Tuesday, April 7, 2020

National Beer Day Scroll Saw Pattern.

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Today, April 7th is National Beer Day. People have been making beer for over 5,000 years. The oldest recorded recipe we know of is for beer. Over 35 billion gallons of beer are produced every year. Only water and tea have a higher consumption rate. 

On this day in 1933, the Cullen-Harrison act was signed into law. This law reversed the prohibition of selling beer in the U.S. In 2009, a man in Virginia, Justin Smith decided to create his own National Beer day. It stuck and is now celebrated by fellow beer drinkers nationwide.

If you know an avid beer drinker then this plaque might make a silly gift for them,. The plaque is eight inches in diameter.

I can't get square cuts on thick wood with my scroll saw. What am I doing wrong?

In the graphic above you are looking at the edge of a board. The small pieces are plugs cut from that board. The top plug shows straight edges and is normally what we want. The bottom plug has warped and angled edges. These are a problem.

If you cut a part out of a board and have trouble removing it from that board then you may have a non-square cut. This creates a wedge shape making the piece come out one direction and be difficult to remove the other direction. 

This problem can cause all types of problems with the project. If it is a puzzle them the pieces won't fit correctly. Bowls, boxes, and compound cuts will all have issues.

Assuming that your blade has been adjusted square to the table then what causes this problem?

We generally run into this problem in thick and dense woods. As we cut these harder/thicker boards the blade will warp causing non-square cuts. 

Here are a few tips to help prevent this common problem.

If the pattern allows you to use a larger scroll saw blade then that may help as long as you use proper technique while cutting. You will not always have this option but it is a good starting point.

Some very dense wood species like Black Ironwood are just not worth the effort if you need a thick piece. Selecting the right wood for a project helps. 

Tension, tension, tension. Did I say tension? Many if not most new scrollers will not tension the blade properly. They almost always use too little tension. If you are using the right blade and have the right species of wood then try adding more tension to the blade. If you have problems with the blade slipping or breaking with more tension then you likely have a blade clamp problem. I can't tell you exactly how tight to get the blade but experiment to find what helps.

Don't over push the blade. You need to let the blade do it's cutting at the rate it can clear the sawdust. If you try to push the blade too fast it will often warp the blade and give you poor cuts. Slow down on thicker/denser woods.

Side pressure is bad. As you move the wood into the blade it is easy to push the board slightly sideways. This extra pressure on the side of the blade will warp the blade causing a problem. As you are making your cut, pay attention to how much side pressure you are applying. Don't have a death grip on the board or you will not feel the pres