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Scruffybeard

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi. I'm brand new at Toymaking with the Scroll Saw and I'm making small figures out of 3/4" poplar. I'm using Skill Saw brand blades that have no number thickness on them (although I have ordered some FD-UR blades that should arrive soon). I find that I have to push pretty hard in order to get through the wood. I watch videos and it seems as though all of the people in the video are able to manipulate the wood easily whereas I had to stop after two pieces because my hands hurt.

Also, I'm using a Porter Cable 1.6 Amp variable speed scroll saw. Should I keep the speed all the way up?

Thanks!!!

-Scott
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #2 
Blades matter. The better quality blades will cut smoother and faster.

The material you are cutting matters. Some woods are much easier to cut than others.

When I see some one cutting fast I want to see the edges of the cut. The faster you cut the the rougher you cut.

If you push hard you will break more blades. You should only put enough pressure to keep the blade in contact with the wood and let it cut at its own pace.


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Sarge

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Reply with quote  #3 
Something else that matters - think about how much time you've used the blade on the saw.  After a little practice, you'll notice when it starts to "feel" harder to cut, that's when it's time to change blades.  It snuck up on me a lot as I started with my scroll saw, I'd be aggravated and wondering why I'm having to push so hard all of a sudden and then the light bulb would go off and I'd change the blade.  Sharp tools make life easier.  [biggrin] 
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ed357sw

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Reply with quote  #4 
Welcome to the group.
Good FD blades or Olsen blades will make a huge difference #5 or #7 blades work for a lot of stuff. Poplar will cut like butter for the most part until the blades starts getting dull at which point it will take more pressure. 
I run my saw between 4-6 pretty much all the time on speed. Anything more  or less is wasted at least for me. I sure others will run at different speeds. For me it is the sweet spot where there is little or no vibration.
At any rate poplar should cut very smooth and very clean.

Sarge and badbob are spot on in there take with blades and pressure pushing the wood.

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Scruffybeard

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes when I get the new blades.
Sarge

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Reply with quote  #6 
One more thing - don't hold yourself to such a high standard that you get frustrated. In one of my toy plan books it says that hobbies by nature are to be enjoyed and if toymaking becomes a point of frustration than the point is defeated (paraphrased a little ). It's a simple statement but its helped keep me from throwing a 3 legged horse or dog out the door of my shed a few times LOL
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Scruffybeard

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quick update...

I got my FD UR #5 and #7 blades a few days ago and tried them out last night. I was scrolling like a champion! I'm still getting the hang of it and I'm not convinced that my blade tension is exact yet, but it was more fun last night than it's been in a long time. The right blades really do make a difference. 

Thanks!!!!
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #8 
I've used an electronic guitar tuner to set blade tension. I read somewhere that it was supposed to be around a high C. I don't use it all the time but this let me figure out what it should sound like. If you have one laying around give it try.

I like the Flying Dutchman blades.

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IanPlant

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Reply with quote  #9 
Great tip BB, there are mobile app's that you can get for tuning instruments. I do have a electric guitar tuner somewhere i will have to dig it out
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