LumberJocks

Can a scrollsaw be used to shape a solid body guitar blank?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Scrollsawing forum

Forum topic by Marn64 posted 10-17-2016 02:47 PM 319 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Marn64's profile (online now)

Marn64

209 posts in 249 days


10-17-2016 02:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question scroll saw shaping

Hey everybody,
So I have been venturing into instrument making these past few months and I was wondering if a scrollsaw can be used as a substitute for a bandsaw when cutting out the shape of a solid-body guitar. Up until this point I have been using a crosscut hand saw to rough shape and then a coping saw for finishing cuts but it isn’t always that accurate. Is this possible or is it not advisable for reasons of safety, quality of cut, etc.
Thanks,
Benjamin

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee


13 replies so far

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

901 posts in 1499 days


#1 posted 10-17-2016 04:10 PM

I’d much rather do that job on a bandsaw with a 1/4” or 1/8” blade.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

805 posts in 2224 days


#2 posted 10-17-2016 04:40 PM

A solid body guitar would be about 2” thick and of a hardwood. That is too much for a scroll saw. This would take a bandsaw or possibly a relatively large electric hand scroll saw with a finish cut blade.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2409 posts in 2385 days


#3 posted 10-17-2016 04:42 PM

Scroll saws make a wonderful cut, much smoother than a band saw but most scroll saws have a 1 3/4” thickness limit.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Marn64's profile (online now)

Marn64

209 posts in 249 days


#4 posted 10-17-2016 04:59 PM



Scroll saws make a wonderful cut, much smoother than a band saw but most scroll saws have a 1 3/4” thickness limit.

- Jim Finn


The standard thickness of a 1950’s telecaster is 1 3/4 thickness, so is it doable?

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1950 posts in 1452 days


#5 posted 10-17-2016 05:46 PM

Is possible….probably.. But will be difficult and very slow going. I would not do it.

View Marn64's profile (online now)

Marn64

209 posts in 249 days


#6 posted 10-17-2016 06:27 PM

Would a handheld industrial quality jigsaw work better?

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

320 posts in 2498 days


#7 posted 10-17-2016 07:46 PM

Most guitar makers use a bandsaw or jigsaw to cut it close, then use a router with a patterning bit to finalize the shape, based on a template.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

805 posts in 2224 days


#8 posted 10-17-2016 09:36 PM

“Would a handheld industrial quality jigsaw work better”

I believe it would work pretty well. Just last night I was using a Bosch industrial saber saw (“jigsaw”) to cut some 1 3/4” fir and it cut nicely to a curved line with a finishing cut blade. Make sure it is set up for an accurate cut 90 degrees to the surface of the wood. No matter what you use to cut, you will really need to cut a little outside of the line and use a 4” wide floor-type belt sander to finish sanding to the line for a nice smooth and accurate edge. Some people with expertise could finish hand sanding down to the line and do a nice job, but it would be a lot of work. I agree with SignWave above that the best way would be to make an accurate plywood pattern and use a router with a straight bit to pattern-cut down to the line after rough cutting slightly oversize.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Marn64's profile (online now)

Marn64

209 posts in 249 days


#9 posted 10-17-2016 09:38 PM



Most guitar makers use a bandsaw or jigsaw to cut it close, then use a router with a patterning bit to finalize the shape, based on a template.

- SignWave


Jigsaw it is then huh, I don’t own the jigsaw and I am a hand tool woodworker by discipline, so are there any things I should know before using it?

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View Marn64's profile (online now)

Marn64

209 posts in 249 days


#10 posted 10-17-2016 09:39 PM



“Would a handheld industrial quality jigsaw work better”

I believe it would work pretty well. Just last night I was using a Bosch industrial saber saw (“jigsaw”) to cut some 1 3/4” fir and it cut nicely to a curved line with a finishing cut blade. Make sure it is set up for an accurate cut 90 degrees to the surface of the wood. No matter what you use to cut, you will really need to cut a little outside of the line and use a 4” wide floor-type belt sander to finish sanding to the line for a nice smooth and accurate edge. Some people with expertise could finish hand sanding down to the line and do a nice job, but it would be a lot of work. I agree with SignWave above that the best way would be to make an accurate plywood pattern and use a router with a straight bit to pattern-cut down to the line after rough cutting slightly oversize.

- Planeman40


thanks for the info, the body is spruce so I think it should cut quite well.

-- Benjamin, Milwaukee

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 949 days


#11 posted 10-18-2016 12:28 AM

Rough it out about 1/16 larger than you want and spokshave it to the line maybe?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View marc_rosen's profile

marc_rosen

79 posts in 2644 days


#12 posted 10-18-2016 01:27 AM

Funny you should mention it…...
(Those Frank Zappa fans amongst you may enjoy that intro.)
I just finished cutting out a small electric “viola” for a friend yesterday. It was an 8/4 blank of hard maple and I used my bandsaw for the outside cuts and my Dewalt scrollsaw for the inside. My friend said he’d be happy if I had to use the bandsaw for all cuts and leaving a glued up saw kerf but I was certain I’d be able to do it if I kept my feed rate slow.
I broke about 5 blades in the process but I made two nice interior cutouts that only required minor sanding.
Hope this helps you decide which way to go. Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

1984 posts in 1729 days


#13 posted 10-20-2016 06:50 PM

Scrollsaws will cut remarkably with care, blade lubrication, and PATIENCE!

I have used candle wax a a blade lube since 1953! The hint came with my first scrollsaw.

DO NOT try to cut too fast. Experiment on a chunk of wastewood first to get the feel, blade tension, feed rate etc. figured out.

Good luck and we will want to see the resuts too.

-- just rjR

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com