Basic Scrollsaw Skills

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Forum topic by Woodminer posted 09-22-2007 05:32 AM 1928 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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69 posts in 4140 days

09-22-2007 05:32 AM

I had someone on a different forum ask me an interesting question today. Where could he find some web video on basic scrollsaw skills? Anyone here have an answer for him? I did recommend that he visit us here, but I am not aware of ANY. Have not visited YouTube, but frankly don’t WANT to visit them. Much rather visit a dedicated wood site. Less chance of seeing things I really don’t want to see, if you know what I mean.

I don’t have good enough equipment for either the scrollsaw or camera to do things that might be helpful to him.

Suggestions? Volunteers???

-- Dean, Missouri

5 replies so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4363 days

#1 posted 09-22-2007 11:30 AM

no suggestions or volunteers.. but I’m lining up for the viewing!!! Great idea.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4165 days

#2 posted 09-22-2007 01:48 PM

I would think that one of the manufacturers of scroll saws would have video of it in use and instrucions as well. Try Dremel, Dewalt, etc.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4290 days

#3 posted 09-22-2007 02:15 PM

I just googled “scrollsaw” and the second hit was and it has videos.

You might start with either one of those.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Woodminer's profile


69 posts in 4140 days

#4 posted 09-23-2007 01:02 AM

Sawdust, the site SELLS a few videos, but I could not find any on their site.

Thos, Dewalt has no videos. Only ads for the Woodworking Shows. Dremel does better, they at least have a gallery of projects from willing-to-share customers.

Most manufacturers don’t have the facility or the wit to produce this stuff…yet. They will. Shopsmith has figured it out and have really just started into the whole video aspect of things.

What I’m talking about is something to show basic cuts that is more about the skills than about selling the machine. Different bias, y’know? How to do crisp corners, how to do inside cuts, how to plan ahead.

One specific thing is how to cut all the way down into a “Y” type corner where you want to keep the line as narrow as possible. The sawyer can shut off the machine, back the blade up into the area where there’s waste, do a little quick maneuver to reverse the piece, back it into the crotch of the Y and then start back up the cut and onto the next line.

I’ve seen a lot of first time pieces that have huge, coarse corners instead of nice crisp corners. Once that’s pointed out and solutions offered, the newbie sawyer quickly rises a level or two in his/her proficiency. THAT’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about.

The info on proper blade tension is highly speculative and/or subjective. Would it not be nice to actually SHOW that process? This is what it should sound like when plucked, this is how much flex in the blade works for me, etc. If a still picture is worth a thousand words, my goodness, how much is a 3 minute video worth??

Someone mentioned the use of spiral blades. I personally have used spirals but find them to be a royal pain in the butt. Maybe I’m not using them well. The idea is cool, but to use that same Y type corner, a skinny blade will provide a nifty little accent cut, but a spiral is going to be 3-4 times as thick as the skinny little blade. To me, that just makes a messy cut, even though it might be more convenient not to have to spin your work. Again, maybe it’s me. I’m sure that there are uses for spirals that I’ve not experienced. It could be cool to see the same cut on the same pattern done with a couple of different techniques, a few different blades. Compare the differences, yes??

Doing this kind of stuff well leaves us open for observations. Doing this kind of stuff with the wrong attitude sets us up for colossal ego failure! 8^) On a lathe, I am NOT a “world class” turner, or a professional even, but I can show off some basic skills and can guide someone through the learning process to lift the newbie a level or two, and to help correct some bad techniques. A few minutes of camera time on a specific set of skills can save a newbie (or whatever the next level or two up from that is) a whole lot of grief and maybe keep them from ruining their first couple of projects out of ignorance. Yes, there is a price to the learning of any skill set, but if we can reduce that by good info, or even just “what works for us” without a whole bunch of verbiage or ego getting in the way, that’s what LJ-dom is about, yes??

-- Dean, Missouri

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4363 days

#5 posted 09-24-2007 06:13 PM

well put Dean…. there must be some scroll-er who has a video camera to help us out!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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