A scroll saw is an exceptionally versatile, compact power tool used to cut intricate patterns in wood, metal, or any other material with scroll-cut edges. The fine steel blades of the scroll saw are similar to those used in bench saws; their teeth are positioned inside a slot in the blade and the teeth themselves are then slid up and down along a spiral path within the slot. The fine steel teeth of the scroll saw are frequently made out of diamond or some other metal. The saw’s blade can be pressed or rolled back into a sheath to be used at another time, or the blade can be left “on” while it is being cut by the user.
The scroll cutting process is much like the process used in computer-aided design (CAD) software. A simple pattern is drawn onto a piece of tracing paper. The user then compresses the paper into a shape that is close to the final product, but with all the small detail of the scroll cut included. The traced pattern can then be scaled to different sizes by using the scales on the CAD program’s interface. This is done by choosing a scale from a range of numbers that is close to the actual sizes of the items that will be cut. This enables the CNC machine to precisely determine how many small sections of the pattern need to be produced in order to create a well-detailed piece of cut wooden furniture or metal.
A user then moves the scroll saw’s handle closer to the pattern edge until the desired level of detail is achieved. When the scroll turn is released, a piece of metal that is complementary to the pattern edge will be removed from the saw. It is this piece of metal that will form the base of the next segment of the pattern. All the segments that make up the pattern will continue to be cut in this same way, until all the pieces have been completed.
In addition to having detailed top and bottom edges, some scroll saws also have side cuts, providing for a perfectly accurate and clean cut when the machine is started up. In addition, some models of scroll saws feature inside or outside curves, which provide for precision cuts between adjoining pieces of stock or other material. These cuts are usually made at slower speeds than those used in flat cuts but are more detailed and may not produce as large of pieces as traditional flat cuts would. Cutting these types of curves are similar to those used in miter saw operations, where they start cutting across the width of the material to be cut and then curve away to the center, cutting the exact width in the first pass.
While the process of creating intricate patterns is one that requires practice and patience, it is also important to remember that a detailed pattern is the best way to ensure that the wood pieces are cut to precise length and size. By starting the process with detailed, wide-ranging patterns, the woodworker will minimize any guesswork involved as he or she works the saw. This helps to ensure that the best possible accuracy is achieved. While it is always possible to change patterns during the cutting process, the best way to do so is to create a new pattern and then complete the old pattern and then start from scratch.
The patterns available for scroll saws often have numbers stamped on them, which indicate the particular type of cutting wheel to be used and the depth of the cut. The best and most accurate patterns will always require the use of a full style cut blade, which has a higher than normal cutting depth. Full styles are often referred to as “fretwork”, as the depth of the cut is determined by the width of the pattern being created. Another option available for creating intricate patterns is the use of a crosscut blade, which has a crosswise ripping action, while using a crosshatch pattern.
When cutting with these types of tools, it is important to pay attention to the dimensions and thickness of the pieces being cut. For example, when the pattern is being used to make sure that all the pieces are the same size and that none are too thin or too thick. Some manufacturers provide information on the inch specifications of their products online. Pay attention to the specifications so that you are not surprised by the size differences between various products.
Many scroll saw projects patterns will also require the use of a counterbalance mechanism. This is usually located inside the motor housing itself and is designed to counterbalance the saw as well as the base material. The counterbalance system is also designed to prevent the blades from making sharp turns, as they would if there were not additional support. The counterbalance system is most commonly found on diamond plate saws and is available in a variety of sizes and configurations. The counterbalance is designed to work in conjunction with the scroll saw’s motor housing to keep the blades from clogging up as they are being used.