Newbie Scroll Saw Help

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Forum topic by NewWooder posted 02-09-2012 08:39 AM 1393 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 3266 days

02-09-2012 08:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: scroll saw tension new porter cable

I wanted to get into scroll sawing so I went out and read the review and picked myself up a Porter-Cable 16’ from Lowe’s. I did not have the bucks for the Dewalt. After the first returned one, I got one that “Works”. I got a scrool saw book and read it and trying to do the practice project. Basicly cut a straight line and curved line.

First. When it cut it goes about 8-9 degrees left and soon as push in the peice of 1/2 inch pine. Is it suppose to do that?

Second. What’s the magic to getting the thing curve and change directions? I watched the video and i looks easy but when i turn the wood the blade it turns in the groove and keeps pointing in the same direction.

Third. I got some good pinless blandes #5 skip (flying dutchmen??). I put the blade into the bottom first even though the directions state top first. Then in the top. I tightend the screws down as far as i can. I start tighting the tension in the back and the blade pops off. It never matches the sound i heard on the internet. Mind you i am half deaf. Is there a different way to check tension with relying on hearing?

3 replies so far

View PyNCy's profile


99 posts in 3300 days

#1 posted 02-09-2012 06:09 PM

Hi, there! I can’t say I’m a professional scroller, but I’ve been doing it for almost 12 years, so I thought I’d tell you what I know :) I don’t know much about Porter-Cable saws. I have a 16” Tool Star I got “way back when” at Sutherlands (hardware store). I’ll have to tell you what I know according to my saw.

Forgive me if you’ve already figured it out, but when you cut anything on the scroll saw, the blade always goes to the right. So, for instance, if you’re cutting a straight line, you have to turn the wood to the left a little, so the blade will go through straight. I don’t know why it does that. I think it has to do with the burr on the blade? Or just the way the saw is.

Curves take some getting used to. 12 years later, they are still my weak spot sometimes. It will take some practice to get them just right. :)

For some good advice, visit Rick Hutcheson has lots nice of tips.

-- The Sawdust Fairy ~ Making Magic with Wood

View MrsN's profile


988 posts in 4493 days

#2 posted 02-09-2012 09:31 PM

To cut a straight line you have to cut at an angle. It has to do with the blade manufactuing process leaving a burr on one edge. So that part is normal.

As far as the blades poping off – try cleaning the ends of the blades. A little mineral spirits and a rag and wipe the top and bottom inch. the blades have an oil on them that makes them slip. occationally you will have to clean the blade clamps on the saw in a similar manner. If the blades are still popping off you are likely trying to put too much tension on the blade

I think the trick to turning is to slow down.

also, have you looked into any of the scroll saw forums?

A forum that is an awesome resource for scrollers is Steve Good’s

and speaking of Steve Good, he blogs and offers tons of free patterns that are awesome is a scrolling forum with a ton of patterns.

Feel free to reply or PM me with any other questions, I’d be happy to help.

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 3852 days

#3 posted 02-10-2012 02:03 PM

I had that saw for about two years before I was able to upgrade to a DeWalt. It is a good saw and you can create most of what I have posted or better. You will have to learn to use it. YES to cut straight you need to angle the piece of wood about 10 to 15 degrees tot he left. Depends on several things but just go slow and watch the blade. I never tried to listen for a sound fromt he blade when cutting just got a tight blade and go to work. For circle cuts you will need a smaller blade, like a #3 or a #2 and again whatch the blade and go slow at first.

There is lots of help here and on the internet. Our friend Katie has offered help, Steve Good is a great resource (look up his videos on Youtube).

Call (PM) on any of us and we will be glad to try and help. THe best thing I found is “Cut some wood”.

Hope this helps.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

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