November 29, 2021

How to Deal with a Scroll Saw Vibration?

What is a scroll saw vibration?

Scroll saw vibration is a process whereby there is excess movement when operating a scroll saw. The saw blade movement comes in vibration. As much as it is irritating, the vibration is unavoidable since it is the moving blade. There are ways to reduce the vibration since you cannot stop it. The absence of vibration is a problem on its own. It means the scroll saw is not working. Yes, even some of the Best Scroll Saws may have this issue.

What is the cause of the vibration?

The cause of scroll saw vibration is due to the fast movement of the blade. The scroll saw blade movement is constant, and that results in inconstant vibrations as well. Continuous vibration is annoying when using the scroll saw. However, there are possible solutions and explanations.

To understand what causes the vibration on your scroll saw, you must have a general understanding of what a scroll saw is and how it works. These are small, electric saws with small, thin blades, and they make curves and edge work with wood, plastic, or metal. It rotates the saw while you cut.

The blade moves up and down in fast movements from 500 to almost 2000 times in a minute. The vibration is a result of the saw movement of the blade. If the saw blade goes slow, it will not cut through the material effectively.

The vibration reduces the amount of impact the saw has on your hands as you work. It causes intense vibrations that you feel through the table or the object you are cutting. Whenever you feel more vibration from your scroll saw than minimal, check for the correct vibration level.

What is the best way to fix the vibration

Monitor vibration 

The best way to fix the vibration is to monitor how it vibrates. Do not attempt to stop the saw vibration because that is what keeps the scroll saw work. However, if you notice that your saw is vibrating more than it should be, you should be worried. Stop the scroll saw and check out the problem and rectify the mistake. 

If you find that your scroll saw is vibrating too much, check the sturdiness. When using a scroll saw, it is attached to a table or bench. Make sure that the surface you are working on is well screwed to the saw so that it does not start moving while you are working. 

That allows the scroll saw to perform with precision. Even if the saw is heavy, it has to be sturdy. When the saw is well attached to the table, it vibrates less unless there is a problem with the saw machine. It does not get as wobbly as weak saw machines.

Other ways

Use a shock absorber

As much as you can check your machine just in case there are faults, a shock absorber works on either the saw machine, the table, or the bench’s legs. It comes in soft material like a mouse pad and is a quarter of an inch thick. You are allowed to glue the shock absorber under the legs of your bench or table or have them in between bolts on your scroll saw.

Speed control

Saw machines come with various speed settings. These adjust to the thickness, material, hardness, and lamination of your piece. Low speed makes the teeth of the blade grab onto what you are cutting. Hold it down harder. If done longer, that feels uncomfortable and causes unnecessary vibration.

Consider your setup

Before you choose to make adjustments, check for the correct setup. Sometimes you check everything else without finding a solution, and you forget to inspect the scroll saw to make sure it was put together correctly. To start with the process, turn it on and look at the blade of your saw as you do a practice cut through your usual material. 

Watch the blade to see if it is going up and down and front to back. If the blade is moving correctly, it does not look like a black line in your eyes; if your blade is a blurry or more circular shape, adjust either the tension or the saw arm. You might find the blade looser than usual. The scroll saw arms will be out of sync. Sometimes you hear a noise made every time your blade goes upward.

Check the brand

Fixing this depends on your brand of the saw. Always refer to the manual or look up the manufacturer’s tension settings. Avoid misusing the saw if you are a first-timer. Master a technique when using scroll saws, since they are not the same as other saws.

Hold your material firmly against the table at the starting point. Apply steady forward pressure to the blade to move it through the material. Do not force the saw blade and allow your saw blade to do all the work instead of pushing your way through. Push straight onto the saw, and do not turn it too much to the side, making the teeth of the blade chatter. Push the saw sideways only when making edges or curves.

Consider the material you’re working on

Sometimes your scroll machine makes a lot of noise due to the material you are working on. Harder materials can be difficult to cut, and that results in a lot of vibration. Master material that does not affect your saw machine. 

Uneven working surface

Working on uneven surfaces brings a lot of vibration. Make sure that your work surface is even for precision. Working on an uneven surface does not only leads to inaccurate projects but is dangerous. Your material can fall from the scroll machine to your leg. That results in a serious injury. 

Check you counterweights

If the saw machine is sturdy, check the counterweight. It minutes the vibrations. The scroll has a device called a counterweight that minimizes or gets rid of the vibrations. Sometimes the counterweight is either not balanced or is missing from your saw. 

That is why you should add some weight to balance it out. Use sandbags, steel weights, lead, or concrete as extra weights. By adding weight, you will be shifting some vibrations away from where you are cutting. The saw weight has to be near the base part of your scroll saw. Be attentive to the saw weights so that they do not interfere with the saw’s cutting.

Do you need a better scroll saw?

You need a better scroll saw but do not expect one that does not vibrate. It comes with minimal vibrations. It allows you to work on your current and future projects without limitations. If you are about to start a project requiring the precision of a scroll saw, such as wooden children’s toys and puzzles, you might not need it. But if you are an experimental woodworker, you might need one.

Other tips

  • Before use, check the blade for any damages and make sure the tension suits the project.
  • Use dry wood when cutting.
  • Clear damp materials with a cloth and let the saw machine dry.
  • The table stays at the mid-torso level.
  • Proper lighting is needed for more clarity when working.
  • Place a spare piece under your workpiece to avoid splitting.
  • Sand before you cut.
  • Be patient when cutting.
  • No force is needed.
  • Place a heavier piece of wood or equipment on your wood piece to avoid warping.
  • Use a thin coat of WD-40 or oil on your blades to increase their longevity and eliminate rust.
David D. Hughes
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