Shop Made Scroll Saw - Part 2

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Blog entry by William posted 04-17-2012 02:17 AM 32778 reads 4 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You can go here and read Part 1 to catch up if you haven’t seen the building of the frame.

First things first.
I laminated walnut in an opposing grain direction to pecan pieces like the magazine plans call for. It found this whole process quetionable as far as strength, but also realized how pretty it would look and wanted to do it. The pieces were glued well with Titebond II an sat clamped for about ten hours. Then I started cutting the arms and noticed some cracks. I started pulling on the strips and the arms almost fell apart. I don’t know if t was the wood’s age (walnut is very old and dry) or if I had uneven clamping somehow. Either way, the lamination didn’t hold.

So I remade the arms out of solid pecan. From my experience, this pecan is very strong and I feel they will be alright. If not, these will come off. So I can always redo them if I’m wrong.

I had to do quite a bit of sanding on the frame to soften all the sharp edges. I have found I don’t like sharp ninety degree edges on pecan. The wood is so ard that because of some health issues of mine, if I bump into the sharp pecan edges, it bruises me wherever I hit it at.
I admit it. I started the sanding with sanding block. It didn’t take long until I changed to something with a power cord on it.
Then I added these rubber non-skid feet to the frame.

Then I added the front table support.

Then test fit the arms.
It was at this point I realized a problem. The magazine article calls for six and a quarter inch turnbuckles for tensioning the saw. So that is what I bought. I don’t know if the magazine was wrong or if they sized them defferently back in 1986, but the only way those turnbuckles were going to work was if I had some mighty long scroll saw blades. All mine are the standard five inch blades. So with some careful measuring, I came up with the correct size and searched through my junk bins.

According to the magazine, there is supposed to be a slot cut at the back of the arms for the turnbuckle to fit into the center of the arm. The only turnbuckles I had that were long enough that if I had done it that way, it would not have left much material. I was afraid it would be thin enough that the stress would tear this area apart. So, instead, I made a double turnbuckle style so I could use what I had on hand while still keeping even pressure on the arms.

The article also tell you how to make your own blade brackets to use pinned end blades. However, I had this set sitting around the shop. I bought this a long time ago to use on one of my old Craftsman scroll saws. It is made to convert pinned end blade saws to be able to use plain end blades. I decided to retrofit it to this saw so I could use either style blades I wish with it.

Next I marked the location of the spot along the frame under the mounting hole for the motor linkage and took everything back apart. Then I mounted the jig saw so that the blade shaft lined up with the spot I marked. Now, the magazine has detailed instructions on how to do this. However, I had to put the magazine away at this point. The magazine descibes the process under the impression that you’re working with a complete jig saw. The jig saw I’m using is not a usable saw. Actully, that’s why I decided to use it for this project.
The saw I’m using runs fine as far as the motor goes. The blade clamp mechanism is torn up though. I had to disassemble the saw and rework all that. I used the mounting screws for the original blade clamp and made a linkage rod with a flat piece of metal. This metal, instead of being held by the blade clamp as the magazine states, is screwed directly to the blade shaft instead.

The linage mechanism swivels in in the hole in the lower arm. This has a dowel coming out of the bottom of it. The dowel is split to fit over the linkage rod I mentioned earlier. Then a hose clamp tightens the dowel onto that rod. This creates a tight connection that still moves as the arms move up and down.

And there is the basic mechanics of the saw.
Now you guys that know me already know what I done next. There is no table built yet, but I clamped a piece of wood across the length of the saw so I could cut a small piece of wood. I had to check it out. It seems to cut good at this point. I’ll bet it’ll do even better with a table.

Stay tuned for the next installment folks. It aint over till its over!


15 comments so far

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2640 days

#1 posted 04-17-2012 02:35 AM

William you got some work in this one.looks stable looking forward to the next one,i image it with a table looking great

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View andyboy's profile


565 posts in 3299 days

#2 posted 04-17-2012 02:36 AM

Very cool mate. Daily Top 3 for sure. You watch.

-- Andy Halewoodworker. You can't finish if you don't finish. So finish it, because finish is everything.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#3 posted 04-17-2012 02:44 AM

Thanks fellas.
If all goes well, I hope to have in done before the end of the week. I still have to make the table. Then it will have to be torn back down to apply finish.


View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2866 days

#4 posted 04-17-2012 04:39 AM

You wrapped a jig around a jig. Whats it going to make? Jigs! That BlackinDecker is going to get a workout.
Its Looking real nice William. And you are almost there.
Defiantly a badge on this one.

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3360 days

#5 posted 04-17-2012 08:33 AM

Fun project with a lot of challenges along the way. It looks like you are up to it William. Can’t wait to see the finished saw. How long is the stroke?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View helluvawreck's profile


31393 posts in 2893 days

#6 posted 04-17-2012 11:27 AM

An ambitious project and looks like it is coming along great.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#7 posted 04-17-2012 12:13 PM

Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad ya’ll are enjoying this project. It has been a fun one for me so far as well.

Thanks for the link. I had seen that before and forgot where. I saved it in my favorites this time. I have a question though. I hate registering on any more sites than I already am. I keep saying I need to cull some of them from my favorites list. I have so many that I can’t keep up with passwords anymore. My question is, if I sign up, do I get notifications when there is new content posted? Or is there another way to get notifications?
Thanks, and you can answer here or in a private message. Answering here may help others besides just myself though.

I tell people I’m able to make anything out of wood. I am proud of that. The part I have to explain sometimes is that saying this doesn’t mean it will always turn out lie I want. Sometimes when all goes wrong, my work turns into fancy firewood. At least that is still making something though.
As for the stroke, I don’t know the exact measurement, but it does not have as long a stroke as my Delta scroll saw. So far though, I have only run it on the slowest speed with the stroke setting on one. This jig saw, in addition to the speed setting, has a seperate setting for the aggresiveness of the cut. According to the manual for it, this effects the length of the stroke. So I will have to play with the settings after all is done on it.

You’re right. I’ve had a few Black & Deckers that lasted forever. I’m going to put this one through it’s paces. It was a good donor saw for this project. Since the blade clamp on it broke less than a month after I bought it, it wasn’t doing any good on anything else. Hopefully, it’ll live a long hard life as a scroll saw motor.
Now before ya’ll tell me I should have carried it back if it quit in less than a month, it was my fault it broke. I didn’t carry it back for a refund or exchange because I was using it for something that I’m sure it was not inteneded for. Being an honest man, I don’t believe in returning tools that I tore up from abuse. What was I using it for? I was trying to make a horse shaped tire swing. I read the instructions carefully in the book I ordered about making them. Apparantly though, I missed the note, that is written in bold bright letters, that you are not supposed to ever try making one out of radial tires. That steele treads will tear a brand new jig saw up in short order.


View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4006 days

#8 posted 04-17-2012 12:15 PM

Very nice work, William.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View sb194's profile


196 posts in 3045 days

#9 posted 04-17-2012 01:02 PM

Looking good. Can’t wait for the next installment.

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2830 days

#10 posted 04-17-2012 01:03 PM

This is gonna be a very nice machine

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

View barecycles's profile


257 posts in 2355 days

#11 posted 04-17-2012 01:19 PM

William, I love it! This is the kind of thing that keeps me addicted to LJ’s.

-- Sweeping up sawdust in Texas

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2701 days

#12 posted 04-17-2012 11:55 PM

I was scrolling through the “Pulse” pages, when I bumped into this shop made scroll saw thread. I meant to read it last night, but was busy with work. My apologies.

You are moving right along on this one, nice progress.

So when is KTMM going to make one? Lol.

-- 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 boxcarmarty's profile


16299 posts in 2386 days

#13 posted 04-17-2012 11:56 PM

Sweet stack of pecans William. Let’s make sawdust…..

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

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#14 posted 04-18-2012 12:32 AM

Thanks guys.
The next installment will be up in a little while.


View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#15 posted 04-18-2012 12:51 AM

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