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Tips And Tricks

tips tricks hacks

There was a great idea posted in this thread about making a list of tips and tricks for scrollers. Having them in one place would be a great resource for new scrollers, and a fun place for seasoned scrollers to find new ideas.

So post your favorite tips here and I'll add it to the list. Please keep the tips short and sweet so it's easy to read and add to the list.

Let the sharing begin! :thumbs:


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I am a "bottom feeder." After drilling a few holes, I take an awl and enlarge the bottom of the holes. This creates a funnel shape to put the blade in. On a large piece, if you have trouble seeing the hole, lay a CD on the saw table. It reflects A LOT of light up.

Take a pencil #2 rotate in hole makes it very visible.

If you have a small grinder ,taper your blades like an arrow .

I keep a push pin by the saw. Push it through the pilot hole and it works for me.

1. small engineer's square for getting the 90 degree angle which is critical for puzzles
2. packaging tape for blade lubrication.
3. paste wax for the table
4. band aids for those inevitable nicks on the fingers.
5. Magnifying light.
6. Good quality blades
7. Dust mask or central vac system with good pick-up.
8. Adjustable height chair with back support (drafting stool)
9. Subscription to "ScrollSaw Workshop and crafts"
10 3M sanding wheels (for use with drill, drill press, or lathe)
11 3M "77" adhesive spray for permanent bond or Elmer's spray adhesive for temporary bond.

[For Squaring The Blade] - I cut into a scrap. Stop the saw, spin the wood around to the back of the blade. If the blade goes into the cut, you're good. Low tech, but accurate.

For projects due to be repeated; I use a thin stable materiel (hardboard-- plastic etc.) and cut the template to re-use along with the original cuts!

I also use an additional blade lube of old WHITE preferred candles ran right into the blade-- even between cuts. I have fantastic blade life.

I like having an air compressor with spray nozzle to blow all of the dust off my work when its finished.

I always spray a clear coat over fretwork before I frame it to keep any stray sawdust off the inside of the plexiglass.

[Replacement Dust Blower] - I went and purchased an aquarium air pump and hooked it to the saw. Very powerful, and no more problems with saw dust on the project.

Use a sacrificial board under your piece with the pattern when drilling holes to avoid push out and after drilling sand the back with 220 grit so the surface on the saw table is smooth

For really intricate cutting (especially 1/8"), I usually put a sacrifice luan ply above and below the piece. Saw all 3 pieces the same size and wrap with blue tape. Often put a dab of glue in the 4 corners also.

I keep a very small, cheap, shop vac next to my saw and use it constantly. I have also installed a ceiling mounted dust collector. Just blowing off the dust with the compressor is spreading it around the shop and it will end up in your finely sanded, oiled finish, not to mention your nose and lungs.

I have a cardboard box that I place over items I have applied a finish to. It protects the finish from any dust I happen to blow around while working on other projects.

I have an $8 hair dryer blowing the dust off of my work as I saw.

To use more of your blade teeth you can cut off the bottom 3/4" of a dulled blade reinstall, and you will then be using the unused teeth. Not sure all saws will accommodate the shorter blade but all mine will.


  • Woodelf likes this


26 Comments

here is my list of tips/topics for a future seminar I am presenting:

 

 

1. small engineer's square for getting the 90 degree angle which is critical for puzzles

2. packaging tape for blade lubrication.

3. paste wax for the table

4. band aids for those inevitable nicks on the fingers.

5. Magnifying light.

6. Good quality blades

7. Dust mask or central vac system with good pick-up.

8. Adjustable height chair with back support (drafting stool)

9. Subscription to "ScrollSaw Workshop and crafts"

10 3M sanding wheels (for use with drill, drill press, or lathe)

11 3M "77" adhesive spray for permanent bond or Elmer's spray adhesive for temporary bond.

    • amazingkevin, Jim Finn and fastfreddy like this

Hi Orangeman,

 

Re: Your # 1;  I cut into a scrap.  Stop the saw, spin the wood around to the back of the blade.  If the blade goes into the cut, you're good.  Low tech, but accurate. 

    • wombatie, amazingkevin and Fish like this

For projects due to be repeated; I use a thin stable materiel (hardboard-- plastic etc.) and cut the template to re-use along with the  original cuts!

 

I also use an additional blade lube of old WHITE preferred candles ran right into the blade-- even between cuts. I have fantastic blade life.

I like having an air compressor with spray nozzle to blow all of the dust off my work when its finished.
I always spray a clear coat over fretwork before I frame it to keep any stray sawdust off the inside of the plexiglass.

 
 
 
 
 
 

    • amazingkevin likes this

I can't  count how many times I have replaced the bellows in my saw.  For whatever reason they tend to rip very easily.

Finely enough was enough.  I went and purchased an aquarium air pump and hooked it to the saw.  Problem solved.

Been in place for over two years, no problems.  Very powerful, and no more problems with saw dust on the project. :cool: 

 

 

Jamminjack

    • Fab4, stepuchr and jwd5516 like this
Photo
amazingkevin
Jan 07, 2016 04:57 PM

 
 
 
 
 
 

Thanks Travis,No telling how many tips and tricks got swept under the rug all these years of SSV !

Make your own foot switch:

 

http://www.scrollsaw...ter/?hl=command

Use a sacrificial board under your piece with the pattern when drilling holes to avoid push out and after drilling sand the back with 220 grit so the surface on the saw table is smooth

Hi Doug,

 

For really intricate cutting (especially 1/8"), I usually put a sacrifice luan ply above and below the piece.  Saw all 3 pieces the same size and wrap with blue tape.  Often put a dab of glue in the 4 corners also. 

 

jerry

Tips have been added to the list.  Anybody else got any tricks they'd like to share?

Use the largest bit that will fit into the cutting area and getting the blade up from the bottom will be easier. 

 

Larry

For Inkscape pattern designers: Save some basic parts of a pattern that you will be using again some day.

1. An example of the perimeter for Word Art. Change dimensions as desired.
2. Any example of a starting place for a round trivet.

jerry

Attached Files

1.  When trying out a finish for the first time always try it out on a scrap piece of wood of the type you want to put the finish on, that way if you muck it up or dislike it you have not ruined the work that you have just finished.

 

2.  When working on a large piece, DO NOT drill all the holes at once, because if it breaks and is unfixable you have still the rest of the wood to make something else, whereas if you have drilled all the holes all you have is fire wood.

 

Marg

    • vykus likes this

Hi Doug,

 

For really intricate cutting (especially 1/8"), I usually put a sacrifice luan ply above and below the piece.  Saw all 3 pieces the same size and wrap with blue tape.  Often put a dab of glue in the 4 corners also. 

 

jerry

Jerry, why not just cut three copies of the pattern? Essentially, that's what your already doing, it's just that your cutting one good copy, and two copies to waste. If you don't want to be bothered sanding the bottom copy, sure cut it out of waste wood. But, there's no reason your two top copies couldn't be kept.

Len

Lucky2,

Your point is well taken, however, I NEVER feel I want or have a need for multiple copies of the same piece. One of my many hang ups is that I don't ever want any 2 of my pieces to be the same. Never sold any of my work.

Thanks for the comment Friend,

jerry

When doing signs or word art in the past, I sprayed the entire oversized backer. Glued on the cut piece as usual and cut the perimeter last.  This would often show a thin black line between the 2 boards.

 

Now I mask the backer before painting and only paint the area that will show, but don't paint near the perimeter.  The finished piece looks more professional.

 

jerry

    • WayneMahler and GrampaJim like this

Hot glue a magnet to a small 3'  (three feet) wooden stick.

Use it to pick up that saw blade you dropped on the floor.

    • vykus and Scrappile like this
Larry,

You dropped a blade on the floor? Never heard of or experienced that happening. Learn something new everyday here.

jerry

For bottom feeding detailed picture scrolling I use a hemostat to help feed the #3/0 blade into the tiny #65 hole and to pull it through from the top.

 

My hemostats become magnetized often.  I put heat shrink tubing over the jaws to prevent the magnetism from grabbing the blade where I did want to grab it.  Worked great.

    • WayneMahler and LarryEA like this

For bottom feeding detailed picture scrolling I use a hemostat to help feed the #3/0 blade into the tiny #65 hole and to pull it through from the top.

 

My hemostats become magnetized often.  I put heat shrink tubing over the jaws to prevent the magnetism from grabbing the blade where I did want to grab it.  Worked great.

and I use needle nose pliars

For bottom feeding I use a 3" dia wide angle round mirror (domed style) intended to be glued to the side flat mirror of a truck to increase the driver's field of view. When laid on the saw table it magnifies the blade and holes making it easier to get the blade into the hole.

 

Charley. 

    • Scrappile likes this

I like having an air compressor with spray nozzle to blow all of the dust off my work when its finished.
I always spray a clear coat over fretwork before I frame it to keep any stray sawdust off the inside of the plexiglass.

 

I thought about that Sparkey, but came down to the cans of compressed air that are available, which will do me for the time.  If the production line gets going, it may be a different matter, but start small and then progress is my motto.

 

Malcolm

I like having an air compressor with spray nozzle to blow all of the dust off my work when its finished.
I always spray a clear coat over fretwork before I frame it to keep any stray sawdust off the inside of the plexiglass.

I keep a very small, cheap, shop vac next to my saw and use it constantly. I have also installed a ceiling mounted dust collector. Just blowing off the dust with the compressor is spreading it around the shop and it will end up in your finely sanded, oiled finish, not to mention your nose and lungs.

I have a cardboard box that I place over items I have applied a finish to. It protects the finish from any dust I happen to blow around while working on other projects.

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