ScrollSaw Information and Resources #6: Scrollsaw Blade Tension

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Blog entry by jerrells posted 02-12-2011 07:09 PM 1585 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: The Business Side of Scrollsaw, Part 2 Part 6 of ScrollSaw Information and Resources series Part 7: ScrollSaw Information and Resources #7: »

I read alot about blade tension and I kn ow that is a problem I have. Most of what I read talks about the sound of the blade. That sound reasonable. However I just saw a new post that talked about defection as a better method. The comment was the the thickness of the balde would change the sound and as I should always be wearing my hearing aids I could not tell anyway. It seems that this deflection should be a better method. I will be trying this out this afternoon (as it is finally warmer in Dallas again) to see the difference it makes.

I would like input in this area as I feel that I am missing something by not getting my blades tight enough.


-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

1 comment so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2974 days

#1 posted 02-12-2011 07:20 PM

Hi, Jerrell:
I think blade tension is like a lot of things with the scroll saw – a personal choice. I like the blade to be quite tightly tensioned. I need it to be so that I have pinpoint control on the small stuff that I do. You are right in that the thickness and size of the blade will make a different sound than the smaller blades. That is kind of just basic physics.

Like most things, as you learn a technique, you are more comfortable knowing what is a good tension for you. Is the blade following your cutting line where you want it? Or is it wandering slightly and following the grain? Does it seem to have a mind of its own? Perhaps it isn’t tensioned tightly enough.

It seems in my travels that I hear far more of blades being not tensioned enough as opposed to being tensioned too much. I would err on the side of more rather than less. If you wind up breaking blades easily, then that is a sure sign to tone it down a bit and loosen it up – just a tad at a time.

Soon you will figure out what is good for you and become comfortable with tensioning the blade without even thinking about it.

I hope this helps a little.

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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