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Forum topic by Jamie Speirs posted 12-22-2012 09:48 PM 1495 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jamie Speirs

4134 posts in 1508 days


12-22-2012 09:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question scroll saw scrollworking

Hi there,
anyone any opinions on this saw?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001OXBZE2/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

Thanks
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


18 replies so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7649 posts in 1572 days


#1 posted 12-22-2012 09:54 PM

Hey Jamie:
My concern is that it looks like it only takes pinned blades. Even though there are conversion kits available for some saws, they could wind up costing quite a bit more. Pinned end blades really limit the type of work you can do, as the cut outs need to be large enough to accommodate the pin through the holes. While you may not think you will want smaller cuts, as you get better on the scroll saw and want more challenging projects, this will become a really big issue (trust me!)

I say pass on it and look for something that takes pinless blades to start. Many times people get saws and rarely use them and even though they are second hand, they are as good as new.

Just my thoughts. :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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Jamie Speirs

4134 posts in 1508 days


#2 posted 12-22-2012 10:25 PM

Thanks Sheila,
I thought that the unpinned blades would have been slower. :)
I’ve a lot to learn.

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2005 posts in 1485 days


#3 posted 12-22-2012 10:32 PM

Hi Jamie :) hey Sheila ;) I have both pinned and unpinned blades on my scrollsaw, I can tell you that the pinless blades aren’t slower, it’s quite the opposite with those I have: they have spiralling teeth all around and take quite a bite even in solid brass :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View William's profile

William

9021 posts in 1494 days


#4 posted 12-23-2012 02:09 AM

It depends a lot on what you wish to do with it Jamie.
I agree that it looks to only take pinned blades. If you plan on doing anything even remotely detailed, the hole you drill for pinned blade will have to be so large that it will be impossible to do without messing up your work. That is the advantage of pinless blades, you can thread them through a much smaller hole. Also, there is much more variety of blade choices for pinless. Since most scrollers use pinless, the choices for pinned blades are getting fewer and fewer.
My other problem with that saw is it looks like the tension is in the rear. This is a major problem is you cut something with a lot of inside, or piercing cuts. Every time you wish to move the blade to another hole, you have to manually turn the knob at the rear of the saw to loosen the blade, thread the blade, the tighten it back up by turning the knob some more. If you do detail work, this becomes a lot of work quickly. Since discovering quick release tension systems on other saws, I won’t even consider a saw like the one you linked to above. Lack of a way to quickly untension and retension the blade is a deal breaker for me on any saw.

All that being said, I know several people who bought scroll saws thinking that they were not going to be doing detail work on a scroll saw. They alway wind up doing it though. If you buy a scroll saw and enjoy it, you will always prefer a pinnless blade. The reason I said it depends on what you want to do with the saw is that I do have a saw that uses only pinned blades. I use it for specific purposes though. My main saw, my Delta, uses only pinnless blades.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View rilanda's profile

rilanda

129 posts in 806 days


#5 posted 12-23-2012 08:15 AM

Hi Jamie, I recently bought one of these machines for marquetry work, two big disappointments. I use very fine pin less blades to reduce the size of the entry hole on internal work and the access to the bottom blade clamping screw is so restrictive when the table is tilted over it is almost impossible to access the socket screw with the key. I overcame this by removing the bottom guard to enlarge the access hole, with the guard replaced access is now OK. The second gripe I have with the machine is the guard/ work hold down, this keeps coming loose and is very restrictive, plus the fact it is so wide it will not hold down small pieces, it was so much of an annoyance that I have taken it off and I use the machine without it in place, but I am aware that the blade is then totally exposed with the obvious risk of injury, I am in the process of making a new guard for it. All in all its not a bad machine; more like a good machine that has been spoiled with lack of attention to detail.

-- Bill, Nottingham. Remember its not waiting for the storm to end, but learning to dance in the rain that counts. If you dont make mistakes, you make nothing at all.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4134 posts in 1508 days


#6 posted 12-23-2012 08:39 AM

Thomas. I have one that does both but uses brackets to hold the pinless

William I think I need to increase my budget and find a better quality one.
I agree that with the scrollsaw it is better the more it can do.

Bill I think that the Record uses a good brand name but there are lots of problems

Thanks
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View William's profile

William

9021 posts in 1494 days


#7 posted 12-23-2012 11:49 AM

Jamie,
I think you’ve seen my work. I use a Delta SS250. That can be had for less than a hundred bucks, plus shipping. Look up a photo of it and make note of the appearance before looking at Deltas. That same saw I have seen under different model numbers.
The Delta that I use has the Quick Clamp II blade clamping system. It uses only pinless blades. The bottom blade clamp uses a tool to install the blade, but you only have to use it when the blade breaks or you change to a different size blade. The top clamp, you just flip a lever to release the blade, then place the blade in between the jaws and flip the lever back to reclamp the blade.
As for tension, you have a knob, up front, that you initially set your tension with. After that, you flip a lever to untension, then flip it back to re-tension.
Table beveling, variable speed, and 16” throat depth is pretty much standard on beginner saws, as it is on the Delta. Yes, the saw I use is considered a beginner saw, but again, you’ve seen the quality of work I do.
My one and only gripe with the Delta is the plastic nut that you move on the Quick Clamp to initially set according to the amount of grip you want on the clamp. This changes with the size of blade you’re using. It is made of plastic and it strips out pretty quickly when you buy it. I’ve been told they use a better nut on higher end Deltas. I don’t know. Anyway, the first thing one should do with this saw is remove that nut and replace it with a metal wing nut. That’s what I’ve done on mine.
If you wish, and can, get up the money for a better saw, the best out there, from all that I’ve read are the Excaliber, the Dewalt (Type I preferrably), and the Delta Q3. Based on reviews, they are rated the best in that order, the Excaliber being the best.

Rilanda,
Go check out this post. Most scrollers (most, not all) remove the hold down anyway. In my opinion, for most scrolling operations, you hold the work piece down with your fingers with enough force, making the hold down unnecessary anyway.
I have eight scroll saws now (if you want to count the one I built too), and none of them currently have the hold down installed on them. I am however starting to get up a nice collection of scroll saw hold downs from different time periods. The oldest one I have is from my 1947 Craftsman 24” saw.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4134 posts in 1508 days


#8 posted 12-23-2012 07:58 PM

William, yes. In fact I find you clocks to be the most precise of
scrolling. It would give any buyer the confidence to know that
that standard of work was possible.
We have Delta here and I’ve heard from several people that their
customer service is first class.I have a scrollsaw that I was given. It
is the cheapest available in the UK. My friend bought it new and found
that it vibrated to much and gave a poor cut.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Clarke-CSS400B-16-Scroll-Saw-/200686376292?pt=UK_Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item2eb9d71564
This is what it looks like.
I only tried it one and also found the vibration to be very bad. Perhaps I should
strip it down and see if it is an assembly fault. It takes pinned blades or a clamp
bracket for pin less blades.
Thank You Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Jamie Speirs

4134 posts in 1508 days


#9 posted 12-24-2012 10:14 AM

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-axminster-awvfs-variable-speed-scroll-saw-prod724456/
This one says that it uses both pinned & unpinned blades. Is that possible without carriers?
Thanks
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View William's profile

William

9021 posts in 1494 days


#10 posted 12-25-2012 12:29 AM

That last link you provided, the one that takes pinned and pinless, it looks like the Ryobi I once had. It was a piece of crap. It vibrated so bad I had to learn to dance with the saw in order to cut. From my experience, there are saws that do pinned blades well, and those that do pinless blades well. I have yet to see one that does both without compromises.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4134 posts in 1508 days


#11 posted 12-26-2012 07:44 PM

Thanks William
I’ve stripped the one I have to bits.
It looks a fairly basic design and I cant see why it
is not balanced (only thing I can think of to cause a
vibration).
It has the pinned blade holder that you can use carriers
for pin less blades, looks slow. I think a simple carrier for
could be made.
jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Jamie Speirs

4134 posts in 1508 days


#12 posted 12-27-2012 09:01 AM

This is the main bits to balance I think.

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View americancanuck's profile

americancanuck

132 posts in 1261 days


#13 posted 12-27-2012 10:28 AM

Jamie the saw you pictured in the ad is very similar to a saw that I purchased recently. I started with an old Delta that I got at a yard sale for $15. It only took pinned blades. After only 1 project I realized I would have to have a saw that would use pinnless blades but was unsure how much I would be scrolling so I didn’t want to spend my somewhat limited funds on a new saw. I purchased a King Canada which from what I can see is the same saw as you have pictured. Initally it worked pretty well and I was pleased, however, after only four or five wekks it was ready for the bone yard. I am a retired machinist, machine builder so I did try every trick in the book to keep it functioning to no avail. On Christmas eve I ordered my new Dewalt and curently anxiousley await its’ arrival. Scrolling is very adtictive so if you can swing it I would get a higher end saw.

View William's profile

William

9021 posts in 1494 days


#14 posted 12-27-2012 03:51 PM

In the states Jamie, that is a direct knock-off of the Craftsman Direct Drive. I have two of them. It does pinned blades well. I use that saw for especially large items like my rocking toys. I also have the exact same kit I think you are using that uses a holder to clamp a pin-less blade into the hooks that are meant to hold pinned blades. The kit I have is in a coffee can around here somewhere, because it doesn’t work very well at all.
As for balance, it is the nature of a saw, especially one made like that one. The off center piece that attaches the motor to the bottom arm spin, basically just yanking the tensioned arm up and down. That weight moving around transfers directly back the the off center piece. That wieght is then thrown forwards and back as the piece make it full circle. There is little to done about these saws and their vibration except what I have done. It is bolted firmly to a shop table that is so heavy I can’t move it.

Everything looks the same as the Craftsman except for one thing. Is that the tension knob under the back of the saw?
If it is, that is even more awkward than having it at the top rear like the Craftsman.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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Jamie Speirs

4134 posts in 1508 days


#15 posted 12-30-2012 12:42 PM

Americancanuck I’m with you on getting a better machine.
I however would have to justify this expense in a business sense.
There are some of my machines that are used more that need
replaced first. :(

William I’ve got it running nearly vibration free. I can sit a mug
of tea on the machine and only get some surface ripples. Not very
scientific I know. It is at present sitting on a hard melamine surface
and is not bolted down. I think with a rubber mat and bolted down
that it be even better. The pinned blades are a problem and as you
said the carriers are not much good. I think I could make aluminium
blocks for top and bottom with quick release fairly easily.
Yes the tension is at the back on the bottom. I think if I fitted a cam
lock onto that it would make things easier also.
I also found that on the tilt mechanism there was a lot of play, this I
rectified with washers between the gaps. The body panels also vibrate
quite a bit and see no reason to replace them at this stage. They also limit
the access to the bottom blade.
With the bits and bobs that I’ve done so far, it is cutting fairly well with the
unknown make of pinned blades that I’m using.
I’ve ordered a pkt of 60 pegas mixed blades for once I’ve made the clamping
blocks. It may be that in the end I’ll have wasted my time, but I’m having
great fun in the process. When I see your wooden scrollsaw working I’m
confident that I can turn this into a fairly usable saw. I’ve already got my first
pattern from Sheila Scrollgirl for Snow Folk, I’ve plenty of time for next Christmas
Thank You
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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