I know . . . I am a spoiled brat!
At least I feel that way this morning. How can I not when I am so fortunate to now own a “Special Edition” of the FINEST scroll saws made? Oh – and it is actually PRETTY as well! After all, for someone like me who’s other job is an artist, it is an extra bonus to have such a fine piece of machinery color coordinate with the rest of the house. Especially since it sits in the corner of my kitchen. Ah . . . but now I am sounding like a GIRL and you are losing respect for my skills! But even you guys have to admit – you also LIKE when your favorite tools look nice as well. (Come on! I have see how you guys act when you get a new table saw or tool bench or truck! It doesn’t mean that that’s the only consideration – just an added plus!)
Yesterday, after a couple weeks of waiting and struggling to get it over the border, the nasty UPS people brought a box to my door. I had been anticipating its arrival for several days now, and after going back and forth about custom charges and such, it was finally released and made it from Texas to my home here in Nova Scotia. It was my NEW 30th Anniversary Edition Excalibur scroll saw! :D
Now comes the “spoiled brat” part . . . !
Many of you who read know that I have had a 21” Excalibur for over a year and a half now. We upgraded from a DeWalt back in March of 2011. After having a DeWalt for 13 years, it was time to look into a new saw. I had heard that the Excaliburs were good and thought I would give one a try. I must say, I was not disappointed.
The saw is amazing. Not only did it run a great deal smoother than my DeWalt, one thing that I really loved about it was the tilting head.
With all the bevel cuts I do for my candle trays and self-framing pictures and plaques, this was really a great feature. It allowed me to keep the work piece on a level table and the saw blade was at an angle instead of holding the piece on an angle to cut the bevel cuts. What a difference that made!
For the most part it has been a wonderful 2.5 year relationship with my saw. It did have trouble once when the upper arm linkage broke:
As you can see, the “old linkage assembly” is pictured on the top and the bolt snapped. We were sent a new linkage assembly, which is the bottom one, in which they change it to be one piece. Much stronger and more reliable! Once we changed it, the saw has been running trouble free.
So why the new saw??
I received a message from Ray at Seyco that they had just a couple of the new 30th Anniversary Edition saws left. I have been sending people to Ray every since I purchased my saw from him 2.5 years ago. The excellent service and customer care that Ray gives is second to none, and even though I live a far cry from Texas, any questions or issues (as the one mentioned above) that I had with the saw were taken care of swiftly and competently. And I am not alone in this opinion.
Just about every person that has been in touch or dealt with Seyco and Ray have been happy. Even if they didn’t purchase their saw from him, Ray is helpful and probably knows more about the Excalibur saw than anyone on the planet. He has even intervened for people who have purchased the saw from companies who don’t have what we would call stellar customer service and helped whomever needed help. I send everyone who inquires to him, and I have never regretted it at all. I will continue to do so as long as he is in business.
So back to the story . . .
Ray had thought that I might like one of the limited edition saws. He knows that I enjoy showing the saw to people and that I loved mine and thought he would ask if I would like to “upgrade”. I absolutely jumped at the chance!
I had been going back and forth in my mind as to get one of the Special Edition saws or not. After all, there was nothing wrong with our own saw. The only real difference besides the linkage (which ours was already changed) was the color and out appearance. The new Excaliburs all have the upgraded linkage assembly. They also have the ability to easily attach a dust collection system. Now that is probably a silly reason to get a new saw (that is where the “brat” part comes in!) but after I talked myself out of it, we just had the best two months ever on our website and when it was offered to me, I just couldn’t resist. It seemed like one of those “meant to be” things, so I decided to take the plunge.
Besides, when we do our production work, Keith and I both use our saws at the same time. Up until now, Keith used our green Excalibur and I used the DeWalt. With us being in the business of scroll sawing, and living in rural Canada, we realize that there is no way we cannot have a back up saw if something goes wrong or breaks. Even though Ray mailed out the part the same day we called him, it was over a week before it arrived here. We had the DeWalt as a back up but were very happy to get the Excalibur up and running again. It is really important to our business to have an ‘extra’ saw here so we aren’t crippled at times like this. (How’s that for rationalization??)
We probably will sell the DeWalt, as it is still a decent saw, although it is getting old and a little ‘loose’. For someone who is used to a cheap saw, it is still a step up and will be an advantage. We will keep our old Ex-21 near by for when we have production type orders or as a spare, and we will feel good knowing we have two great machines. It is like an insurance policy.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to have the new saw. We carefully unpacked the box. My two inspectors (Pancakes and Richard) made sure that everything was in order. To be honest, I think they liked the box better than what was in it, but that’s a cat for you!
I loved the way they packed the saw for shipping. It was bolted to a piece of plywood and came in perfect shape. (That’s Pancakes checking out the Gold Powder Coated Table)
The saw is very similar to the previous versions, but it also has added holes and an attachment underneath for dust collection (I don’t know if we will use that though) and of course, the color is no longer green, but black. Only the Special Edition 30th Anniversary saws have gold accents. But from here on, all Excaliburs will be black and silver.
The Anniversary Edition owners will also receive a gold plate, engraved with their name on it as well. My saw will have Sheila Landry Designs on it, as it is for both Keith and myself. :)
Overall, I think it is just beautiful! We spent a short amount of time re-adjusting things and getting everything in perfect alignment and ready to cut. Ray does this to all the saws that leave his place in Texas, but after shipping, we wanted to fine tune it a bit. Keith wrote an article called Excalibur Scroll Saw Tuning that we have on our site that explains that process in detail. We feel it is imperative to make sure the saw is set properly if it is to perform at its best.
So that is my exciting news for today! I did finish up drawing one of the two projects that I am working on, but I need to still do more drawing on the second one. As you can imagine, I was pretty excited about the new saw and I spent the rest of the day setting things up and talking about it on Facebook. It is hard not to gloat (just a little bit!) when you get such a nice piece of machinery! I can’t wait to use it and teach it to make some fun projects!
I am really happy that I made the decision to get it. While it is an extravagance, and something that I probably didn’t NEED, I spend so much time and energy with my work here that it is a treat that I just couldn’t resist. Besides, how can you deny how awesome it looks in my little kitchen shop?? It is certainly a beauty!
Some girls like shoes, I guess I like tools and equipment. But that isn’t all bad, is it?
I hope you all have a great weekend. Have fun and I hope you get the chance to do something creative! :)
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"