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Brotherhood Of The Slingshot Nutz
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of us who may be kinda new to woodworking, I thought I would offer up as evidence an old project I made a few years back with a scrollsaw. They are great for cutting out slingshots. You can cut out exactly what you want, round over the edges with your router, cut your band grooves with a dremel and presto!
 

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"Southern Flip Style"
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That is just wonderful Smitty!!! In fact I love it
 

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well I'm still using a hand saw so anything would be a improvement, probably why I've been sticking to naturals..
 

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Brotherhood Of The Slingshot Nutz
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Scroll saws are not made to saw long straight lines like a table saw or fenced band saw. However, if you will trust your eye, you can do an amazing job following lines from a pattern.
Let's say we want to make 50 slingshots exactly the same out of 3/4" hardwood. Draw the pattern you want. Photocopy the original pattern 25 times and save original. Cut the wood into squares just large enough for your pattern and using masking tape, tape two boards together at the corners. Spray the back of your first pattern with all purpose adhesive and stick it to the top of your double layer of wood. Using the coarsest blade that will cut the way you want, cut out the double layer and now you have two for the labor of one.
All scroll saws are made to use with a free hand and a pattern of some type. You can draw right on the wood and cut out a pattern first, then use it to trace on each new piece, but sticking a new pattern to a double stack of wood is mighty quick.
The choice of blade is critical to top performance when cutting. This ability will only come with experience, but try different blades out on scrap. The big secret is to use the coarsest blade that will give you the kind of smooth cut you should expect. Done properly, scroll saw work needs very light sanding on the edge, but truly light sanding.
Proper blade tension is also very, very important. Two tight and you snap the blade, too loose and you wander off the lines you are trying to follow. Ping the blade as you tighten or loosen it and listen for the sound that says it's just right.
And yes, masking tape will hold the wood together to allow you to cut two at once.
 

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One of them has been on my wish list for awhile. Along with a ton of other things. Will I ever have enough of anything?
Flatband
 

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Brotherhood Of The Slingshot Nutz
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Hey Mel, the coarse blade = faster, cooler cutting, no burning,rough cut edge requiring extra finish work.
fine blade = slower cutting, hot blade, burnt wood, no extra sanding.

Properly chosen blade = good cutting speed, no burning heat, smoothly cut edge, no splintered edge from too coarse of a blade.


Even final sanding only in one direction with the grain will make a real difference in the final finish, especially in softer wood like poplar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One of them has been on my wish list for awhile. Along with a ton of other things. Will I ever have enough of anything?
Flatband
Flatband, if you ever do get a scroll saw you will wonder why you ever put up with all the back cutting with a band saw. With a scrollsaw you can enter the wood and saw say 6 inches in, spin the wood around 180 degrees in a second and come right back out the same cut line you went in on.
Don't but a cheap scrollsaw! Read up on them and find a good buy. I have a Dewalt scrollsaw and it is a good one. There are many things a band saw will do that a scroll won't, but a scroll saw is just perfect for cutting out slingshots. You just follow your pattern lines, that simple. To make inside cuts you drill an eighth inch hole and insert the blade in the hole and make your cut, then remove the blade. Just takes a few seconds with a good saw.
DO NOT BUY A SAW THAT USES '' PIN END '' BLADES ! The choices for plain end blades is vast... and they are easy to make inside cuts with.
 

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Smitty, as you may know, I'm partial to hand tools. I can do a decent job with a coping saw (I even made my own giant one yrs. ago, but gave it away.) But a work of art like you did with your scroll saw is taking a tool that was designed to make things easier and turning it back into a highly skilled activity again. I respect your talent, man.
 

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Brotherhood Of The Slingshot Nutz
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Smitty, as you may know, I'm partial to hand tools. I can do a decent job with a coping saw (I even made my own giant one yrs. ago, but gave it away.) But a work of art like you did with your scroll saw is taking a tool that was designed to make things easier and turning it back into a highly skilled activity again. I respect your talent, man.
One tool that really helps when using a coping saw is a 3/4 inch thick by 12 inch wide by two foot long piece of smooth plywood with a "V" cut into one end about two inches wide and six inches long. Place the V toward you on a work bench and either clamp it or screw it down to the work bench with the point of the V off the edge of the bench by about an inch. Use the V to allow the saw room to cut the wood you are working with. This gives you support of the work piece while cutting. The teeth of the blade should face the handle and the handle is below the jig. The measurements of the jig are variable to what ever makes it easy for the worker.
Works just like a scrollsaw without a motor!
 

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I have an Australian Brand GMC 405mm Variable Speed Scroll Saw with Laser Line Generator sitting around and, through this thread, have given me a rather nice idea on a seemingly good project to start on. You see, we do not have a 'commercial' manufacturer of slingshots, here in the Philippines, save the kind of "crude" light wood models, with poor designs and fork clearances, occasionally found hanging at toy and dry goods vendors' stalls along wet markets, which could be had for somewhat like USD 0.25 to 0.30. Better get started and see what I could come up with! Good and Excellent Slingshot Design plans and wood finishing ideas are most welcome!
 

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Smitty that is a work of art. I will have to look out for a new scroll saw, I had a cheap one that I used for cutting out knife handles, but it no longer works I never got a chance to use it on a slingshot. I don't mind using my coping saw but it would be nice to speed things up a bit. What tool do you use in a dremel for cutting grooves?

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I use a carbide burr used for wood carving. I just draw a line and freehand the groove with the burr. They seem to last forever. Any final touch-up I use a round file.
 

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Wow, there's an incredible amount of detail in that picture.

To whoever asked how to cut a straight line (Mel, I think) I have a scrollsaw, but I don't use it much. A narrow fine saw with kerf is designed to turn almost within a pinhole and cut these fine patterns. They cut slowly though and can leave a ragged edge. Longer straighter cuts need a wider blade (longer front to back). At the same time, I find the machine jumps around so much because of the large mass of the arm that I can't get fine detail out of it. For that, I use a jeweller's hand saw if the clearance is sufficient. The longer stroke of the handsaw means it cuts about as fast as well. Scroll saws are best for very thin fine grained hardwood veneers, and don't cut slabs or blocks well. If you try to cut too fast and bend the blade it will cut with a random sideways bias. In my workshop, I find the easiest way to do a board cut is on the bandsaw with a thin kerf 3/8" wood cutting blade. 5/8" is too wide for the inside of the forks and the sharper transition from fork to handle.

I cut slots with a slotting saw on a horizontal mill, or with an end mill on a milling machine or with a slotting saw on a dremel table. The dremel doesn't have much torque and needs multiple passes. All these techniques are essentially jigged. It's impractical and dangerous to use a slotting saw by hand. Abrasive discs maybe, but not slotting saws.
 

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Brotherhood Of The Slingshot Nutz
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sounds like a cheap scrollsaw. The Dewalt I have only moves at the very end of the arms, like holding your arms out like a scrollsaw and only moving your fingertips from the wrists. Very strong and quiet, with very little vibration, like a sewing machine. It will cut easily through one and a half inches of oak with a number 10 blade and leave an edge that needs only light sanding. I also have an RBI Hawk scrollsaw that is even better and she purrs like a kitten cutting out hardwoods for any project.
If you don't get a good scrollsaw you might just as well use a hand saw and files, it will be more fun. If you spring for a good saw: Hegner, Excalibur, Dewalt, RBI Hawk. You will enjoy every moment using it. Hegner makes the scrollsaw that all others are compared to.
 
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