How To Use a Scroll Saw [ Step by Step process ]

As a woodworker, you probably already know that a scroll saw is a stationary power tool that comes with a fine blade that moves in a vertical motion. But that’s not all there is to know about a scroll saw. Here is how to use a scroll saw;

Before you know how to use a scroll saw, it is important to be sure where and how you will be using it. If you are a beginner here are the materials that you can use a scroll saw on;

  • Wood projects (Dovetail joints, angle cutting, intricate designs, creative wood crafts, curve cutting, and more.
  • Bone
  • Plastic
  • Pearl
  • Metal pieces (not all types of metal)

But before you put the tough materials on the scroll saw, make sure that it is okay to use the scroll saw on that specific material.

How to Install Plain End Scroll Saw Blades

A plain end saw blade is one of the blades that you will use on your scroll saw. Here is how you can install one;

First off you will need a few things, which include the following;

  • An Allen key
  • Scroll saw blade
  • Screwdriver
  • A pair of protective gloves

Once you have these tools ready, here is how you can install the plain end saw blade;

  • Start by loosening up the scroll saw blade screw. To do this, un-tighten some blade to eject the blade from the saw. Use the right Allen key or screwdriver to unloosen the screw.
  • Remove the old blade.
  • Install the plain end scroll blade. Just do as you did with the previous blade.
  • Tighten the screws once the blade.

Once the new blade is installed you can start using the saw as you need.

How to Use a Scroll Saw

So first, it was to learn how to install a plain end scroll saw. Now that it is in place, it’s important to understand how to use the saw properly. Let’s help you with that.

First Things First

There are a few things that can help you as you start using the scroll saw. Here is a look at them;

  • Avoid placing the workpiece against the scroll saw before turning it on.
  • Ensure that you the proper safety gear.
  • Push the wood as the blade is cutting through. Just don’t move it into the blade.
  • Always hold the wood firmly when cutting, but not too firmly.

From here, you can now proceed to work on your project with the scroll saw.

Getting Down to Business step by step

Here is how to use a scroll saw accordingly ;

Step One: Place the wood/material on and Switch on The Saw

Ideally, place the wood piece a few inches from the blade. Hold the wood with both hands at all times. You can then switch on the saw.

Step Two: Adjust the Speed

When the saw is running, you can adjust the speed as needed. However, this will only be applicable if your saw comes with variable speeds. If you are cutting hardwood, the speed should be slow. High speeds are best suited for softwoods.

One thing to keep in mind is that the shape of the wood will determine the cutting duration. Curved wood pieces tend to take more time than straight wood pieces.

Step Three: Guide the Wood Piece Through

After you have aimed the blade of the saw to be in line with the first line that you’re cutting, gradually guide the wood into the blade. Ideally, guide the wood piece with your forefingers and thumb. When done, remove the wood from the blade.

After that, turn the wood to position the blade above the next line you are planning to cut. Guide the scroll saw blade onto the line so that it meets with the initial cut that you made. Pull out the wood and prepare to make another cut.

Ensure that you guide the blade slowly through the edges of the piece until you successfully cut all lines

*Making Internal Cuts*

Suppose you will be making internal cuts, drill a hole in the wood first. This will allow the blade to slide in with ease. Once done, simply pull the blade out and put the workpiece over the clip. After this, you can guide the blade back through the hole. You can then lock the blade back into place and make the cuts as you wish.

If you want to remove the middle section when making an internal cut, ensure that you switch off the blade once you are done making the cut.

Step Four: Handling the Edges

When you are done making your cuts, you might notice some rough finishes. This is normal. You can also leave it as it is or smoothen it as you wish. The best approach at this point is to sand the rough edges. Use sandpaper to give the edges clear and smooth finishes. Make sure that you use the proper sandpaper.

How to Make a Scroll Saw Box

When making a scroll box, you’ll need to inspect the wood piece properly for any splits or obstacles. When everything is in check, here is how to go about it;

  • Start by making an overall shape
  • Cut off the back, followed by the drawers
  • Proceed to glue the kerfs closed
  • Make cuts on the front and back of the drawers
  • Mark and cut out the drawers interiors
  • Use sandpaper to smoothen the drawer cutouts interiors and the carcass. However, you should sand the back part of the drawers.
  • Glue the backs and fronts back onto the carcass and drawers.
  • Cut out and glue on the drawer pulls
  • Sand as needed and apply the finish as you need. 

The drawer interiors can be finished with the method that you prefer.

Don’t forget to observe the necessary safety precautions when working with the scroll saw. If you are a beginner, practice working on the scroll saw with an imaginary wood. However, you should do this when the saw is switched off and unplugged from the socket. Always wear the proper safety gear when working with the scroll saw.

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