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I watched a couple videos where, to cut a 90 degree angle with a scroll saw, the wood worker simply twisted the wood 90 degrees very quickly. I tried this and it just ruined my blade by bending it out of shape.

I'm using a Dremel saw (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Dremel-Moto-Saw-0-6-Amp-Corded-Scroll-Saw-for-Plastic-Laminates-and-Metal-MS20-01/203899883).

And I'm using the the MS52 blade. The picture here makes it look a bit bigger than it is but you can see the specs below (https://www.dremel.com/en_US/products/-/show-product/accessories/ms52-fine-wood-cutting-blade).

Unfortunately, this saw has proprietary blades and this is the smallest one they offer as far as I've found. So now I'm trying to figure out whether I ought to reasonably be able to make 90 degree turns with this blade if I were doing it right, or do I just need to get a scroll saw that takes regular blades so I can use a smaller one?

I used it for the first time (and first time ever using any scroll saw) last night to make the piece below for my wife. I broke 2 blades in the process though. I'm thinking I will just need to get a saw that can take smaller blades but wanted to make sure it's not a technique thing first before I go get another saw just to experience the same problem if it's me.

enter image description here

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    I've recently seen a video similar to that which you describe. I'm uncertain how to develop the skill, or the video was sped up in those locations. I think the latter is not particularly likely. Answers to this question are going to be valuable to me as well. – fred_dot_u Jan 16 at 23:37
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    The short answer is yes. Good blades make a world of difference, some saws do not hold the blade properly, and technique is learned. I have a very good saw with very good blades and still do only a so so job so my problem is definitely me. Try blades from a woodworking supply not from a home center. I purchased a brand name band saw blade from a home center it is scrap steel out of the box. – Monte Glover Jan 17 at 1:55
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    Really sharp turns are often made with a spiral blade, which cuts in all directions. – jdv Jan 17 at 4:42
  • Just to check, is that basswood? – Graphus Jan 17 at 7:06
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    I wanted to check because in case you hadn't read this yet the wood you're working with can make a massive difference to results in finer/smaller-scale work. Pine (SPF) can be just about the worst and merely changing to a hardwood can often take work up a notch. So look into basswood and poplar for starters. – Graphus Jan 25 at 7:59
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That's a nice first piece of work, especially given the limitations of your saw + blade!

The specs on the blade don't show the blade depth (i.e. from tip of the teeth to back of the blade), but it does specify the width as 0.025". Extrapolating from the image, the depth looks to be quite large. Comparing that to the largest blade I use (a #5), where the blade dimensions are specified as 0.038" deep x 0.016" wide, it looks like your blade is much larger. For fine work I go down to a #00, which is 0.022" deep and 0.010" wide. For comparison, that blade is shallower than yours is wide. See https://www.olsonsaw.net/shop/scroll-saw-blades/plain-end-scroll-saw-blades-5-in-6-in/skip-tooth-blades-5in/ for some blade dimensions (disclaimer - I don't buy those particular blades, but have a local store which I get them from, but the dimensions will be very similar).

Based on that, I would say that yes, your blade is too large for 90 degree cuts. With a proper blade and a little bit of experience, you should be able to rotate the saw blade in the cut (kerf) a full 360 degrees. I don't think I would be able to do that with your blade at all.

Another downside to the blade / system you are using is that it has pinned ends - this prevents you from drilling a small hole and feeding the blade through if you need to do interior cuts.

So in short, while I am a huge supporter of trying to use the tools you already have instead of buying new ones, I think that you may be better off with a different saw. Sorry :-(

Cheers

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  • So I got a new Central Machinery saw from Harbor Freight and attached the thinnest blade that came with it. Soooo much easier now. – BVernon Jan 24 at 17:54
  • It's a shame Dremel went with a proprietary blade and doesn't offer more options. – BVernon Jan 24 at 17:55
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    Great to hear it's working better for you. Scrolling is a very fun hobby IMHO. – TBO Jan 26 at 20:49

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