Stack Cutting on The Scroll Saw - Tropical Fish Filigree Ornaments

Stack Cutting A Tropical Fish Filigree Ornament On A Scroll Saw
Stack Cutting a Tropical Fish Filigree Ornament On a Scroll Saw


I purchased SLDK319 Tropical Fish Filigree Ornaments from Sheila Landry Designs with the intent of testing my self to see if I could cut these.

The first one I cut from 1/4-inch poplar because it was what I had on hand. Oh yeah, I can cut these, but the poplar was too fragile, and it fuzzed like crazy. I broke it while attempting to sand the fuzzies off.

Try again this time with 18-inch baltic birch. I had to slow the saw way down to be able to control it using a #2 blade. Yes, I can cut 1/8-inch plywood. It was much stronger and did not break, but little chunks of veneer came off.

Next, I try stack cutting. after reading everything I could find on the subject I decided that I needed to make a sandwich with sacrificial pieces on the top and bottom. I have stack cut larger things before and normally use bits of carpet tape to hold the wood together. It leaves a small gap between the pieces of wood and you still get some tear-out. In this case, I didn't want any tear-out at all. The idea was to get a finished piece that I didn't need to sand. I don't like taping the edges or wrapping with tape because there is a tendency for snagging on tape edges and the material never seems to want to sit flat on the table.

Scroll Saw Tropical Fish Filigree Ornament Backer Board Made From Hardboard
Scroll Saw Tropical Fish Filigree Ornament Backer Board Made From Hardboard


The solution I came up with was wood glue. I've never seen this posted anywhere before. I have seen hot glue used an tried it myself. Hot glue makes a larger gap between the pieces then the carpet tape.

Here is what I did. I put a tiny drop of wood glue in each corner and clamped the pieces together. Apply the clamp to the center first to squeeze out any bowing or cupping. Then make sure the pieces are all aligned and apply clamps to the corners. After about five minutes I remove the clamps and add two more pieces to the stack. One on either side an repeat the process until the stack is built.

Scroll Saw Stack Cutting Glued Up And Clamped For Five Minutes
Scroll Saw Stack Cutting Glued Up And Clamped For Five Minutes


It worked like a charm. With no gap between the pieces and a top and bottom sacrificial pieces, there was zero tear-out.

I used hardboard for my sacrificial boards. After seeing how well the sacrificial boards turned out I might have been better off to just use the 1/8-inch Baltic Birch plywood. I could have added at least two more pieces to the stack and it is likely that the top piece would be usable while the bottom piece would have all the tear-out it might be useable.

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