and error, I have found that the thinner the workpiece stock, the greater number of teeth you should have in the blade (which I think reduces the tendency for the blade to "grab" the work piece). Also, the thinner the workpiece stock, the slower the blade speed - for the same reason. As I said though, these are only my observations from trial and error with some very thin stock (1/32").


I believe Greg Herbert posted something about recommended blades at one point - might have been on MSW 1.0 though.


My only other observation is that scroll saw blades are just as capable of inflicting serious bodily harm as any other power tool. Don't ask me how I know, but I was lucky!

Edited by gjdale
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Hi Andy:

  I have a King Scroll saw and got the book as well. Excellent reference. If you go on line and check out Intarsia wood working. These people use scroll saws exclusively, and the information on various web sites is outstanding. One blade I wound up purchasing and use is a round shaft cutting blade. They have various "teeth". What I like about this is you don't have to move the blade to do work 90 degrees to each cut. Because it is a shaft or round you just move the work in that direction. It took me a while to get used to using this type of blade but I will not use any other.

 Check out the Intarsia sites and they will tell you where to get the blades. Its been so long since I ordered I cant come across where off hand.


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Thanks  Mark 

I will access to a machine shop soon and take you up on that idea as well as making a new cutting surface out of lexan to allow smooth move ment and a very small gap between blade and table.

I think a Scroll saw will be part of my modeling life for some time to come and so, make a good one with great advise is the way to go 


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