Scroll Saw Techniques and Tips
Scroll Saw Techniques
Quality scroll sawing depends on using quality wood and quality blades, more than and other type of woodworking. Learning the techniques and tricks involved with each will increase your enjoyment and quality of your woodwork.
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The Scroll Saw is an invaluable tool for anyone serious about woodworking as a hobby. Its makes detailed crafts a breeze and you can use it for the most advanced freehand cuts. These are bench mounted saws that offer the versatility of extremely precise cuts in either wood, metal, or plastic. These saws can cut up to two inches of wood with ease.
Put a piece of wood in Patrick Spielman's hands and magic happens. First he'll handle the piece, then he'll evaluate how it can best be used. For Spielman, an expert woodworker, that can mean transforming the wood by hand carving, routing, turning or scroll sawing. Or, if it's large enough, he may decide to use it to craft furniture, cabinetry or a sign.
They aren't difficult; just time consuming and tedious. They do look difficult, though, and are therefore impressive to most non-woodworkers, but the big effort is time. I've done some big ones that took 80 hours to complete, and these little ones, about 11" x 7", take me about 25 to 30 hours (but then, I'm maybe a little slow). I assume the following techniques, while normal activity for some, may be new to others. Also, by outlining each step, you might point out better ways to do this sort of project.
Scrollers know that laying their hands on the right blade can be time-consuming, especially if these tiny cutting tools get mixed together. This organizer ends those hassles in a hurry by separating and storing your blades. All you need to build it is a small amount of scrap 1/2" stock and some 1/2"-diameter (5/8" O.D.) CPVC pipe and caps.
For those of you who like to scroll saw, you know how tedious it can be to cut very small pieces of your scroll saw patterns. After years of wear (and sometimes even weeks) the hole in your scroll saw table gets scuffed and enlarged from repeated rubbing of the blade. This occurrence is not generally due to user error, but is what I would refer to as 'the nature of the beast'.
Lots of woodworkers own a scroll saw, but Rick Hutcheson goes way beyond that. The first floor of his two-level workshop in Grimes, Iowa, displays a row of newer scroll saws that he'll readily evaluate for you, feature by feature. And upstairs, along with tables full of finished projects, you'll find a museum's worth of old, even antique, scroll saws.
Most feel the best way to learn scroll saw techniques is to take a class. That is not always an option for someone new to scrolling. Most beginners jump right into cutting a project and are disappointed with the experience and the results. Beginners can take time to learn and practice their techniques. Anyone experienced in wood scrolling can use these tips to introduce friends to the hobby.