More scrollsawing tips and tricks
Even more shop-tested scrollsaw tips from scrollers around the country.
QUICK-AS-A-WINK SCROLLSAW-BLADE ORGANIZER
Scrollsawyers know that laying their hands on the right blade can be time-consuming, especially if these tiny cutting tools get mixed together. This organizer ends those hassles in a hurry by separating and storing your blades. All you need to build it is a small amount of scrap 1/2" stock and some 1/2"-diameter (5/8" O.D.) CPVC pipe and caps.
For still more convenience, drill a few extra holes in the rack top to hold your scrollsaw tools. Consider labeling the tubes for easy reference.
-- John Turok, Coon Rapids, Minn.
Comfort by the capful
Over the past several months, I've scrollsawn more than 30 Iwo Jima Flag Raising plaques for the guys in my Marine squadron. Each plaque has 132 internal cuts, so you can imagine the soreness in my thumb and index finger from loosening the blade for each cut.
While taking a break one day, it occurred to me that the twist-off cap on my plastic soda bottle fit my fingers better than the wing nut on the scrollsaw's blade holder. Inspired, I epoxied the bottle cap to the wing nut as shown. Not only is the round knob more comfortable, its knurled edges give me a better grip. A month after installing it, my thumb and finger have healed quite nicely, and I'm back at full speed.
-- Steve Manzo, Okinawa, Japan
Scrollsawyer gets grip with rubber fingers
To keep better control of my workpiece when scrollsawing, I purchased a handful of rubber fingers from an office-supply store and put one on the middle finger of each hand. Because my fingers get better traction, I can really spin the wood on my waxed saw table.
-- Jim Friesen, Littleton, Colo.
For smoother cuts, round scrollsaw blade backs
If rough edges or burn marks mar your scrollsaw work, particularly thick stock, here's a possible solution. With a blade in place and your scrollsaw running, gently touch a metal file to both back corners of the blade. The rounded back corners enable your blade to cut tighter curves without the corners digging into the wood.
-- Rocky Williams, Macomb, Ill.
Try spice jars for blade storage
If you have trouble storing and retrieving scrollsaw blades, try keeping them in a 4"-high spice jar. By drilling a few holes in the lid, you can keep the blades separated where they are easy to see and retrieve.
-- Frieda Dekker, Nobleford, Alberta
Stencil material makes durable scrollsaw patterns
The next time you need a reusable pattern for scrollsawing letters, head for the sewing- supplies store and pick up a few sheets of plastic stencil material. Cut a piece of it with scissors to the same size as your workpiece and glue it to cutting stock using spray adhesive. Then, secure the paper pattern to the top of the stencil material with spray adhesive.
Now, cut out the pattern with your scrollsaw. Peel off the paper pattern and stencil material, and save the plastic stencil material. The next time you need to reuse the pattern, simply place the stencil letter on your wood and trace around it. You can use the plastic stencil pattern for years without it losing its shape.
-- Kathy Fowler, Stockton, N.Y.
Bind multiples with masking tape
When you need to scrollsaw identical multiple parts, cut out the workpieces to the same length and width and bind them together with masking tape. Wrap the tape tightly around the edges, and the workpieces will remain together until you're done cutting.
-- Donald Beeson, Watsonville, Calif.
Built-up tabletop doubles scrollsaw-blade life
I do a lot of scrollsaw work in a year's time and go through hundreds of blades. Rather than throw away the blades away after they become dull or lost their set, I mounted an auxiliary top on my saw table as shown below. The top raises the workpiece up so I'm sawing with "new" teeth.
-- Frank Seiden, Tucson, Ariz.