Scroll Saw: Internal Cuts Explained

Whoever said you couldn’t make internal cuts in wood without breaking into the board’s perimeter must not have heard of the scroll saw. 

If you are here, it means you are interested in making internal cuts with your scroll saw, so we dedicate this detailed guide on how to do this to you. For you Intermediates and pros, do stick around; we are sure you’ll learn a thing or two.

Making internal cuts with a scroll saw is a fairly straightforward process. First, you’ll need to drill a ¼” hole into the material you intend to make the internal cuts. Next, loosen the scroll saw blade. Once you’ve successfully taken out the blade, the next step will be to place the workpiece on the work surface so that its hole is just over the blade access hole. Then, insert the blade through the workpiece, reinstall the blade after doing this, turn on the scroll saw, and begin to cut. 

That’s a brief explanation on how to make internal cuts with a scroll saw; if you want a more detailed guide, the next section promises to be more interesting as we’ll be throwing more light on the step-by-step procedures involved in making internal cuts with a scroll saw. 

Step-By-Step Guide on how to Make Internal Cuts with a Scroll Saw

Let’s get right into it;

Step 1: Drill a Hole into the Workpiece

The first thing you need to do is create a hole in the workpiece. To do this, take the workpiece to a drill press and create a ¼” hole.

Step 2: Uninstall the Scroll Saw’s Blade

Now that you have the proper-sized hole drilled into the workpiece, your question will be, how do I get the blade inside the hole? This might be a little bit tricky, but we’ll make it simple. 

First, take the tension off; this allows the blade to be a little free to wobble around. Next, loosen the tension knob so that the blade is now completely free. 

Once this is successful, thread the blade through the back of the workpiece and reverse the entire process by tightening the tension knob to increase the tension.

Step 3: Begin to Cut

Now you can begin to make the internal cuts. Ensure that you cut down at an angle before cutting around the pattern. Beginner scroll saw users should ensure they take it slow and guide the workpiece with both hands.

Key Takeaways

  • Inside cuts should be done first before straight or curved cuts
  • Drill the hole before taking the workpiece to the saw
  • Always drill the pilot hole at the center of the pattern
  • Ensure that you cut near the line and never over the line
  • Do not start an internal cut at the beginning of a curved or straight area; starting at an endpoint is better
  • Apply relief cuts when the situation calls for it, but do not overcut as sanding may be a tad bit difficult

How to Cut Inside Corners and Angles with a Scroll Saw

Cutting inside corners can be tricky, so to ensure you have no issues follow the steps below.

Step 1: Prepare the Workpiece

With your pattern on the piece, holes already drilled into each pattern and sanded to avoid the workpiece from catching on to the bottom of the table, set up the workstation, and turn on the scroll saw.

Step 2: Begin with the Closest Angle

Starting from the predrilled hole, saw down until you get to the closest angle to the hole; once you get to the angle, cut back up into the hole and then move to one of the arms closest to the corner. Ensure the point on the arm isn’t to0 far from the vertex point on the angle. 

Once you do this, cut back along the pattern line till you get to the vertex of the corner. Doing this will remove the wedge from the corner and allow you to turn the blade.

Step 3: Move to the Next Angle

Once the blade is turned, lean it against the edge of the pattern and continue to cut along the pattern line till you get to the vertex of the second corner. Once you get to the vertex of the second corner, saw back down a bit and then create a tiny wedge by cutting across the corner. 

Ensure the point you choose on the corner arm isn’t too far from the vertex point of that angle. Then, return to the vertex again; the wedge should fall out now. 

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 till you get to the Final Angle

Again, turn the wood piece and repeat step 3 to saw off a tiny wedge. Once the wedge is off, proceed with step 3 until you arrive at the angle you started with. Once you arrive at the initial angle, you should have completely scrolled the insides of any pattern with angles and corners.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure that the drilled hole is close to at least one of the corners


How to Stop a Scroll Saws Blade from cutting as you make a Turn 

How to stop a scroll saw blade from cutting into your pattern when making a turn at an angle is on the list of things that bothers beginner and pro scrollers alike. 

This is because many people tend to make the mistake of pushing the wood or workpiece backward when making internal cuts around sharp corners which ends up causing the saw to round over the corners as you turn the wood. 

The solution to this problem will be to push the wood or workpiece to the side (left or right) which you intend to make the turn. This will prevent the blade’s pressure, which might be at the back corner of the blade, from cutting through the piece.

 Final Thoughts

So, that’s that about making internal cuts with a scroll saw like an expert. The next time you turn on your scroll saw to make internal cuts; you should have little to no worries. 

Martin Swizz

Hi! This is Martin, I like to research, experiment, and learn new things related to wood carving and other kinds of woodworking.

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