A scroll saw is a tool that has very specific applications. It is not the most commonly used tool but when in the right hands, it can create beautiful and unique designs.
A scroll saw is most often used in woodworking to cut intricate patterns in the wood. It allows the user to make precise cuts in virtually any pattern. People use scroll saws to create wooden art or toys, make decorative edges and carve detailed designs. And while these machines are a favorite of any artisan woodworker, they can also be used to cut other materials, such as plastic or metal.
Scroll saw anatomy
A scroll saw is a type of a benchtop saw. They consist of a flat tabletop on which you place the piece of wood you want to etch designs onto. Above the table, there is an arm with a blade attached to it. The distance between the blade and the rear frame is referred to as the scroll saw throat and it is the most common way of measuring the size of a scroll saw.
Scroll saws can be either electric or operated by a foot pedal. In both cases, the user is free to use both hands to guide the piece of materials along the tabletop in the desired direction.
The blades are what determines the quality of the cut. Scroll saws use very fine blades, much smaller than those used in other types of saws. The speed is adjustable and you can make it as slow as you need to. This allows for greater accuracy. The cuts are very thin resulting in intricate designs.
Different blades will yield different results. Some make the cutting slower, making them good for beginners. Others will only work with certain types of materials. For example, you cannot use a blade for wood to cut through metal.
The best scroll saw should be able to work with various blades without a hitch and have enough tabletop space to comfortably move your work around. The speed should also be adjusted in an intuitive way to avoid work accidents.
How to use a scroll saw
Scroll saws are one of the easiest types of power saws to operate and they are an excellent tool for beginners who want to unleash their creativity. They can also be safely used by children – the risk of injury is relatively small and even if it occurs, the damage should not be substantial due to the low speed of the machine and fine blades.
Scroll saws are safe to use as long as you follow some simple guidelines: make sure the machine is properly secured, use the right blade for the job, only turn the machine on when you are ready to make your cut.
Most people using a scroll saw help themselves with a previously prepared paper design. It’s simply a sheet of paper with your design printed on it. You just glue the paper on top of your material using some kind of adhesive and later follow along the printed pattern by guiding your project with your hands. After you have completed your design, it is recommended to spray your work with lacquer to give it a finishing touch.