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Forum topic by Jack Lewis posted 11-09-2016 03:19 AM 976 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jack Lewis

346 posts in 1281 days

11-09-2016 03:19 AM

Plans include sawing figures in segmented sections of bowl rings that will allow the design to show candle light through the kerf cuts. My question is- Is there a difference in blade thicknesses (kerf) that will help in this situation?
All help with sources and advice will be appreciated.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

2 replies so far

View CharleyL's profile


223 posts in 3567 days

#1 posted 11-11-2016 03:46 PM


I think it would help if you could post some pictures or sketches of what you are trying to do. Also tell us what make and model scroll saw you are using.

Scroll saw blades come in many sizes, thicknesses, and types. Without knowing the size and shapes of what you want to cut, and what woods you want to cut these into, it will be very difficult for us (me) to recommend a blade. The size and tightness of curves that need to be cut in the pattern makes a huge difference in blade choice too. The type and thickness of the wood being cut also affects this choice.

I use mostly Flying Dutchman blades because I’ve found that their quality is higher and more repeatable from blade to blade than other blades that I’ve used, but for some situations, Olsen blades work better for me. For some things, blade choice is a very personal thing. Two people cutting the same pattern in the same wood will frequently choose very different blades and both will claim that their blade works best for what they are cutting. There is also a Pegas brand of blade that is supposed to be very good, but I haven’t tried them yet. Olsen blades are available through most woodworking supply stores and online. I buy my Flying Dutchman blades from The Wooden Teddy Bear online.

It may be best for you to buy a dozen of each of several different blades and blade types and then experiment to see which does the best for you with what you are cutting. I keep many blade sizes, types, and brands handy so I can try several different blades when beginning something new, to see which blade works best. I also never save used blades and absolutely never put a used blade back into the pill bottle with the new ones. Once used, even for just a few minutes, the blade gets trashed. They are just not expensive enough to justify gambling with or the risk of putting them back into the wrong bottle.

I use 5” high pill bottles from my pharmacy to keep my blades separate and I label each container for the blade brand and number that’s in it. The Flying Dutchman blades come in small plastic bags with a label stuck to the side of the bag. I cut this label out and drop it into the bottle with the blades, to help me when I want to order more. Because I keep many bottles of blades close together in an egg crate kind of box. I label the tops of the bottles using 3/4” diameter computer printable labels, but since caps can get accidentally switched, the label on the side of the bottle, or this little label from the plastic bag helps me get the cap back on the correct bottle. That way it’s also easy for me to buy more of the right blades when I need more. If you do much scrolling, once you have chosen your favorite blades, you will likely be buying them in gross quantities, because they don’t last very long. I don’t break many blades, but a sharp blade cuts much better and faster than a dull blade.10-20 minutes with some blades is way past it’s useful life. One of these pill bottles will hold about 4 gross of blades, so even I don’t need more than one bottle per size. I leave the blades tied together in 1 dozen bundles and unwrap one dozen at a time, keeping the loose blades and the bundles all in the same bottle. It’s easy enough to push the bundles aside and select just one loose blade using one finger, and then slide it up and out of the bottle. I also always place the blades in the bottle with the blade teeth pointing down. This makes it easy to get the blades mounted in the saw correctly, especially when using blades in the #1 and smaller sizes. Of course, rubbing your finger lightly along the blade teeth will quickly tell you which end is the top end as well. My old eyes can’t be trusted for this any more.


View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2687 posts in 3124 days

#2 posted 03-26-2017 12:32 PM

Charley has given you excellent advice. I have three scroll saws and use two of them most every day. My experience is this: When cutting thicker woods, anything thicker than 1/2,” I use #5 or #7 blades. Larger the number the wider the kerf. Flying dutchman or Olsen blades. You can get them at “Sloans” If you are not sure just ask them what they recommend when you order your blades on the phone.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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