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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to make a desk name plate for my son, who recently was ordained as a Youth Pastor. I am trying spiral scroll saw blades and cutting the letters out. Not doing so well as the blade seems to do a jig and I tighten it down significantly. I think near to the point of breaking.

Is there a right way to cut out letters. Maybe my blades are not right for this? I'd appreciate any advice. No matter how simple it might seem to you, I probably don't know it.
 

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Alice
when I am cutting out letters. I normally use a #1 or #2 reverse cut blade. It keeps things smooth on both sides and is easier to control then a spiral cut blade. I also use a zero cut placement under my blade. It can be made very simple. An old playing card or thin piece of cardboard taped to the surface of the table helps protect the smaller fragile ares from breakage.
 

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Yep..Throw the spiral cut blades away. As you know, they cut in every direction. And if you stop to reposition your hands, or hiccup, or anything else, the blade will cut where you don't want it to.

For really thin wood, I like a #2 or 2/0. But I will also use the thinner blades on thicker wood for a smoother cut too. Skip tooth or reverse tooth blades work well.

Good luck.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alice
when I am cutting out letters. I normally use a #1 or #2 reverse cut blade. It keeps things smooth on both sides and is easier to control then a spiral cut blade. I also use a zero cut placement under my blade. It can be made very simple. An old playing card or thin piece of cardboard taped to the surface of the table helps protect the smaller fragile ares from breakage.
Thanks, Wayne. I'll get a few of those blades and give it a try. I know the blade does make a difference, but I've not done this long enough or consistently enough to know which blade to use.


Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep..Throw the spiral cut blades away. As you know, they cut in every direction. And if you stop to reposition your hands, or hiccup, or anything else, the blade will cut where you don't want it to.

For really thin wood, I like a #2 or 2/0. But I will also use the thinner blades on thicker wood for a smoother cut too. Skip tooth or reverse tooth blades work well.

Good luck.

Jim
Thanks, Jim. I had already considered throwing those spiral blades away. I appreciate the advice.
 

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Doug
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Alice,
the # 3 and #5 Olson blades are a great way to start getting a handle on your technique. They are a little more forgiving on blade tension, but still allow some fairly tight turns. Plus, I can see the teeth so I know I am putting them in the right way...
 

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I watched a fella giving a demo once. He did wonders with spiral blades so I thought I would give it a try. I decided that the reason he did so well was that he had lots and lots and lots (ad infinitum) of practice. Since I don't care to spend so much valuable time practicing I decided to use conventional blades. IMHO
 

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Just a quick not to add to what has already been said, the spiral blades are great for those who have time to learn to use them. I tried them and that was the end of that.
 

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I'll just toss out there how I do it, when I do it. Just in case. I don't know what blades I get, but thery're a tad coarse, but make nice smooth cuts. Make curves pretty nicely, not really tight curves, but when I make curves if I can't make one tight enough, I just go back and make two or three cuts to make it as tight as I want. Then, if needed, I send the cuts smooth. Usually I don't have to sand at all, and usually just one cut does for me. But on the other hand my letters/numbers are like 2" tall usually. My stuff is not for a desk either, but on a sign post or some such, where perfaction is not such a big deal. But, however you do it, the other guys ways are probably better than mine, practice on scrap wood before you go for the gold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
zero cut placement

Alice
when I am cutting out letters. I normally use a #1 or #2 reverse cut blade. It keeps things smooth on both sides and is easier to control then a spiral cut blade. I also use a zero cut placement under my blade. It can be made very simple. An old playing card or thin piece of cardboard taped to the surface of the table helps protect the smaller fragile ares from breakage.
I hope I'm understanding this correctly...the playing card creates the zero cut placement. Is this correct. With my first attempt, I ruined the wood both sides. The spiral blade cut every way and looks terrible. Plus the drilled holes were not protected on the back so the wood splintered out from the drill bit when it cut through. I know to tape the wood, but didn't. The playing card seems very easy to accomplish. Thank you for that tip. I did go buy some reverse cut blades of a variety of sizes. Plan to use that first attempt as my trial and error with each blade. Then when I find the one I like best, I will go fresh with a new piece of wood and pattern.

Thank you so much for your advice.
 

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Boy, had no idea that the spiral blades were so difficult to use.

I've been using them for several years. I adjust the tension, and use the proper size blade depending on thickness and hardness of the wood. I had no problem cutting with the spirals. I just hate cleaning up the feathering.

I guess learning the most difficult way of scrolling with spirals will make scrolling a breeze when I get the reverse cut blades.

I can't wait until I get the reverse cut blades and try them.
 
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