Mikros Kosmos #5: Let the sawing begin

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Blog entry by tyskkvinna posted 07-10-2010 05:18 AM 1592 reads 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Glue!! Part 5 of Mikros Kosmos series Part 6: In which I resaw every piece of scrap I have... »

A big part of what I want to do in this house is build as much as possible by myself. Because of the size of what I am doing, I need very small lumber. You can buy wood the right size but it gets silly expensive for what you’re getting and…. I have a lot of scrap wood.

I had a scrollsaw. It was very old – not sure how old, but the Craftsman manual I found on the internet was pretty impressive in its old-ness. I figured out how to swap the blade, and found a blade (which I could only get at Sears and they had one choice in the store.). I was pretty excited to try it out and then…... nothing. It basically burned its way through 1mm of maple in 30 seconds.

So a little creativity later, I went shopping and got this.

I don’t have the space for more than this, or actually the money, but this I have now. It seemed to be pretty decent according to The Internet, especially since most of what I’m doing is pretty tiny.

I need to figure out how to adjust it just right. The reviews indicated that it will vibrate, but still cut solidly. It … er…. warbles… ? I guess. Drifts? I’m getting really good at making little trapezoids? I feel like I can’t make it any tighter, but it also feels like it needs to be tighter. I did get it “pretty good” but it is still a little… eh…..

The nickle is there for scale.

Is this sort of … texture…. common? The only other bandsaw I’ve ever used was a horizontal metal bandsaw. So I’m really new to this game. Do I need a different blade? If so – which one? (I have the 9” Ryobi from Home Depot.)

I like these little bits I cut off, though, even with the wave to them.

I was inspired by the blog post earlier today by Gary. I am going to turn these into little paintings.

The dangerous thing about doing this work is it becomes VERY easy to have a LOT of scrap piles. The nice part is I can use all of them. :-) Though actually, I’m pretty diligent about throwing out the non-usable pieces.

If I can manage to get this thing worked steady tomorrow I’m going to resaw like crazy.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

22 comments so far

View Briggs's profile


13 posts in 2974 days

#1 posted 07-10-2010 05:36 AM

If you can find a decent blade you’ll be amazed at how much more useable your little saw will be. I had a little 9” delta and it was horrible out of the box, but when I put blade that I bought from WoodCraft in it, it was like night and day! I’ve tried blades over and again from lowesdepot type places and always got crappy results.
Good Luck!

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 2966 days

#2 posted 07-10-2010 05:39 AM

I have one of those exact saws .Unfortunatley It’s the worst saw I’ve ever had as in you’re case I bought what I could afford All i’ve been able to find for blades are either 1/8 or 1/4 Untill the other day I saw one that size that was 1/2 ” But now I not sure I remember where that was .Wish I could be of more help…....Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2963 days

#3 posted 07-10-2010 05:49 AM

Good luck with the new saw! I’m not familiar with that model but band saws have to be setup just right to operate properly. A quality blade is crucial too. Check out Timberwolf blades at
The book probably goes though it put pay attention to the blade tension, upper and lower guide alignment, blade drift, and tracking. Enjoy the saw. You can do a lot of cool things with a band saw.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3703 days

#4 posted 07-10-2010 06:07 AM

I had one of those little band saws I got cheap at a yard sale. I used it a little, no, I tried to use it a little, then there it in the garbage so no one else would have to deal with it. IMO, I’d spend a few more dollars and move up a knoch. Good luck, looks like there is no such thing as unusable scrap working on that project :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View fineamerican's profile


150 posts in 3142 days

#5 posted 07-10-2010 06:08 AM

One safety issue with cutting small pieces on any saw. If you have any spring clamps, not sure what they call them in your neck of the woods, but those are great for holding small parts while cutting. Band saws, scrolls saws are fairly safe since there isnt the wood binding worry, and a blade spinning towards you, but if you hit a soft spot in the wood, the blade is cheap and dull your finger(s) could slip into the blade. So sharp tools are the safest tools, and spring clamps are good too.

-- John A. Thomas, South Carolina,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3143 days

#6 posted 07-10-2010 09:51 AM

hello Lis I don´t know the maschine and how much you can adjust
but woodwhispere has made a how to vidio clip of it
and take a look at this blog there is some realy good info

and then you have to mount that Bs on a solid table so it can´t moove

congrat´s and good luck with the maschine Lis


View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2950 days

#7 posted 07-10-2010 11:43 AM

Lis, Just be careful on that machine…. For such a small job,, the backsaw, hacksaw, coping saw is much better to use. It is only the way how the saw was sharpened… rip saw, crosscut, and japanese … also how many teeth per inch it has… and kerf. USE A VISE and BOTH HANDS. I am doing most of my cut with handsaw. Again… Just be careful.

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#8 posted 07-10-2010 12:59 PM

I am sorry that your scroll saw is so antiquated. It really makes it hard when you don’t have the right blades for it. I wish we lived closer! :)

It is great to see your little tiles though. I agree – the texture is incredible and they will be a nice addition to the final project.

Your band saw is nice. It looks like it will do a fine job for you. I like the idea of using clamps to hold your work. I do get a bit scared when using the band saw. I always give it the respect it deserves.

Great post! Thanks for keeping us informed. Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3064 days

#9 posted 07-10-2010 01:33 PM

Lis, not bad for an ‘impulse buy’ should last you quite a wile.

In my experience the right blade (ie a good quality one), and setup are the secrets’ here. Dennis is right also, mount it solidly to cut down vibration.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View patron's profile


13609 posts in 3369 days

#10 posted 07-10-2010 02:20 PM

lis ,
when cutting small pieces ,
i mount a smooth board on the table of the saw ,
(clamp , double tape , or slide in with stops ) ,
come straight in front to back ,
that way you don’t lose those tiny pieces in the hole ,
just widen slightly up to the cut line ,
it fills up with sawdust , and is hard to get back off .
it’s all in the quality of the blade ,
those tin blades are almost worthless .
this is all i can find , i hope it helps
they start at 5’ , 1/4” longer than yours ,
shouldn’t be a problem .
g’luck !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3014 days

#11 posted 07-10-2010 03:03 PM

If I get a new blade for it, what size should I get? It looks like Woodcraft has them in 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2.

It wasn’t really an impulse buy, but this was the last push over the edge.

I was using my coping saw – which I’m fairly adept with – and was just getting frustrated.

David – I was thinking of making something like that, as one of my first test pieces, flew down inside!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2948 days

#12 posted 07-10-2010 03:11 PM

I would love to see if you make something like David was talking about – or pictures from David (hint, hint!) I was thinking the same thing: that the small pieces would get lost. Please keep us posted on what you do.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View patron's profile


13609 posts in 3369 days

#13 posted 07-10-2010 03:36 PM

for tighter curves ,
1/8” or 3/16” .
the wider the blade ,
the bugger the radius .
here it is ,
this one is clamped to the table ,
it could have stops under it ,
at the edges ,
so you just slide it in ,
remember to make the slot slightly wider ,
so you can get it of later ,
(you can run a flat screwdriver backwards to clean it out
as it likes to fill with sawdust ,
and pulling it back off ,
can make the blade come forward off the wheels

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3025 days

#14 posted 07-10-2010 04:47 PM

Hi Liz. That saw will work great for cutting minitures. As with any saw, set it up according to the cut you are doing. I would suggest keeping the guide rollers as close to the height of work as possible. This will prevent your blade from twisting.
I am not sure what you have for tools, I would also suggest a small table top belt-disc sander. These are also great for shaping tiny items. I use my (8 inch disc- 4” belt) many times when I am doing tiny work. It cleans up any rough cut edges and smooths out saw marks when you cut a piece of material thinner.
Enjoy building your miniture homes.
Take your time,be careful , AND most of all HAVE FUN.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3014 days

#15 posted 07-10-2010 07:15 PM

That makes a lot of sense! I think I can even manage making it. ;)

95% of what I intend to do with this saw for the foreseeable future is cut straight lines. I want to make lumber that is to scale. Pretty small – about 1/8” thick, so that I can sand it down to 1/16”.

Canadianchips- I have what sounds like the same sander you do. It’s an AMAZING tool, I love it and use it often! :) I’ve even got it set up with a little jig to make it easier to push tiny pieces up against the belt and not loose any skin, or have the piece fly across the room. (er. been there.)

I tried my hand at making a little fence for it last night, but the piece would get kind of stuck between it and the blade at the end of the cut. This resulted in the piece also being thicker at the end of the cut, since it was effectively pushing the blade away. Any ideas what I did wrong?

I don’t NEED a fence, but I need a way to consistently produce the same thickness of end material out of varying widths of start material. If there’s a different way to do it I’m all, er, ears, as they say. (this comment is only funny to those of you who know I’m deaf.)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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