Scrolll/Bandsawn intricate parts

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Forum topic by USCJeff posted 05-06-2007 07:33 AM 1289 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1065 posts in 4271 days

05-06-2007 07:33 AM

Yet another question concerning the jewelry box project I’ve been posting about for 2 weeks. I’m 90% finished. I have to install the hinges and sand the inlay flush. My question came when I went to cut the inlay. I am putting imy Mom’s (her gift) initials om the inside of the lid, so as to be seen when the hinged top is open. The font I am using is Bold Edwardian Script ITC. It is a “loopy” font with many curves and sharp angles.

This is what I did. I’d like to know what you would have done if different. I printed out the font from Word. Taped it to the workpiece and cut it close with a bandsaw. The scrollsaw was used to get up to the cut line. The font is very narrow, which resulted in parts of the letters to break off. I was able to piece it together when I glued it in the box. How can I avoid these breaks. I am very careful, but still have issues. Both saws have little vibration and flexing so I think it either a user error, or the pine I used isn’t suited for the application.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

7 replies so far

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1065 posts in 4271 days

#1 posted 05-06-2007 09:22 PM

I switched to a new blade on my scrollsaw and had better results this morning. I also used a thicker stock for stability and sanded it down afterwards. This helped, but I still had a couple breaks in the tough parts. I’m thinking the clearance around the balde isn’t helping, so I’m going to try a zero clearance insert next time. Any thoughts?

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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1466 posts in 4290 days

#2 posted 05-06-2007 10:58 PM

I don’t know what size blade you used. I use 00 for inlay because there is almost no kerf.
Just use the thinnest blade you can find, cut slowly and cut all pieces at the same time.
Thus you will have a packet with the base, the inlay and the pattern. Spray adhesive will hold it all together. Acetone will separate the pieces. The inlay will just slide into the relief.
Unless it is rather large you don’t need to use a bandsaw
I don’t have that font in my collection so I can’t compare it.

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

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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4502 days

#3 posted 05-06-2007 11:07 PM

Maybe you should swich to maple, it may hold together better than pine.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Drew1House's profile


425 posts in 4291 days

#4 posted 05-06-2007 11:59 PM

cut the inlay sandwitched with the relief? and maybe a backer board. glue them all together with rubber cement like what was mentioned and then get them apart with an acetone bath. the sled or backing peice of wood will act to reduce the flexion of the work as would a 0 clearance insert and a thin new (pack of new) blade will be a huge help. I like to use the blades that almost have no teeth and then… go slow and make sure the blower is working. Its been a while since playing with inlays and marquetry for me… Just got a nice new saw and am itching for a reason to try it out. Cant wait for the pics… Oh… wood selection is huge… this is why so many carvers use basswood. Some just have tighter grains and a smoother texture that resist chipping and are less friable.


-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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45 posts in 4256 days

#5 posted 05-07-2007 01:03 AM

My experience with scrollsawing delicate objects is there are many variables. I’ve never worked with pine for scrolling, but having had some oak pieces break on me, I think the wood may be a little soft. The type/size of blade and the speed that it runs at can also affect this problem. The more delicate the piece, the smaller the blade, also try using a skip tooth or reverse skip tooth blade. I’ve also found that playing with the spped of the blade and the feed rate can have change how much vibration (even a little bit) is transferred to the wood.

-- Rick - Spring, TX

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10635 posts in 4449 days

#6 posted 05-07-2007 04:30 AM

Dick’s right as well, I’d use maple. It’s a very tough wood. Also you may try using packing tape over the whole thing, it acts as a lubricant for the blade but also holds things together. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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1065 posts in 4271 days

#7 posted 05-12-2007 04:47 PM

Thanks for all the feedback. I’ll be posting that project hopefully tonight depending on how the latest coat of finish looks. Your comments helped. Marc and Matt answered this question I emailed them on Wood Talk Online Episode #6 and Marc’s comments were right along with what you all came up with. I didn’t realize how small scroll saw blades could be. Now if I could quit feeding the wood too fast, maybe they’d stay in one piece longer!!

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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