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Woodcraft of Harrisburg

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3831 Union Deposit Road
Harrisburg, PA 17109

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sunday 12 PM - 5 PM
monday 9 AM - 7 PM
tuesday 9 AM - 7 PM
wednesday 9 AM - 7 PM
thursday 9 AM - 9 PM
friday 9 AM - 7 PM
saturday 9 AM - 6 PM

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Choosing a Scroll Saw Blade

For almost 10 years I’ve been working at Woodcraft and teaching scroll saw classes. I often get asked questions about which blade to use in which application. There are two main aspects to making a decision: size and type.

The required blade size is directly related to the thickness of the wood. Scroll saw blades are numbered, with Triple Zero (#3/0) being the smallest and #12 the largest. The larger blades are more durable, but the smaller blades can turn sharper corners. For ¾” thick wood, I start with a #5. If the wood is harder I move to a #7, if I need tighter turns I’ll drop to a #3.


Different scroll saw blade types

Types of scroll saw blades include Skip Tooth, Reverse Tooth and Spiral. Skip Tooth (missing every other tooth) is used most often because of the great dust clearing action and relatively smooth finish.

The Reverse Tooth has the bottom few teeth facing the opposite direction which reduces fuzz along the bottom of the cut. The blade cuts slightly slower because the sawdust isn’t ejected as quickly as a skip tooth blade. I personally don’t use a reverse tooth because I always utilize a Sanding Star to smooth my pieces.

Spiral blades look like a regular blade that has been twisted, allowing it to cut in any direction. This is helpful for projects that are large or have a lot of turns, but it cuts slower and rougher. Spiral blades are typically used when cutting portraits- they often require many turns and the rougher finish isn’t a concern since the back is going to be covered.


The author cutting a practice pattern

Most blade packs are only a few dollars and contain a dozen blades, making it easy to try different types and styles. I love getting books and trying new designs. Scroll sawing was easy to get into and fun to continue as there are projects for any skill level. Looking back, I have made so much but still have so much I want to try. Happy Scrolling!

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