Expert advice for scrollsaws
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- Wear safety glasses to guard against flying wood chips or the pieces of a broken blade.
- Control dust with a nearby dust filter or, better yet, take it right off the table with a collector. Some new models include attachments that accept a shop vacuum hose.
- Don't wear loose sleeves or any jewelry that could get tangled in the blade. If you have long hair, tie it back. Stock up on these.
- A small assortment of blades will handle any situation. Rick relies on very thin #2/0, #2, and #5 blades for most of his work, usually in a skip-tooth configuration. The skip-tooth style features a long, flat gullet between the teeth.
- Baltic birch plywood serves as a great material for most scrollsawing projects. The edges look good, and you won't run into voids, as you do with some plywood.
- Patterns can come from downloadable Web sites, from computer software, or simply from children's coloring books. To make a permanent pattern, cut it out in plastic laminate.
- A magnifier light helps you follow fine details, but can be tricky to use, so try it before you buy it. Rick recommends the kind with a fluorescent ring.
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