Small BS for scroll work.

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 11-05-2012 08:42 AM 922 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3104 posts in 2282 days

11-05-2012 08:42 AM

I was at HF the other day and I decided to pick up a scroll saw for some delicate trim work and some tight cuts I need to make in some of my furniture.
I got it home and was expecting to find a circulating blade like on a BS, but what I got was this thing that jumps up and down, like a coping saw on steroids.
I swear scroll saws had circulating blades.

Am I wrong?

Maybe what I’m looking for is a small BS, but with the capacity of only 9 inches, I’d rather get a scroll saw with 16”.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

3 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3105 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 09:18 AM

Scrollsaws are the motorized equivalents of a coping saw. Their specialty is internal cuts so their blades are open ended to allow feeding through a drilled hole which could not be accomplished with a circular blade. If you want a scroll saw, I would not recommend the HF one. Generally, you want a table with some heft to minimize vibration as much as possible. Blades are another thing to consider as most supplied by big box stores and HF are very poor and make scrolling frustrating for new users.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2130 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 12:15 PM

Depending upon what want to do a jig saw might work better than small band saw. If want to do lot of fretwork a table scroll saw will beat a bandsaw.

I do not have much faith in small bandsaws that come with 1/3 HP motors. Some people expect too much from them. Everything from improper set up, wrong blade for task, feed work to fast just some reason see lot of little bandsaws on craigslist.

Cannot beat 14” bandsaw with right blade for making furniture. No cannot do fretwork unless going to glue stuff back together.

-- Bill

View HorizontalMike's profile


7755 posts in 2910 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 12:55 PM

I have had my 16” Delta #40-560 Scroll Saw for 21yr (1991) and it works like a champ. It has a nice heavy cast iron table and sits stable while in use.

You can still find these on the market for between $75-$150 here.

I used to use this scroll saw extensively when model building, but in recent years/months I have cut 3/4” soft maple (Janka 900-1000) very cleanly and very smooth, however 3/4” White Ash (Janka 1320) proved too much for this scroll saw to cut well and resulted in poor guiding as the blade would jump between tree rings randomly. You do need to set your goals accordingly when/if considering using a scroll saw in place of a BS.

Mine looks just like this one:

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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