4rth Try At Curves Ughhh

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by karen12 posted 01-02-2012 09:36 PM 1122 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I really stink at this so far. I have my speed turned down halfway and I still can’t stay on a line. I’m using 1/4 inch baltic ply to practice with and a #5 Flying Dutchman Ultra Reverse. I’m getting chatter every time I get near a curve near the edge of the board. Is the blade too big? I’ve got no idea. Wish someone would read this and teach me what to do. It’s not fun not knowing what you are doing wrong.

I’m not familiar with this new site so I won’t be asking anyone here. I cant find anything lol. Oh well I’ll take a break and try again…Hubby does better than me at this ..He just sands the mistakes away lol.

10 comments so far

View 49bill's profile


182 posts in 2862 days

#1 posted 01-03-2012 12:15 AM

karen12 go to Steve Goods site he has a wealth of tips and information that will help you in your scroll sawing his site is htt:// and welcome to lumberjocks you will be hooked for life

-- Bill, Quitman, Georgia

View BilltheDiver's profile


257 posts in 2965 days

#2 posted 01-03-2012 12:20 AM

Karen, Go to this site and look at Sheila’s scroll saw class. It is free and will teach you a lot. There are a lot of factors involved in cutting curves with a scrollsaw, blade size, blade tension, wood thickness and type, blade speed, feed rate, pivoting the wood, etc. If you work your way through that class, your questions will be answered. I will take a stab, but the answer could lie elsewhere. For 1/4 inch ply I would use a #3 blade, tensions the blade until it pings when plucked, and remember to turn the wood in front of the blade rather than pushing it from the side. Also remember that with anything other than a pgt blade, the blade will tend to cut to the right of center due to the burr on the side of the blade. Don’t fight it, just work with it.

I also recommend visiting this site as it is one of the friendlist and most educational sites you will find for scrollsawing.

Good scrolling!

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View karen12's profile


15 posts in 2417 days

#3 posted 01-03-2012 01:19 AM

What a nice surprise. Thank-you both for the sites to look at. I’ve seen both peoples vids and I have talked to sheila on the phone about an order I placed there but didnt want to impose by asking questions. Very nice lady! I am trying to do her online classes but it does get hard when I have problems and cant figure out the answer. I will try the #3. I dont think I can speed it up yet cuz as it is it seems like its going 100 mph giving me no time to think lol. I will stick with it. Thanks again

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3414 days

#4 posted 01-03-2012 02:57 AM

Hi Karen, the tip about Steve Goods website is good. I do think that the “chatter” sounds like you are not applying enough downward pressure with your fingers or maybe your fingers are not placed close enough to the blade or correctly placed otherwise, assuming of course that your blade isn’t mounted upside down and or if the blade is too wide for the curves you are cutting. Another point is that chatter is more prevalent when cutting very thin work pieces. A backer of cardboard or some other material might help with that problem. You can also try rounding the back edges of the blade slightly with sandpaper mounted mounted to a piece of wood with double sided carpet tape.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View leanne's profile


45 posts in 2491 days

#5 posted 01-03-2012 03:09 AM

Hi Karen, welcome to LJ’s you will find lots of help at LJ’s nice people 2. Befor you know it you will be posting wonderfull finished projects. enjoy:)

-- Leanne, Australia,

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3188 days

#6 posted 01-03-2012 04:16 AM

Welcome to LJ’s Karen. There is little fear in imposing on people for help here, that is one of the things that draws people here. Folks like to share ideas and knowledge and trust me when I say that you will find yourself advising others one day in the not too distant future.

I think Mike (stefang) is on the mark when he is talking about finger pressure. Scrollsaws are much different than most cutting tools in the aspect that you do put your hands closer to the blade when you work. I don’t know if you have ever used one or if you have watched anyone that has, but your fnger position on wood is not much different than the finger position on fabric when running it through a sewing machine. People keep their fingers on the fabric to keep it flat on the table as they run it through the machine to keep the needle movement from picking the fabric up and to keep the stitching smooth. I think you might be a little afraid of the blade and keeping your hands too far away from the piece when you are making a curve on the end of the board. Granted, you do not want to run your fingers through, but you do want to keep steady hand pressure on the board in the area surrounding the blade.

Also, sometimes we have a tendency to force a curve when we first starting working with the scrollsaw. If we turn too sharply, the blade tends to bind in the wood, and the piece tends to rise upward with a bit of force which causes the chatter you are experiencing. If you find the blade cutting inside your cut line, do gradual adjustments instead of attempting to make a quick correction. You may end up with a larger curve or circle than originally planned but if the adjustments are smooth, the only one that would notice would be you.

Good luck and always feel free to ask away :)


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View karen12's profile


15 posts in 2417 days

#7 posted 01-03-2012 09:23 PM

Thanks for the advice but I’m not afraid of the blade which is prolly bad in a way cuz i could lose part of my finger I’m sure. I do sometimes try to cut the rounded corner too fast. These practice pieces were stars with rounded point with not much more than an eighth of an inch or so left around the edge of the pattern notgiving me much room to manuver..least it felt that way. As far as pressure at first I wasnt pressing down much but when I got the chatter I started holding it down quite a lot cuz it was trying to rip it from my fingers. I had only cut two small practice pieces so I don’t think the blade went dull that fast but it may have who knows lol.

I will keep trying. Got things to do today but tomorrow I will be back at it. I think I might change the blade too. I stopped at Steves site but didn’t know where to look for tips. I saw the free patterns and the utube lessons and some software stuff he has.

Stop by and check me out once in awhile. Who knows I might stay on the line enough to make a little project for my daughter.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3414 days

#8 posted 01-03-2012 11:47 PM

Hi again Karen. Stars are very hard to cut if you try to cut directly around the tip of the point. A good technique for this type of cutting is to cut past the point tip in a straight line and then rotate the workpiece to cut back toward the opposite side of the point. In other words cut past the point, make a circle cut in the waste area of the workpiece to reverse the cut to the other side.

I hope this is a fairly clear explanation. I think if you try it on a wood scrap first, you will see the value in this often used technique. It allows you to keep full control of the cut without hair-raising direction changes. Good luck!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2964 days

#9 posted 01-04-2012 02:41 AM

Hi Karen – welcome to LJ. Shelia and Steve are great resources. I can’t say enough about both of them.

From my scrollsaw experience I would say two things. 1. You said the you are using a reverse blade so that should work. When I started I was putting some blades in upside down – that was my problem but does not sound like yours. 2. YES go t a smaller blade #3 or #2 I think that would help a lot.

Just my thoughts – I hoppe that someone has help you here.

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

View karen12's profile


15 posts in 2417 days

#10 posted 01-19-2012 12:39 PM

Thanks for everyones input. I changed the size of the blade and sped up the saw speed just a bit. also when I got my 2 inch square the blade was off a little so I adjusted that. So now back to practicing. iIwas ill off and on for a week or so, so no time to do anything cept take care of me and my hubby, Hes having a bad time of it too healthwise. Hes now in a wheelchair and on oxygen so hard to find time for me. I have decided to learn as I go since Im using BB and start practicing on my daughters candle holder. Just need help with getting the drill press set up. I’ve got the manual so if hubby doesnt want to help I think I can try to do it myself.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics