While the scroll saw is most often used for woodworking, it may be utilized to cut other materials with suitable blades and approaches. You can use your scroll saw to slice through metal.
Yes, the scroll saw can cut metals such as cold-rolled steel, aluminum, bronze, copper, and brass. Even though harder metals like steel are harder to work with than softer metals, it is still possible with practice.
The metal’s thickness, the sharpness of the blades, the rotational speed, and the presence of lubrication are all factors to be considered. Read along until the end of our blog to better understand these things before you cut metal with a scroll saw!
Can a scroll saw cut metal?
Scroll saws can cut through metal. The answer to this question will be determined by the kind of metal and its thickness. Metal thicknesses of more than 1/8 inch are acceptable but not preferred.
Scroll saws can cut through a wide variety of metals, including cold-rolled steel, aluminum, bronze, copper, and brass, to name just a few. Let’s see how factors like the blade, speed, thickness, and metal type affect your cutting:
Metal cutting requires a small-toothed blade. The greater the blade’s teeth, the more likely it is to “chatter,” lifting the workpiece off the saw bed and smacking it down again, which might lead you to lose grip or even worse.
Avoid blades with excessive tooth gaps. Spiral blades, which twist, are likewise not recommended. Jeweler’s Blades cut metal well because they are similar to Skip Tooth setups but manufactured of specifically hardened metal for less wear and more incredible performance.
Most scroll saws have a speed adjustment knob, with speeds ranging from 550 to 1,650 SPM. Try to keep the speed relatively at a low range while working with the hard metals; otherwise, it may damage the blade.
Metal is significantly less forgiving to deal with compared to wood. You can cut metal with practically any blade if you take your time, are careful, and aren’t in a rush. Also, expect to change blades more regularly than usual.
3. Metal Type
Nice and lightweight, aluminum and brass are best for scroll saw projects. You may also cut cold-rolled steel, but it is a poor substitute for hot-rolled steel and should be used only if necessary.
4. Metal Thickness
Any metal thicker than 3/16 inches will be difficult to work with and may cause the blade to break. Metals thicker than 3/16″ may be performed on, but if you need to do so often, it’s best to invest in an angle grinder if steel is your preferred metal.
Safety Rules to Follow When Cutting Metal with a Scroll Saw
Scroll saws are often used in woodworking and carpentry operations. Cutting metal with a scroll saw is not as safe as cutting wood. There are breaking blades and metal chips flying.
There is also the possibility that the worker may catch the blade incorrectly and send it flying or vibrating violently. They may cause damage despite being safe. Follow these scroll-saw safety recommendations:
When operating a scroll saw, safety glasses are required at all times, particularly when cutting metal. Metallic particles prefer to make their way into skin and eyes rather than out, as wood splinters do.
A dust mask is recommended while operating a scroll saw since they are often used in carpentry and woodworking. There will also be dust while cutting metal parts.
Suppose you don’t want to breathe in any of this dust. Airborne particles, such as wood and metal dust, will be filtered out of the air before they can reach your lungs.
When cutting aluminum, it’s best to spray WD40 directly on the blade and the thing you’re cutting. Other metals usually don’t need a coolant, but it doesn’t hurt to use one if things get too hot.
If you want to try steel, giving the blade a quick spray every minute or two can help. Using a lubricant will make it a bit messy, but it will be worth it if you get that piece just right.
It is a good idea to keep a bit more off the line than you would normally and then sand or use a file to reduce that down to the desired level. This is good practice.
Before you use a scroll or saw, check the blade guard. The blade guard goes around the blade and protects it. It’s made so that you can’t bump or touch the blade by accident while it’s turning.
Make sure the blade guard is still there before you use a scroll saw. If it’s lost, you’ll have to get a new one. The blade guard is a safety feature that can keep you from getting hurt.
We’ve done our best to provide all relevant information on using a scroll saw to cut metal in just one article. Here are some answers to queries that may clear things out for you:
The material thickness that a scroll saw can cut ranges from 1/8 of an inch to 2 inches, depending on the blade used and its placement.
Most scroll saw blades have a useful life of 15 to 45 minutes when used continuously on moderately fast wood. However, using a scroll saw on metal might reduce its useful life to half that of wood.
If the scroll saw blade can be moved with your fingers after installation, tighten it again. When correctly fastened, the blade should not move when lightly twisted or pushed with your fingers.
You may use the same method to cut straight through the wood for metal. Simply put the metal in the proper position and draw a straight line before cutting. When cutting, the line will act as a guide.
Too much or too little tension while sawing is the most common reason scroll saw blades break. Using the wrong amount of tension is the surest way to break your scroll saw blades, whether you apply too much or too little.
A scroll saw is a specialty tool, so most DIYers and woodworkers don’t put it at the top of their list of things to buy. But it’s a must-have when making intricate cuts in small, fragile parts, especially when cutting inside a hole, not for regular use.
While working with metal, you should avoid frequent use. Not only will the metal cut put unnecessary strain on the scroll saw, but it will also shorten the lifespan of the blades.
We recommend utilizing other tools like an angle grinder if you regularly work with aluminum or other softer metals. However, a band saw is preferable when accuracy is required.
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