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Old 11-20-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
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Question Learning

As I had stated before, I had bought a Craftsman Variable Speed Saw last week and am just getting started using it. I do like to work with this thing, but having a bit of trouble getting used to what speeds to use for what type of wood.

I started out with trying to cut out a Sprocket Gear, which didn't seem too hard to do. I used some old siding wood that was left over from when I put new siding on the storage shed. This stuff is 3/8" (.312) and built for outside. It's rather rough, but smooth on 1 side. I'm finding that the faster I go, the more the blade seems to flex. Tried something slower, and it seems to take too long. Maybe I should start out with a softer material, such as white pine, just to get a learning process going. What woods are easy to work with? What woods are not?

What about those blades that cut back and forth. They are rounded. What is a good blade to work with?

I'm just full of questions
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:53 PM   #2
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A lot of people use Flying Dutchman blades from Mike's but the thing you have to learn is to get the feel for the rate of cut the blade is cutting at. You can't force it, you must feel the blade cutting and use the force necessary.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:25 AM   #3
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Hey Les,
I am a scroll saw instructor at Woodcraft in Ventura Ca. I start my beginner students off with 3/4" pine and Olson skip tooth #5 blades, medium speed.
My rule of thumb for saw speed is if you think the cutting is lagging, speed up the saw. If you can't stay on the line because the speed is to fast, slow it down.
Saw speed is determined by YOUR comfort!
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:20 AM   #4
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Amen!! There is so much that after while becomes automatic .You will feel more that anything else ,getting really comfortable ,good lite ,free easy movement smooth easy control (if you don't have it )find out why ,several blade to wood guides on this forum ,post any combination ,somebody will differ!
They are not wrong .just are somehow different ,too many differences to supposed same condition .
The main key IMHO is to always let the blade cut at the max speed ,of the speed you choose , These are detail saws they do not respond well to slightest excess force , With any wood blade combination!.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
What about those blades that cut back and forth. They are rounded. What is a good blade to work with?
Those are called spiral blades and they take a little getting used too but don't be afraid to try them.

Blades are readily available in a wide variety of types, sizes, tooth configurations and manufacturers. Probably the two most popular are Flying Dutchman and Olson blades.

Links to the blade suppliers can be found over in the left margin of this page, under Scroll Saw Resources > Retailers. Most folks will tell you that Mike's Workshop is the best place for the Flying Dutchman blades and Sloan's Woodshop is a good source for Olson blades. Call either one of them and you will talk to a real person who can give you first hand advice on their blades and they both offer great customer service.
Personally I prefer Mikes blades...No relation BTW.
Here are links to both sites mentioned.

Mike's Workshop
Sloans
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:05 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your advice. I will keep it all in mind.
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:28 AM   #7
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Is your saw using pinned blades? if so your choices are a bit limited.
Regarding spirals, depending on the saw they can be a bit more challenging to control than a straight blade.
I would suggest staying away from them until you are more comfortable with your saw.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:23 PM   #8
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]Is your saw using pinned blades? if so your choices are a bit limited.

Yes, I'm not sure if it will take any other type of blade. Since I've been told to stay away from those Spiral Blades, I'll leave them alone for now.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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Well, I went on my new Saw this afternoon and tried to machine a simple, but practical piece that is a cut out of a Duck. I used a soft white pine wood 5/8th" thick. It worked out quite well. Took me about 20min. to do this, but it gave me some practice. I'd send a Image of what I did, but can't seem to figure out how to post a picture on here.

I noticed in doing this, that the blade does flex real easy and I have to learn to slow down while cutting the wood. The "sucker" on the Saw does not work all that great, so had to keep blowing off the dust. However, it got done. I'm gonna keep on doing. Like, the ole' saying goes . . . "Walk before you run"
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