Step 7: Guarding from those splinters
1. Every up stroke of the blade will try and lift the work piece up off the flat work surface. One could maintain extreme vigilance and hold it down at all times, but that would quite frustrating. What we need to do is bring the existing presser foot into operation.
2. As with all sawing there is the problem of splintering edges where the cutting teeth of the blade exit the wood, sometimes tearing fibres loose, making a rough splintered edge. This can be minimised by using a sharp blade, but we can do better and eliminate this almost all together, again, by using a modified version of the presser foot.
Using some transparent polycarbonate (the kind of material they use for safety goggles), we can fabricate a functional splinter guard. Any of you that read my blog will know the ironic string of failures I had trying to get this right... I will show the way that seemed to finally work.
Basically this involves cutting into a piece of the plastic with the scroll saw. This piece of plasti will become the 'hold-down splinter guard', and the slot we cut in it will be exactly the correct size for the blade. See the photos for a further description of what to do. This splinter guard is kinda optional, you might find the presser foot on its own, with a sharp blade is enough.