LumberJocks

How much do you push the wood into the blade

  • Advertise with us

« back to Scrollsawing forum

Forum topic by Mareng posted 10-15-2018 01:11 PM 1094 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mareng's profile

Mareng

7 posts in 38 days


10-15-2018 01:11 PM

Recently I have started scroll sawing again – after a gap of maybe 6 years. I find that I am too afraid of pushing the wood into the blade for fear that the blade may break. As a result, it takes me way too long to saw even a few inches of 3/4” pine.
I see on Youtube videos that folks seem to be able to cut twice as thick wood in seconds. What is the secret here? Am I not pushing the wood into the blade hard enough? How can I tell when the pressure is enough?

Also, how do you know a blade change is needed?

Thanks to all those kind souls who reply.


13 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1272 posts in 2931 days


#1 posted 10-15-2018 04:31 PM

The only way I know is to break a few blades. You will soon get a “feel” of how much pressure you can use. And, of course, it depends on the size and thickness of the blade. Don’t worry. Everybody breaks a blade now and then.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View JRsgarage's profile

JRsgarage

305 posts in 680 days


#2 posted 10-15-2018 04:40 PM

If you’re having to push hard, maybe it’s time to change the blade…also, check the blade orientation. I try to let the blade do cutting and just concentrate on following the pattern. I change blades pretty regularly to get decent cuts…

-- Two is One, One is None

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3591 posts in 2159 days


#3 posted 10-15-2018 04:54 PM

What blade are you using. If I s cutting 3/4” pine, I would use a FD Polar 5 or 7 blade. It is a skip booth blade.

If you scroll saw, you will break blades. I change blades when it stops cutting well. You will learn.

View Mareng's profile

Mareng

7 posts in 38 days


#4 posted 10-15-2018 06:19 PM

Thanks Guys
I am using a #7 Olson PGT blade. And I confess, I initially had the blade upside down and was puzzled when a new blade wouldn’t cut the soft pine. I then had to look closely at the teeth and saw that they were all pointing upwards (instead of downwards).
I guess, I will have to scroll saw a lot more to get a feel, like Planeman40 says. When the blade cuts, there’s a different sound that the blade makes as opposed to when it is not cutting. This is what my limited experience has been so far. Comforting to know that blade breaking is not that unusual. I thought I was doing something wrong.
In time, my dumb questions should cease to exist.
Thanks again to all replies.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3591 posts in 2159 days


#5 posted 10-15-2018 08:30 PM

No dumb question. A scroll saw seems so easy to use but there is a bit of learning.

You can also post on Scroll Saw forum where there are lot of helpful scroll saw people.

View MJCD's profile

MJCD

567 posts in 2542 days


#6 posted 10-16-2018 01:29 AM

A rule of thumb on any cut, on any machine, is that you let the blade do the cutting… the purpose of your hands and body position is to keep presenting the workpiece in-line to the blade.

For a scroll saw, my recommendation is to rest the workpiece against the moving blade… allowing it to make a very small entry cut – almost an abrading cut, if you will; then, lightly increase the pressure so the teeth can being cutting the wood fibers. Thereafter, the blade will let you know when you’re pressing too hard. Finally, invest in high-quality blades… they are tougher and will last longer, and save you time, in the long run.

MJCD

View Mareng's profile

Mareng

7 posts in 38 days


#7 posted 10-19-2018 05:51 PM

Thanks MJCD
Good suggestions. Do you use Flying Dutchman or Olson? Currently I am using Olson PGT but have hear and read on the internet that FD blades are equally good? Have never tried them though. My goal is to have just maybe three sizes of blades instead of the mish mash I have at the moment. These should be able to handle from very thin plywood upto about 1.5” thick wood. Any recommendations regarding which blades I should stock are very welcome. Thanks

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10494 posts in 1656 days


#8 posted 10-20-2018 02:12 AM

I push until I cut it all the way through.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View flarud's profile

flarud

2 posts in 46 days


#9 posted 10-20-2018 05:04 AM

Practice Practice Practice! I too stepped away from scrolling for about 20 years. I broke out the old Craftsman about 3 years ago. Only took about an hour before I knew that I needed something new. Didn’t know if I was gonna keep with it this time around or not so I didn’t wanna spend a lot of money. Went with a Porter Cable. Much better than the Craftsman. It’s still not the best saw, but it has worked for me. I will be stepping up again soon. I use Olson blades bought from Sloans. They work pretty good in my opinion. You can also download an Olson blade chart from Sloan’s site. It will help with what blade is needed. I bought a pack of the their “test tubes” and made my own blade caddy out of a maple tree that fell on my sisters house.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/flarud1/29880823998/in/dateposted-ff/

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7001 posts in 2369 days


#10 posted 10-20-2018 05:27 AM

I cut a lot of 1/8” and 1/4” plywood for portraits, and it only requires a feather touch to cut that stuff. I recently had to do a bunch of 3/4” and 1” thick pine lettering, and that stuff required a lot of force to cut through (and wore out the blades a lot faster). It really depends on what kind of material you are cutting – you will get a feel for it.

As for blades. I used to mainly use Olsen blades… until I tried some Flying Dutchman blades, which is now all I use and highly recommend.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

206 posts in 81 days


#11 posted 10-20-2018 06:03 AM

Practice on different types and thickness of wood. You’ll get the feel of it again. If you think you need to push too hard, maybe you have the wrong type of blade, or a dull blade. I don’t use my scroll saw to often, so I buy the dime store blades. If you want to scroll saw on a regular basis, you will want to get the Spiral Scroll Saw Blades. You can achieve some effects that the straight blade cannot give you.

View Jim Finn's profile (online now)

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3092 days


#12 posted 10-20-2018 12:27 PM



Thanks Guys
I am using a #7 Olson PGT blade. And I confess, I initially had the blade upside down and was puzzled when a new blade wouldn t cut the soft pine. I then had to look closely at the teeth and saw that they were all pointing upwards (instead of downwards).
I guess, I will have to scroll saw a lot more to get a feel, like Planeman40 says. When the blade cuts, there s a different sound that the blade makes as opposed to when it is not cutting. This is what my limited experience has been so far. Comforting to know that blade breaking is not that unusual. I thought I was doing something wrong.
In time, my dumb questions should cease to exist.

Thanks again to all replies.

- Mareng

I am at a scroll saw for hours every day. I use blades until they break and as they dull I have to push pretty hard. Make sure the blade tension is good. You should hear a high pitched “ping” when you pluck it. I use this same blade, Olsen PGT #7 or #9 for cutting 3/4, and thicker, cuts. They last a lot longer than the Flying dutchman blades do on wood this thick. They cost about double what the Flying Dutchman blades cost though.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website> craftingcouple.com

View msinc's profile

msinc

552 posts in 674 days


#13 posted 10-20-2018 12:51 PM

I don’t do a lot of scroll sawing…but I have had the privilege to watch a true master at work. He made just about everything he did out of red oak. My impression is that scroll sawing is not something you hurry thru. I never saw him break a blade, but he sure changed them when they needed it. The biggest thing was knowing when you had to slow way down to let it cut {tight turns??} and when you could go ahead.
With woodworking in general those that are the best appear to really like what they are doing and are always seen to be “taking their time” and just enjoying what they do. I have some friends that take half a day sharpening chisels…..Personally, I am not that way. I don’t enjoy sanding or hand planing or slowing down to “enjoy” the work. That’s why I bought a saw mill. Best of luck.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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

HomeRefurbers.com