Scroll Saw Blades Keep Snapping

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Forum topic by Chris Wright posted 09-24-2009 10:28 PM 4215 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris Wright

540 posts in 2898 days

09-24-2009 10:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question scroll saw

Hey all, I’ve got an older Delta scroll saw. Now, I’ve never really been one to do much scroll saw work but I got Diana Thompson’s book “Wooden Chess Sets You Can Make.” In it, she uses a scroll saw to cut the pieces out. The plans call for a piece of wood that’s 1.5” square and I’m using maple at the moment and I keep snapping blades. If you scroll sawers could give me a hand on this, I’d appreciate it.


-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

7 replies so far

View papadan's profile


1165 posts in 2786 days

#1 posted 09-24-2009 10:31 PM

1.5” maple is a really hard piece for a scroll saw to cut. Sllooowww down, let the blad do the cutting instead of you pushing it through.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3185 days

#2 posted 09-24-2009 10:48 PM

thats gonna be tough… like said above go very slowly and get the biggest courses blade you can. but your gonna snap a lot of blades

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3002 days

#3 posted 09-24-2009 10:52 PM

HI you might as well be cutting aluminum try something softer or take it slow and easy.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2944 days

#4 posted 09-24-2009 11:28 PM

I found this on a sroll saw site:
Senior Member

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,731

When you are cutting a curve in thick wood there is a strong tendency to to push the wood from the side in order to turn it into the cut. This bevels the cut and makes the piece stick or not come apart in one direction. I have cut dozens of the Peterson’s puzzles as well as a number of dinosaurs of my own design in 3/4” to 1 1/8” thick woods as varied as mahogany, hard maple, oak, walnut and poplar.
The solution is to let the blade cut the wood. Get the blade a tight as you can, use a fairly high speed on your saw and as you start a sharp curve, such as one of the tabs, slow your feed rate way down and concentrate on only applying pressure from the front by using one finger as a pivot point near the blade. Try not to push the wood into the blade as you turn the corners of the connecting tabs. I have also found that a #5 or #7 skip tooth blade works best for me. They give me the aggressiveness I need for unbeveled cuts and easy assembly and keep the kerf small enough to keep the puzzles together.


-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View MrsN's profile


975 posts in 2943 days

#5 posted 09-24-2009 11:34 PM

As the others have said, you are trying to cut a fairly thick piece of fairly hard material. Keep the speed of the blade high but slow down how fast you are trying to cut. This will also give you a more uniform cut. I would imagian that cutting a chess piece would be a compound cut (cut on one side, rotate the piece and cut from the side) It will also be important that the blade stays in one place, not getting pushed to the back or side by what you are cutting (if that makes sense). also try using a thicker blade.

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View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 2743 days

#6 posted 09-25-2009 03:43 AM

All of the above. I used to have blades break on me a lot until I learned to be sure the blade was tight and I never forced it. They still break from time to time, but not as much anymore.

View Dustmite97's profile


439 posts in 2638 days

#7 posted 10-18-2009 03:41 AM

I also have a difficult time cutting maple on the scroll saw. Going at a slow pace will really help. The blade will still get very hot but at least it won’t break.

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