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I have a project that involves cutting oval shapes (and some more smaller radius curves) in hardwood. The larger ovals are 4" x 7" and the smallest radial cuts are about 1/2". I am considering a scroll saw, but I'm concerned that the blades are too fine - it looks like the scroll saw's specialty is cutting extremely thin wood in very intricate ways. A band saw, on the other hand doesn't seem like it will work with the tighter curves in my design. I'm looking at an expensive scroll saw (Dewalt) and I don't want to get it and find out that the blades aren't up to the job or that it's extremely slow. I've been using a handheld jigsaw, but I find that the blade often bends to the outside of the curve - instead of staying perfectly upright. I need the 90 degree angle for my design.

Even though a scroll saw is capable of cutting 2" thick stock, the Band Saw is the way to go.

Band saws are often looked upon as just a tool for re-sawing lumber. Quite the contrary, they can be one of the most versatile tools in your shop.

Band saws range in throat capacity from 8" to 36". Blades for the home shop range from 1/8" to 1/2" wide, the narrow blades are used to cut small radius curves, the wide blades are used for straight cuts such as re-sawing. A 9" bench top model will work nicely for what you need. Here is a listing of blade widths and their corresponding radius cuts:

Blade Width (inches) Radius Cut (inches)
1/81/4
3/161/2
1/47/8
3/81 1/2
1/21 1/4
3/43 1/2



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