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  • Wichman

    Modifying Pinned Blades

    There are two main types of scroll saw blades: pinned and pinless blades. Scroll saw hobbyists prefer pinless blades because they offer a greater variety in blade choice, can cut more intricate details, and can make smaller inside cuts. On the flipside, pinned blades are designed for construction and general woodworking where precision and detailed cuts are not needed. The main disadvantage of pinned blades is that you have to drill a larger pilot hole (6mm) in your workpiece to thread your scroll blade through to accommodate the pins set into the blade. This severely limits the detail you can cut into a project.

    However, not all is lost. @Wichman, in this thread, describes how to modify a pinned blade so you can do more delicate inside cuts. His process is described below.


    modify_pinned_blades_tools.jpgYou’ll need:

    • Pinned scroll saw blade
    • Safety pin
    • Needle nose plyers
    • Vice grips

    Step 1

    modify_pinned_blades_02.jpgmodify_pinned_blades_03.jpgWe want to remove only the pin from the top of the blade.  The bottom pin will remain in place.  With the vice grips, lock onto the pin at the top of the blade so it doesn’t move.

    Step 2

    modify_pinned_blades_04.jpgWith needle-nose pliers, wiggle the blade side-to-side (not end-to-end lengthwise, or the blade may break). The pin will eventually slide out of the hole in the blade.

    Step 3

    modify_pinned_blades_05.jpgThe safety pin should now fit into the hole left behind from the removed pin.

    Using your modified blade

    modify_pinned_blades_clamp.jpgmodify_pinned_blades_converted.jpgA small spring clamp will keep your blade engaged in the lower clamp while you thread the blade through the pilot holes in your workpiece. Note that the bottom pin is still in place and wasn’t removed during the conversion process described above.
    Once threaded through the pilot hole in your workpiece, slide the safety pin through the hole in the top of your blade where you removed the pin. This will allow your top blade holder to secure your blade for cutting.


    Here is an example of a project made using this process.  As you can see, if you cannot use pinless blades for whatever reason, you can convert them so you can still do intricate interior cuts and still make amazing projects.




    This article was adapted from this thread and edited by @Travis.

    Modifying Pinned Blades

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    2. drill holes at each end of the line drawn:


    Drill holes along the line as closely as possible. Once the holes are drilled (as many as possible ), using very mild sideways pressure use the drill bit to cut sideways between the holes, go slow and only a small depth at a time. This slot was created with a Dremel and a #72 (.025) drill bit. I started with the plunge router attachment to drill the line of holes; then switched to the Dremel handheld (choked up on the bit) to create the slot:


    A picture of the slot with the blade installed:


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