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Old 12-31-2013, 08:47 PM   #1
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Exclamation Blades for newbies - Please help!

I ended up spending some time scroll sawing in woodshop class and my dad bought me a hawk scroll saw as a present.

Before I knew it I had 8 orders and absolutely no idea what I'm doing. Completely self-taught I have been fine, until I ran out of blades.

I have enough for now, but I don't know where to start. Overwhelmed at best, I'm looking for some advice.

However, I don't see any other threads devoted to beginning blade information. I may just need to do more looking. If not, post anything you think will be useful to anyone, with any machine, in a similar position to me. Newbies, feel free to post additional common/simple questions.


1. What blades should I try?
“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.” - wood-n-things
2. Is there some beginner packs that will let me play with a few different types?
Accessories
3. What's the best kind of blades?
“Like #1, rather subjective. Folks who cut puzzles won't like the blades that intarsia scrollers prefer. Intarsia scrollers may not care for the blades that fretwork scrollers use. Much depends on what you are doing with the blade.” - Bill Wilson


4. What's the difference between pin and simple blades?
“Pin end blades are typically larger, more aggressive. The pins in the ends are to hold them in the saws clamps. Some saws will only accept pin end blades, but most scrollers use plain end (simple?) blades because they are available in more sizes and tooth configurations and you can thread them through very small holes for fretwork.” - Bill Wilson
5.Where do you buy your blades?
I have been pointed to two companies for buying blades, http://www.mikesworkshop.com/blades.htm and http://www.sloanswoodshop.com/ (Olsons)
6.What kind of blades do you use for what kind of work? (Work=this kinda blades)
“Generally, the smaller the blade, the higher the number of teeth per inch. The higher the tooth count, the less aggressive the cut and smaller the kerf. Use smaller blades for thinner stock and/or greater detail in the pattern. Use larger blades for thicker, harder stock with less fine detail. Like Rolf, I use an Olson, 2/0 reverse tooth blade for cutting fine detail in thinner stock. I use an Olson #3 MS blade for most general scrolling. I'll move up to a #5 or #7 MS blade for thicker/harder wood. Reverse tooth blades are popular because they hjave a few teeth pointed in the opposite direction, at the bottom of the blade. This helps minimize the tearout and "fuzzies" on the back of the piece. There are specialty blades available for specific applications, like puzzles and cutting thin metals (jewelers blades).” - Bill Wilson
“I use the Olson 2/0 reverse (28 teeth per inch (TPI)) for all of my fine detailed work
up to 1/2 inch. a very easy blade to control.
From there I go to The Olson Mach series #3 (13 tpi)
Those two blade sizes cover 90 % of all my work.
If you don't already know most blades will tend to cut to one side more agressivly than the other, you will learn to compensate for that. this is caused by the manufacturing process.
You should buy a dozen of each blade you want to try until you get a feel for them and then buy more of the blade that you become comfortable with.
The FD ultra reverse series of blades is also very popular.” - Rolf


More information on this might be helpful for other newbies.







7. Is there any information out there already for me to look at?
http://www.scrollsawer.com/files.php..._206122387.pdf

8. A gross of blades is a dozen dozen = 144 blades. Which honestly sounds like to many to just buy on a whim.


9. Does anyone know of a sample pack for Sloans? I ask because no live people are available at the moment with the holidays.


10. What kind of work do you do, and what blades do you use?


11. Please add any addition information that may be useful for newbies.

Last edited by Rabby; 01-01-2014 at 01:41 PM. Reason: Update of information and additional questions.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:54 PM   #2
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I have bounced around some websites and found Olson's blade chart, rockler's "What You Should Know About Scroll Saw Blades" (-which is less then helpful), and of course this site.

I haven't seen any information about clubs in my rural area. So I don't have a lot of experienced elders to ask. My teacher knows less about the machine then I do already.

I know I'm running a hawk that takes pin-less 5" blades but that's about it. I am of the understanding that there are lots of different kinds of blades. But I'd never be able to tell you what the difference is between a Crown and a Reverse is.

Please help me out.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:29 PM   #3
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Rabby, there is a sampler pack available from Mike. http://www.mikesworkshop.com/blades.htm This is the most frequented reseller by this forums members, but not by any means the only choice. Mikes is fast shipping, and scrolls himself, so he knows his stuff. Never ever heard a negative word about him.

In addition to the sampler, I would go ahead and get a gross of FDUR #5

You could also call Sloans, tell them you are just starting and need a sampling, they are experienced scrollers and should be able to do that for you as well http://www.sloanswoodshop.com/. They sell Olsons.

Both of the sources listed above give information about each blade type and it's recommended use. I'll leave some of your other queries to the other members.

------Randy

Last edited by hotshot; 12-31-2013 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:01 PM   #4
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Hi, Rabby, and welcome to the forum.

Here is a really useful chart Bob Duncan put together, which was published in the magazine a few volumes back. You should find it useful.

Clicking on the link below will open a PDF file with the chart on it.

http://www.scrollsawer.com/files.php..._206122387.pdf

.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:02 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, Rabby.

Here is link to Mike's home page. You will find answers to most of your questions there. I started with his sampler pack and continue to use Flying Dutchman blades.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:36 PM   #6
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I tried and tested every brand of blade available and the winner for me are Flying Dutchman. Like the others have stated, get the sampler pack from Mike and decide which type fit your cutting style the best. I usually have no less than 500 FD #5 Polar on hand at all times.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:21 PM   #7
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This may seem like a simple question, but what is a gross? Is it like a dozen or something? I dont think I want to order a billion of something before I try it.

Also, I'm I reading right that a sampler is only two blades of one kind? Or am I missing something?

You help is immensely appreciated.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:39 PM   #8
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A gross is a dozen dozen (144)


Rabby, do you know what kind of scrolling you would like to start with? Check out the subforums here, and see if something really inspires you. If there is something you really like, it will be easier to recommend a blade type.
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Last edited by Scrolling Days; 12-31-2013 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:50 PM   #9
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Rabby - you got the folks on this site to steer you right and help you thru the process and make it fun and rewarding - they did it for me.

Look up copy right stuff on this site

Google sanding mops, it will help

You'll find on brand will be your type of blade - order small qty's from each - I like FD blades
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:23 AM   #10
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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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