Scroll Saw Project

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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You'll know you have a scroll saw project on your hands the moment your trusty band saw can't seem to bail you out. By and large, band saws are excellent robust machines designed to handle a myriad of tasks. But when it comes down to fine detail and interior work, it's of little use compared with a scroll saw.

One of the biggest limitations of the band saw is that it's incapable of handling cuts within a workpiece. If, for example, you need to cut concentric circles for a child's mobile, drink coasters, or some other home accent, the continuous motion of a band saw precludes the necessary strokes. Enter the scroll saw, with its narrow blade and variable-speed cutting, both of which make it an optimal tool for detail work.

Tackling Your Scroll Saw Project

One of the things you'll have to consider when beginning any scroll saw project is what sort of blade is most appropriate for the task at hand. Scroll saw blades fall into two general categories: pinned and blank-end blades. As their names suggest, pinned blades are marked by a set of pins on each side of the blade while blank-end blades are unadorned.

The major advantage of a pinned blade is ease of use. Since it requires no pin holders it may be swapped in and out for other blades with little or no hassle. Blank-end blades, which lack pins, give their users a smaller potential cutting area to handle even more minute incisions. As with competing models of most other wood working tools, there's always some kind of a tradeoff.

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