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Scroll Saw?


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Is it possible to use a scroll saw for cutting inlay material (shell)? I've been using a jewelers saw but I'm wondering if I'm doing it the hard way or the right way? One advantage I can think of would be that the cuts would be straight (perpendicular to surface) but I'm wondering if the shell would tend to hop around too much/difficult to control?

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As I said in my post that Wes put up, you can use the scroll saw, that is specifically what I bought it for, however, couple of things to remember.....

1. Variable speed, this is an absolute MUST. When cutting real shell you have to use a slower speed if you are using the fine blades you use in your jewellers saw, also, if going to fast, it will heat up very quickly and it gets almost sticky, the shell will stick to the blade causing it to lift even easier than ever and you will snap blades.

2. Get a HEAVY and SMOOTH one. Spend the dollars to buy a GOOD scroll saw. If it vibrates to much you will break blades non-stop. Also, if it's bouncing around you won't be able to accurately follow a line. The heavier the saw the more solid it will be on your bench and the less residual vibration you will get (your bench will bounce with a light saw doubling the amount of vibration you actually feel on the table of your saw)

3. Use a light weight oil, or an inlay saw blade cutting lubricant. This will help to eliminate the blade sticking. If you use a light weight oil, be sure to clean off your pieces in some gun wash or something (acetone etc) There are blade waxes you can buy which will not affect the gluing of the shell too, but these are harder to apply. I use airtool oil on a paper towel and just rub it against the blade while cutting.

4. Use .040" shell if possible, it just cuts way easier, is less likely to grab, and wont' heat up as much as the .050 or .060 shell.

5. when you want to do very small pieces, like the birds on that dolphin inlay, cut them by hand, the scroll saw will break the little tiny pieces off. Also, it's very difficult to hold the very small pieces and still push them through the blade while holding it down tight to the table. Remember, this time you have to move the piece through the blade, not the blade through the material like with the jewellers saw.

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Thanks LGM,

I really enjoy using the jewelers saw and am getting much better at it. I was just wondering if I was wasting time trying to improve with that tool instead of moving up to a scroll saw.

I'm having some trouble cutting straight lines without little wiggles showing up but I think I will have the hang of it soon. I was also wondering if the scroll saw would help for this since I would be moving the shell (with two hands - probably) BUT - the pieces are small and probably would not survive from what you are telling me.

Thanks again for the great advice. I hope things are going well in your new shop. Thanks for directing me to the info Wes.

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Ironically it's harder to cut a straight line with the scroll saw due to the bouncing action, and the blade moves more in the scroll saw as you don't want to have it as tight as in the jewellers saw or it breaks a little easier.

Here is a picture of the scroll saw I bought


and here is another good reason to have a nice big shop, WINTER STORAGE LOL!!


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