Marblewood AAARGH!!!

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Blog entry by snoman1973 posted 07-23-2013 06:01 PM 4760 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok so…not the best way to start off my new blog but, eh…it’s the topic of the moment right? Marblewood. I went to my local Woodcraft store and was looking for an exotic wood to work in that I’d never seen or used in a project and I was drawn to the beautiful grain and color of it. The heft of the board should have been my first clue that I needed to do more research into the wood before I attempted to make anything. Now since my work is mostly done on the scroll saw and band saw The first thing I checked was how hard the wood was and if the the sawdust was toxic or caused allergic reactions. Not a problem for me, but it causes slight breathing issues for my father so I can only work on it when he’s asleep and then do a thorough vacuuming of the shop after.

Once I figured out all that I set myself to finding a scroll saw blade that would actually cut marblewood and started with a #5 skip tooth reverse cut. That only lasted about 3/4 of an inch into the first cut before it started getting hot and dull. Now the saw I’m using is a Dremel 16 in 2 speed so I really can’t adjust the blade speed to the wood, I just adjust how fast I feed the wood to the blade and hope I get it right. lol… After that didn’t work I tried a #7 blade thinking something with bigger, more aggressive teeth would clear the chips faster and not get so hot. For a while that worked but eventually it too dulled. At this point I’m wanting to pull my hair out! A #7 is the most aggressive blade I’d used and I was at a loss as to why the board (which my father had cut down on his table saw to only 3/8in. thick) was causing me so many issues. As a last resort my father pulled out the old #11+ blades that came with the scroll saw ( I say 11+ since we’re not sure what they are since they weren’t marked) and those did the trick to finish the initial cutout but i had very little control since those blades would take a “Set” after a curved cut and want to keep cutting in that direction …sigh.

-- The wood often tells me what it wants to be... great... now the voices in my head have company....;-P

3 comments so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1527 posts in 5210 days

#1 posted 07-23-2013 10:09 PM

If it’s any consolation, a few years ago I ran across a deal with the scrap pile of a high end deck supply place, ended up with a bunch of Ipé and Massaranduba and Teak and similar. Super dense (I did some boat accessories and have some amusing “sinks like a stone” stories), mostly because of a super high silica content.

And, yeah, that stuff dulls blades so fast it’s not silly. I’m now reserving it for things where I only have to do minimal cuts and don’t have to run it through the planer.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 4190 days

#2 posted 07-24-2013 02:36 PM

I used marblewood once without a mask and noticed a lot of respiratory problems from it. I didn’t have an issue working with it tool wise. I decided to stay away from it.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View snoman1973's profile


111 posts in 2932 days

#3 posted 07-24-2013 11:05 PM

I seem to be the only idiot trying to scroll marblewood. I can’t find anyone else who’s even used it for anything besides lathe turning or knife handles.

-- The wood often tells me what it wants to be... great... now the voices in my head have company....;-P

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