The Scroll Saw Lady

Ladies Come Learn To Scroll Saw!

Archive for the 'blades' Category

Store Blades Near Your Scroll Saw

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 2nd October 2008

I use a strip magnet mounted somewhere on the scroll saw, or stand to hold extra blades, so that they are easily available. Find a convenient location and mount two pieces of strip magnet about 4″ apart to hold the top and bottom area of the blade. I also find it nice to mount the magnets on riser blocks about 1/2″ off the surface, this gives your fingers room to pick up the blades.

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Blade Tensioning

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 10th September 2008

Tensioning?  Is that a word, or did I just make that up?  Hmmm.. the spell checker dosen’t like my new word but I do so I am keeping it. In other words this post is about how to tension you blades! (better?)

Before inserting a blade into your scroll saw, the tension should be completely removed.  Clamp both ends of the scroll saw blade into the blade holders and adjust the tension. Push on the blade with your finger. It should flex no more than 1/8″ forward, backward, or side to side.

A blade that does not have enough tension will wander and you will not be ale to follow a pattern line very easily. It will also flex from side to side, making for irregular or angled cuts. 

A blade that has too much tension is more susceptible to breaking and tends to pull out of the blade holders. In general, it is better to make the blade too tight rather than too loose because you will ruin your project if the blade is too loose, you will only lose a blade if it is too tight.

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Blade Entry Holes

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 7th September 2008

Some patterns have blade-entry holes marked, most do not. If the pattern doesn’t, place the holes near a line to be cut, but don’t place the hole on a curving line or inside corner (if possible). Drill the hole perpendicular to the blank. Use a drill press if you have one; otherwise the holes may interfere with delicate fretwork. Drill through your project wood into scrap wood to prevent tear out on the back side of the project you are going to be cutting.If you have the space, use a larger bit–it will make it easier to thread your blades through. For thin veining cuts, use the smallest bit your blade will fit through.  Extremely small blades are available from many scroll saw specialist like Sloan’s Woodworking, or Mike’s Woodworking shop.

 Watch for the The Scroll Saw Lady Website opening soon.

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Scroll Saw Blade Storage

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 4th September 2008

Blade StorageA must have for any scroll saw shop is storage for your blades.  You can either buy one like the one on the left or make your own.  I have used pvc pipe, cut to about 5 1/2 inches and then just drilled holes in a scrap piece of wood and inserted the pvc pipe into the wood.  Mark each piece of pvc pipe as to what blade size it is holding and viola you have a great storage spot. 

Blades can be very difficult to tell apart and time consuming trying to figure out what blade is what, so, keep them well seperated and labled and you will save yourself a ton of time! 

Happy Scrolling!

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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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