|Forum topic by PyNCy||posted 03-02-2012 06:13 PM||2750 views||0 times favorited||5 replies|
03-02-2012 06:13 PM
I have been using my Tool Star scroll saw a lot lately, getting ready for the spring craft show season. I make a lot of stuff with inside cuts, some I would call fretwork (If things don’t go right, I “fret”! heehee) Normally, I can cut (let’s say) 10 Oak Cat Desk Clocks (see my projects for what it looks like), which are 1/2” thick, on a single #7 Reverse Tooth blade. I have used the MACH blades, and I think they are the best. However recently, they don’t work very well for me at all. The last dozen I bought seemed to be dull &/or have a terrible burr on one side. They seemed to wander all over. I can usually handle that, especially cutting Oak, when you can get a lot of wandering the way the grain is. But this was nuts. On top of that, they kept breaking. Right where the reverse is on the blade. I got to looking at the new blades, comparing them to the older, used MACH blades, and the steel looked different – cheaper, tarnished. I’m not bragging or anything, but I can usually cut with one blade, through Oak, on numerous projects until it gets so dull it won’t cut the softest Balsa. I’ve never had blades break as often as I have in the last couple years.
So, instead of my buying my trusty MACH blades on the next order, I bought something else. I don’t remember now what brand it was, but it was cheaper than the MACH. They were even worse than the MACH blades. They seemed to cut straight and nice, what I’m used to. But as I cut, they felt dull, and would only cut maybe 2 of those 10 cats before becoming impossible to use. And they would break almost every time I went to use one. The NEXT time I ordered blades, I bought the Precision Ground Reverse Tooth blades. They cost more than the MACH, so that means they’re better, right? Well, not if you ask me. They cut the 1/2” Oak really nice. Except, again, I can only cut about 3 of those 10 cats before I have to struggle to get the blade through. The blades are burnishing the wood (it’s ok with me, b/c the shine is nice), and the blade itself has burn marks on it. I cut the 1/2” Oak with this blade. It was brand new, right out of the package, when I cut for 1 ½ hours. After the first 30 minutes, it was like this and hard to cut. I know Oak is a really hard wood, and the Oak I got this time was especially hard, but it’s doing it for any 1/2” wood I use, even Red Cedar. “They” teach that a blade is dull when it doesn’t catch on your clothes or skin when you rub it. These blades always catch, but they just don’t cut very good.
Just wondering, has anyone else been having this same problem? I think it’s pretty much just the #7 blades for me. It’s pretty sad when I have to use a smaller #5 to do a #7’s job. They even cut better on the Oak for me (for a little while). Have they started using cheaper steel, and so our blades are breaking and dulling faster?
It seems the reverse part of the blade is only catching the bottom of the wood. Could that mean the stroke is too short or long for the blade? Or is this the way it is now? I know when I started using reverse tooth about 8 years ago, I never had the trouble I do now.
What kind of scroll saw blades have you found to work best for certain projects?
Tell me whatcha think! :)
-- The Sawdust Fairy ~ Making Magic with Wood