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Scroll sawing #2: Good News! I sold my old saw!

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Blog entry by swamps42 posted 06-06-2011 02:54 AM 925 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Ordering a New Saw Part 2 of Scroll sawing series Part 3: The saw arrives! »

I managed to sell my old scroll saw the same day Guy Pal put the down payment on the new saw. It’s a cheap Harbor Freight saw, but it comes with a decent supply of blades, the original box, the paperwork, and a sturdy stand. I good friend of mine pounced on it when I offered it to him at $45. This money will go directly into guy pal’s pocket to start paying off my new saw. I was going to put it on Craigslist for 50, but I do still have lots of fond feelings toward this saw. I made toys on it for this friend’s kids and his then 3 year old who was interested used it with me several times. I want my old saw to go to a home where it will be as well loved and cared for as it was with me.

Dan and his wife are very laid back parents and they trust me to keep the kids safe in the garage. No one is allowed to touch ANYTHING without getting permission and they’re only allowed to use tools, even a screw driver, if I’m there helping. Their oldest son is 5.5, the middle son just turned 4, and the youngest is 2.5 years old. The middle kid just LOVES working in the garage. The oldest is scared of the sound and the safety warnings and the youngest just doesn’t have the fine motor skills to be allowed to use more than sand paper yet. He does LOVE getting to sand his own toys. I can’t say I mind him helping with that at all! It’s quite the time saver for me. With the middle kid, I’d let him stand in front of me at the saw and hold onto the board to help guide the cuts on toys I was making. I always kept my fingers in closer between his little hands and the blade. I think using my scroll saw may just be this little boy’s favorite thing to do. I’ve got several masks and goggles with the straps tied up short so they fit the kids. It’s so cute when they get all decked out in their safety gear and restate the rules to me before we turn on the power strip.

I couldn’t be happier that my old saw is going to a home where it’ll make toys for my favorite 3 kids and fiber arts tools for Dan’s wife, a spinning and knitting buddy of mine.

Also, as I was cleaning up my saw and waxing the table for the last time, I noticed a wonderful feature on the support table. It has two magnetic strips. One of them faces the user. The spare blades stick really well on there and it makes a great spot to keep a couple of your most used sizes on hand for quick changes. I wish I’d discovered this when I was still using the saw! I guess I”ll have to use some of that magnetic tape my brother gave me for Christmas on the new stand when it arrives.

Here’s my old saw ready for it’s now home. I told Dan to pick it up Friday so that I can still use it just in case I need a scroll saw in the meantime and it’ll be moved out just in time for it’s big brother to be moved in!

-- -Kim, Peyton, CO



7 comments so far

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

617 posts in 2015 days


#1 posted 06-06-2011 04:22 AM

i just bought one of those harbor freight saws. i think its a pretty good saw for the money. i paid $64 for mine new

View swamps42's profile

swamps42

42 posts in 1316 days


#2 posted 06-06-2011 11:56 AM

I think my parents paid about that when they got it. I gave them a 20% off Harbor Freight coupon with my Christmas list that year! Then the day after Christmas I dropped about 40 on the table for it and I’m buying blades every time I’m down there and the bigger packs at Home Depot. The reason I upgraded my saw was:

The table isn’t very square to the blade. This is fine in thin materials, but cutting 2×4 toys means your table has to be at about 4 degrees to get a perfectly 90o cut. It bugs me, but it can still get the job done. I bet this varies with all their saws since they aren’t particularly precision manufactured.

It vibrates a TON at medium speeds. I kept the bottom tray on the stand packed with paint cans to keep the saw from moving across the floor on medium speeds. Fast and slow didn’t shake the table nearly as badly.

I want to make lots of bowls and baskets. This requires cutting on an angle. I much prefer the tilting head design of the Excalibur to the table tilt of this saw. I find it much harder to control the work piece with the table tilted, which also caused problems with the 4 degree table for 90 degree cuts!

And the number one reason: I want a saw that takes plain-end blades, not pin-end. I LOVE detail work and you just can’t do the really bitty stuff with pin-ends. I enjoy doll house building and need the detail. FYI, there is an upgrade kit available to make this saw take plain-ended blades should you get to that point in your scrolling. Given my frustration with the table tilt as well, I decided it wasn’t worth spending the money to upgrade this saw.

It has served me for 1.5 years of relatively heavy use, which I’m pretty happy with given the low cost. It ended up being just the tool I needed to get me into woodworking. I’d built furniture out of necessity and some Dremel carving before, but this tool is what hooked me. I really am so glad that it’s going to Daniel who’s spent plenty of time drooling over it and playing with it already. He uses his dad’s saw across town whenever he gets the chance, which given the family dynamics isn’t nearly so often as he’d like. I foresee a TON of new toys for his kids since he’ll have a saw in his own garage now.

I’ll have to keep an eye on your projects and see what you do with this saw. There’s a part of me that’s really going to miss my first ‘real’ tool.

-- -Kim, Peyton, CO

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

617 posts in 2015 days


#3 posted 06-06-2011 01:31 PM

the HF saw now comes with 2 little adapters so you can use plain end blades. also my table is adjustable so it was easy to square the blade. only thing negative about my saw was the plastic insert wasnt flush to the table but i just shimmed it with masking tape til it was so thats not even an issue

View swamps42's profile

swamps42

42 posts in 1316 days


#4 posted 06-07-2011 01:54 AM

I also had problems with the plastic insert catching on some of the little bits and corners of work pieces. If I’d kept the saw longer I’d have made a new wooden piece to use instead that had a much smaller (and round) opening around the blade.

-- -Kim, Peyton, CO

View holmgren's profile

holmgren

6 posts in 1530 days


#5 posted 06-07-2011 03:31 AM

I, too, just bought the HF scroll saw and am getting ready to build a stand. I thought I would scroll sitting down and am planning a stand that would be like a little desk, or sewing table. I’ve googled scroll saw stands, but have never seen one with a place to put your knees! Am I on the wrong track?

Mary in Oregon

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

617 posts in 2015 days


#6 posted 06-07-2011 07:54 PM

heres a sketch up picture of the stand i made for mine. i was originally going to have the saw facing the other direction but ended up liking it this way better. plenty of room for my knees although the other direction would give even more room. a 3 legged stand is supposed to be the best for scroll sawing because of the leg room issue. i made mine from pine 4×4s and a piece of 1” thick melamine. all things i happened to have laying around. the joints are all mortise and tenon

View swamps42's profile

swamps42

42 posts in 1316 days


#7 posted 06-08-2011 12:23 AM

Oh, I do like your stand! Very slick looking. And, odd as this sounds from looking at the photo of my old one, I’ve not had any problems with leg room. Granted I’m 5’5” and rather small boned. I use a little folding directors chair style stool when I scroll that I picked up at a yard sale for 50 cents. It’s just perfect with my old stand and I’m hoping the new stand is adjustable enough to keep using the old stand. Otherwise, I might have to finish the chair I was making.

Make magazine featured a cute chair made from a single 2×3 piece of plywood. The parts are cut out almost like a puzzle using a jigsaw. I cut them all out already, but I’ve been slacking on the routing of the edges, the assembly, and hopefully, the cutting of a cute scroll saw tribute design in the backrest part of the chair. I think that would be an AWESOME scroll saw chair. Given my low back problems I’d probably have to make a cushion of some kind too. Time to start experimenting and seeing what fabrics repel sawdust the best. Clearly nothing in my wardrobe!

-- -Kim, Peyton, CO

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