I AM HAVING A PROBLEM CUTTING THICK HARDWOOD. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? There are many things that can affect your ability to cut thick hardwoods such as feedrate; aggressiveness of the blade you are using (design, how sharp it is, etc.) However there is one thing we have discovered with most scrollers that we will cover here for your consideration since it seems to be the most common problem. Scrollers are told by virtually all saw manufacturers that their saw has a certain “thickness capacity” that is just not possible with standard scroll saw blades. I think they must be calling the “Clearance” between the table top and the lowest part of the top arm their “thickness capacity”. We use the “Maximum Practical Calculated Thickness Capacity” to explain and this seems to clear up most misconceptions. SEE EXAMPLE BELOW:

1. Most all STANDARD 5″ blades have a tooth surface area of approximately 3-1/4″.
2. Factor in the fact that usually there is a few teeth (around 1/4 – 1/2″ worth) left below the table in the most upward part of the stroke. Usually this is a fixed amount determined by the saws designer.
3. Factor in the stroke length of your saw (here we will use 3/4″ which is fairly standard)
4. Add the thickness of the table (we will use 3/8″ here)
5. Do the math (add these up) and you can quickly see you have only 1 -7/8″ worth of teeth left AT BEST, making blade positioning a critical issue, otherwise you could be trying to saw with blade (on the top side) that has NO TEETH which causes the blade to “BOW’ badly resulting in a curved or “bellied” cut.

When it comes to blade selection, the very best method is – EXPERIENCE ! You can ask 5 scrollers which blade to use and you will likely get 5 totally different answers. OUR BEST SUGGESTION is that you have a variety of blades at your disposal for experimentation. Try them on your projects in your materials with your saw and determine which size or type that you are most comfortable with and you will have your answers with a minimum investment in both blades and time. SEYCO offers SAMPLER PA KS of blades for your experimentation. See our catalog or call 1 (800) 462-3353 and ask our representative for assistance

Blade breakage is a very common problem and it is not always due to defective blades. Assuming that you have purchased “Good Quality” major brand blades (such as On-Line or Olson brands) you should check your saws “blade path”. This is easily accomplished by inst alling a new straight blade, tension it properly and turn on the saw at top speed and look at the blade directly into the front. You should see the blade as a “DISTINCT STRAIGHT LINE”, if there is ANY blurring of the blade your saw needs the arms aligned to eliminate this problem and this should increase the blade life. Any movement in the saws table when it is locked into position for sawing will also cause premature blade breakage. Excessive “Oscillation” (or front – to – back action) in the blade path will also cause premature breakage. This problem is very present with the “C” arm design of saw since the blade actually “rocks” in the process of stroking. With most saws, this problem cannot be corrected with simple adjustment. Contact your supplier to discuss this type of problem.

Occasionally this problem is caused by using a blade that is too large for your project. Usually a smaller size blade lessen this tendency. The scroll saw design is such that there is a light tendency for this to happen even with a properly adjusted s aw since it’s cutting action is a reciprocating action. Check the blade path both side-to-side and front-to-back. Excessive movement in the action can usually be adjusted out on most saws, if not call your supplier and explain the problem. They can refer you to their service center for advise.