Cutting a straight line on a scroll saw?

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I have a Delta 16" scroll saw that I would like to use to cut some small pieces of stock with. The stock is 1/2" x 3" x 8"
The table is completely round and there are no guides that I can find for setting up a jig so that when I push my pieces through they will cut nice and straight.
Now I realize that many of you will tell me to just use my table saw, and this would be the best option, but in this particular case I need to utilize the thinner blade of the scroll saw so that I lose as little material as possible..
Have any of you made up a jig for such a beast? if so, would you be willing to share tips and techinques?
--
Kate
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Just clamp a board to the table that runs parallel to the blade and use it as a fence to guide the cuts.

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That part I've got... The problem is how to figure a nearly exact straight line to place the fence on? I will be mounting it to an unmarked round surface with only one point of reference being a small blade that is not located to the center of the circle. No other part of the saw is in straight alignment of the table.
Kate
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Don't know if this might work for you but it might be worth a try. Make an other top for your scroll saw but make it square. Use cleats on the bottom of two edges to press against the current top. Measure carefully and drill a hole for your blade to go through. Then build a fence, cut two slots in the table so you can move the fence towards or away from the blade to give you less/more distance. Once you get it lined up, make reference points on the saw and the table for future set up. I was working on a project and got tired of the tiny, I mean tiny, pieces falling through the hole of my craftsman scroll saw so I used some plastic I had on hand. Worked great! Toy chest is now in the finishing state.
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I forgot one obvious but important thing, attach firmly to your current table. I used clamps but found they were sometimes in the way. So I measured and drilled the made table to match the predrilled holes in the Craftsman's table. I also made my table slightly larger which gave me more table space resulting in more stability.
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Thank you Jack, good suggestions - all of them. I'll give it a good look.
I hadn't thought of drilling into my table. I'm not opposed to it, it just enver crossed my mind.
Kate
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I just went and looked at mine and as a suggestion how about using a carpenters square and the upper arm as a reference point. My scrollsaw arm appears to be pretty straight, I figure if you put a straight line down on the cutting table then you could work from there.
--
Mike
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"Kate" wrote:

Use a fine drafting pencil and layout cut lines on actual piece, then cut by eye along line.
It is the way my landlord makes gasket cutting dies.
Lew
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I tried that once. Just a slight shift will cause it to be wavy. That won't do because I cannot sand the cut edges more than about ammount it will take to take the saw marks out. The area is where the top and bottom of a box come together when closed.
K.
"Kate" wrote:

Use a fine drafting pencil and layout cut lines on actual piece, then cut by eye along line.
It is the way my landlord makes gasket cutting dies.
Lew
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"Kate" wrote:

When it comes to a scroll saw, patience is a virtue.
It may take a couple of minutes just to make a 2"-3" cut.
Try a few cuts on some scrap to develop your skill set.
Good luck.
Lew
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You can't use a guide because the blades don't cut "straight" - most of them cut at some slight angle, which differs from blade to blade.
The best way to cut a straight line is to draw a straight line, then follow it manually.
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Tue, Dec 11, 2007, 2:10pm (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@behindyourears.selby.ws (Kate) looks around in awe, and queries: I have a Delta 16" scroll saw <snip>
Sounds like mine, 'cepti mines a Craftsman I got some years back, at an EXCELLENT price.. However, my table does have holes in it, so I could make a strightedge and fasten it down. However. LOL. There's almost "always" a 'however'
However, I have used my scrollsaw to make straight cuts, freehand. Just follow the pencil line, go reasonably slow, and I have had no problems cutting lines up to about a foot long that are very nicely straight when checked with a straightedge.
With the holes in the table, it would be simple enough to mount a adjustable straightedge, something like a fence, and either run the piece alon it, or make some sort of a jig to hold the piece, but personally I don't think it's worth the time and ffort.
Hehehe I still get a warm fuzzy thinking about when I got my scrollsaw. Went into a Sear appliance store, and that had a stack of new, in the box, srollsaws, marked around $35 (that's thirty five) each. Variable, speed, top of the line at that time. I coulsn't believe it, and asked if the price was correct. They said yes, I walked out with one. A fe days later I was in ther again, and they had another model, almost identical with mine, just very minor differences, pricet at around $175. I got a brand new bench bandsaw for around the same price, same store. And later they had a similar, but different, model going for around $175 also. Right place, right time. About that time I started believing in the Woodworking Gods. Still have both machines, still work perfect, both painted bright yellow.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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Also, make sure you use a new blade.
Smitty
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(Kate) looks around in awe, and queries: I have a Delta 16" scroll saw <snip>
Sounds like mine, 'cepti mines a Craftsman I got some years back, at an EXCELLENT price.. However, my table does have holes in it, so I could make a strightedge and fasten it down. However. LOL. There's almost "always" a 'however'
** yup, there always is, I'll start cringing now LOL
However, I have used my scrollsaw to make straight cuts, freehand. Just follow the pencil line, go reasonably slow, and I have had no problems cutting lines up to about a foot long that are very nicely straight when checked with a straightedge.
** showoff ;D
With the holes in the table, it would be simple enough to mount a adjustable straightedge, something like a fence, and either run the piece alon it, or make some sort of a jig to hold the piece, but personally I don't think it's worth the time and ffort.
** In the long run, it might be. Something tells me I am going to be doing this more than once. I'm just not sure how to get the holes in it so that when I put it all together it will make a straight line.
Hehehe I still get a warm fuzzy thinking about when I got my scrollsaw. Went into a Sear appliance store, and that had a stack of new, in the box, srollsaws, marked around $35 (that's thirty five) each. Variable, speed, top of the line at that time. I coulsn't believe it, and asked if the price was correct. They said yes, I walked out with one. A fe days later I was in ther again, and they had another model, almost identical with mine, just very minor differences, pricet at around $175. I got a brand new bench bandsaw for around the same price, same store. And later they had a similar, but different, model going for around $175 also. Right place, right time. About that time I started believing in the Woodworking Gods. Still have both machines, still work perfect, both painted bright yellow.
** I bought mine at a pawn shop. It's not variable, but it was only $40. Works like a champ though. You were really lucky finding yours like you did. I love it when I run across soemthing at an amazing bargain.
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Thu, Dec 13, 2007, 10:45am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@behindyourears.selby.ws (Kate) let me sayeth thusly: <snip> With the holes in the table, it would be simple enough to mount aadjustable straightedge, something like a fence, and either run the piece alon it, or make some sort of a jig to hold the piece, but personally I don't think it's worth the time and ffort. And then she responds thusly: ** In the long run, it might be. Something tells me I am going to be doing this more than once. I'm just not sure how to get the holes in it so that when I put it all together it will make a straight line. <snip>
I've cut straight lines in multiple piecs more than once. If I figured I was gonna repeat making a lot of straight cuts, and wanted some sort of jig, I'd either use my bench saw, or bandsaw. I'm open to cutting sraight lines in a number of pieces on the scrollsaw, done it more than once. The only mod I'd een consider making any mod to mine would be to maybe make a larger wooden table, and bolt it down with the holes in the table. Sometimes it's just faster and handier to use the scrollsaw. Mounting some sort of jig or straightedge on it would would kill that. Of course, on the other hand, I'm extremely traditional, and don't experiment at all.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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*some stuff that was interesting, but I snipped*
Of course, on the other hand, I'm extremely traditional, and don't experiment at all.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso -- I'm an experimenter. I mess with things untill I either get them the way I want them or they are so messed up they can't be fixed.
I'll let you know what I come up with.
Kate
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Thu, Dec 13, 2007, 7:28pm (EST-1) From: snipped-for-privacy@behindyourears.selby.ws (Kate) doth sayeth: I'm an experimenter. I mess with things untill I either get them the way I want them or they are so messed up they can't be fixed. I'll let you know what I come up with.
LMAO You must have missed some of my other posts, on some of my 'speermints.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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Your blades are the problem. Every scroll saw blade has a bias. Not only that, as the blade starts to dull, the angle of the bias will change ever so slightly. (other posters have mentioned this also.)
Heritage of scroll saw is the coping saw. Heritage of bandsaw is the bow saw. Two different hand tool heritages.
BTW: to scroll saw a straight line is actually a very advanced skill. Scroll sawing is an eye-hand type of thing. Takes practice, not a lot, but any skill takes practice. The only more advanced is the symmetrical long curves, like two sides of a heart.
Mainstream woodworking has all kinds of jigs and fixtures for purchase, or building, to bypass the years of apprenticeship training it would historically take. Scroll sawyers are into skill building, again which isn't a whole lot to acquire.
- Use a large blade like a #5 or #7 - Keep wrist flat - use fingers to only hold wood down, (using fingers will cause mini-course correction "bumps") - Push with whole arm- from the shoulder - Practice on scrap wood - Two variables to learn about: Feed rate and Strokes per minute Both will subtly affect your straight line cutting. - Don't feed the wood too fast. Scroll saws are one of the slowest cutting tools in the shop.
Did I mention you have a learning curve to climb? A skill to learn? It ain't a hard steep curve, and it don't take long but you must get up and over it.
Phil
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Thank you Phil. You have given me a goal. I am going to learn how to cut a straight line that I can be proud of. I love a challenge. When someone tells me that something is VERY hard to do, it seems to drive me to accomplish it.
Your post really inspired AND educated me. I have been looking forward to using my scroll saw for something more decorative. Maybe this spring I will start practising. Right now though I just don't have the time - darn it.
The blade in the saw is nearly new, only used for a few small cuts. I do have some new blades though I will be sure to use one before trying.
Thanks so much for your post.
Kate


Your blades are the problem. Every scroll saw blade has a bias. Not only that, as the blade starts to dull, the angle of the bias will change ever so slightly. (other posters have mentioned this also.)
Heritage of scroll saw is the coping saw. Heritage of bandsaw is the bow saw. Two different hand tool heritages.
BTW: to scroll saw a straight line is actually a very advanced skill. Scroll sawing is an eye-hand type of thing. Takes practice, not a lot, but any skill takes practice. The only more advanced is the symmetrical long curves, like two sides of a heart.
Mainstream woodworking has all kinds of jigs and fixtures for purchase, or building, to bypass the years of apprenticeship training it would historically take. Scroll sawyers are into skill building, again which isn't a whole lot to acquire.
- Use a large blade like a #5 or #7 - Keep wrist flat - use fingers to only hold wood down, (using fingers will cause mini-course correction "bumps") - Push with whole arm- from the shoulder - Practice on scrap wood - Two variables to learn about: Feed rate and Strokes per minute Both will subtly affect your straight line cutting. - Don't feed the wood too fast. Scroll saws are one of the slowest cutting tools in the shop.
Did I mention you have a learning curve to climb? A skill to learn? It ain't a hard steep curve, and it don't take long but you must get up and over it.
Phil
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On Tue, 11 Dec 2007 14:10:15 -0600, "Kate"

You can fake something but why? A scroll saw is not made for straight cuts and even if you mount an aux fence to your scroll saw table, the blade is going to do a bit of wandering whether you want it to or not.
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