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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I do have my scroll saw bolted down on wood and yes the legs are metal. I table is sitting on a rug also off the floor. I have found pads that are used for furniture legs that are 1/2" thick which the manual calls for so I'm going to try that and see if it stops the vibration. I have been trying different types of vase and they have come out not bad. Some have small areas which were difficult but I managed to get through not bad. I even made bird cage ornaments before Christmas and sold two out of ten that I had. I wish I new how to sell year round on the computer but I'm know computer expert. they were not around in my school days. I bought a new computer and find it difficult. I manage to get want I can do but with who ever designs them they're more for the younger generation. I think they don't care about the older generation...Dennis
 

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Doug
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Dennis,

My next suggestion is try a few different types of blades. I use Olson PGT blades, because they seem to work best for me. A lot of other guys use the Flying dutchman blades, but my saw already has an agressive cut, so they were a little hard to control.

I've also had vibration problems when using duller blades, and even worse... when I installed blades upside down!

Hopefully you can find a solution that works for you, without having to upgrade your saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello again
I' using #7 reverse wright now which is not back, but I had to expand my project from 4" to 6". The 4" well I had a problem there. One area was 1/8" and when I tried taking the tape off it broke. So now I'm trying the 6" which gave me another 1/16th. So I'll see how that goes. And thankyou I will keep that in mind...Dennis
 

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John
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Dennis
You did not state what brand scroll saw you are using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
scroll saw

Hello
The scroll saw I have is a Ryobi 18" with variable speed. The only other problem I'm having lately is the knob, it's round and hard to tighten the blade. I contacted the Ryobi people about it when I saw another Ryobi they had which had a t knob. I asked them about that knob if I could use it on my machine and they said no. If I could find one that would fit it would be get. I find the round knob is hard on the fingers. And I don't think it tightens enough...Dennis

PS: Oh I have been using olson blades. There the only ones I can find around here
 

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The smaller and lower priced scroll saws all seem to have this same excessive vibration problem, especially when cutting at higher speeds, and it doesn't seem to matter which brand or model saw. They all seem to be prone to this. The only exception that I know of are the Hegner saws. The larger saws like the DeWalt , Delta, Porter Cable, and Excalibur 18-24" saws vibrate much less and are much easier to use at all speeds.

I own a Delta Q3 and a Dewalt DW788 saw and am very satisfied with their low vibration and how well they will cut at any speed. I have used several of my friend's Excaliber and Hegner saws and I like how well they cut, and I have tried to help some friends with the smaller saws without much success. The best improvement that we made was to bolt a Dremel 16" saw to an 24" square steel plate 3/8" thick. It made quite a difference in reducing the vibration, but it also made the saw too heavy to move easily.

Look online for PGT (Precision Ground Teeth) scroll saw blades for the best cuts. Most of the standard Olson blades that I've tried had more tooth set on one side of the blade than the other and this caused them to cut at an angle and produce a rougher cut. No two of their standard blades ever seemed to cut the same way for me either. Their PGT blades cost a bit more, but produce a much higher quality cut higher quality cut that far outweighs their slightly higher cost. I now use Flying Dutchman PGT blades because I've found their quality to be even higher than the Olsen PGT blades.

Take one of your Ryobi thumb screws from your saw to one of the larger hardware stores (if you have one nearby) that have the specialty parts section. They may have a knob in stock with the same metric thread, but with a wing type handle, but be careful that the new knob doesn't interfere with the operation of your saw. It might also be possible to use socket head cap screws in place of your knobs and then use an Allen wrench to loosen and tighten them.

Charley
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Charley for the advise.
I was working on my scroll saw yesterday. I had no problem cutting around piece, but when I started cutting small areas in side my blades kept coming loose. I worked on it five times tightening the blade but no success. So I gave it up for the rest of the day. I used reverse tooth 2 and 2/0 which the pattern called for. I believe there too small for the clamps to hold on to. I do not no what other blade sizes to use to cut small and curved areas.
 

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I had some thick (3/8?) rubber floor covering that came out of an Air force maintenance back shop. Used a hole saw to make disks and bolted the saw to a 3/4" cabinet top. It's a Delta. No more vibration.

As to the smaller blades coming loose, I have to make sure they are dead center of the clamps and tighten really tight, or mine come loose also.
 

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When cutting intricate parts it's best to cut the inside areas of your pattern first while the material is stronger. The un-cut outside area stiffens the work and leaves you material to hang onto. When the inside areas are all cut out, then move to the outside of your pattern and cut the excess away. You will be surprised how much better things go for you.

Charley
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
inside cut

Hi Charley
I always do inside cuts first. Better grip on the wood. The job I'm doing is Layered songbird coasters and cutting the inside has small areas. When I kept loosening and tightening and changing holes that's when the blade starts to come loose when I start to cut the wood. Perhaps I should work on bigger material.
 

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Maybe by using a magnifying glass you can look closely at the blade clamps and the area of the blades that get clamped to see what is changing each time that you clamp and un-clamp the blades. If the clamp works OK on a new blade, but then fails after you re-clamp the same blade something has to have changed. Did the clamping area of the blade get dented or bent? What is causing it? Can you see the cause by looking carefully at the clamp? Only by carefully analyzing the problem will you understand what is causing it. Only then can you come up with a solution to fix it. Something is causing the blades not to be clamped properly after you have clamped and un-clamped them. Then let us know and maybe we can suggest a way to solve it.

Charley
 

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Stop vibrations

I had some thick (3/8?) rubber floor covering that came out of an Air force maintenance back shop. Used a hole saw to make disks and bolted the saw to a 3/4" cabinet top. It's a Delta. No more vibration.

As to the smaller blades coming loose, I have to make sure they are dead center of the clamps and tighten really tight, or mine come loose also.

I'd bolt the saw to a timber base with a low shelve and put a 20 kg bag of sand
under. That will stop the vibrations.
 

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Hi Dennis.
I've never had a Ryobi; I'm guessing it's a pinless blade machine, and if so, I would go with crown tooth blades. They cut on the upstroke as well as the down, and if you can, try the spiral. While I never in a million years EVER thought I would go spiral, I find that they have their uses in certain instances. I have an Excalibur (my upgrade from my beloved Delta after it was stolen) and I, too am having issues with vibration, where I didn't before. Still working on that issue, as well as snapping blades, which isn't supposed to happen with mine. Maybe through this thread we both will find our answer :lol: I do know that blade placement is important, and if you're blades are coming loose, (I'm trying to remember what the remedy was on my Delta, as I had that same problem.) It'll come to me. Would love to see your scroll work. I have books upon books of printed patterns for scrolling...
 

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I think you have too much soft stuff under the saw. If the table is bolted to a piece of wood, place a bag of sand on the wood to hold everything down. When my DeWalt 788 is on a wood floor, I get vibration, but with a bag of sand on the bottom shelf, the vibration goes away.
 

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To help with the blades pulling loose, clean the blade grips and ends of the blade with alcohol, Then use a fine sandpaper, 220 grit or finer, to clean the ends of the blade before putting them into the saw. One or both of these tricks usually cures the blade grip problem. The blade grips usually have horizontal lines in their gripping surfaces and if these wear off, the blades can slip. Other saws like the DeWalt 788, Excalibur, Jet, and King use a set screw on one side of the blade and a special pivoting anvil type thumb screw on the opposite side of the blade grip to pinch the end of the blade. Both can wear, leaving surfaces too smooth to grip the blade end reliably and need to be replaced.
I have no idea what type of blade grips that you have, but if worn significantly they can be too smooth to grip the blade well.

I agree with the suggestions of bolting your saw down to a substantial and sturdy stand. If you can, put some heavy weight in the bottom of the frame. Some large pieces of iron or a bag of sand should do the job. Putting cushioning under the saw will make it bounce like an old horse buggy.

You will need to try many different blades to find what works best for you, and don't expect them to last very long. I only very rarely break a blade, but find that they get dull quickly. All of this will depend on what you are cutting, the speed of your saw, and the kind of saw that you are using. If the edges of the cut are burning, either the blade is dull or you are running the saw too fast.If the blade changes color, you are overheating the blade, probably by running it too fast. Scroll sawing is a small, slow, and precise form of woodworking. You can't rush it. The blade teeth remove only tiny amounts of wood with each stroke. If you push the wood into the blade too hard or fast, you will likely break many blades. I tend to use blades much smaller than many scrollers because I like the ability of smaller blades to make tight turns cleanly. I do a lot of compound (3D) cutting, so I also run my blade tension very high so that there is very little blade flex as I feed the work into the blade. Although blade tension is important, it's not as important when doing most scrolling. It becomes more important when stack cutting and compound cutting because it's very necessary to keep the blade as straight as possible for these cuts.

All of this takes time and much practice. Scroll sawing is very different than other kinds of woodworking. Learning what blades to use, how fast the saw should run, how to hold and feed the wood into the saw, how to follow the pattern lines very closely, etc. all takes time before you will get good at it. Learn to rest your palms on the table or front area of the work and steer the work using mostly just your fingers will help you stay on the pattern lines. Trying to use your arms and elbows keeps you from moving the piece quickly when following tight curves. When making right angle turns, learn to slow the feed rate so the saw blade stops cutting as you approach the turn, and then spin the piece with your fingers as you depend on the rear of the blade for a pivot point. Only the front edge of the blade will cut, so trying to push the work sideways won't work, but using the side and rear of the blade as a pivot as you rotate the wood will prevent cutting in the wrong direction.

You will also need good bright and even light from both sides of the saw blade. I have two LED goose neck lights that have about 10 very white LED's in each light with one of these lights mounted on each side of the saw so that it shines down at the blade cutting point at about a 45 degree angle to each side of the blade. Using LED lights keeps the light cool, so you don't get head and hand burns if you should touch them. You will frequently be working very close to the saw, so these burns can be frequent if using laghts that get hot. These LED lights almost completely eliminate the blade shadow and the flicker of the upper blade arm movement when cutting. Both of these kinds of shadows make it difficult for your eyes to keep the blade following the pattern lines on your work because the blade shadow can appear the same as a pattern line, letting your eyes think they are following the pattern when, in fact, they are following the blade shadow.

Charley
 

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Speaking of scroll saw anyone have the porter cable scroll saw? Lowes have them on sale for $180. I know you all gong to say dewalt to get started. I have heard good results for beginner's.
 

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I had a Ryobi VS scroll. The only way I could keep it from vibrating was to turn it down to half speed and cut slower. I have been using a DeWalt for the last five years and made scroll sawing much more enjoyable. I hope you get it figured out.
 

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New scroll sawyers tend to run their saws way too fast and use too much force while feeding the wood, in a race to cut as fast as they can cut with other woodworking tools. The tiny teeth on scroll saw blades cannot ever cut as fast as these other tools and trying to do this will always end in blade breakage and frustration.

Experienced sawyers learn to be patient with their saws and strive for more accuracy and cleaner cuts. If the blade is burning the wood it is running too fast, or is too dull to use. Pushing the wood into the blade harder than necessary only warps the blade, makes it break sooner, and makes it difficult to follow your pattern. Scroll sawing is a journey, not a race to an obscure destination. Scroll sawing is not at all like other kinds of woodworking, except that you are usually sawing wood. You will need to experiment to find the best blade, brand, blade size, and blade type for each type of cutting that you do.

Blades wear out quickly too. If you cut 20 minutes with a scroll saw blade you are very likely cutting with a very dull blade. Learn what blades and blade speeds work best for what you are cutting and expect the blade to get dull quickly. If your blade is changing color and the wood is burning, you have overheated the blade metal and removed the temper in the metal. Throw it away, put another blade in, reduce your speed significantly, and try again. There is a "sweet spot" in the blade speed where you don't overheat the blade, yet can cut as fast as the blade teeth can accept the wood. Try cutting into an old broken candle or piece of paraffin wax frequently to lubricate the blade and it will run cooler, faster, and last longer. They are only worth about $0.25 each US on average, so don't hesitate to replace them when necessary.

When I do most types of scroll sawing, I can go sometimes a half a day without breaking a blade, but then I'm replacing quite a few blades during that time because they are dull. Sometimes blades have manufacturing defects, and will break before you hardly have used them. Just write it off and replace it. If you keep having the same problem, try another blade from a different bundle. If it works OK without breaking, put that other bundle aside to possibly send back or trash them. You might even want to try using them on a different kind of material before trashing them. Expect to need a blade change often and don't worry about the cost, like you do for the rest of your woodworking investment.

I never put a used scroll saw blade back into my saw if I have used it to cut more than about 15 minutes total run time. New blades cut so much better. Some cut well for a long time and some from the same bundle will dull quickly or break without reason. I now use only Pegus, Nigua, and Flying Dutchman (Nigua) blades. I have given up on Olson blades, but their newer precision ground blades do work pretty well. No matter which brand, if a new blade doesn't cut straight or has some other funny characteristic, don't fight it, replace it immediately. The quality of your project and your nerves are worth throwing that "funny" blade away.

Learn to scroll saw using just your fingers to feed and steer your project. Leave your palms resting on the saw table as much as possible, and don't use your elbows and upper arms for feeding and steering the work. With just a little practice, you will discover that you can stay on the project lines much better this way. Feeding the work with your elbows is a tough habit to break, but keep reminding yourself to feed with your fingers and you will see a significant quality improvement in a very short time.

I now use two LED lights, positioned on each side of the upper saw arm about at the saw upper saw arm level, with each pointing down at about a 45 degree angle toward the cut point of the saw blade. In this position almost all of the blade shadows are gone and I can see the pattern lines much better. The LED lights run cool too, so I no longer burn my head, face, or hands like I did before switching to them. The crappy light that came with my saw got relegated to my grinder and I had been using two halogen drafting table lights before going to the LED lights, but I was frequently burning my face and head as well as giving my hands a Sunburn from using them for long periods. The LED lights solved all of these problems. Great amounts of white light, no shadows, and no more burns.

I've been scroll sawing since about 1963. I now teach and demonstrate scroll sawing at trade shows and special events. I've lost count of how many scroll saws that I've worn out, but have learned that you need a very high quality scroll saw and good pinless blades to get high quality results. The better saws are much easier to use and the blades last longer than they do on the cheaper saws too. Good blade clamps are a "must have" as well as a saw design that pulls the blade up as well as down. The old saws with the spring to pull the blade back up that also use pinned blades are only good when used as door stops or put in museums. They are completely obsolete when compared to the modern quality scroll saws of today. I used one as a door stop some years back, before I sent it to the scrap yard.

Charley
 
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