Technical - Workshop Notes
Scroll Saw Blade and Drill storage / Indexing
John Kors, Foundation Member of KDWC, has designed (well, copied and modified to be fair) a useful way to store and find scroll saw blades, along with indexing the drill sizes needed for each blade. Various discussions of a Friday night with the Club's chat sessions on meet.jit.si/kdwcsheds where about a dozen like-minded scroll saw users gather weekly, unearthed this common problem of 'where to store blades'.
John further researched the need for identifying drill hole sizes, after strong recommendations from the Scroll Saw King: Frank Collins, that match the small diameter holes needed to initiate cutting very small areas, typically as small as 0.6mm. In turn, this led to discussions of where to source drills, and suitable mini-chucks to hold such drills.
When working on very small internal cuts on a scroll saw project, swapping to a small blade is a common exercise. And the small almost invisible teeth dimensions can make it hard to see the difference between blades in use. So, the further challenge of coming up with a storage method that allows for quick access, as well as quick return of the last used blade, into the right storage location!
Some of the technical sizes and measurements were readily available, about blades and drills, from Helen Harris in Murray Bridge, SA, a highly regarded supplier to many fellow Woodies around Australia. Helen's Feb 2022 price list is available here:
John's challenge, involved taking that technical information and making use of it, as part of his practical storage solution. A dust free, readily accessible, and easy to use storage unit was needed.
The storage tray is built using timber of your choosing, as long as it is stable when full of the plastic tubes holding the blades. The plastic tubes fit a 16mm forster bit hole, which allow a 5/8" tube to be easily dropped into the hole. If concerned about the slight size difference, and keep to make the tube fit snug, a simple band of electrical tape around the base of the tube solves that nicely. This is particularly important, if Woodies are keen to transport their storage of blades about in the car.
It is important to use plastic tubes that have a stopper on the end, to ensure that workshop dust does not fill the tubes, or blades become mixed if spilled.
Each tube is labelled with the part number of the blade, along with the appropriate drill size No that suits the use of the particular pinless blade.
Another useful idea, is to have a 'LAST USED' position on the storage unit, where the blade in current use is stored, for quickly returning when finished, before being relocated to its orderly position in the other holes.
For instance, a common, small dimension "FD Ultra Reverse #1" blade, uses a No. 68 drill for the starter hole in the project. No. 68 is a 0.79mm diameter drill.
You can download the template for making your own stick on tube labels and drill size chart from John's spreadsheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CmekaZCB1d8ym7j9FRrRNR_icpRMtR3h/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=107299063732225485031&rtpof=true&sd=true
Helen Harris has provided a great chart showing all the Pegas blade sizes and related drill bits:
along with an interesting article on "What Blade Should I Use":
A place to store and access the mini-chuck and drills of course.
TIP: Using really small drills like 0.6mm need a very steady vertical drilling approach, best done on a vertical drill stand (nearby space permitting, says John!), using a 1/4" hex ended mini-chuck (available from Helen of course), although for immediate access to the job, some use small 'mouse' sized battery powered hand drills that take the same 1/4" hex head quick-change system.
Another example (below)
John was kind enough to make up his first attempt at this and present it to Gary for use with his recently modified 16" scroll saw, to suit pinless blades. The 2020 Jan, Feb, Mar and Aug archived editions of Ingrained cover those modifications.
See archived copies at: knoxwoodies.org.au/archives/ for 2020 at:
Thanks John Kors for the good oil, and the gift! And much appreciation to Helen Harris for her generously sharing all the clues on the sizes and specifications of blades. Helen can also supply the chucks and drills too, as well as a very popular 'Flying Dutchman' (German made) blades.