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|03-01-2014, 11:42 AM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Spiral or Straight Blades?
I've used spiral blades for my last couple of projects and they worked good because I did a lot of letters that had curves. Could a straight blade do the same work as a spiral? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of each blade?
|03-01-2014, 11:47 AM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Bellport, LI New York
Thanked 431 Times in 385 Posts
You will get a much cleaner cut with straight blades. Also a much finer kerf. 99% of my work is with straight blades. And yes you can do all of the same work. The only time I use a spiral is when I need a wide uniform kerf (Volker Arnold designs come to mind) or if the project is very big and you can't turn it easily.
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|03-01-2014, 02:37 PM||#3|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dayton, TN
Thanked 265 Times in 258 Posts
I agree with Rolf. I use straight blades almost all the time. I use spirals for portrait patterns with a lot of rounded areas. My bobcat comes to mind.
ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN
|03-01-2014, 03:17 PM||#4|
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Butler, PA
Thanked 177 Times in 153 Posts
Straight blades are preferred for cuts where a clean edge and sharp corners are required. Straight blades are available in larger sizes, so they generally work better in thicker hardwoods than spirals. However, since you have to spin the piece, you are limited in how large of a piece you can easily handle on the saw. I think by & large, straight blades are used for the majority of general scrolling.
Spirals are more of a specialty blade, ideal for specific applications, but not necessarily a general purpose blade. They are great for projects that are large and difficult to spin around in the saw. Being able to cut in any direction makes it easier to handle wood that is too large for the throat depth of the saw or otherwise too too awkward to easily maneuver around. Spirals won't cut as cleanly as a straight blade and points/corners won't be as sharp and crisp.
Most portrait patterns lend themselves well to cutting with spirals. This is where the spiral excels, in my opinion. Most portrait patterns have few straight, smooth lines and don't need precisely cut sharp corners. Since portraits are usually cut from thin plywood, the slightly rougher edges aren't as noticeable as they would be with thicker wood.
Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."
|03-01-2014, 06:24 PM||#5|
Join Date: Nov 2007
Thanked 25 Times in 23 Posts
Everything I cut is straight blade Learned on straight blades and at my age old doesn't learn new tricks very well.
Straight blades you will have less sanding on inside cuts I feel
|03-01-2014, 07:37 PM||#6|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Manchester, TN
Blog Entries: 16
Thanked 126 Times in 105 Posts
Anything I can cut with straights, I cut with straights. There are only a few things that require spirals. (such a spiral candlesticks where different parts of the blade are cutting different directions).
Others on the forum use spirals exclusively. There is no wrong answer. For the new scroller, I would try straights long enough to get a feel for them, then chose that balance for blade choice that makes sense to you. You might find that once you learn how to drive straight (smooth), you have more control.
Last edited by hotshot; 03-02-2014 at 02:40 PM.
|03-02-2014, 08:39 AM||#7|
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kentucky-across river from Cincinnati
Thanked 90 Times in 74 Posts
I've never used anything but spirals and I love them. Most of my work is large that I couldn't do with flat blades. The only thing or draw back to me is you can't do intarsia work with a spiral. I tried to learn with flat blades but like the guy said, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Ray
|03-02-2014, 11:51 AM||#8|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Lubbock Texas
Blog Entries: 2
Thanked 114 Times in 96 Posts
I tried spirals and used one blade of twelve I bought and gave eleven of them away. I was making toys at the time and spirals left such a rough surface they had to be sanded. A band saw does the same thing. With straight blades the cut surface is extremely smooth and no sanding is required. I use straight blades #5 for: Inlay, compound cutting, bowl making, toy making, intarsia, segmentation, lettering, and sign making. If I were to ever do fretwork I suppose I would try sprials again.
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Hegner Polymax- 3
|03-02-2014, 11:15 PM||#9|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
Blog Entries: 9
Thanked 93 Times in 80 Posts
Someone said there is no correct answer--but I feel it is in a mix of blade/techniques. I am probably 99.5% flat, but have those tubes of spirals if the piece requires.
Hope you find the mix that works for you.
Rolf stated the clean edges with flat blades--I almost NEVER have to sand name plates, except fuzzies on rear. Flats give a superior finish on the cuts, IMHO.
Waiting on warm weather to break out the saw. (And yes, that's Comic Sans)
Last edited by Jim McDonald; 03-02-2014 at 11:20 PM.
|03-03-2014, 05:10 AM||#10|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Thanked 18 Times in 18 Posts
I have NEVER used spiral blades for my work. I do own some and I practised with them and decided I hated them. I do portraits, Christmas ornaments, name plaques, clocks etc.
No one knows what I do until I'm not here to do it..
|blades, spiral, straight, wood|