5 Important Scroll Saw Techniques You Need To Know

scroll saw techniques

This is a collection of our most helpful scroll saw techniques for NOVICES, including guidelines on stack cutting, buying a used scroll saw, and the many sorts of blades. Over the previous years, scroll sawing has grown in popularity. Men, women, and children are discovering the pleasure of creating intricate artwork with a scroll saw.

Others might construct things for themselves or give them as gifts. Others, on the other hand, produce items to sell at local art and crafts exhibitions. The low start-up costs and overall safety of scroll sawing appeal to a wide range of people. If you’re searching for an inexpensive way to get into woodworking, then a scroll saw may be your answer. For less than $200, you can get started.

The second thing that attracts people to scroll saws is their safety. Scroll saws are one of the safest power tools to use, in my opinion. It’s highly improbable that someone would be seriously injured while using a scroll saw, unlike other woodworking equipment. Children as young as three years old can learn how to operate a scroll saw with assistance. I was 10 years old when my father brought me a scroll saw for Christmas. Simply follow all safety precautions and manufacturer recommendations to be safe. Have fun with the hobby, but keep caution in mind.

5 Most Important Scroll Saw Tips And Techniques

white and blue plastic basket on brown tree trunk

Check The Blade And Blade Tension

The workpiece must be smoothly supported and aligned, as well as consistently guided through the scroll saw’s motion. In order for your scroll saw to function at peak efficiency, both your blades and their condition must be evaluated. Make sure you’re using the proper blades for the job and that they’re in good working order. The last thing you want is blunt blades or incorrect size, so this is something you need to pay close attention to.

When it comes to straight razors, there are a few things you should know. Not doing so can result in a damaged project and busted blades. While they are cheap, they are inconvenient for you. It’s time to adjust the blade tension once you’ve verified your blades for health and fitness. This may be difficult if you’re just starting out, but it doesn’t take long to master.

The blade’s tension has an immediate influence on your wood. It won’t cut through anything if it’s too loose, and it’ll fall out of the clamp if it’s too tight. You run the danger of damaging the blades by breaking or bending them if they’re pushed to extremes, and I am sure you do not want that, right?

You may change the blade in a variety of ways. If you have a scroll saw with a blade tension knob/lever, you can use this to set the correct tension. However, if your scroll saw does not include this feature, you’ll have to rely on your instincts to determine the correct tension.

The technique of flicking the edge to produce a note, similar to those on a guitar, is known as whirling. The blade is too tight if it is excessively high. The blade is too loose if it is excessively low.

You may use guitar tuning devices and applications to keep track of the blades’ sound, allowing you to maintain a precise pitch. This will become second nature to you over time, as you get used to how these blades sound.

white and orange UNK on brown wooden log

Table Position And Preparation

There are two methods to bevel a scroll saw table: one is with an adjustable tabletop, and the other is by lowering it to 45 degrees. When cutting, keep the scroll saw on a flat surface without the bevel turned on.

The most effective place to mount the scroll saw is directly over your mid-torso. This will allow you to properly begin your cutting process while also keeping an eye out for any anomalies that may arise from storage. The ideal position for a scroll saw table is right in line with your mid-torso, whether you are sitting or standing.

You can have a clear and unobstructed view of your job and the table while using this posture, which is critical for precise cuts. Make sure the blade is straight along with the table as you’re getting ready to put it in line with yourself.

Use Dry Wood

Of course, this may sound obvious; nevertheless, it’s critical to utilize dry wood in storage. If your wood is placed within materials or objects that contain liquid while in storage, there’s a chance it will become wet.

Depending on the substance, this may damage the wood and create a safety hazard within your project. If the wood is wet, use a dry cloth to clean it and let it air dry if possible. This will prevent your scroll saw blades from gliding or missing important portions of the material, as they might do after water is added.

Sand Before You Cut

It is also a good idea to check your flooring for any signs of pest infestation. Once you have finished the job, make sure there are no places where rats can hide. When this happens, you will need to sand down your wood. This is especially important for projects like fretwork. The fuzziness that results from this might be aggravating; but, rather than after, it is much easier to do it beforehand.

It is also a secure choice to do so beforehand since the finished product will arrive sooner than if you waited to perform this step at a later time.

The Correct Lighting

We have seen how crucial the scroll saw is for intricate patterns and challenging forms, so in order to receive the greatest cuts, you will need a hawk’s eye view of the table.

This is impossible without the required lighting, so make sure your working conditions provide for it. An adjustable light is usually included in most scroll saws, which may be either an LED or a bulb. This will help you see better, which is especially crucial when doing this sort of work.

Similar Articles

Scroll Saw Working: How It’s Done

scroll saw working

It is crucial for you to understand what a scroll saw working is and how it operates, as well as be familiar with its mechanism if you want to do any woodworking. Using it will undoubtedly enhance your productivity in producing complex cuts and forms of various workpieces.

Among artisans and woodworkers, scroll saws are a regular tool. It’s a little machine with a sharp blade that’s ideal for working with delicate wood. Mechanical scroll saws have been available since the 1860s, although there are more than 50 current models, ranging in speed and throat capacity. There are many types of scroll saws available, including C-arm and parallel arm models that may be utilized to create clocks, name tags, curved edges, and other items.

How A Scroll Saw Works

man in black sweatpants using DEWALT circular saw and cutting a wood plank

When you see a scroll saw for the first time, you will notice it has a distinct appearance to other scroll saws. This is due to the fact that it’s used to make shapes and complex designs, therefore the construction of the saw must be consistent with this.

The motor, which is measured in amps, provides the power for a scroll saw. The motor of a typical scroll saw can range anywhere from 0.6 to 1.5 amps. However, beyond 1.5 amps are extremely unusual.

A scroll saw is a woodworking tool that has a reciprocating, fine blade threaded through the piece you’re working on. The blade runs from the upper part of the arm (whether it’s pinless or pinned, they both are attached to the same location), down to the table surface. Here are some of the characteristics of a scroll saw that you’ll come to appreciate over time:

Features Of A Scroll Saw


The scroll saw has its own work surface, which is usually constructed of aluminum or iron. The ‘throat size’ of the table is typically emphasized.

The throat width is a measurement that denotes the distance between the blade and the rear of the table’s surface, giving a suggestion of how big your material can be.

Usually, throat sizes on scroll saws are labeled as 18” and 22’’, although there are models that exceed this range.

The bevel, which is the degree to which the table can turn to the left or right, is another interesting feature. The bevel, which is usually set at a 45° angle, offers you more creativity in your cutting activities by adding another dimension.

You will be setting your materials on the table when you make cuts. This is a crucial component to maintain in good working order since any debris or flaws would have an impact on the quality of your work and, as a result, its longevity.


Scroll saws have a tiny, fine blade that is fastened to the arm and extends from the table to the bottom. Scroll saws can use pinned and pinless blades, with pinless being more prevalent on the older scroll saw types. Modern-day scroll saws accept both kinds of blades.

The configuration (which also concerns the TPI), and blade size is included in the pinned and pinless categories. Unfortunately, there is no standard blade size system, although there is a sort of numbering scheme in place that ranges from less than 0 to 9, with increments of 2.


The arm is the miniature excavator-inspired aesthetic that hangs over the table and links the blade from top to bottom. I’m not going to explain why it’s called an arm; you may figure it out for yourself! Arms are available in three basic varieties, including a C Arm, Parallel Type, and Parallel-Linked arm.

The arm is the latest development in the scroll saw technology. The motor is linked to the arm, which keeps the blade in place.

On the top side of its design, in many situations, the arm also has various extra features, such as variable speed triggers for giving you total control over your blade tensioning knobs and pace of work to obtain the ideal tension for your blade, and an on/off switch.

Of course, this is only a sampling of what you may discover on the arm, with additional attachments including adjustable dust blowers and adjustable gooseneck lights for clearer vision when chopping.

How To Use A Scroll Saw

orange and white snow blower on brown wood log

Let’s take a look at how to use the scroll saw now that we’ve gone over all of the components involved with a scroll saw and know what they do. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know. You will be an expert in no time if you follow the instructions below, and with that knowledge, we’ll go through some essential information.

Using The Correct Blade

Sure, you can figure out the many aspects of the scroll saw – but it is pointless if you utilize the incorrect blade. Because there are up to eight distinct types of blades available, it might be easy to become perplexed and even overwhelmed by the variety of choices.

Adjusting Blade Tension

When you mount the scroll saw from top to bottom, the blade tension refers to how loose/tight the blade is. The blade tension isn’t difficult to change on most models of the scroll saw.

Exterior Cuts

Exterior cuts begin from the outside of the wood and continue until the blade comes into touch with the material. To follow your outline, you must guide the wood in the same direction as you would a vehicle when driving.

Interior Cuts

Interior cuts begin with a little incision in the wood’s center, whereas exterior cuts start at the outside of the material and work their way to the inside. However, you are free to make this initial hole in whatever manner you choose; there are numerous options.

Few Quick Tips

The use of a water pump as a makeshift blower is possible with an aquarium air pump that may be found at garage sales or a local pet store for little money. To increase the speed of the airflow exiting, insert a soft metal (copper) tube into the end of the hose (where it will blow from).

Depending on the type of wood you’re using and how thick it is, adjust the hold-down so that it applies enough pressure to keep the wood on the table while not being so strong as to prevent you from feeding stock through. When you’ve had some practice, many scroll sawyers remove the guard altogether. 

Before you start cutting, make sure the upper arm isn’t hitting anything on. Before beginning workpieces, conduct a test cut to ensure that it cuts properly. When working with hardwood or thick pieces, use a higher cutting speed. When working with thin or softwood, it is beneficial to employ a slower cutter speed. 

Keep in mind that the saw should not be run without moving the wood since you may get burnt. The feed rate is crucial. Never force or push the wood through too fast. Take your time when working and apply light pressure. If your blade bows under strain, you’re going too quickly! 

Similar Articles