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post #1 of 8 Old 12-21-2011, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Post scroll saw help

I wouldn't say I am an accomplished wood worker so I am looking for some input. I have a 20 inch DeWalt scroll saw and I haven't been able to get it to perform, I see programs where they are doing good things with this same model of saw. One question is how much differance is there in blades, and can you saw plywood or do you need a differant blade.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-21-2011, 10:40 PM
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The DeWalt 788 is a good saw and should perform well for you. Blades make a huge difference in a lot of issues. What problems are you having with your saw. It's not so much the material that governs the type of blades as it is the material, the thickness of the material and the hardness of the material.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-22-2011, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Post scroll saw issues

When attempting to cut 3/8 baltic birch it dosen't saw but a short way and then the blade wants to double fore and aft instead of sawing. It just sort of runs in place. I have had it quite a long period of time just never at peace with the idea I could cut out anything with it. De Walt dosen't offer any help, got on the Steve Good site and he does all sorts of good things with the same kind of saw so it got my juices going. Bought some blades at Lowes and I am right back where I started. Bought it a few years ago thinking I could cut some finer cuts than I do with my band saw. Didn't happen Ha. So I continue using the band saw. Thanks for the reply seems to be a user problem. Jeral
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-22-2011, 09:00 AM
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"...and then the blade wants to double fore and aft instead of sawing."


POIDH.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-22-2011, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeral Lipps View Post
When attempting to cut 3/8 baltic birch it dosen't saw but a short way and then the blade wants to double fore and aft instead of sawing. It just sort of runs in place. I have had it quite a long period of time just never at peace with the idea I could cut out anything with it. De Walt dosen't offer any help, got on the Steve Good site and he does all sorts of good things with the same kind of saw so it got my juices going. Bought some blades at Lowes and I am right back where I started. Bought it a few years ago thinking I could cut some finer cuts than I do with my band saw. Didn't happen Ha. So I continue using the band saw. Thanks for the reply seems to be a user problem. Jeral
Why don't you get some good blades. Like flying dutchman or olson. I don't belive blade's from box store's are very good. I have a hagner 18" and use flying dutchman blades with very good results. Here is the link for those http://www.mikesworkshop.com/blades.htm or ask kenbo which he use's . I belive olson ? he has posted here good luck
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-22-2011, 05:17 PM
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So you've checked your tension and feed rate? Sounds just a little like too fine a tooth count on the blade.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-22-2011, 05:19 PM
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For starters, let's just start by saying this. Don't buy your scrolling blades at Lowes, Home Depot, or any other big box store. The blades they carry are sub standard and wouldn't cut butter if you heated the blade up.
Secondly, if it were me, and I was cutting 3/8" baltic birch I would probably use no less than a #3 reverse tooth blade. Preferrably a PGT blade (precision ground tooth) You might even go as high as a #7 reverse tooth blade. Olson, flying dutchman, king all make good quality blades. Personally, I use Olson.

To help you in selecting your blade, try this.
blade usage.pdf

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the running in place. It almost sounds like you are not feeding the stock into the blade. The stock has to be constantly pushed into the blade and turned as necessary to follow the lines of your pattern. Make sure that you are applying tension to the blade. The DeWalt has a tension lever that slides from left to right. You want to tighten your blade so that when you pluck it like a guitar string, you will get a clear "ping" sound coming from it.
If you wish to check out my you tube page for a few tips and trick, you can feel free to do that as well. The address is in my signature at the bottom of my post. Let me know if any of this helps you and if not, we will carry on until we find the problem. I would hate for you to give up and deny yourself one of the most enjoyable and relaxing forms of woodworking that there is.
Ken

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post #8 of 8 Old 01-06-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeral Lipps View Post
I wouldn't say I am an accomplished wood worker so I am looking for some input. I have a 20 inch DeWalt scroll saw and I haven't been able to get it to perform, I see programs where they are doing good things with this same model of saw. One question is how much differance is there in blades, and can you saw plywood or do you need a differant blade.

Hello

You got some good advice here already so I will just throw a few things out that I found over the years that helps. First off you are a newbie so welcome to a nice fine relaxing hobby, scrollsawing. Second you have got a very good saw and should serve you well for many years. Next the blades that you are buying are not of good quality at all. For my money I would contact Mike at the link that was provided you. The Flying Dutchman blades in my opinion are the best out there.

I happen to use a #5 blade for just about everything I cut. I will go to more specialized blades as the material dictates. I use the Silver Penquin double tooth reverse blades. Very nice blade and easily controlled.

The material you are cutting has alot to do with the cutting speed and ease of cutting. You mentioned 3/8" BB plywood. No problem with that material if it is what you say it is. BB plywood is a good wood to use because of its no voids in the center layers and the multi-layers makes it stable. But with multi-layers comes a tradeoff. Blades will tend to dull faster because the glue used to to glue the layers. This is true for any cutting tool. When a blade dulls one tends to push harder which can cause all kinds of problems as well a s safety mishaps. Always use a sharp blade and let the saw do the cutting with you feeding at a reasonable rate which is going to be slower because of the size of the blade and the motion of cutting. This hobby is a fun relaxing one and patience is a factor. One other thing make sure you install the blades with the teeth pointing downward.

You can call Mike and he will explain which blades are better and why. He is a top notch first rate guy and loves to talk so it will be well worth a call. His web site has alot of valuable info there as well.

When you get more into intricate cutting give us a shout here and we all can guide you some more. Untill then Happy Scrolling.

John T.
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