Shop Made Scroll Saw - Part 1

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Blog entry by William posted 04-16-2012 02:01 AM 22852 reads 8 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have wanted to make a shop made scroll saw for some time now. The problem is, the ones I’ve seen are either treadle type or pedal driven. The main reason I did not want one like that is my health. I have enough pain issues without trying to work a saw with my feet. So when I seen the idea for this saw I’m building in the August 1986 issue of WOOD magazine, I couldn’t wait to build it. So here goes.

First thing I done was to prep all my lumber for the frame. I’m making it out of pecan. Since I’m working with uneven material though, and I needed everything to fit precisely, I needed to cut everything oversized, plane down to uniform thickness, and then trim it up.

Then everything had to be clamped up into the different parts.

Here are the frame parts.

All the corners of the frame have open mortise joints. Then they are pinned with three quarter inch dowels.

Other joints are simply interlocked around other parts. All this together works good to form a very stong frame.

With this method, all the joints were tight enough that they had to be hammered together with a wooden mallet.
The frame is built. I still have a lot of sanding to do though before I can move on to the construction of the moving parts.


21 comments so far

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2610 days

#1 posted 04-16-2012 02:26 AM

got to watch this one William,frame looks solid

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2838 days

#2 posted 04-16-2012 02:37 AM

Thanks Eddie.
It is solid. I’m thinking about using this same basic design for some chairs.


View barecycles's profile


257 posts in 2324 days

#3 posted 04-16-2012 02:51 AM

Looking forward to this project with great anticipation as I’ve been knocking around the idea of a shop made scroll saw myself.

Hope you don’t mind if I steal the design.

-- Sweeping up sawdust in Texas

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2671 days

#4 posted 04-16-2012 02:55 AM

Progress looks good.
I like the method of construction for the frame. It should lend itself to chair fabrication rather easily.

Anxiously awaiting another installment!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2836 days

#5 posted 04-16-2012 02:59 AM

You are a machine building a machine. This one I am going to like. A lot.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2838 days

#6 posted 04-16-2012 03:01 AM

Thanks guys.

barecycles. If you can find a copy, this design is laid out very well in the August 1986 copy of WOOD magazine. It starts on page 32.

I forgot to mention in this post. The power for this design will be supplied by a jig saw that will be mounted upside down under the frame. You’ll see in future posts how that works.


View KTMM (Krunkthemadman)'s profile

KTMM (Krunkthemadman)

1055 posts in 3189 days

#7 posted 04-16-2012 03:18 AM

Wow, I guess you’d have more room to work if I’d bring my lazy butt out there and get that band saw off your table…....

Looking good.

-- Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3014 days

#8 posted 04-16-2012 04:38 AM

I like this, I do have some old wood magazines and I’ll check for that one. I would be interested in the kind with a sewing machine treadle! You do some fine work!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View boxcarmarty's profile


16173 posts in 2356 days

#9 posted 04-16-2012 09:17 AM

Nice frame work…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2838 days

#10 posted 04-16-2012 11:50 AM

I was hurting late last night too bad to sleep (rain moving in I figured. Looking out the window right now confirms it) so I hobbled my gimp butt back to the shop after the kiddies went to bed.
I laminated wood for the arms. It’s quarter inch walnut sandwiched between two pieces of quarter inch oak. I think it’ll not only look nice, but add to the strength. I’ll explain this in the next blog installment.

The band saw isn’t bothering me. You know how large my shop is. I can move it if it starts getting in my way. If you look closely in the photos, your saw serves a very useful purpose at the moment. Since it’s been mounted there, I have not misplaced a single pack of cigarettes.

Look for the magazine. If you’re like me, you love old magazines anyway. So it’ll be good reading even if you don’t wish to build the saw. This one is not a treadle machine, but Rick Hutcheson sells plans for a real nice treadle type scroll saw. I think they’re around twenty bucks. I can look for it and provide a link this evening if you’d like.
All these old magazines I have been looking through lately were a gift from a good friend. KTMM saved them from the dumpster for me a short while back. He knew I loved old wood working sources.

I’m glad you like it. Thanks again for the wood. I apologize that I’m not working on the train yet. I have a million and one projects on my mind lately and the train keeps getting pushed back. I have the wood put back just for the train though. I promise that not one square inch will be used for any other purpose until that project is done.


View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2800 days

#11 posted 04-16-2012 12:33 PM

coming along very nicely. gonna be a good one

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Chips's profile


199 posts in 3708 days

#12 posted 04-16-2012 01:30 PM

I keep expecting you to put your brand name on your William made tools. Will it be William or RNGM Brand? Keep up the Good work.

-- Make every day the best day of your life. Chips, Mississippi

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3330 days

#13 posted 04-16-2012 01:36 PM

Cool project William. Looking forward to the next post.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7590 posts in 2796 days

#14 posted 04-16-2012 01:55 PM

lookin’ good!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View sras's profile


4796 posts in 3125 days

#15 posted 04-16-2012 03:28 PM

I’ll enjoy watching this one!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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