Welcome to another FREE Woodworking Resource sponsored by your fellow
woodworkers at Shopsmith

Models, Setup & Features
Scroll Saw Blades
Patterns & Layout
Speeds & Feeds
Basic Techniques
Pad Sawing
Piercing Cuts
Bevels & Chamfers
Solid Wood Inlays
Raised or Recessed Inserts
Small Pieces & Thin Stock
Cutting Metal, Plastic, & Other Materials

Shopsmith Scroll Saw
Click here for a printer friendly version of Tip -
Pg 1-3,
Pg 4-6,
Pg 7-9, Pg 10-11, Pg 12-13

Small Pieces & Thin Stock

In addition to its other capabilities, the scroll saw is the most delicate and precise cutting tool commonly available to the home craftsman. This makes it ideal for sawing very thin materials such as plastics and veneers, cutting extremely small pieces for models and miniatures, or even creating custom jewelry and decorative ornaments.

Small Pieces

Click to see larger view

Figure 15-21. Cut small components from larger stock or tape the stock to a scrap of plywood, posterboard or cardboard for safety and better control.

Cutting very small pieces presents two immediate problems. First, the workpiece is often too small to control by hand and still keep your fingers a safe distance from the blade. Secondly, the normal blade opening in the table insert may be too large to support the piece properly.

To achieve better control, small components should be cut from a larger, easier to manage piece of stock. A suitable piece of scrap is often available and the waste is insignificant.

If you must work with a tiny piece, use doublesided carpet tape to mount it temporarily on a scrap of plywood, posterboard or cardboard (Figure 15-21). In this case, the hold-down will probably be too large to function properly, so lift it out of the way for better visibility and press down on the backup stock to prevent it from lift-ing or fluttering with each up-stroke of the blade.

Additional support for cutting very tiny pieces can be achieved by making either a special table insert or complete table covering from hardboard. This covering may be attached to the scroll saw table with double faced tape.

Click to see larger view

Figure 15-22. Make an auxiliary table insert out of harboard to provide extra support for cutting small pieces or thin stock. A hole drilled in the center of the insert accommodates the blade.

To make a table covering, layout and drill a small hole for the blade in the center of the insert (Figure 15-22). Refer to the Scroll Saw Owners Manual if the blade is not centered in the insert.

Check the blade tension and speed setting before beginning your cut. A blade with too little tension will be difficult to control, especially for fine detail. Many people also find that slower speeds are less distracting for close work.



Thin Stock and Veneers

Click to see larger view

Figure 15-23. Tape veneer to cardboard or posterboard for added support and a cleaner cut.

Veneers and other thin materials must be handled carefully to prevent splintering and tearing. Choose a very fine blade and adjust the tension to the highest recommended setting. Reduce the tension slightly if blades begin to break frequently. Also select the lowest speed setting--especially if the material is brittle or the piece requires intricate detail.

Even if you are using the special insert or table covering mentioned above, you'll get better results by supporting veneers during the cut. This is easily done by taping the veneer to a piece of cardboard or posterboard (Figure 15-23). Many people sandwich the veneer between two layers of posterboard to prevent fluttering.

If they are available and suitable for your project, the new adhesive-backed veneers seem to splinter somewhat less than ordinary types, but even these cut smoother when an additional backup is used.

Continue to Cutting Metal, Plastic & Other Materials
Back to Raised or Recessed Inserts




Send For Your FREE Woodworking Fact Kit and "Sawdust Therapy" TV Show.

First Name*:
Last Name*:
Street Address*:

USA Canada

E-mail Address*:

  2009 Shopsmith Inc. All rights reserved.

Policies | Contact Us | Links | Corporate Web Site