By Bob Duncan
Flying Dutchman’s #3/0 spiral blades are the smallest spiral blades available.
At 0.023″ diameter, these blades fit into the tightest frets. A common complaint about spiral blades is the inability to cut sharp corners. Due to the shape of the blades, the corners will always be a little rounded. These blades are so fine that they allow you to cut close to a square corner, one that you can hardly see is rounded.
The ability to cut fine details comes at a price. These blades break easily.
I started with a 1″ (25mm)-thick stack of thin plywood. After breaking a few blades, I reduced the stack to 1/2″ (13mm) thick, which helped me avoid breaking any more blades. Be sure to mark the top of the blades after you determine which end is up; the fine teeth make it difficult to make sure the blade is installed correctly.
Flying Dutchman blades are available at www.mikesworkshop.com.
Scroll Saw Tape
By Mindy Kinsey
In our Holiday 2012 issue, we shared a reader tip that recommended using double sided drop cloth tape to attach patterns to blanks. Unfortunately, we later learned that the tape was unavailable — until now.
Advanced Converting Technologies Inc. in London, Ont., Canada, makes tape. According to the company’s president, Jack Brown, they were researching drop cloth tape for the paint industry when they found our mention of it. Intrigued, Jack contacted us and sent a sample of his double-sided repositionable tape to see if it would work for scrolling. We tested it and shared our thoughts, and Jack asked some woodworkers in his area, including members of the St. Thomas Wood Carvers Club, to test the tape as well. Encouraged by our positive reactions, ACT has developed both Scroll Saw Tape and a related Poster Tape. Ironically, the paint people weren’t interested after all.
Scroll Saw Tape comes in rolls that are 8 1/2″ wide, so it’s easy to adhere to the back of an entire page or to cut smaller pieces as needed. The tape sticks firmly to blanks while you are scrolling, but is easy to peel off cleanly, without residue, once you’re done. We left patterns attached to wood for several days and the tape did not dry or peel. We used the tape while cutting several varieties of wood, including cherry, and it appears to lubricate the blade to prevent scorching. Because the tape is repositionable, it is easy to use for intarsia and segmentation methods that suggest reusing the same cut pattern pieces. In short, this tape is the perfect solution for sticking scroll saw patterns to blanks. As a bonus, you can use the tape to stick reference patterns or other pages to the wall; they will stay indefinitely and remove cleanly when you’re ready.
Rolls of 8 1/2″-wide Scroll Saw Tape are available in two lengths: 5’for $6.95 and 20′ for $19.95. It is available from The Winfield Collection, www. thewinfieldcollection.com; Workshop Supply, www.workshopsupply.com; and Scroller Scroll Saw Patterns & Supplies, www.scrolleronline.com.
This tape is the perfect solution for sticking scroll saw patterns to blanks.”
The new #3/0 spiral blade (top; pictured with its #2/0 counterpart) cuts the finest details and sharpest corners of any spiral blade available.
Pegas Super Skip Blades
By Mindy Kinsey
The new Super Skip blades from Pegas have wider gaps between the teeth than the normal skip-tooth configuration, creating a blade that cuts very quickly. In fact, these blades move so quickly that I had to turn the saw speed down while I got used to the action. The blades cut 1/2″-thick plywood and 1/16″-thick acrylic with a smooth finish and whisked the surface sawdust away. I didn’t stack the acrylic, but it did not heat or break, and the edges were clean. A #5 blade slowed only slightly when challenged with inch-thick wood and cut it without scorching. If you like an aggressive blade and appreciate a smooth finish, try the new Super Skip blades from Pegas.
Pegas Super Skip blades are made in odd sizes from #0 through #9, plus #12. They are widely available online and from specialty retailers.