first time scroll saw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-02-2017, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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first time scroll saw

I can get either the current Porter Cable 16" or an older Delta 16" variable speed for $50. What to choose and why?

Features are usually nicer on newer machines, but we all know tool quality as been taking a sh*t over the years so older is often better....unless back then this brand was also sh*t. I'm still waiting to hear back from the delta guy on model.
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post #2 of 24 Old 02-02-2017, 09:07 AM
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Consider trying out each of these saws BEFORE you put your $ down! Sometimes it is a matter of which item is more "comfortable" for YOU! Be safe.
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post #3 of 24 Old 02-02-2017, 12:54 PM
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actually, I think scroll saws is one piece that have improved over the older fixed arm style. and the quick release would be a great feature to have.
at that price, you could buy both and sell the one you don't want.
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-02-2017, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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I probably won't have the time or ability to try them both out since they're far apart and at this price who knows how long they last. I saw one good review on the PC at some guys scroll saw page. But other reviews online on Lowes and sawmillcreek are so-so.

I'm not sure what you mean by fixed arm style. I'll see if I can find pics of them
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post #5 of 24 Old 02-02-2017, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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that's the delta



that's the PC. They both look like one arm...?
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-02-2017, 08:48 PM
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I have had the Delta model 40-540 scroller for nearly 20 years. It looks just like the one in your picture. It is definitely a two arm saw, but it works fine. I don't use it much, but it works well for me. It has some vibration at high speed, but a base with proper weight (I use sand bags) will keep it to a minimum. It does have a quick release for the blade. The saw dust blower leaves something to be desired. I think the plastic bellows is too small. Also, the table on mine (new) was rather roughly machined and I spent some hours with my ROS smoothing and flattening the table. If you buy this one used, make sure you get the tools that come with it. Makes blade changing much, much easier. I think it was $180 new.

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Last edited by Jim Frye; 02-02-2017 at 09:06 PM. Reason: added text
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post #7 of 24 Old 02-03-2017, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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well, now the delta guy sold it. So....PC it is! he doesn't have a blade so I'll pick some up before I head over to try it out with some scrap wood.
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post #8 of 24 Old 02-03-2017, 02:59 AM
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Avoid the store bought blades if you can (mostly pinned and not very fine.,but check out with the folks over at http://www.stevedgood.com/community/ for scroll saw advice plus there's several other scroll saw specific forums out there that can aim you towards sellers of high quality scroll saw blades and accessories.
A real good quality scroll saw blade can be very thin and still cut through 3/4 inch oak like butter.. off the top of my head I don't remember where I bought mine, but they're very thin and cut really good..
Oh yeah, check out http://www.scrollsawvillage.com/ They seem a bit friendlier ... not quite as uppity as another one I sometimes visit..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?

Last edited by allpurpose; 02-03-2017 at 03:03 AM.
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-03-2017, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
well, now the delta guy sold it. So....PC it is! he doesn't have a blade so I'll pick some up before I head over to try it out with some scrap wood.
the best blades you can get , is from mike https://mikesworkshop.com/
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post #10 of 24 Old 02-03-2017, 12:17 PM
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I'd hold out on anything other than the DeWalt, too much vibration in any of them to do any serious scroll saw work, like throwing money in a sewer.
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post #11 of 24 Old 02-04-2017, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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ok so I was supposed to pick it up today. I was heading back into town from skiing this morning when he told me he sold it. Darn.
So now back to square one. I won't get a dewalt. I understand it's the best non-professional saw, but I'm not spending that kind of money. I want to get one for making artsy word pieces and maybe curvy pieces for my wife's decorative needs.

What brands are to be avoided? Right now on CL there's a lot of dremel, ryobi, wen, and super old deltas.
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post #12 of 24 Old 02-05-2017, 05:12 AM
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I have an older 2 speed Dremel and it works, but I had to make a few modifications to get it to cut accurately.
Some of the Dremel models (and others) only accept pinned blades which will really limit the types of cuts you can make.
Off the top of my head I don't recall where I bought the adapter that made using pinless blades easy to use, but when I find it I'll post it here. The adapter didn't cost much more than a few bucks and it was worth more than the purchase price.
If you go with a Dremel or other less expensive brand just be sure to buy good quality blades..
Personally I like the Flying Dutchman brand and they're not that expensive.
You'll probably break several before you figure out how to set the blade tension. The bad news is the better blades break easy. The good news is once you get the tensioning down pat you won't break them as often.

Edit: Well that was easy.. I watched the video then purchased the adapter he talks about. There's a link to the place that sells them.. Nice, cheap adapter and only takes a few minutes to install..
The Dremel is a similar setup to the HF saw..

Something else..most of the blowers on these saws are crap so you might want to invest in an aquarium air pump to keep sawdust off your work piece.. They're cheap and effective.

One other thing..I sometimes buy thin, 1/4" or thinner boards from the ebay seller csmdeals88 .. They're all nice and flat and relatively inexpensive..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?

Last edited by allpurpose; 02-05-2017 at 05:31 AM.
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-05-2017, 10:43 AM
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Do not get discouraged in your scroll saw search! Some better bargains are out there, and when you find it, you'll know it! A friend recently bought an older DeWalt scrollsaw-model DW788, (no stand) including a lot of blades and a work light, for $200USD from a guy that had to give up his hobby due to health issues. Always buying a better "name brand" that can offer service/replacement parts for your saw is also a plus. Best of luck in your search, and be safe.
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-05-2017, 07:05 PM
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ok so I was supposed to pick it up today. I was heading back into town from skiing this morning when he told me he sold it. Darn.
So now back to square one. I won't get a dewalt. I understand it's the best non-professional saw, but I'm not spending that kind of money. I want to get one for making artsy word pieces and maybe curvy pieces for my wife's decorative needs.

What brands are to be avoided? Right now on CL there's a lot of dremel, ryobi, wen, and super old deltas.


They are all pretty much to be avoided, except the dewalt 788 if you want to make anything decent, i even had a Hegner that had such bad vibration i had to get rid of it, i just sold my DeWalt with the stand for $350.00 it was 21 years old and the guy was really happy to get it, of course i kept it in good condition so it was a good buy.
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post #15 of 24 Old 02-05-2017, 07:51 PM
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I got a DeWalt with stand and light for $300 used. Worth the extra scratch. Great saw, probably my most used tool.

Ironically the older ones are supposed to be better, Type 1 saws are made in Canada and Type 2 are made in Taiwan.

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post #16 of 24 Old 02-05-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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I was the second highest bidder for a dewalt a month ago. The winner didn't pay so I got the offer. I didn't end up getting it bc it needed a few parts. It was like 115 bucks

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post #17 of 24 Old 02-06-2017, 11:35 AM
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I was the second highest bidder for a dewalt a month ago. The winner didn't pay so I got the offer. I didn't end up getting it bc it needed a few parts. It was like 115 bucks

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Then you let a good deal slip away from you.
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-06-2017, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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darn! I'll try to see if they still have it
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post #19 of 24 Old 02-06-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I can still get it. It's in public surplus with ID 1737868 so you can see it. Is it worth the deal considering what's missing? Or a local guy has one that he'll sell me for $300 no stand but all other parts included.
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post #20 of 24 Old 02-06-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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The local guy will throw in the dewalt 7350 mobile stand for 150 (which is new price for 450 total). If I really want to make a mobile stand I can build one out of 2x4s and a few casters, so I'll pass on that.


one thing about the auction one is they always state the condition as unknown. It's a school district so it was clearly used in a shop class. Did they sell it because they bought new ones or something's wrong, we'll never now. There's an 8% sales tax and 10% buyer premium on it too, making it 147.50. So roughly half price of the other, which is presumably newish as the guy has new blades for it apparently and says it's in the box.

Last edited by mendozer; 02-06-2017 at 09:19 PM.
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