Scroll Saw Safety Tips

scroll saw

scroll saw is a powerful tool that allows you to take your woodworking and design skills to the next level and is a must-have tool in every workshop.

The DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw Review

While you can have fun cutting out intricate patterns with a scroll saw, you also need to be careful so as not to harm yourself or others in the vicinity. This power saw focuses upon its finesse rather than power. All the more reason for you to work precisely, with little to no error. Remember, to be efficient in any tool is to be safe while using it to its fullest potential. 

Whether you are a beginner, advanced or professional woodworker, you need to learn how to handle a scroll saw safely. We at Saws Expert present this handy guide to Scroll Saw Safety Precautions.  

Here, we will talk about: 

  • Accidents that can occur with a scroll saw
  • Scroll Saw Safety Precautions
  • The essence of practicing caution while working with a scroll saw

Accidents that can occur with a scroll saw 

South Wales sliced off his own hand while scroll sawing

South Wales sliced off his own hand while scroll sawing

As with any tool, scroll saws can cause serious injuries if not handled carefully. In 2009, scroll saws led to over thirty thousand injuries with substantial hospital treatment. Most of these injuries from scroll saw use are lacerations to the fingers and hands resulting from contact with a moving blade. 

If you do not mount your scroll saw properly on a stable stand it can easily be knocked over. Breaking blades – can send flying fragments and shrapnel into your eyes.  Saw Dust – this should be an obvious one, but if you get saw dust in your eyes, you put your hands and fingers at risk if you close your eyes.

Most accidents are avoided if the user is vigilant while using a scroll saw.

Scroll Saw Safety Tips

To work efficiently with a scroll saw, you need to learn a few safety rules on how to operate the machinery. 

Below are some scroll saw safety rules every user should follow to avoid hurting themselves and others. 

Before Using the Scroll Saw 

Inspecting the scroll saw

Inspecting the scroll saw

  1. Clean your workplace. Sweep up all dust. Mop the floors, if necessary. Make sure that you have a clear view of the area where you will be working with the scroll saw.
  2. Use Flat Wood – Wood that is not flat can damage the blade on your scroll saw. 
  3. Inspect the scroll saw for damage or disrepair – This inspection must also include the saw blade (the blade teeth are pointing down, saw blade is undamaged, sharp, and properly secured in a vertical positionthe blade guard is in place and belt guard is closed and tight.)Periodically, check the electrical cord and plug for defects. If you see any defects with the plug or cord, make sure you repair it or replace it before you use it. 
  4. Use proper safety gear – This includes safety glasses (not reading glasses or sunglasses), dust mask, earmuffs, and a work apron. Never wear gloves, a tie, loose clothing, a watch, rings, or jewelry when using a scroll saw. Tie long hair back or secure it under a hat. 
  5. Choose the scroll saw blade you will use and set it based on the work you want it to do. First, install the blade with the teeth pointing downward. Select the correct speed and type of blade for the work you are doing. Adjust the blade tension before starting the saw.   

While Working 

scroll saw safety tip while working with it

scroll saw safety tip while working with it

  1. Keep your hands, fingers, and body parts away from the blade –  Never have your hand or fingers in the line of your cut. Your fingers should be positioned at least 12 inches apart on either side of the blade while operating the scroll saw to have maximum control
  2. Materials to Avoid: Never cut boards with nails, staples, or foreign materials. Never cut round material without the proper equipment to keep it from rolling unintentionally
  3. Nothing should be in contact with the blade when you turn the machine on
  4. Adjust the hold – down to the thickness of the wood to be cut so it presses lightly on the surface of the wood you are cutting.  This keeps your wood from vibrating
  5. Cut slightly to the scrap side of your line of cut
  6. Move scrap pieces away from the blade with a push stick, do not your fingers
  7. Don’t force the scroll saw –  Be patient with it. Feed the wood into it slowly to avoid breaking the saw blade
  8. Don’t turn too sharp – This can damage and break the blade on your scroll saw
  9. To back out of a cut – turn off the saw.  Slowly and gently move the board to get it off of the blade
  10. Always unplug the tool – make sure the blade is not moving before touching the blade to make any need adjustments
  11. Tight inside or outside of the pattern – make relief cuts before you start. Cut just before the pattern line, to avoid a notch in the finished path
  12. Cutting small pieces of wood – Glue your wood to a piece of cardboard or thin plywood.  This allows helps to keep your fingers safe and out of harm’s way. The rubber cement is a great glue to use as it is relatively easy to break the bond when you’re done
  13. Blade breaks –  turn off the machine immediately. Back away from the saw and check yourself for any injuries. If you have injuries, immediately get your first aid kit or go to the hospital.

After Using the Scroll Saw

cleaning a scroll saw

cleaning a scroll saw

  1. Turn the scroll saw off – Then remove the blade. Check for any damage on the tool and saw the blade 
  2. Clean the scroll saw – Remove the covers and blow the dust out of the wheels.
  3. Clean up your workplace – Sweep and vacuum all the dust and debris that built up while you were working. Above all, make sure that your workplace is clean and uncluttered, ready for your next task

Conclusion 

Being safe while using a scroll saw is important for everyone who wishes to work efficiently and master this powerful tool.  The key to working with a scroll saw is to not be forceful with it.  Let the tool do the work, so you can make your cuts with precision while being safe. Using the right blades for the right material and regular cleaning both the saw and your workplace will leave your scroll saw in great condition for years and help keep you safe.

To learn more about scroll saws, visit Saws Expert. Saws Expert guides you through the process with everything from choosing a scroll saw with our in-depth product reviews to how-to guides. Here we can help you find the best saw for your needs

About the Author Jenny

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