Now, I know setting up the scroll saw sounds like a more complicated job than using it.
Good news: it’s more simple than it sounds.
And it gets better: you can get the hang of it quickly, and will be able to set up the scroll saw like a boss after only a few tries.
Want to see how it works right now? Wait no more. I will show you how to set up a scroll saw step by step.
Table of Contents
How to Set Up a Scroll Saw
Before I share it with you, don’t forget to put your protections on! Grab your safety glasses along with your dust mask, and let’s get down to business.
Prepare the Workpiece
For beginners, you should draw simple patterns on your first few workpieces. The internet has a lot to suggest to you.
Next, make sure to lay out relief cuts. Relief cuts are the cuts you make from the edge of your workpiece into the perimeter of your patterns.
Doing this makes it easier to control and less likely to get the blade stuck.
Read the Manual
It’s obvious that you should read the manual before you try a machine you’ve never used before.
The manual will show you all the necessary things you must know about how to set up a scroll saw. In particular, it will explain details on how to set up all the parts of the tool and the maintenance instructions.
Of course, the manual shows you the basics, and later adjusting depends on you.
Choosing Scroll Saw Blades
I would recommend plain end blades. They are the best and most common choice since they are 5’’ long, so they would fit most scroll saws.
Few people use pin end blades because they come in fewer sizes and types.
Scroll Saw Blade Tensioning
It’s crucial to tension the saw blade correctly. Over-tensioning can make the blade snap. Even too low tensioning can break the blade if the material is thick.
To find the correct tension for the scroll saw blade requires practice. It takes time, but you should be able to get used to it quickly.
The tip is to pay attention to the sound and the cuts. If you pluck the blade and hear a sharp ping noise, that should be the right tension. About the cuts, it should be consistent if the blade is tensioned correctly.
Remember, practice makes perfect. You will properly mess up a few workpieces, or even blades. But don’t worry, after a few practices, you will master adjusting the blade tension before you even know it.
Squaring the Blade
For the cuts to be consistent, especially on thick woods, you must always check if the scroll saw blade and the table meet at a 90-degree angle.
If the angle is not right (90-degree), you should adjust the table and use square objects to check.
Set Up the Hold-Down and the Air Nozzle
How you set up the hold-down and the air nozzle affect the smoothness of the patterns you cut.
You should set the hold-down so it’s close to touching the work surface. That way, you have more control of your workpiece, preventing it from moving and jumping off the line.
For the air nozzle, point it to the blade first. And then, while cutting, you can adjust the air nozzle to where it feels right for you.
The Wrap Up
The bottom line is, it takes practice and time for you to become skilled when learning how to set up a scroll saw. But the good news is, it’s simple to follow.
During the process, make sure to pay attention to your cuts, the sounds, and the feels from your finger. You should be able to get the hang of it in no time naturally.
Remember to keep practicing and have fun!
If you have any opinions and stories, leave a comment, I’d love to hear them.
Thank you for reading!