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Old 01-03-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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Scroll Saw help needed

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So I am mostly self taught everything over the years but I have always called on guys that new what they were doing to tune me up on the fine points.

I have a variable speed Ryobi scroll saw that I have been using for a few years. I have used fine tooth blades for cutting steel/aluminum and ply. I have course blades and I have these round/unidirectional blades as well.

I am cutting out the wing supports/ers ( it's evident I can't recall the proper name, it's either age or the chemo, not the cabane but those things that go towards the outside of the wing), for my 1/4 Great lakes bipe out of 1/8th quality grade plywood. I am using the multi directional blade and BANG I break another blade. These things are 14" long and 7" wide so they are a good size.

My normal process is to make a photocopy or sketch what I need and spray stick it (using 3M super 77) to the ply. I then cut out the big piece to within 1/8 to 1/4 of the finish line. Then I finish cut close to the line, course sand the edges to the line and then do the fitting on the plane.

I seem to break a large number of blades. Is that normal?? Am I horsing it thru too hard. I tighten the blade till I get a nice "ping" when I pop the blade. It stays tight. Should I be using different blades?? I usually buy them at Home Depot or Rona.

I need a tune up I think. Who's got some pointers?
John Kovats

aka Johnny Versatile

MAAC 65460

Hespeler Model Aviators Inc.
Cambridge Float Flyers

I don't have the answers, but I have a personal relationship with the Guy that does.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:01 PM   #2
Nick Milligan
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Re: Scroll Saw help needed

A practice I have gotten into is to let go of the workpiece once and a while. for some reason I end up putting side pressure on the blade. Half to stop and let everything get sorted.
I'm no expert at the scroll saw though... blades are bought in bulk.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:50 PM   #3
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Re: Scroll Saw help needed

how many teeth per inch. Might need to go get a blade more suited to cutting plywood.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:46 AM   #4
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Re: Scroll Saw help needed

Hi John
My scroll saw is currently getting a workout as well but I do not seem to be having the same problem as yourself.
Several things can break a blade. Too much tension on the blade, wrong teeth per inch for the thickness of the material you are cutting, side pressure when you are cutting, blade speed too slow (or too fast) that causes the blade to jamb in the material.

I get my blades where ever I am shopping at the time but I do try to use the finest tooth per inch (tpi) blade that I can. The one I am using to cut 1/8 to 1/16" ply is 20 tpi. If I use less teeth per inch then I find that the 1/8ply that I have been cutting wants to 'bounce' on the table as the 'up' stroke wants to grab hold of the material and I have to hold it down quite firmly. This has caused me to break a blade or two if you do not hold the material firmly down on the table. With the 20 tpi blade the saw does not want to grab the material on its return stroke as much and I am not having to hold it down as hard. This gives me a smoother cut and I can cut on the line as long as I am careful and pay attention to where I am going etc. The other thing I do is to not force the material into the blade. You get a faster and smoother cut if it is not forced into the material, and the blade does not want to jamb on you and break.

The saw is meant to cut on the down stroke so make sure you have the blade in the right way.

hope this helps
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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Re: Scroll Saw help needed

Try a Router!!

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Old 01-04-2012, 11:23 AM   #6
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Re: Scroll Saw help needed

Heat and pressure;

Either you are pushing to hard (or the wrong direction e.g. sideways as already mentioned) or are using too fine a blade.

Right tool?

Scroll saws are great for cutting tight curves etc. for interplane struts as you describe, I would generally use my bandsaw....
MAAC# 12719
Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere - (If it ain't broke, don't fix it).
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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Re: Scroll Saw help needed

Thanks for the replies. Hey Jim thanks for calling them "interplane struts", my mind was blank and I could only think of struts and felt something was missing.

I don't own a band saw, not enough demand.

Anyway, I changed blades and went to a heavier one. I used a straight cut blade. I too have recognised that I occassionally start using side pressure. Those round cut/multi direction blades show that up pretty fast. I looked up a few You Tube "how to's" with scroll saws. Nothing real informative there that I didn't know.

The short conclusion I have come to is that it is not a tool I use all the time and I just don't have enough experience to really have a feel for it. I was hoping I might just get an inside tip from RCCanada members as they are usually pretty helpful.

I got the interplane struts cut out last night. Didn't break any blades after I switched to the heavier straight cut blade. Stopped "horsing" my work as much and didn't have a lot of sanding to do when I got done.

Now I am ready for the serious work of lining up biplane wings using the interplane struts as a guide for the cabane building.

Love scratch building!! Anybody have an ARF for sale ?
John Kovats

aka Johnny Versatile

MAAC 65460

Hespeler Model Aviators Inc.
Cambridge Float Flyers

I don't have the answers, but I have a personal relationship with the Guy that does.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:18 PM   #8
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Re: Scroll Saw help needed

I would contact T BRUM here on the forums. He is a scroll saw mainiac. The guy does some awsome work with that machine.If I didn't know better I'd swear it was all routered.
Take a look through his thread
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
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Re: Scroll Saw help needed

With respect to all of the advice is let the blade
do the not push will get the hang of it.
Kit builders are a dying breed
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