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Frankg

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I need a recommended scroll blade size to cut 3/16" plywood without splintering. Any ideas??
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Frank Galica
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kp91

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Frank,

A lot of scroll saw blade choice is based on personal preference, type and thickness of material being cut, and equipment being used.  In general, I would use a #3 blade if cutting just a single piece of ply, might go up to a 5 if stack cutting them.  Remember, blades are cheap, change them often!

I have had problems cutting red oak veneer ply, where just about any blade would cause it to splinter.  In those cases cutting it with either tape backing up the cut, or sandwiching it between scrap can back up the fibers and keep them from tearing out.

For 99% of my projects on the scrollsaw I use either a #3 or #5 blade.  I like the Olson PGT double reverse, and double skip blades.  I will go to a "regular" reverse blade with a higher TPI if I can't keep from splintering the wood.

   In very thin stock, don't use a reverse, because depending on how the blade is sitting in the holder, the reverse teeth might push the veneer up on the top side.

 The red oak ply in the 'ship' below was about impossible to to keep from splitting out.  The only solution was a finer blade with masking tape on the face and back of it.  For the Indian feather, cutting it on top of a piece of scrap provided additional support (like a zero clearance insert) for the slender pieces.

One of the best things about scrolling is there is no right way for everyone to do it.  I can tell you what works for me, but I may feed faster/slower than you, work in a more humid or drier climate, etc etc etc.   All I can say is have a handful of blades on hand and experiment.  There are folks who swear by the Flying Dutchman blades, but I can't cut with them.   Change blades as soon as you see or feel a change in cut quality.  

Hope something in this rambling is helpful,

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Frankg

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Doug,
I'll consider all your options. Good tips!

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Frank Galica
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