Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Welcome Sign Scroll Saw Pattern.

Click to Enlarge
Download the Pattern Below

This welcome sign is 15" tall. I am showing the backer board painted red for contrast. Paint is optional. 

Scroll Saw Speed: Basic

There are two speeds that we need to be concerned with when we use a scroll saw. 

1. Feed rate. The feed rate is how fast you push the wood through the blade. 

2. Strokes per minute. A variable speed scroll saw can be adjusted to change the number of times the blade moves up and down per minute. 

Both of these factors can have a major impact on the quality of the cut you get. Let's talk about both.

Feed rate. You will often hear old hands at the scroll saw tell you to let the blade do its work. This just means that you should not force the board into the blade too fast. Give the blade time to remove the sawdust and also dissipate the heat that builds up from friction. 

If you push too fast you will prematurely dull your blade. You will likely break more blades. Pushing too fast has a tendency to increase friction heat which will scorch the edges of some wood. Cherry is especially susceptible to scorching.

Too fast of a feed rate can also flex the blade and cause uneven cuts. When this happens you will often have a difficult time removing the piece from the board. It will be wedge-shaped. It will come out one direction but wedge tight when you try to remove it in the other direction. This is often seen when you try compound cuts on very thick boards. A very thick board requires a much slower feed rate.

The feed rate you can use will vary depending on the thickness and density of the wood you are cutting. Dense woods like hard maple require a slower feed rate than something like pine.

The most obvious reason to slow the feed rate is accuracy. Don't go faster than your skill allows. If you are not following the pattern line then slow down and see if it improves. It can be very relaxing to sit in front of a scroll saw and enjoy your time in the shop. Sometimes you may need to hurry a project along but if there is no rush then don't rush.

As your skill improves you will be able the push the saw faster. You will begin to feel when you are at the limits of the saw. You will feel, hear, and even smell when you are going too fast.

Stroke per minute: Most scroll saws will have a sweet spot when it comes to strokes per minute vs vibration. It will vary from saw to saw. Find the fastest speed you can turn the speed dial and not cause too much vibration. If the vibration becomes too bad at 81% full speed, then 80% is the maximum you need to run the saw. A good stand or bolting down the saw to a bench will often improve the vibration. Do those things first then figure out the sweet spot.

As a general rule, you can run the variable speed at the fastest speed that you can still control the cut and not overheat the blade. It is often surprising to new scrollers when they find out that cutting very thin wood is much more difficult than cutting thicker wood. The thin wood provides no resistance to the blade and you can struggle to maintain control. This is especially true if you also have a problem with too fast a feed rate. 

When I am cutting 1/8" thick or very soft wood I will slow the strokes per minute and feed rate down quite a bit to help me get control of the cut. With the exception of some specialty material like aluminum and plastic, I will run the strokes per minute at full speed or the sweet spot.

All of these things take the experience to get the feel of what works well. I know guys who can cut very thick wood at blazing feed rates. They can feel every stroke of the blade and instantly know when they can fly or need to go slow. If you are a production cutter then speed is super important. Time is money so they need to learn to go fast. The rest of use just need to chill and enjoy the time in the shop.

This subject came up because of an email I received today asking about speed cutting. This answer was kind of, off the cuff free-thinking so I may have left some points out but these should give you someplace to start.

Personalized Christmas Ornament Patterns are ready to order:

I am ready to start taking Personalized Christmas Ornament Pattern orders.

I can do first or last names but remember that more than ten letters will be more difficult to cut.

The order form will take up to 20 names for people and 5 names for pets. If you need more than 20/5 then start a second order.

You will not pay until you have the patterns and are 100% happy with them. There will be an invoice sent with the patterns to your email. You will have the option to pay securely with a credit card or send a check to the included address.

I am shooting for a three-day turnaround but that may be difficult for a few days until I get all the kinks worked out. I'll do my best. You can set a bookmark for each of the order forms but I will post them almost every day until Christmas.

$1 per/name with a 5 name minimum.

$2 per/name no minimum. 

$12 per sheet of 12 coins plus $3.50 shipping
Inlay with a 1" Forstner Bit.
The perfect way to sign your work.

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Products for your consideration:

Every Scrollsaw Workshop Pattern from 2007-2019 on DVD

Purchase the entire Scrollsaw Workshop pattern catalog for offline access.

This DVD has over 2,900 patterns published from 2007 thru 2019.
The DVD is $20 plus shipping. Ships to 60 countries around the world.
If you use the DVD on a Windows PC there is a simple viewer program to browse through the patterns.

The DVD also works fine on a MAC. The viewer program is not MAC compatible but there is an included PDF with all the patterns shown as thumbnails for easy viewing.

Now Available on USB Thumb Drive

Don't have a DVD drive on your new computer. No problem. Buy the catalog on a USB thumb drive.
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Unique Wooden Vases:
Want to create beautiful wooden vases on the scroll saw?
My two "Wooden Vases on the Scroll Saw" books make it easy.

The books are $12 each and available for instant download after purchase. Click for Video Demonstration.

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This is the end of the daily posts. Keep scrolling for lot's more scrolls saw fun!

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Heritage Wood Specialties. Scroll saw ready boards!

Heritage Wood Specialties is a nationally recognized supplier of superior quality hardwoods to fine woodworkers across the US and Canada. Novice hobbyists and experienced enthusiasts alike can enjoy the high quality woodworking materials and kits available from Heritage Wood Specialties. Great source for scroll saw ready boards.


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