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Old 12-08-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
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Default Thicker wood burning - thickness, or type of wood?

Dumb question... I've been working on cutting some of the 3d ornaments in the holiday special issue, and they turn out great. I've been cutting them out of pine and cedar, the cutting thickness is 1.5" x 1.5". I made the mistake of stopping by Woodcraft here in San Antonio, and got a bunch of wild ideas (and made a Christmas list of tools I want ). I bought some exotic wood pieces - palm, and osage orange - that were in planks of 1.5" x 1.5" x 18" - easy to use in my project, just cut into four or five sections and start cutting. Well, I've now burnt out 6 flying dutchman blades, made my garage smell like a coffee roaster, seriously had fear about catching sawdust on fire in a massive explosion like I saw in highschool chemistry grain-bin style, scorched all the wood, and haven't made much of a dent in the wood.

So here's my dumb question - is this wood just really hard wood? Is there something special about these sticks - ie they've done something to them to make them better for turning on a lathe? I've tried #7 and #9 flying dutchmen UR blades, and have to press in way too hard to make any kind of cut at all.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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First no question here is a dumb question.

2nd they are hard woods. Blade size is correct. slow down your feed rate and just take your time and let the blade do the cutting. This wood will teach you patience. 1.5" thickness is pretty much at the top of the scale for cutting on a scroll saw in hard woods.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:01 PM   #3
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I would also put some packing tape over or under the pattern, it helps to lubricate the blade. Also back up frequently to allow the saw dust to clear. You only have about a 3/4" stroke so you need to let the trapped sawdust out.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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Are the blades in upside down?
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:23 PM   #5
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Just a thought, but, wouldn't a skip tooth blade be better. It would clean the sawdust out of the way quicker. I use a # 5 Silver Reverse on 3/4" Oak & that is hard work for that one. Can't use a straight tooth blade, like the polar. It just won't handle hardwood, for me anyway. That 1.5 " thickness is a lot of wood to be cutting too. Good luck.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:04 PM   #6
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Contrary to Perk, I'd suggest trying a FD #5 polar. I've found them good on harder woods. Just go real slow, keep a sharp blade, let the dust out, lubricate, don't push very hard, and just relax, as it takes a while to cut through thick hardwood.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnman View Post
Contrary to Perk, I'd suggest trying a FD #5 polar. I've found them good on harder woods. Just go real slow, keep a sharp blade, let the dust out, lubricate, don't push very hard, and just relax, as it takes a while to cut through thick hardwood.
.................................................. ..I use this same blade to cut the thicker wood. I suggest you slow the saw down as slow as you can.
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Old 12-11-2010, 01:06 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice - I'll give it another shot. I've been back cutting pine ornaments for now, to get my confidence back up! I hadn't thought about backing off to let the dust out -- I had to make my drill holes in several passes for the same reason, so I'm sure that will help. I've got some new blades on order to deal with these toughies. I'm excited about seeing the finished results.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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I got my new blades last night - I ordered both the polar blade and the "heavy duty" FD-HD No. 2. I went with the HD first, and it chewed through the palm wood like the other blade goes through pine - I'm very impressed. I was going to try the polar blade as well, but once when starting to cut got the blade jammed and blew the fuse on the saw... will get that replaced today and see how the different blades do.
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