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Scroll Saw Blade study for making puzzles

I recently made several puzzles from 3/4" thick pine for my grandkids.  I got frustrated because I had to do a lot of sanding and fitting, so the pieces were easy to remove and put back in.  I even trying adjusting the scroll saw table angle to the blade, and that did not help.  The biggest pinless blades I had in stock were No. 5's.

I  did the standard alignment test where you start to saw a piece of 2x4 [1.5 inches tall], then rotate the piece 180 degrees and see if the back of the blade fits in the saw mark.  It fit fine, and there was no difference if I put in 3 cardboard shims under the table also.

I ordered some No. 7's and some No. 9's, which I just received.

I decided to do a study and see if I can figure out the right combo for making future puzzles.

I took a segment from one of my puzzles, and that became my test fit piece for the study. The study variables were:

-Blade No. (7 or 9)
-any shims under that scroll saw table, which changes the angle to the blade.
-direction of scroll sawing (either clockwise or counter-clockwise)

The output was if the piece was free and would easily fit in and can be removed easily.

Test Pieces

Table of Results


Even with shimming the table to change the angle, using a No. 5 blade does not give enough clearance between the pieces to paint the sides.  On future puzzles, I should just use a No. 9 Blade and I should have no more issues.