The Scroll Saw Lady

Ladies Come Learn To Scroll Saw!

Archive for July 22nd, 2008

Blades and Starting Cuts.

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 22nd July 2008

There are numerous types of blades and just as many people who like the different types of blades. (see picture below)


From left to right you have a skip tooth blade, spiral blade, reverse tooth blade and a larger skip tooth blade.  There are more types but these are your general all purpose.  In time you will learn which blades you like better, for now we will stick to the basics.

Start with a simple skip tooth when you are getting started, a reverse tooth or crown toothed blade will pull your wood in both directions and when you are first starting out you want your wood pulled in only one direction and that is downward.

Spiral blades are usually used for fret work, which is intricate scroll saw work and something one day you will want to get into I am sure.

Attaching The Blade

Blade should be facing teeth towards you and teeth pointing down.  You slowly feed your work into the blade just like on a sewing machine, you work the material into the sewing machine and you do the same thing with your wood.

Start Cutting

To start with, you will want to get scrap wood and just practice easing the wood into the blade and see how easy it is to turn the wood as your move around cutting.  Play with the speeds and see how your turns go as you speed up the movement of the blades and as you slow down the movement of the blades.  Try making sharper and sharper turns, but be prepared for the wood to jump if you make too sharp a turn.

Do NOT Panic.

If at some point you do make too sharp a turn, the wood may get caught or pinched on the blade and jump up and down slapping it self on the surface of your saw.  Don’t panic, it isn’t going anywhere, it is more of shock then anything, and if you are doing fret work it might break the wood, but, calmly turn off the saw!  That is it, no big deal.  Turn off the saw!  Now you can try to remove stuck blade, or push the wood back down on your work surface and turn the saw back on and continue cutting.  No harm done.

Practice for awhile making cuts into and out of the wood.  Watch as you exit the wood, slow down and let the saw ease the blade out of the wood.  You should never be pushing the wood through the blade so as the blade is cutting on an angle, the blade should be doing most of the work and pushing the wood through itself as it cuts, you just guide the wood.

Draw Some Lines On The Wood.

Draw some lines on your wood and try to follow those line, you will notice that many saw blades will tend to go off to the right of the line.  This is because some blades have a burr on them that pulls the wood in that direction, you can do two things here, one compensate for the burr and learn to cut with a slight adjustment in your feed, or, you can simply remove the burr with a flat abrasive like a file.  (simple turn on the saw and run the file lightly along the right side while it is running, to remove the burr).

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Let’s Talk Wood

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 22nd July 2008

If you are ready to start scroll sawing then we need to talk about getting some wood.

Wood comes in two basic categories, solid woods which come in two categories also; hardwoods and softwoods.  Then woods come in what is considered sheet goods (woods layered or pressed together) like plywood.

 Both have their places in scroll sawing and woodworking.  Plywood is easier to come by and cheaper in most instances to make scroll saw projects.  But, if you are into reclaiming wood like I talked about in and earlier post, you don’t have to work about any of this, use your reclaimed wood.

You can go to your local lumber yard and get plywood sheets and have them cut it to smaller sheets if you don’t already have a saw to cut the sheets down.  This will be the cheapest way for you to get plywood sheets for scrollsawing.  I will post spots for you to buy precut sheets used specificely scroll sawing at a later date, but, know you are going to pay a good price for these pieces and I wouldn’t suggest them when you are just starting out.

You’ll want to start out with thin sheets of plywood to start out with as these are easier for you to move the saw blade through and easier to make turns and cuts in.  If you are using solid woods, I would still look for thinner wood as it will easier to work.  If you are going to go buy plywood, try 1/8 thick wood, very easy to work.

If you are going to buy solid woods, buy a softwood such as pine, as it will be easy to find and less inexpensive then other woods.  Again, you want to buy the thinnest pieces that you can to start with.

Also remember your scroll saw will dictate the width of wood you can scroll on, by the distance you have between the arm of your scroll saw and the surface you are cutting on. 

Next, I will talk about blades and how to start a simple cut.  Please, if you have questions be sure to ask away.

Also watch for the grand opening of my new website coming very soon!

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Women And Confidence

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 22nd July 2008

I really don’t want this blog to only be about woodworking and scroll sawing.  This blog is here to show women they can do something they never thought they could accomplish.  It is about inspiring each other to try new things, to build confidence and independence.

I want women to have a voice about how they tried something new and failed, but, tried again and then succeeded.  It is about facing your fears and over coming them.  Franklin D. Roosevelt himself said it best “The Only Thing We Have To Fear, Is Fear Itself.”  Don’t let the fear of trying something new stop you. So what, you make a mistake, no harm, no foul, try again.

I hope you will all share your trials and tribulations, your fears, your desires, your triumphs and successes.  Come on ladies, step out of the comfort zone, the water is fine!  Scroll Sawing is one of the safest and easiest to learn arts in woodworking.  Trust me, the first time you cut something out while scroll sawing, you will be hooked and your confidence will grow in leaps and bounds.

Give it a Try, what do you have to lose?

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