Is your scroll saw vibrating a little too much for your liking?
There’s no denying that a scroll saw that vibrates too much is uncomfortable to use. This becomes an issue when you have a long list of tasks that needs to be done.
To help with your dilemma, we’ll be taking a look at the steps on how to fix scroll saw vibrations.
Hopefully, we’d be able to help you use it more effectively, without having to worry about making poor cuts and losing control of your equipment.
There are a few solutions that we’ll be covering, so you’ll be well prepared the next time you use a scroll saw.
For now, we’ll start off with the possible reasons why your scroll saw vibrates more than others’.
Why Does a Scroll Saw Vibrate?
Scroll saws are mostly electrically powered.
The blade speeds will run anywhere from 500 to 2000 RPM, which is pretty fast regardless of the blade’s size and the number of teeth it has.
It is for this reason that a scroll saw would often vibrate.
The problem arises when the blade moves at a slow rate, which is when it will have a hard time cutting through wood.
Obviously, it makes sense for it to go fast to ensure a clean, fast cut.
Not to mention, the vibration will reduce the amount of impact on your hands.
So while vibration is indeed necessary, too much can be a bad thing.
The question is: What could be causing these excessive vibrations?
What Could Cause Too Many Vibrations?
There could be a few causes that may lead to your saw creating more vibrations than it has to.
Here are some of the common culprits so that you can go back and check on them for confirmation:
Your saw’s surroundings may play a role in how it vibrates. After all, it should be attached to a table or a workbench.
So, what you’ll need to do is check the bolts to ensure that they are secured tightly.
Loose bolts will cause the table to vibrate since the saw itself will not be fastened properly.
If it moves around while the blade moves, it can cause your cuts to be more crooked as opposed to straight.
Most scroll saws will have a counterweight included. This is intended to keep the vibrations to a minimum at the outset.
An unbalanced counterweight will lead to an increased intensity of those same vibrations that are being produced.
Plus, less weight in the balance could lead to more vibrations.
Even the slightest setup issue can lead to increased vibrations.
Your first order of business in the event of too much vibration coming from the saw would be to power it off entirely and inspect it.
Before you do, find a piece of scrap wood and do a few practice cuts.
The key here is to ensure that the blade is going up and down as it goes from front to back.
If the blade appears to be NOT going in that direction, you may have spotted the incorrect setup.
One of the most common setup errors with a scroll saw is blade placement.
How to Fix Scroll Saw Vibrations
Now that we’ve been able to spot the issues, we’ll unveil the specific solutions and tips to ensure that the scroll saw vibrates as it should.
First and foremost, be sure to check the saw thoroughly; you may be able to spot irregularities and incorrect setups.
With that said, here are some other things you can do:
1. Secure the bolts tightly.
As mentioned, your scroll saw should be attached to a table or workbench. It should be held down by bolts that are tightened properly.
A simple wrench will do the trick here (depending on the size).
Once each of the bolts is tightened, you’ll want to double-check by moving the saw around. Move one part of the saw to ensure everything is attached in place.
2. Add weight if needed.
If there is an unbalance in the counterweight to where it’s too light, you’ll want to add more weight if necessary.
You can use sandbags, lead, concrete, or even steel weights. The heavier the weight, the less likely it is to vibrate excessively.
Each time you apply a small amount of weight, do a few test cuts. Repeat this process until the vibrations are back at a normal level.
3. Use shock absorbers.
There are rubber shock absorbers that you can install on the scroll saw.
You can install different absorbers on the saw or the legs of the table or workbench you are working on.
The material should be roughly a quarter of an inch thick.
These are pretty simple to install, so all it will take is some glue to hold it together. Simply tack the shock absorber under the legs of the table or between the scroll saw bolts.
4. Set up the blades properly.
The blades should be moving up and down and front to back. If it’s moving correctly, then you should be good to go.
As mentioned, all it takes is a few practice cuts with a piece of scrap wood.
If the blade appears to be blurry or circular, adjust the saw arm or the tension and continue testing until the blade moves in the correct direction.
If the blade appears way too loose, you may want to check the saw arm for any potential issues.
5. Change up your technique.
Believe it or not, everything may seem to work perfectly, but you’d still get excessive vibration.
At this point, it may not be the saw that’s to blame. Many users new to using scroll saws could be making plenty of rookie mistakes.
It might be for this reason that you may need to change up your techniques.
Learn a few different ways to use a scroll saw properly. Also, you can use scrap wood to practice as many different cuts as possible.
Practice always makes perfect, and you will get better with it over time.
In today’s world of technology, there are plenty of different tutorials on how to properly use a scroll saw.
Just follow along with the instructions and take notes if needed. Sooner or later, you can practice these techniques yourself.
Then, before you know it, the vibrations don’t feel as bad as they used to.
1. Practice at a slower speed.
Scroll saws operate at variable speeds. When practicing with your cuts and techniques, you can start at the lowest possible speed.
When you feel more comfortable, move up to a slightly faster speed. Don’t start from the lowest setting and suddenly go to the fastest RPM in one jump.
2. Use softer woods.
Find a good softwood that is easy to cut when you practice. The thinner, the better.
Don’t go for anything that may be too much of a challenge to cut, especially when you practice with the blade going at minimal speed.
3. Adjust settings when comfortable.
When the time comes to speed things up, be sure that the saw has the proper settings.
You can up the speed once you double-check that the saw is secure, and the counterweight is well balanced.
Once everything looks good, you can go slightly faster and work with more pieces of wood.
4. Faster speed = harder woods
One other thing you need to know is this rule of thumb: faster speed = harder woods.
If you have the blade running fast, try cutting through harder woods. Do the usual practice cuts to ensure that it can cut through with ease.
Before you go for harder woods, though, be sure to check which types of wood will work fine with scroll saws.
Depending on the blade you use, you can cut through different types of softwoods or hardwoods.
In the event of cutting the latter, consider switching to a polar blade.
Flying Dutchman and other brands have polar blades that can cut through harder woods like maple without breaking easily.
5. Know your blades.
Different types of blades can work with scroll saws.
Regular reverse blades will work perfectly with softwoods and plywoods. A polar blade is more durable and can cut through plenty of hardwoods.
In addition, a puzzle blade should be used whenever you want to do more cuts other than straightforward (like curved cuts).
Remember that while most blades are durable, they have their limits.
This means they could break if you attempt to cut a regular blade through harder pieces of wood.
If you are operating a scroll saw and it vibrates too much, you may want to check the saw and learn how to fix scroll saw vibrations.
See if the counterweight is at the right amount, or check to see if the table saw is securely in place.
If everything is set up just fine, then you might be misusing your equipment.
If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to start from the bottom and work your way up with practice.
Start at a slower speed with softer woods and go from there.
There are plenty of tutorials that will help you learn quickly so that you can master the scroll saw with ease.
Once you know how to use it properly, the vibrations will be less annoying.
You’ll also be prepared to reduce them if the saw is loose or lacking any kind of shock absorbency.