I think if found a hook to get my wife into woodworking

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Forum topic by interpim posted 05-22-2010 02:53 AM 1299 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3484 days

05-22-2010 02:53 AM

I was surfing around LJ last night and came onto one of WdKits1’s intarsia projects, and my wife mentioned how beautiful it was, which I do agree with, and she also followed up with, I think I could get into that kind of woodworking!!!

You don’t know how excited I was to finally hear my wife say she wanted to participate in a hobby I enjoy. So, since I don’t own a scrollsaw I did a quick search and found a few with a reasonable price point. My question is this… Since I have never used a scrollsaw, I have no clue the features someone would want/need to do intarsia, and not get frustrated with a poorly put together tool.

Is the Craftsman 16” scrollsaw for $120 an acceptable tool for this type work? Or am I setting her up for frustration and possibly losing interest in doing any woodworking?

Please let me know what you think… I can’t afford a $500 tool, and if I could, I would probably buy a planer or jointer since that is still missing in my shop LOL.

-- San Diego, CA

11 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 05-22-2010 03:00 AM

I’ve seen some jig saw that are over $800 that I don’t like. The key factor is how easy it is to take the blade in and out. I think it’s called an easy change . and many of inexpensive scroll saws have this set up.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3768 days

#2 posted 05-22-2010 01:49 PM

I bought my wife the DeWalt scroll saw after she used a craftsman. The craftsman and the delta she had were both too light. Too much vibration and blade chatter. I researched and found the most recommended mid-price scroll saw was the DeWalt. She has been using it for 10 years now and absolutely loves it. I did find an after market “lift assist” that made it even easier for her to lift the blade arm. All in all it is a fairly big, heavy and accurate machine well worth the price. See if you can find a used on in good condition.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3321 days

#3 posted 05-22-2010 02:01 PM

I bought the Craftsman 16” scrollsaw about a year ago.
I ran it for about 30 seconds, boxed it back up and returned it.
Heavy vibration, the tensioner knob was broken and broke about three
blades before I called it quits, and nothing was square.
I have a rigid 16” which they don’t make anymore, but it works great.
I would definitely get something more solid, but I have no suggestions
since the Rigid is no longer sold.
Good reviews on the DeWalt, that might be a good place to start.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 3797 days

#4 posted 05-22-2010 02:05 PM

While the price for the Dewalt is much more than the Craftsman, I believe it will be money well spent. If you look around, you can usually find someone selling the saw that will include the base. This is a very good middle of the road saw that you help your wife enjoy her hobby. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3321 days

#5 posted 05-22-2010 02:14 PM

Just out of curiosity I checked Craigslook and
found this 16” delta scroll saw that is not to far from where you are.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3484 days

#6 posted 05-23-2010 10:46 PM

Well, I took a look at craigslist, and found a Craftsman 16” scrollsaw new in the box for $45. I guess, this will give her something to start with, and at $45 it isn’t setting me back to much.

-- San Diego, CA

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4244 days

#7 posted 05-24-2010 12:35 AM

Man, don’t get your wife involved in the shop!

1. There will be no place to retreat to when you have an argument.
2. Her lust for new tools will put a crimp in your tool budget.
3. Who’s going to cook dinner if both of you are absorbed in a project?

I’m telling you…. you’re asking for trouble. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3552 days

#8 posted 05-24-2010 01:04 AM

I didn’t care for a Craftsman that I used once. Some vibration problems and I didn’t like the look and feel of the machine. It’s a woman thing, lol. I also don’t like the look and feel of the dremel scroll saw, but others love it.
I have a Hitachi that I love. I got mine at Lowes for 150 with stand, but they have discontinued the saw. If I could have afforded to buy another when it was being clearanced out I would have bought a spare in case mine ever goes out. Now Lowes has a Porter-Cable for the same price that looks like the Hitachi got a paint job. Haven’t tried it though so don’t really know.

If you are still looking for a saw, you will want to make sure that it can take pin-less blades. Some of the real low-end saws will only accept pined blades. Pined blades are thicker and require a bigger hole when cutting an interior cut.
If you plan on cutting for more then 30 seconds at a time I recommend getting(building) a stand and stool that put the saw and user in a comfortable position. Hunching over a saw, or stretching to see will be asking for trouble, back pain and a lousy time.
Also, check out Steve Good's blog . He has tons of free plans of all sorts and great advise.

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3076 days

#9 posted 05-24-2010 08:36 AM

Personally after having owned a couple of cheaper (not under $100 tho!) scrollsaws it really doesn’t matter how good it is to start with. When you progress a little and realise that what you have isn’t doing the job you want then go out and spend a fortune and enjoy your new toy.
But when you have no idea what to do with one, any one will be enough.
I’m onto my 3rd, but that’s over a few years and several years dormant.
With intarsia you dont need to worry about having small holes so the type of blade (pinned or pinless) doesn’t really matter. It is only when doing really fine fret work that you need a pinless blade and that only comes when you have had a bit of experience with the machine anyway.

Good luck….
…..Hope your wife doesn’t end up taking over the shed like I did!!!! :-)

-- Theresa,

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3141 days

#10 posted 05-24-2010 10:02 AM

give her one birdsmouth and two fretsaws the short and the long
learn her to do it undplugged at the bench…
if she still hooked after the first projeckt then go and buy her the best

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3076 days

#11 posted 05-25-2010 07:33 AM

Hey just surfing around – as you do.
Came across this site, it is just fret work but it has a basic 101 about scrollsawing that might come in handy. Didn’t really read it myself just flicked thru the headlines, so I dont know how good it will be.

-- Theresa,

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