Two Scroll Saw Questions

I bought a 25 dollar Craftsman scroll saw at a rummage sale and spend a few hours last night making jigsaw puzzles out of hardboard for a party. (Thanks for the tip! The project worked out really well.)
I've never used one before, and I don't know a lot about the tool. I have a couple of questions.
1) I bought Olson No.5 blades with the reverse teeth (even though the manual said to use blades going one way) because the package said it created a smoother cut on both sides. Is this hype or are these blades a little better?
2) What is the purpose of using slower speeds? I cranked it to the highest speed, worked for four hours. I broke a couple of blades, but I figured that was par for the course.
3) (I know, I said a couple of questions) How do you tension blades? I tightened until I could easily move the blade an 1/8 on an inch either way. Is that about right?
Thanks for the help.
S.
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samson wrote:

It depends. What is the stroke and how thick is the material? If you are talking about using those in 1/4" hardboard, don't bother. ____________

To cut more slowly. Control. _____________

Not for me, way too loose.
--

dadiOH
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there are a great group of folks at Scrollsawer.com hosted by Fox Chapel publishing the forum has members from all over the world with tons of knowledge here is the link http://www.scrollsawer.com/forum/index.php you can read all sorts of info but to post you must be registered HTH
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On Fri, 8 Aug 2008 20:46:14 -0400, "Daryl Walters"

Reverse fret blades do work better, giving less splintering on the bottom. I use them almost exclusively.

I use Flying Dutchman blades from Mikes workshop. They are the best blades that I have tried. Except for some heavy duty blades which I think had a defect, the other blades almost never break. I tighten the blades as tight as I can get them. It makes for better control and straighter cuts. With 1/8" deflection the blades will bow on thicker wood. You slow the speed down for better control.
Some of my scroll saw work is at http://www.olypen.com/ray/Woodwork2/woodwork2.html

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says...

That's some beautiful work there. Thanks very much for the information!
S.
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