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Thread: Need recommendations for a scroll saw......

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Need recommendations for a scroll saw......

    My wife is in Illinois visiting her 89 year old mother. Twice now my wife has called, saw some scroll saw work and suggested I get a scroll saw. The latest call she stated that I should get one as she is actually considering taking up the hobby.

    I don't know a thing about scroll saws.

    It would be preferable to buy once so I need recommendations on a good quality scroll saw.

    Thanks!
    Ken

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    I really like my Excalibur. Check out Seyco's website, they're great to deal with.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Take a look at this Buyer's Guide

    Ken ... take a look at this linked 2010 review of entry-level, mid-level, and pro-level scroll saws plus it gives an overview of useful scroll saw features ... http://www.scribd.com/doc/33519964/Scroll-Saw-Buyer’s-Guide


    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Hartranft; 02-10-2012 at 1:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    I think you can hunt around and find a good deal, but I don't think you can buy a "cheap" scroll saw and be happy. My wife was about ready to kill me (probably with the saw if she could have got it to take another blade) over the Craftsman I picked up off their clearance rack a few years ago. I got it to run pretty well and managed to mount it so that the vibrations pretty much damped out, but the blade changing procedure was just awful. If you aren't breaking blades left and right then you are having to detach and reattach them to start cuts through a starting hole drilled in the material. Either way, having to fight the saw over the blades is no fun. I found her a HEGNER 22" Multimax and it is a much much better piece of machinery. The Dewalt is supposed to be a good machine, but once I started looking into those, I hit the same deal as with the Porter Cable Biscuit Joiners, certain dash numbers were great, others were crap, you can't really tell which is which without close personal inspection. I never ran across a bad word about Hegner other than wincing about the price.

  5. #5
    I use an older model Dewalt which I love...however, if I were to buy a new saw it would have to be the Excaliber. The biggest reason why is because the Excaliber has a tilting blade. The Dewalt's table tilts which makes doing bevels a little awkward. Hope this helps.



    John

  6. #6
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    A lot of people like the Dewalt but many only like the Type 1, which is out of production. As an FYI Woodcraft has the Delta, which is identical to the Dewalt, on sale for $349, the Delta comes with the stand and light and is about $250 cheaper than Grizzly sells the Dewalt with table and light and unless you catch it on sale Grizzly is the cheapest place to buy the Dewalt. Unless you want to spend $750 or above OR search for a used saw the Delta is the best deal going if you get the WC deal.
    Last edited by Van Huskey; 02-10-2012 at 3:03 PM.
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  7. #7
    I own and love the DeWalt. I do own the type 1. I think the only reason people knock the type 2 etc...DeWalts is because the Type one was made in Canada by Excaliber. The others are the same design but now made overseas. I would buy another without question.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
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  8. #8
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    I do hardly any scrollsaw work, but based on my father's experience and the general felling of "bang for the buck" I picked up a Dewalt from CL. IMO, the Dewalt or Delta look-like seem to me to be the best serious woodworker non-scroll-sawyer machine. If you want more then you're getting more serious. Check out the buyers guide linked in another post. It was well done (top tool by price range, 4-5 ranges IIRC).

    P.S. the one thing I would watch out for in group 1 (the low end) is the aluminum tables. It's been my experience and my father's across many tools (Craftsman scroll saw, craftsman and bosch router tables, 4" delta jointer, craftsman tablesaw and bandsaw) the unanodized aluminum may rub off and leave (hard to remove) black streaks on the wood. It's never been a problem with the cast iron tops (Dewalt scrollsaw, laminated router table, craftsman table saw [yeah my father and I have a total of 3 craftsman TS], Grizzly jointer and bandsaw)

  9. #9
    I own an eclipse scroll saw. Which is awesome and one of the best you could get. But I will say that the lead time to buy one is excessive as the owner/maker builds each one to order and he has a backlog.

    As has been stated the go-to entry level saw for years has been the DeWalt 788. But there are some differences between the original and the newer models. So gettiing an older 788 off e-bay would be a great option.

    Most everyone who scroll saws will tell you to not buy a cheap (<500) scroll saw. You will just be frustrated by it.

    Hegner makes nice saws and so does excaliber. BTW I believe DeWalt saw is basically an excaliber knock off.

  10. #10
    The Dewalt type 1 is a very good saw - it has a 20" throat which is large enough for most work and it has very low vibration. It's variable speed and has most of the other modern features. Around here, they come available on Craigslist fairly often. And scroll saws are not tools in high demand so they sell at a decent discount.

    I bought a RBI Hawk a while back but that's because I wanted a deep throat (26"). I've used the Dewalt, though, and like it.

    Mike

    [This isn't close to you but here's a Dewalt on craigslist local to me.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 02-10-2012 at 3:31 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  11. #11
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    Ken, one of our members here has a website regarding scroll saws (sorry I forget his name). I found it recently as I was searching scroll saws. I thought that maybe I shouldn't pass up the Woodcraft deal on the Delta, but I know about as much as you do about them. Anyway, if you search scroll saw man, I think, you'll find a lot of info.

  12. #12
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    You can get a restored 24" vintage Delta for less than a new SS.
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  13. #13
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    May 2010
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    Peterborough,Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Moyer View Post
    Ken, one of our members here has a website regarding scroll saws (sorry I forget his name). I found it recently as I was searching scroll saws. I thought that maybe I shouldn't pass up the Woodcraft deal on the Delta, but I know about as much as you do about them. Anyway, if you search scroll saw man, I think, you'll find a lot of info.
    Hi all ,my very post here,I'm not sure if this is the one you're talking about but it's a great site none the less:
    http://www.scrollsaws.com/
    Also:
    http://www.scrollsawer.com/forum/
    BTW,I have a Dewalt 788 type II and love it.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Myk Rian View Post
    You can get a restored 24" vintage Delta for less than a new SS.
    One issue with older scroll saws is that they're not constant tension. They usually have a spring at the top of the blade. The motor pulls the blade down and then the spring pulls the blade back up. Because of the spring, the tension on the blade changes continuously during the up and down motion. This can lead to more rapid blade breakage than on the modern, constant tension scroll saws.

    Of course, a lot of good scroll saw work was done on those older scroll saws so the lack of constant tension is not a deal killer. But all the modern designs have gone away from the spring design.

    Mike

    [Another thing about older scroll saws is that they usually are not variable speed. At best, they may have multiple pulleys to change the speed, similar to a drill press. Variable speed is a very nice feature - it allows you to tune the speed to get the best performance, based on the material, thickness, design, etc. Like all tools, scroll saws have added improvements as time went by.

    Finally, look at how the blade gets attached. Many of the modern SS have tool-less blade change - and that's really nice. Once you struggle with the old way of changing blades, you'll really appreciate the new, easy blade change feature.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 02-10-2012 at 9:02 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  15. #15
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    IMHO. Best, in order, New Excalibur, old Excalibur, old DeWalt made by Excalibur, RBI Hawk or Hegner, new Dewalt or The newer Delta. Distant pack : All other scroll saws.

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