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simdel1

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello!

I recently bought a cheap, Chinese-clone scroll saw from Gumtree with the intention of using it on some detailed parts for a Toylander I've started building for my daughter. While researching the scroll saws I came across this site and it inspired me to try to make a few toys with it too.

I downloaded the play pals plans as an easy lead-in to the world of scrolling, and I thought I'd share my experiences so far. Which isn't much - toddlers take up an awful lot of your time!

I've attached a photo of the saw. As you can see, it's nothing special, but it works. Even the blower works, but the tube has snapped off!

I started by printing out the plans for the bug and glue-sticking it to some 18mm scrap I just happened to have in the garage. I then spent about 15 minutes very, very slowly cutting round the shape. I haven't replaced the blade yet, and it feels quite blunt, but regardless it seemed to cut pretty straight and didn't complain too much about the task in hand.

I think the result is ok for a first go, but it's identified areas I need to work on. I didn't join the start and end together particularly well and there's a lot of, erm, "swarf"(?) on the bottom edge which I presume is a symptom of the blunt blade. Also, it looks like I did a pretty poor job of setting the deck perpendicular to the blade because the car is slightly wedged. I didn't struggle to follow the line as much as I thought I would. I read on the forum here that it's easier to think of the feeding motion as what you would do with a sewing machine - it seemed to work.  

Overall I'm happy though. I really enjoyed the process of just this small start. Hopefully I'll find more opportunities to make progress soon. [biggrin]

WP_20150819_20_33_43_Pro.jpg WP_20150819_20_33_07_Pro.jpg WP_20150819_20_34_28_Pro.jpg WP_20150819_20_34_53_Pro.jpg WP_20150819_20_35_45_Pro.jpg 


Ken Martin

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Simdel1

Great start for your 1st Scroll Saw work, I wish mine had been as good.
The PlayPals are a lot of fun to work with, because you can make them out of any size scrap.
I have a friend in WA. who increased the PlayPals by 140%.  Just shows you can to anything with them.

Question:  How thick is the wood you are cutting the PlayPals out of?  Also, what blade size did you use?

Here's a couple ideas.
1.  The thicker the wood the bigger blade you need to use.  I use a #5 PGB for most wood up to 3/4".  Then I will go to a #9 or #12 for thicker wood.
2.  If you use a skip tooth blade you will eliminate almost all the tear out on the bottom of the piece.
3.  Easiest way to align your new blade when you 1st put it in, before you start cutting the toy, cut a little line into a scrap piece.  Then turn the wood around and line it up from the back of the blade.  If it slides into the cut perfectly you will know it is straight up and down at 90 degrees.
5.  With a sharp blade lined up at 90 degrees, and putting light easy pressure straight into the blade you will get a straighter cut that will not have that beveled look.  (where the blade cuts through the piece at a angle.
4.  It is always best to cut with the waist to the right side of the blade.  You will get a better cut on the toy or keeper side if it is keep to the left of the blade. 

PGB Blades (precision ground blade) are the bust I think.  Because the are precision ground they cut straighter than stamped blades, and the cut cleaner, and stay on the line better.

I am sure you know most of this stuff already, but maybe something here will help a little.

However, like I said great job on your first cut.



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Kenneth W Martin
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john lewman

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Reply with quote  #3 
You ask important questions and are making good progress. Ken has explained the basics of getting started with scrolling and this will really help you move forward. Thanks for the excellent comments Ken.
simdel1

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks for the kind words, guys.

Ken;

I used 18mm (3/4") pine and it looks like a 15tpi stamped blade. I'm not sure how that relates to the sizes you've quoted I'm afraid.

I'll try that trick to align the blade. Sounds simple enough.


It seems I was lucky to pick the correct side to be the waste side. I'll bear that in mind for the next one.

Thanks for your help!
Udie

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Reply with quote  #5 
Sindel1
Here a link to a post on the Forum you may find interesting and helpful.
It's about scroll saw blade alignment to the table surface.
Click here.

simdel1

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks, Udie. That's a very helpful video!
simdel1

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NewImage_600_450_90(10).jpg
I did say that this would be slow! I've pretty much finished the wood work on the car and bat mobile. The semi and trailer is rough cut but needs to be finished with 80grit, then 150grit sand paper just like the first two. I was going to buy some wheels but I'm going to try to make them myself. I've ordered some tools to do it and I'll show you guys how I get on with it.

I can see why pine is only recommended for practicing. The grain has opened up in a few places and won't be easy to fix. I'm not too concerned because these are just my practice pieces. If I do something nicer I'll either get some decent hard wood or painted MDF.

john lewman

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Reply with quote  #8 
Nice work. We would all learn from seeing how you make the wheels. Please post photos of the process if you have time. Thanks for sharing.
dmjones

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi,

Looks like you are doing better than I did on my first set. I have the same ones. I do have one trick I did not see mentioned.
If you put clear box packing tape on your wood before you put glue on it the pattern will come right off when you are done cutting and there is no glue left on the wood to get off. This works well for me.
simdel1

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Reply with quote  #10 
Progress... [wink]

I gave up on the plan of making my own wheels and bought them. WP_20160528_23_56_20_Pro.jpg 
I've just got to finish the trailer and start on the bus and pick-up truck. I've already given these three to my two year old daughter and she's very pleased with them. If the customer happy, so am I! 

john lewman

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Reply with quote  #11 
Absolutely wonderful wood toys. We are proud to have these on the forum. More! More!
Rod T

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Reply with quote  #12 
Nice work Simdel1

Some good advice already given by the others. Also be careful to keep pushing straight into the blade when cutting, it can be easy to push sideways and this can bend the blade and gives you the wedge shape.
Particularly if you are drifting off the line and want to come back to it, try twisting the wood rather than pushing against the side of the blade. Hope that makes sense.
This happens to me quite a bit and I have to concentrate on this when I am cutting. its worse with a blunt blade and also harder timbers. I am getting better at it, takes a bit of practice. 

Sounds like you are in Australia, if you are on a budget you can get plain pinned blades from Bunnings etc. pretty cheap. Its hard to see whether your saw can take pinless blades or not, but if it can then the PGT blades can be sourced online. These blades make a world of difference to the point where you don't have to sand the edges much at all usually.

Thanks for sharing, its always fun seeing what others are building.

Cheers
Rod T

Big Yin

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Reply with quote  #13 
Great work Simdel1.
Certainly better than my first attempt at Playpals.
You will pick up a lot of tips and advice on this forum.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks for posting.

Ian
ctowne

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Reply with quote  #14 
Nice - I'm right there with you on the wheels.  Easier to buy with the limited time I have.
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