What is a scroll saw?

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Woodworking Power Tools - Why You Need a Scroll Saw

A scroll saw is a very important tool for most people who craft wood whether for commercial use or just home use. This tool helps a woodworker to craft wood into different shapes according to the specifications of the job. On many occasions, the wood or metal worker will need the scroll saw more than the other wood tools, especially in detailing. This is because it can cut the most intricate curves and joints. It can do these cuts with utmost accuracy and can also be use to make dovetail joints. Furthermore, it is the tool of choice for thicker intarsia projects.

When buying a scroll saw you have to look at different properties first before deciding on the scroll saw you want to buy. One of the first things to consider is the size of the throat. You should also put into consideration the amount of noise and vibration produced during operation. Last but definitely not the least, the speed of the scroll saw also matters since it determines the amount of time it takes to complete each job.

What is a scroll saw? 

A scroll saw is a small machine used in the wood industry that cuts both metal and wood into intricate shapes. It is powered by either a pedal or electricity. This tool is vital when you’re looking for the power and speed of an electric saw along with the precision of an Exacto knife or fine handheld blade. Scroll saws cut wood or metal into detailed curves that tend to be difficult using ordinary cutting tools.

Scroll saws use a long and slender blade that moves in a vertical motion, alternating between up-and-down. This blade will move somewhere between 400 and 1,800 strokes per minute. Some scroll saws have an adjustable speed for extra customization and versatility. In addition, it very safe and easy to use making it an ideal tool for beginners.

Home scroll saws will usually have a 16-inch throat while professional scroll saws may have a throat depth of 12-30 inches. An adjustable throat depth means you can comfortably set the tool to accommodate work pieces that are varying in size.

How Do You Use It?

A scroll saw is an easy to use and safe woodcutting tool. In using a scroll saw, there are a few steps you have to follow. First, you need to cut your board into a size that will fit your scroll saw. For example, if your saw has an 18-inch throat, but your board measures 28 inches, you will have to trim it before you can start cutting. Secondly, you need to cover the surface of the wood piece with blue painter’s tape. Afterwards, you can glue your paper design to the tape with spray adhesive.

Before you start cutting, it is wise to check the blade tension with your fingernail to ensure that it won’t rattle around during operation. Now you can start cutting your wood piece. Remember to keep both hands on the wood at all times. Then, move the piece slowly along the pattern outline. Lastly, remove the tape and sand down the edges once you’re done cutting.

Different Types of Blades

A scroll saw can have either a plain end blade or a pin-end blade. A pin-end blade cannot do interior cuts. On the other hand, the plain end will be able to do both interior and exterior cuts. You may have also observed that blades have numbers. These numbers refer to the size of the blade; the smaller the number, the smaller the blade. Aside from these classifications, there are also a number of blade styles that are listed below:

  1. Standard Tooth Blade – This is the most basic type of blade wherein all the teeth are equidistant to each other. They tend to make more noise during operation than the other blade styles.
  2. Skip Tooth Blade – With this blade, every other tooth is missing. This blade is ideal for beginners since it cuts slower than the other styles.
  3. Double Tooth Blade – This blade is basically a skip tooth blade that has a wide gap after every 2 sets of teeth. They cut smoother than a skip tooth but is still slower than a standard tooth.
  4. Reverse Tooth Blade – This blade is similar to the skip tooth blade but the last few teeth face upwards on the bottom. This design prevents tear-out making it a favorite among woodworkers.
  5. Precision Ground Tooth Blade – This type of blade has smaller teeth than a skip tooth. This makes it ideal for straight cuts. However, this type is not for beginners due to its unforgiving nature.
  6. Spiral Blade – This blade has teeth on all sides. This allows you to cut in any direction while keeping the wood in place. It is quite difficult to use and doesn’t cut as clean as the other blades. We do not recommend using it.
  7.  Crown Tooth Blade – This type of blade is the newest in production. It has a design where every second tooth points at the opposite direction. This makes it ideal for cutting plastic

Do You Need A Scroll Saw?

A scroll saw is a very important tool for artisans and woodcrafts compared to the other saws found in the market. If you plan to have a workshop, then scroll saws should be one of the first things you will get.

This is because the scroll saw is a highly specialized tool compared to the other saws in the market. This makes it a crucial part of your cutting tools collection. The scroll saw is mostly used to cut complicated shapes and patterns on wood, metal, or plastic. These patterns usually cannot be accomplished by other cutting tools. Overall, a scroll saw is an invaluable tool that every woodworker should have.

Final Verdict & Recommendation

If you have a workshop or plan to have a workshop, then scroll saws should be a part of your cutting tools collection. You can make some really cool stuff with a scroll saw. They are safe and easy to use, even for children! Woodworking with a scroll saw is a fun hobby to get into. It doesn’t cost a fortune, and there’s not much cleanup involved. You can use any piece of flat-bottomed wood with a scroll saw. You can turn old wood pieces into incredible gifts for family and friends. Best of luck with your woodcrafts!

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About the Author Joshua Philip

Joshua Philip is a Civil Engineer by profession with a passion for DIY Projects. He spends most of his free time working on woodcraft and home renovations.