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Forum topic by weathersfuori posted 11-07-2016 06:24 PM 820 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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92 posts in 1271 days

11-07-2016 06:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jigsaw scroll saw children kids tools

When I was a kid, I had a plastic “jigsaw” (technically it was more like a scroll saw or a miniature band saw) that I absolutely loved playing with. I don’t remember who made it or anything like that, only that it was red and cut mostly Styrofoam with a small cylindrical “blade” that vibrated. It was impossible to injure yourself even if you touched the blade.

My nearly 7 year old daughter has shown an interest in building things, including woodworking, and I know she would love something like what I had. Do any of you know of something like this that would be safe for a kid her age? She’s pretty deliberate when it comes to things that could potentially hurt her, so my efforts to preach safety seem to be paying off with her, but I’m not going to let her loose with my band saw obviously.

My wife found this in a catalog, and it looks kinda cool but the few reviews I’ve seen suggest it is pretty cheap, though I guess that is to be expected with something like this. It looks like it would do just fine cutting foam or maybe balsa wood if it is thin enough. Just checking to see if any of you know of something else out there. We already have all the fake stuff that doesn’t actually cut anything/workbenches, so I’m not really interested in that.

What would you say is an appropriate age to begin with a scroll saw?

-- Weathersfuori, Texas,

8 replies so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


4702 posts in 854 days

#1 posted 11-07-2016 10:36 PM

well that’s a hard question for us ….. as we do not know her …... but I would start out …by letting her design something … then you run the machines and just let her sand the piece …and maybe let her glue it ….. she just wants to make a project with dad … this way you can teach her safety …safely

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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Jim Finn

2674 posts in 3063 days

#2 posted 11-08-2016 02:52 AM

I recently saw a video of a guy building a “table saw” that cut cardboard and plastic with a nibbler doing the cutting. You can not cut yourself using a nibbler. Says he got the nibbler on Amazon. I do not remember where I saw this but it would work well for children.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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2841 posts in 2166 days

#3 posted 11-08-2016 05:42 AM

Dremel made (makes?) a hyper safe saw called the “moto saw.” I had one in a coping saw configuration when I was a kid, but there was (is?) also a scroll saw version. I made a valiant try to cut myself with it, but failed. I would cut wood, but very slowly. I made a lot of stuff with mine. Sometimes to hurry it along, I worked it up and down like an ordinary coping saw while it was doing its vibrating thing. Helped a little, maybe.

The “motor” was a solenoid oscillating at 60 cycles. If you tried to get more aggressive cutting out of it by lengthening the stroke (there was an adjustment for this), it would get out of phase and make a terrible racket.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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92 posts in 1271 days

#4 posted 11-08-2016 01:52 PM

Thanks everyone… this is helpful.

GR8HUNTER: You are right, she just likes working on something with me, but she’s also really independent and wants to do things herself. I like your idea though about letting her design something, me making the cuts, and her putting it all together.

Jim: I’ll definitely have to take a look at that!

scissors: This is the kind of thing I was hoping to find… Something that is essentially made for very beginners that is just strong enough to make a cut. I just checked it out- so it looks like this is different (and presumably safer) than a typical scroll saw because the blade does not move up and down, but instead just vibrates? It seems like with my supervision, this might be a good option for her to start “playing” with some power tools.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas,

View runswithscissors's profile (online now)


2841 posts in 2166 days

#5 posted 11-08-2016 09:15 PM

The Moto Tool blade does oscillate, but with a very short stroke—maybe 1/16” or so, and at a very high speed. If you put your thumb on it, the flesh seems to just vibrate with the blade, hence no cut.

Works best on soft, thin material, such as 1/4” pine or even balsa. Basswood would be good too. I used to make stuff out of deconstructed apple boxes (pine), but the cut on the 3/4” stuff was very slow.

I don’t see any of those in their web catalog, nor on Ebay. Theres one on Ebay that may be configured either as a coping saw or as a scroll saw, but the stroke length is longer (almost 1/3 of an inch), so there would be some minor risks involved.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View diverlloyd's profile


3104 posts in 1999 days

#6 posted 11-09-2016 12:55 AM

Jim it was Izzy swans video.

View weathersfuori's profile


92 posts in 1271 days

#7 posted 11-10-2016 02:11 PM

Just looked up the video- wow that’s cool! Definitely going to give that a try. What a great way to introduce kids to woodworking.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas,

View CharleyL's profile


223 posts in 3506 days

#8 posted 11-11-2016 04:19 PM

I started my grand daughter on my scroll saw when she was 7. The first day was spent teaching her the basics of using the scroll saw, and how to use it safely. Then I watched her the rest of the afternoon to make certain that she didn’t do anything unsafe. The next day I let her work all day on the scroll saw, checking frequently to make certain that she was still doing it safely. I don’t even worry about her using it or many more of my tools any more, but she is 17 now and hasn’t hurt herself with my tools yet. She has moved on to the drill press, hand held power tools, etc, but I still haven’t let her use the table saw or circular saws. Not every kid can start using a power tool at the age of 7, but I started her dad out at that age too. Unfortunately he died in 2000 when she was very young, so I had to train two generations. You have to watch them very closely, even as they get older and are allowed to use other tools, until they can work safely on their own.

She doesn’t spend much time with grandpa anymore, with all of the other activities in her life, but I will be giving her training in using my 18 volt circular saw the next time that she wants to woork with grandpa. She is going on mission trips to Haiti now, and her woodworking experiences with grandpa have already paid off. She can now lay bricks too, thanks to another church member on the same mission trips. A Church complex is being built there, with the help and training provided by the missionary teams. They are amazed that she can do so much, that girls aren’t expected to be able to do.


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