Help with a scroll saw and making gears. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Default Help with a scroll saw and making gears.

I had started a project many years ago using a router and a jig I made to make clock gears. for some reason I stopped and all the equipment was stored away. I've developed some health problems and decided this was a good time to restart that old project but I've run into a problem. Trying to cut the very small gears on my jig with a router is troublesome and I just got a new book on making wood gears and it is based on using a scroll saw. It said to make exact size copies of all the gears to be made, use spray-on contact adhesive and put the copies of the gears on the wood and just follow the lines. Sounds simple enough but I have never really used the scroll saw I have so I'm not clear on a lot of things and the book does not go into great detain on the use of a scroll saw. I have an old Dremel model 1671 type 3 scroll saw that uses 5" pin blades and the attachments that allow me to use unpinned blades. I ordered pinned blades that are 15 TPI and described as for making tight radius cutting. I have no idea as to how tight I need to make the blade and for a beginner should I use the low speed or high speed? Is there a better blade I should use? The book said that if I didn't feel confident with cutting on the lines then cut just on the outer edge and clean up with a file or sand paper. Do you think I can just cut a square of wood, attack the gear drawing and be able to cut the gear teeth or do I need to cut the wood close to the correct size and then use the scroll saw.

With the router jig I had to cut the gear blanks to the correct size circle, lock the blank to the jig and use the router with a bushing guide along a guide ramp and cut each tooth then rotate the correct amount set by the jig and cut the next. This worked great for the larger gears but getting down to gears that are less than 2" in diameter was a problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 09:05 AM
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rough out the gear really close...
attach the blank to the template..
use a burr to clean up the blank..

.
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File Type: pdf Burs.pdf (383.7 KB, 75 views)
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 10:48 AM
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I guess you've probably seen Mathias' site: https://woodgears.ca If I recall correctly he uses a band saw but there's probably a lot of useful info, including his gear template generator.

I believe there should only be X amount of teeth in your wood blank. It's no good if the sawdust is trapped in the cut. The non-pin blades might have more types available. On thicker wood a skip-tooth blade might be better. There's also blades (crown-tooth) or (reverse skip-tooth) that have the teeth going in opposite directions on either side of your material - that helps reduce tear-out.

I think that I would cut a circle for the top of the teeth, then cut them. Drilling the booth bottoms might help... then cut into your drilled holes.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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I guess you've probably seen Mathias' site: https://woodgears.ca If I recall correctly he uses a band saw but there's probably a lot of useful info, including his gear template generator.

I believe there should only be X amount of teeth in your wood blank. It's no good if the sawdust is trapped in the cut. The non-pin blades might have more types available. On thicker wood a skip-tooth blade might be better. There's also blades (crown-tooth) or (reverse skip-tooth) that have the teeth going in opposite directions on either side of your material - that helps reduce tear-out.

I think that I would cut a circle for the top of the teeth, then cut them. Drilling the booth bottoms might help... then cut into your drilled holes.
That is a really nice website and thanks for that. Also, some of the gear work was done by drilling the base of the gear slot an then using the either a scroll saw or band saw to remove the material to the drilled hole. Suddenly I see this getting easier and maybe after all these years I will finish this wood gear clock.

Thanks for all the replies and help,
Charlie
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 09:23 PM
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The best advice I can give for cutting on the scroll saw is crank up the tension on the blade.
You can pluck the blade and listen for a high note like they say in the books, but I crank it up and watch my practice cuts. If the blade deflects much at all, it needs more tension. If the blade brakes, too much.

Let the saw cut, don't force it or the edges will not be square.

Try a couple of different types of blades, reverse, skip tooth, crown, and see what works.

If you struggle at first, just play around with #5 reverse and get a feel for the saw, then drop down to a #3 if you are needing a finer blade.

Good light on the table, a small fan to blow the dust away, and a magnifying glass if needed makes a more comfortable work environment.

The #2 mistake (after low blade tension) is sticking with a blade too long. Trying to sneak 5 extra minutes out of a blade that is getting dull can ruin a project. If you find yourself fighting the saw, try a fresh blade.

Take breaks when you get frustrated, and remember it's supposed to be fun.

Can't wait to see some finished projects posted

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 03:02 PM
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Hi Charlie

It might be worth having a look at Steve Goods website Scrollsaw Workshop, he has a lot of tips in his blog and while they might take a little digging to find the relevant bits he also has a youtube channel (links on his blog page) and if you look down the left side there is also scrollsaw school, a set of 9 videos for beginners.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 09:53 PM
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I have a Hegner Scroll saw that I picked up a few years ago. It is a great saw but I did not have it properly secured and it made terrible cuts. I bought their three sided stand and that made all the difference. Before the Hegner I had a Dremel saw. I thought it was a piece of junk but after bolting it to the bench it was a pretty descent saw. If you are going to make clock gears you need a smaller blade like a #2. It is a thin blade and I like the reverse teeth at the bottom. As noted earlier get your tension up and it will cut straight. If you start wandering off your line you need to check the tension. When you first put a blade on let the machine run about 5 minutes. There is a lot of stretch in scroll saw blades. After letting run for 5 minutes you can start sawing. You will still need to check tension several times in the first ten minutes of cutting. If you are breaking blades you are pushing the work sideways and the blade gets stressed and breaks. When you are sawing correctly blades seldom break. If you have not scrolled for a while I suggest getting a LED Magnifying lamp to put over the work. It really helps you keep on the line. Even if you do not have a magnifier get good light over your work area.

I use spray adhesive to attach my patterns. Then I put clear packing tape over the pattern. The tape has a lubricant on the surface that keeps the sticky side of the tape from sticking to the top of the tape above it on the roll. This helps keep the blade lubed and working well. When finished I peel off the tape and put mineral spirits on the paper pattern and let it sit about 5 minutes and the pattern peels right off. I use very thick paper for my patterns and it seems to hold up better than regular copier paper.

I saw on the American Woodworker PBS Program the other day a scroll project he and his wife did. They put drawer contact paper on the project and then glued the pattern on. The procedure made it really easy to get the pattern off. I have not tried this but it is probably similar to the tape because the paper has the lube of the plastic in it.

Good Luck, Happy Scrolling.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 08:00 AM
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I think the best place to start when you want any type of information is Youtube.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 02:25 PM
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I think the best place to start when you want any type of information is Youtube.
The best place to learn the right way and the wrong way, unfortunately.....

However, I will say sites like Steve Good and Sterling Davis are great sources for info on the scroll saw. Also the Gwinett Woodworkers https://www.youtube.com/user/gwinnettwoodworkers are a fantastic resource as well.

If you are close to a Woodcraft store, they often have great classes for various levels https://www.woodcraft.com/stores/was...c-area/classes Classes vary from month to month. My youngest took a pen turning, and my brother and his significant other did the 'date night' and he did the scrolling level 1 by his lonesome. They were definitely worth the price of admission.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 02:47 PM
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and the wrong way, unfortunately.....
so painfully true...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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