The Scroll Saw Lady

Ladies Come Learn To Scroll Saw!

Blades and Starting Cuts.

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on July 22nd, 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).