What scroll saw for beginner scroll work? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-10-2013, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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What scroll saw for beginner scroll work?

I have been wanting to get a scroll saw to try some inlay work on boxes. As I look on CL, I see many different entry level type saws. What brands do you experienced guys prefer? Are Delta, Skill, Craftsman, or Dremel going to allow me to learn good habits and get decent results? I'm not ready to step into a $500+ saw, so I'm looking in the <$100 used market. Any tips?
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-10-2013, 12:20 PM
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Your going to run into a few challenges by limiting yourself to that amount of cash.

First the size will be limited so if you want to cut larger designs, 16 inches is a lot smaller then 20. If you plan on doing simple smaller inlays and have no desire to expand your repertoire... then maybe a 16 inch will do. When talking measurements in scroll saws, we are talking about the distance between the blade and arm (body) of saw.

Weight is another issue with scroll saws. The less expensive ones will tend to vibrate and make your work difficult to accomplish. You can bolt the saw down on a bench, table or stand, but many of these saws are not well designed and the table may sill vibrate a bit.

Do stay away from the older models that only take the pin type of blades. These are wider and can not do intricate work. Also get a saw that has an arm you lift up. Older saws have stable arms so when you want to move from one design feature to the next, you have to release the blade from the bottom, remove it, position your work, and drop the blade down through the next pre-driled hole. Securing the blade under the table gets old real fast.

Some older saws are better built then some of the new ones so that might be in your favor. An example is the Dewalt saws. They went from NA built to overseas built and they have lost some of their quality. That is the opinion of folks who have posted on the topic. I got lucky and bought mine when they still being built here and in Canada.

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post #3 of 5 Old 09-10-2013, 02:45 PM
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Bernie is right in all aspects, but for entry scrollsawers the entry saws are good because of their expense. personally I didn't want to drop $500+ to see if I would like the hobby. My wife bought me a craftsman saw and I like it for how much I've used it. (3 projects). It's relatively smooth without being bolted down when the blade is tensioned right. Buy better blades with any saw you do get! And it's table isn't the best. It's flat, but has machining marks in it. Still smooth enough, but can be annoying while running your hands on it. Changing blades can be a pain, or even taking it out to slip into a hole in the piece. But once you get the hang of it it's quick. You'll find entry saws have similar mechanisms. And you'll need a light for it. Extra light on your project is nice. Again though most entry saws don't come with one.

Anyways I found this earlier today. It may help your decision. There is two parts, this is only part one. It's about the craftsman, weaknesses, etc and if it is decent or not for beginners.

Also search for stumpy nubs on YouTube. Mike talks about entry saws and mid range saws, compares them. Though his saws are a little older. I should add that he explains why expensive saws are expensive and easier/nicer to work with. It really opened my eyes with the whole scrollsaw world.


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Last edited by 27207; 09-10-2013 at 02:50 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-10-2013, 03:04 PM
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Check e-bay, there are lots and lots for sale.

Dremel is obsolete, I have an old 16" which has done a ton of work, some pretty advanced. It died, but I figured out how to replace components on the PC board and it has been going strong ever since.

Pure mathematics is, in it's way, the poetry of logical ideas. - Albert Einstein.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-10-2013, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. I'll keep researching and learning before I jump in.
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