I had some similar issues when doing the scrollwork for a Chippendale looking
glass. Thoughts from memory...
1. Use as fine tooth a blade as possible (see below).
2. Use a bird's mouth platform to minimize chipping.
3. Sandpaper wrapped around a popsicle stick helps in tight areas. For really
tight spots try folding the sandpaper over on itself and hold both ends of the
sandpaper strip (above/below), pull tight, and gently work your way in.
I don't recall what tooth I used (probably 20-24) in my coping saw. If I was
doing it again, I'd use a fretsaw and 2/0 blade to minimize the need for sanding
in the first place. That's assuming you are working with fairly thin material
(1/4" or less).
New Baltimore, Michigan
From: oldtools@g... On Behalf Of James DuPrie
Sent: Thursday, March 2, 2023 8:04 AM
To: Tools Old
Subject: [oldtools] making scrollwork... how to smooth?
I've been playing with making scrollwork - cutting patterns out with a coping
saw. Like the cast iron 'scrollwork' found on victorian stuff - fines, flowing
I've figured out things like dealing with weak cross grain (design around it or
build panes so there ISN'T cross grain) and such, but I haven't figured out how
to smooth the cuts. filing and sanding work for areas where there is a lot of
room, but in areas where there are acute angles coming together, there simply
isn;t room to get in and sand. Add int he complication that the surfaces are all
curves (so you an't use a nail file), and I'm stuck.
Maybe its my coping saw techique, but the surfaces simply aren't good - rough,
ridges, bumps, etc....