Something different! - A lathe powered scroll saw

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Project by MactheKnife posted 236 days ago 3514 views 11 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my latest project, its a Scroll Saw and its powered by my Lathe.

The design is inspired (ok copied!) from this one by Corydoras, after a lot of hunting around, but I never found another powered by a lathe.

I wanted to take the drive for this from my lathe for several reasons, but mainly because its quiet!

Its mostly made from offcuts, the base is 60mm Beech Ply from my workbench build, the frame and arms are Ash and I used about an 1/8th of a sheet of 10mm Beech ply for the table and its support. The alignment bearings are mounted with Iroko and the lathe adaptor is an oak offcut. It has bearings in the rocker arms, drive link and lathe attachment, 14 in total (sounds excessive, but most are doubled up). The blade hangers are some old brackets I had which were modified with a hacksaw and a hammer to fit.

Blade changes are simple and require a few turns of a wing nut to complete. it will take standard length junior hacksaw blades or the larger scroll saw blades (fitted in the pictures). It runs on the lowest speed on my lathe and cuts brilliantly and is as quiet as I intended, probably because of the excessive amount of bearings! The lathe mount is the same as the one on the wall in the photos, which is my lathe mounted sander.

Total cost on this one was about £20, half on bearings and half on the 10mm beech ply. I haven’t done any sketchup drawings of it, but if anyone wants some I can do.

Here it is in motion:

18 comments so far

View Bsmoot's profile


64 posts in 1567 days

#1 posted 236 days ago

That is so cool keep up the good work

-- Bryant north carolina

View bch's profile


217 posts in 1314 days

#2 posted 235 days ago

I love it! I love “re-purposing” your lathe to make other tools. Great job.

-- --bch

View jim65's profile


355 posts in 559 days

#3 posted 235 days ago

That is an excellent project, very nice!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View Dutchy's profile


456 posts in 794 days

#4 posted 235 days ago

Great idea. Thank you for sharing. Nice build

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View clieb91's profile


3263 posts in 2560 days

#5 posted 235 days ago

A really neat idea. Great way to utilize the tools you already have and keep some costs down.
Looks like it works well, how is the cut on it?


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


454 posts in 339 days

#6 posted 235 days ago

Wow thats clewer. Love home made machines!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View HuckD's profile


205 posts in 340 days

#7 posted 235 days ago

That’s thinking outside the box. Good job.

-- Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.

View Underdog's profile


514 posts in 661 days

#8 posted 235 days ago

Ingenious! I’m very impressed!

View MactheKnife's profile


67 posts in 494 days

#9 posted 235 days ago

Thanks for all the comments.

clieb91 it does cut quite well, I have only used an old 15tpi blade in it and I was able to cut out jigsaw shapes easily. I used a temporary cutting table as a rest to cut the final top you see in the pictures. I’m still messing about with cutting speeds, its on its lowest setting now, but I have had it running much faster, just need to see how comfortable I am with it at higher speeds. I’m not used to scroll sawing so its a learning curve.

View stefang's profile


12873 posts in 1960 days

#10 posted 234 days ago

Looks like a great idea and nicely done too. It looks like you have a Record lathe like mine. The only negative for me would be the need to stand up while using it, but ok if you don’t mind standing.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3861 posts in 1005 days

#11 posted 234 days ago

Very cool. The old Goodell Pratt lathes had a similar scroll saw attachment but it was quite small. They also had a tablesaw attachment that looks scary as hell.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View MactheKnife's profile


67 posts in 494 days

#12 posted 234 days ago

Stefang, yes its a Record CL3 the cutting height is about elbow level for me when standing, which is my preference whilst I still can!

Rick, I saw an old Craftsman version of the Goodell Pratt attachments, that sowed the seed of the idea, although I agree the tablesaw attachments look downright dangerous.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3861 posts in 1005 days

#13 posted 233 days ago

I can’t quite make out the entire mechanism, so is the lathe spinning a cam that oscillates the cutting arms?

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View MactheKnife's profile


67 posts in 494 days

#14 posted 233 days ago

Rick, yes thats right, its essentially an offset crankshaft. The lathe chuck holds an oak disk about 2 inches thick. it has a hole drilled in it for an M8 bolt, that hole is offset from the centre about 1/2 inch. That sets the stroke lenght. I tried several off sets to get the stroke right. The M8 bolt is connected to the short arm that drives the cutting arms. the upstroke pulls the top arm down via the link at the rear, the down stroke pulls the top are down via the saw blade.

If you want to use longer saw blades you can use the wider offset at 3/4 inch which gives a longer stoke and slower cut.
I’ll try and take some pictures of it dismantled.

View customturnedwork's profile


3 posts in 164 days

#15 posted 164 days ago

What size are the bearings? Are they bronze bearings or Ball bearings?
Could you send me the specifi cations and drawings/pictures of the Sketchup model?
Sketchup will not run on my computer so I can’t use the Sketchup file.

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