Some individuals presume that scrolling is an expensive hobby. However, while there are some upfront costs like many hobbies, even if all new equipment is purchased, you can get started easily for under $200. If you go to auctions, garage sales or know someone selling a scroll saw, it could be even cheaper to get an adequate model. Below are some valuable tips for individuals who are new to scrolling:
Buying a Scroll Saw
If you are looking for the best scroll saw as a beginner, paying over $200 for a new scroll saw is not recommended. There is a number decent saw models that can be acquired for roughly $150, such as the Ryobi scroll saw which can do most projects you would tackle at this level. When starting out in a new hobby, you should probably not buy the most costly equipment as there is always the option to upgrade once your skill level has improved.
As with other pieces of equipment, the more features added, the higher it will cost. Bear in mind that there are several “add-ons” like a dust collector or light bulb that can be bought and affixed later. Possibly the most vital purchasing decision is whether to get one that uses regular “flat” blades or “pin-end” blades.
Typically when you buy a new saw, a few sample blades will be included by the manufacturer. However, they are not necessarily the best; they are usually included because of marketing connections. Tinkering” and hands-on experience are the best way to learn. Therefore, if you already own blades or you can get some from a buddy, you can just start cutting to figure out what each blade will do.
Correctly Tensioning Your Blade
Tensioning blades in the saw is the next step after making the purchase. Most scrollers will tell you to have it tuned a “high C” note. However, that is not very useful unless you have access to a tuning fork in the high C note or you have a perfect hearing pitch. Where tensioning is concerned, you just basically have to learn for yourself. The “ting” of the “high C” note is tremendously distinctive, and once you get it, you will definitely recognize it and remember it.
Additionally, your blades will often break if they are too tight and the same is true if the blade is too loose. When the saw is in operation, the blade should resemble a single black line. If the blade seems blurry, it is most likely wobbling because it is too slack in the clamps. A loose blade could also pop out of your clamp. Using sandpaper to roughen the clamp faces will provide the blade with something to grab onto and possibly solve the problem you are having.
Learning how your scroll saw cuts is essential. A pattern is not a must-have to enjoy your scroll saw; however, you can use them eventually to make really cool projects. To start out, you can use a pencil to trace a leaf onto wood, jump right in and get to cutting. If you have a pattern, it has to be affixed to the wood stock. In the past, scrollers traced each line onto the wood via carbon transfer paper. These days, most individuals use a spray adhesive.
Cutting With a Scroll Saw
No matter what you do, never try to force the saw through the material you are cutting too quickly; just leave the blade to do its job. This is a skill that can only be learned through practice and experience. It is important that you keep the workpiece moving steadily, without turning off the saw until you have finished cutting along the line you made. The saw should only be stopped before completing a cut if you run into a safety problem.
You can use the previously mentioned guidelines, and other scroll saw reviews – such as Protoolzone’s scroll saw guide to help you get started. Practice often, scroll safely and enjoy the experience.