I know it's practice...but...Need Tips? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Default I know it's practice...but...Need Tips?

Hi All: Just started unsing my scroll saw (DW788) and am having problems following the lines, etc.. I tried cutting a name out of 1/4" Maple using a #3 FD blade. I was wondering how you guys cut those small areas like in & around letters & small circles? Seems very hard to do even with practice. I do know that you have to compensate for the way the saw cuts & that it's virtually impossible to cut in a straight line. So, what tips do you guys have for beginners, other than practice, practice, & more practice????? Thanks,

Steve
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 01:54 PM
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I found that having a good light on the workpiece helps me.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 03:29 PM
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A good light is about the best help other than a sawdust blower or a vacuum and practice,practice, etc
soon you'll be able to split a pencil line with ease, keep it up and by all means post photos of your work..

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 05:17 PM
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Steve,
It is similar to driving a car. You need to practice looking slightly ahead of where the blade is cutting. Let the blade do the work and don't force the wood into the blade, guide it. If you force the wood into the blade, it is similar to oversteering when driving.
Start with larger gentle curves and short straight lines. You didn't learn how to write by starting with cursive and you crawled before you walked. Enjoy yourself and Relax, Relax, Relax, it should not be a stressful experience. It will come as second nature, in no time.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 06:19 PM
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I agree!!!

Can't beat a good light. A sharp blade is good and don't rush the cut.

I would say practice...practice...practice. But I am not going to.


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks All! I am slowly getting the hang of it. BTW, I do have a good light & there is a blower on the saw. I am also using a dead foot switch for better control. That DeWalt scroll saw seems to be very well made & works just fine as far as I can tell. I;ll keep at it & hopefully be able to post some decent work in the near future..........

Steve
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 11:32 PM
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One thing that took me awhile to figure out for me personally which hell it might not even be correct I dont recall anyone ever talking about it to be honest, but its using the back of the blade when im turning the wood piece at first I kept trying to keep my blade in the line I just cut as I was trying to turn the wood and kept screwing up by cutting places I didnt want to but as soon as I started letting the back of the blade barely touch the wood as I turned it really improved my accuracy.

Now by no means am I anywhere as good as these fine folks in this section at scroll work i'm a beginner compared to the people in this section so if they say that what I said is a bad habit to form or not recommended listen to them over my advice any day! lol but if they say its good advice hope it helps cause it sure helped me!

Dont forget to live life for fear of death grasp each day and live it to it full otherwise it is pointless.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 08:35 PM
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I have just the opposite problem I can cut a straight line with no problems but cutting a circle is giving me &^(*&)(* fits I have cut about 4' of some scrap 3" 4" 5" by about 1/4" full of circles with my trusty compass and getting a circle right has to have some sort of trick I have yet to figure out.....but I will keep practicing and practicing

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 08:59 PM
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I agree with the others - good light, good dust removal, and good blades are huge helps. It's tempting to feed the stock too quickly, which both stresses and deflects the blade, resulting in loss of control.

The driving analogy is also close - that is, looking at where you'll be going, rather than where you already are. That will allow you to anticipate the "turns" and adjust "steering" accordingly.

The wrinkle with scrolling, and where the driving analogy starts to lose traction (pun intended, of course), is that the center of the radius, the point around which the stock needs to rotate, is often changing as you pass through a curve. Or, it's simply difficult to estimate where that point is on the stock. One approach that can help with that when marking out the pattern on the stock is to also mark the center points of curves that are actually part of a circle. The center mark will give you a visual reference point around which you can then rotate the stock.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 09:54 PM
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I had a hard time at first putting enough tension on the blade. Having a poorly tensioned blade seems to amplify error from feeding too fast, etc.

Doug
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