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  • scroll saw cutting issue

    So I dug this 16" Craftsman scroll saw from about 1980 - 90's that was given to me years ago. It came with a new variety pack of new blades in Sears packaging. I've tried several of them on 3/4" thick cherry and this thing just seems useless. I could cut faster and with better control with a hand coping saw.

    Question, is this a cheap blade issue or are these cheap scroll saws not worth bringing home, other option is inexperienced operator expecting too much.

    Paul


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  • #2

    Re: scroll saw cutting issue

    Is the blade installed correctly? They cut on the down stroke.

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    • #3

      Re: scroll saw cutting issue

      Yes I had the blade installed teeth pointing down. Attached picture of the saw and couple of the blades.

      Paul
      Attached Files

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      • #4

        Re: scroll saw cutting issue

        My guess is the blade. I was cutting 3/4 cherry yesterday like butter. I use Olson PGT (precision ground teeth) blades. I get mine at BusyBee when they are on sale.
        Mike

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        • #5

          Re: scroll saw cutting issue

          My guess might be a combination of operator expectations versus experience. Sears blades were good quality blades made by Vermont American; I have used a lot of them and Olsen blades as well over the years. I don't own a top-end scroll saw but have had no issues cutting with my little Delta. The tubes on the front of the stand are full of those brands of blades sorted by size and type with complete disregard for manufacturer.

          It takes a scroll saw a little while to chew through 3/4" thick cherry so patience is necessary. A skip tooth blade like the Olsen PGT would clear sawdust better than the blade shown by the OP which would enhance the cutting speed. That Craftsman is a pretty good little scroll saw with the only real problem being the pinned-end blades only blade holders.

          My 2 cents

          Ken

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          • #6

            Re: scroll saw cutting issue

            Suspected it was mainly operator issues think I'm to used to how the band saw slices through wood. Thanks Ken good to know the Craftsman is a decent saw, you jogged my memory that there was a accessory included with the saw. Took me awhile to find where I stashed it turns out to be plain end blade holders.

            Okay checked out Busy Bee for blades what tooth count would you recommend for 3/4" hardwood. At this time using scroll saw for simple cut outs like the cutting board pictured below.

            thanks for the replies Paul

            Attached Files

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            • #7

              Re: scroll saw cutting issue

              I usually buy 1 package of each 5/ 7 /9 Tpi that is only 3 total packages and you get 6 blades per pack and they last LONGER than the cheap ones. Nice part is if you smooth the back edges with a stone or file, then the inside edges of the cut do not burn and it is VERY smooth, no need to sand!! These blades with teeth on the bottom that cut on the up stroke so no tear out!!
              Mike

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              • #8

                Re: scroll saw cutting issue

                I attached the Olsen Scroll Saw Blade Chart for your enjoyment! I got this tool years ago and find it a handy reference; I trust that you will too (if this works that is): Olson Scroll Blades Chart.pdf

                Ken

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                • #9

                  Re: scroll saw cutting issue

                  Oh, I forgot to mention that Vermont American still is in the blade business. You can view their blades here: https://vermontamerican.com/product-...ll-saw-blades/ Lee Valley sells decent blades as well (I do not know who makes theirs) and they have free shipping right now! (important--If you order from LV ensure that you get blades for power scroll saws and not for fret saws; they look the same but fret saw blades will not survive in the scroll saw.)

                  Ken

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                  • #10

                    Re: scroll saw cutting issue

                    Thanks Mike and Ken for the tips and the Olson chart will be a great help. Was thinking about ordering a couple items so will add some coarser tooth blades. Will post to this thread how the cutting goes when I receive the new blades.

                    Paul

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                    • #11

                      Re: scroll saw cutting issue

                      I buy all my blades from https://mikesworkshop.com I am a die hard Flying Dutchman ultra reverse user.

                      I have been cutting some 1 1/2 cherry that is hard. I found that the polar blades are doing a better job that any blade I have with a reverse tooth.

                      Even with the exchange I find that the landed price is better than I can do in Canada but I do buy by the gross for the FD-UR's and then get a couple of other specialty blades at same time. Delivery is about a week or so.
                      Don McFarland
                      ​Member - Durham Woodworking Club
                      http://www.durhamwoodworkingclub.com/

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                      • #12

                        Re: scroll saw cutting issue

                        Thanks for your input Don, I have ordered some Olson blades for now. Installed the plain end blade adapter on the Craftsman saw but finding it a tedious ordeal to install the blade. Its even worse if threading the blade through a piece of wood. Would need about a 3/4" hole for adapter to fit through the wood. I can see this very soon leading to a scroll saw with a better blade holding system.

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                        • #13

                          Re: scroll saw cutting issue

                          I’m new here and relatively new to scrolling. I think you should give Bear Woods supply a try for anything scroll related primarily their Pegas blades. The selection,quality and service is top notch. I would compare them to Lee Valley and to me,that is saying a lot.They are Canadian as well. B.C. Pricing is more than competitive with quick delivery as well.

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