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Advice on scroll saws anyone?


Ravenswing
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I've just been hit with a last minute Christmas request that's going to require the use of a scroll saw. I've never used one before but have been wanting one for a while. Looking around I found that what I want is a little cost prohibited on my budget, so enter plan B. A smaller one that's more in line with my space, my budget, and the amount of times I think I'll have the opportunity to use it. I'm looking at this one, but need to know what are the pros and cons I should look for. And the big question - If I had a piece of wood that was 24 inches long and 12 inches wide would I be able to turn it to cut out circles on this saw? What do you think?

http://www.harborfreight.com/16-inch-variable-speed-scroll-saw-93012.html

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I would check with Otterine (Brae). She uses a scroll saw quite a bit. Another GL member, Wolfie, was an expert with scroll saws as well. She hasn't been on in a while but you could PM them.

It's on my list of things to get. I do have a band saw that suffices for quite a few of things that a scroll saw can do so it's hard to justify another power tool even though a scroll saw has some very cool features that I'd love to have.

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A 24X12 will not "spin" in this saw. The most you can do is 16 inches, that is how deep the throat is, hence the 16 in the saw name. For most hobby and light work this saw is fine. If you plan on doing a lot or get real intricate a slightly better saw would be my choice.

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If you're cutting circles out of your 12" x 24" piece, what are the diameters of your circles? If they are all the same, why not cut your piece of wood into strips slightly larger than your circles' diameter and then cut them? Actually if the diameter can be obtained with a circle saw, you could do what DH did for me with my pub's barstool tops and we stacked together the pieces of wood for the stool tops and cut them all out at once.

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Brae uses a Proxxon saw, it is fantastic for detail work, but it is small with a 6 inch x 6 inch table. http://www.proxxontools.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=68.

How big are the circles you want to make? I use a larger scroll saw, but I have space for the beast, I got it at an estate auction. It was older but was never used, still had tags :)

If you want to make circles, you can first cut out a square larger than the circle then cut each of the 4 rounded corners off. This way you don't need it to rotate all the way behind the arm. Does that make sense? I'm better at explaining things visually,sorry :(

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I can't cut down the length of the wood. 24" is the front facade for this house and I don't want to patch it. It's a single story house so the 12inch height will be cut down to 10 inches but the length has to remain at 24". However, the primary circle I have to cut is 3 1/2 inches in diameter and is positioned in the center of the wall....so wouldn't turning one end - half the board - to get half the circle work? And then flip it to get the other half? I haven't got the space or the budget for the Proxxon Brae has. I don't plan on doing a lot with it. The primary opening in the front is the only one I anticipate having a problem with. The interior sections are only 14 inches deep so I'm good there.

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Cutting the center of the wall will be okay as you need a clearance of 16 inches and half of 24 is 12 inches so that will work as you have four inches to spare. . You need 16 inches from the edge of the circle to the upright part of the support arm. HF sells a hole saw kit that has interchangeable saws for under $10 when on sale. http://www.harborfreight.com/18-piece-carbon-steel-hole-saw-set-68115.html Might be a better option depending on how much you would use a scroll saw. It does include a 3 and 1/2 inch cutter.

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I just found something similar to this on eBay. I think this is the perfect way for me to go. I forgot about this type of saw and thought the scroll saw ( which I already wanted - greedy me) was the way to go. You'd think I would have remembered this option after all the home improvement shows I've watched where Norm Abrams or Tommy Silva cut a hole in a door for a lock set. I just have to figure out if this will fit my drill. I have a 3/8 inch Benchtop Pro reversible drill.

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You will be limited with the hole saw kit to only the sizes that you get......but perhaps one is the right size.? The scroll saw would give you more freedom and you would have it to cut out other things......fancy shapes etc. I love my scroll saw and couldn't live without it. You can take the blade out also while you are in the middle of a cut to take the piece out and reposition it, but as someone said you have at least 16" to work with.

I have used the hole saw pieces in plexiglas....it left an awful rough edge but no problem, you could just sand it but maybe it leaves a smoother edge in wood. If it were me, I would enjoy both tools. Yes there are more expensive tools but that little scroll saw is a great deal!

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You will be limited with the hole saw kit to only the sizes that you get......but perhaps one is the right size.? The scroll saw would give you more freedom and you would have it to cut out other things......fancy shapes etc. I love my scroll saw and couldn't live without it. You can take the blade out also while you are in the middle of a cut to take the piece out and reposition it, but as someone said you have at least 16" to work with.

I have used the hole saw pieces in plexiglas....it left an awful rough edge but no problem, you could just sand it but maybe it leaves a smoother edge in wood. If it were me, I would enjoy both tools. Yes there are more expensive tools but that little scroll saw is a great deal!

That's OK, there are 18 "collars" in this set and it has the three sizes I need. I'd love to have a scroll saw, but this project was kind of thrown at me last minute and my budget really can't take a $70 dollar hit for a saw that I only need for this one thing, I only considered it because my little one wants this house so badly and because I'd forgotten about the existance of the hole saw (Tommy Silva would "burn my lumber" if he knew I said that.) Along with everything else I'll have to buy for it the hole saw really is the best way to go for now. Perhaps if I'm a very good girl Santa will bring me one for Xmas :xmas: .

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That's OK, there are 18 "collars" in this set and it has the three sizes I need. I'd love to have a scroll saw, but this project was kind of thrown at me last minute and my budget really can't take a $70 dollar hit for a saw that I only need for this one thing, I only considered it because my little one wants this house so badly and because I'd forgotten about the existance of the hole saw (Tommy Silva would "burn my lumber" if he knew I said that.) Along with everything else I'll have to buy for it the hole saw really is the best way to go for now. Perhaps if I'm a very good girl Santa will bring me one for Xmas :xmas: .

I know just what you mean.........we can't have it all. Besides the hole saw will always be nice to have too. There are so many things I want. I want a very tiny table saw that I can use in my craft room for my houses......but have wanted it for years and there are a million things I need so I guess when I get one I do ...lol I have tried to saw straight edges with my scroll saw lol now that is a hard one to do!

I too sometimes "forget" about things like that. I go ahead and do something else then later say to myself.....oh man......I could have ........"had a V-8" so to speak lol.

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Looove the teamwork here!! You did me a great favor awhile back,Judith,so I'm glad you got some help on the saw! :)

I love this forum, there's so much knowledge here, so much real world experience...I've learned so much about building, tools, electrifying, brickwork, design, kit bashing, working with polymer clay, even needlepoint and punch needle. Most of all I've learned that there's always more than one way to get it done. This is the only place I come if I have a question or a problem I can't solve. Folks are always willing to help and to share what they know. This forum is amazing.

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:construction:

I know just what you mean.........we can't have it all. Besides the hole saw will always be nice to have too. There are so many things I want. I want a very tiny table saw that I can use in my craft room for my houses......but have wanted it for years and there are a million things I need so I guess when I get one I do ...lol I have tried to saw straight edges with my scroll saw lol now that is a hard one to do!

I too sometimes "forget" about things like that. I go ahead and do something else then later say to myself.....oh man......I could have ........"had a V-8" so to speak lol.

I keep hoping that I'll hit the lottery or a jackpot at the casino so I can move to place where I can have a whole room devoted just to my crafts. If that happens trust me - that room will be so "blinged out" with power tools the t.v. home improvement guys will be asking me to join their teams just so they can borrow my stuff :construction: .

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I know just what you mean.........we can't have it all. Besides the hole saw will always be nice to have too. There are so many things I want. I want a very tiny table saw that I can use in my craft room for my houses......but have wanted it for years and there are a million things I need so I guess when I get one I do ...lol I have tried to saw straight edges with my scroll saw lol now that is a hard one to do!

I too sometimes "forget" about things like that. I go ahead and do something else then later say to myself.....oh man......I could have ........"had a V-8" so to speak lol.

Here's a good one , it's the latest model, I have an earlier version of it and it works wonderfully - use that coupon DocGreen posted (above) and it's quite the little bargain:

http://www.harborfreight.com/4-mighty-mite-table-saw-68829.html

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had to call Harbor Freight again today. Called last Saturday because they sent me a canvas tool bag instead of my hole saw blades. They're saying that the blades should reach me by this Wednesday. Bummer, big bummer...that puts me exactly 3 weeks behind schedule for this Xmas build.

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I have some nice Forstner bits that would accommodate a 3.5 inch opening. Then no saw issue. DH has a set and they go up to 4" and they are not nearly as spendy as a whole scroll saw. I've seen them online at Rockler and other woodworking sites. I think I bought our set at Home Depot or Lowes.

Sorry I didn't see this thread sooner. Internet at home has been down. Stupid U-verse. (grumble grumble)

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