The scroll saw used for wood curved cuts, is one of the more popular tools for getting young people interested in serious woodworking. Many take woodshop classes in high school. As such, there is a good chance that you have already encountered this tool.
These days, scroll saws are so user-friendly, quiet, and relatively risk-free that even kids can use them. Most importantly, if you need to make intricate curved cuts in wood or any one of various other materials. Scroll saws can provide you with a level of flexibility that is simply unmatched.
When Contrasted With The Band Saw, The Scroll Saw
At first glance, the scroll saw appears to be a miniature version of the band saw. Because most models have an arm that moves the saw blade up and down, the device is frequently compared to a sewing machine. Both machines feature thin blades that pass through the work table. Scroll saws, on the other hand, remove material through a reciprocating motion, in contrast to band saws. Because both types of machines have moving parts.
On the other hand, the band saw accomplishes its cutting by feeding a long and thin blade loop into the worktable in a single direction. The band saw’s reciprocating motion and the smaller blades it uses contribute to a smooth finish on the shaped edges. Additional sanding is not required after the edges have been cut with the band saw.
Scroll saws generally operate at a fixed height throughout the cutting process.
Band saws are particularly well suited for cutting through blocks and boards because their height can be adjusted. They are also capable of resawing boards, which involves slicing them in a parallel direction to the plane of the board’s surface.
Despite the fragile appearance of the saw’s thin blade, scroll saws are also capable of cutting through thicker blocks of wood. However, in contrast to band saws, scroll saws typically operate with a fixed height throughout the cutting process. This height, known as the “thickness of cut” of the scroll saw, determines the maximum thickness of material that can be shaped by the saw.
Why You Will Absolutely Have To Have A Scroll Saw In The Beginning
A scroll saw is a type of power saw similar to other saws and cutting tools that you probably already have in your workshop. True to its name, the scroll saw was initially developed to cut scrolls out of solid wood. However, the scroll saw is one of the few tools that can compete with its ability to make intricate cuts inside objects. The adaptability of the tool, on the other hand, has encouraged DIY enthusiasts and woodworkers to complete a wider variety of projects than initially intended.
In addition to making decorative scroll motifs, scroll saws are also helpful for making parquetry. A form of woodworking involves assembling separate pieces of wood into a composite whole. When it comes to making fretwork patterns out of wood and the majority of other types of wood cut-outs, having a scroll saw on hand is extremely helpful.
When it comes to projects that require more precision than a jigsaw can provide. Your options are typically limited to working by hand with a coping saw or utilising a scroll saw. A scroll saw is not only enjoyable to use. Still, it will save you a significant amount of time working on large projects that feature intricate patterns. They are also relatively small machines, so they won’t take up much room in your workshop even if you keep them there.
How to Determine Which Kind of Scroll Saw Is Right for You
When it comes to scrolling saws, you have a general choice between three different types, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Almost all the models of scroll saws are corded and draw power from an electrical outlet. Generally true no matter what type of scroll saw you decide to purchase.
The Scroll Saw with a Rigid Arm
When discussing the different kinds of scroll saws, it is impossible to avoid mentioning the rigid arm scroll saw. You might stumble across an old workshop that uses a rigid arm scroll saw. Still, the likelihood is that you won’t be able to purchase a model currently in production from a retailer.
This design started out as an extension of the jigsaw design, popular in the 1930s and 1940s. A moving arm in the bottom of the assembly pulls the blade away from a spring-loaded mounting point in the upper arm. This is how the entire assembly is typically constructed; it is made from a single piece of cast iron.
When it comes to maintaining clean and straight cuts, the weaker tension of the blade, which occurs as a result of the spring pulling on it during each upstroke, proved to be problematic. Stay away from people like this as much as you can.
The Scroll Saw with a Parallel Arm
This design is currently the one that is best represented in the market today. It consists of a pair of arms that move in unison to move the thin blade up and down. The majority of parallel arm scroll saws come equipped with a motor that can be adjusted to different speeds via a switch typically located at the top of the saw.
The blade of a parallel arm scroll saw moves in a vertical direction that is nearly perfectly straight. While some models have a connecting arm to the front that allows you to manually set the tension, others have a link that automatically places the correct tension. There are even some that have both. Helping to keep vibrations to a minimum while producing straight and clean cuts.
The Scroll Saw with the Parallel Link
These scroll saws are an improvement on the parallel arm system. They have a horizontal link connecting the arms to a pivoting beam behind the blade. This link is located behind the blade. After that, the motion is transmitted to the horizontal link. Transforming it into a vertical motion at the end of the arms. Because of this relatively complex system, the variable speed motor can move the parallel arms in a back-and-forth motion rather than up-and-down.
The additional moving parts may result in the machine having an increased number of potential failure points. However, manufacturers can create scroll saws with shorter arms because of this design feature. Resulting from their shorter arms and links, parallel link scroll saws typically have less vibration, resulting in a more consistent and straight movement.
The Scroll Saw Equipped With a C-Arm Link
The C-arm type uses just one piece shaped like the letter ‘C,’ in contrast to the parallel arm models that rely on two separate arms working together. The ‘C’-shaped assembly rotates around a single pivot point, which allows the blade to be mounted at the very end of the assembly.
The end result is a blade that oscillates from a single point. Which causes it to move in a gentle arc that enables it to remove more material. The C-arm link scroll saw, on the other hand, has a reputation for being relatively inaccurate in comparison to other models that have a blade that can be moved up and down.
A Few Words Regarding the Various Types of Scroll Saw Blades
Scroll saws typically come with two primary blades – pin-end blades and plain end blades. These terms refer to the attachment points on the blades. Blades (Pin-end) come with pins protruding at the end of each blade, and scroll saws that can take them generally make it simpler to change the blades because the pins latch on to place without clamps.
Pin-end blade models do, however, come with a few significant drawbacks that should be considered. In the first place, there is typically a smaller selection available for pin-end blades when compared to plain blades. Because of the pin, the blade needs to be both thicker and wider to accommodate it, making it less reliable when it comes to making acute angle turns or intricate cuts.
Plain End Blades:
On the other hand, blades with plain ends have to be fastened to a clamping system to be kept in place. On the other hand, plain-end blades are more precise and are less challenging to thread into drilled holes to perform inside cutting.
How to Compare Different Types of Scroll Saws
Scroll saws can be found in various configurations when considering the price, build quality, and features. Some can be purchased for very little, while others can be purchased for four hundred dollars or more.
The Thickness of the Cut and Throat Length is the most important factor to consider for you. Consideration of the dimensions of the scroll saw is critical. Scroll saws that are shorter and have dual-link parallel arms, for instance, run more quietly and transmit less vibration to the blade.
Regarding the Thickness of the Cut:
Typically measured in inches refers to the vertical distance between the upper arm. And the table after the addition of the shoe. This determines the maximum thickness of the material you can work with when utilising that specific piece of machinery. The majority of models can accommodate pieces with a thickness of up to two inches, and scroll saws are typically designed to shape material with a thickness of three and a quarter inches.
Length of the Throat:
Specifies the distance in millimetres between the back of the saw and the saw blade. The distance between the saw blade and the back of the saw is indicated by this setting.
The speeds of scroll saws are typically described in terms of the number of strokes made in one minute. The manufacturers will typically list the maximum number of strokes that their machine can perform per minute. The majority of models also come with motors that can change their speed.
Higher speeds are typically utilised when working with hardwood, metal, and more complex substances. In contrast, lower speeds are typically selected for softer woods, paper, and plastics.
Electric motors provide the propulsion for scroll saws, as with most power tools. The power of a scroll saw is typically measured in terms of volts or amps. In general, power is not as crucial for scroll saws as it is for other power tools, except when you will be using scroll saws to cut pieces of metal or stone as part of your projects.
Both the Vibration and the Noise
The better models of scroll saws are machines that are quiet enough to be used inside a home. Their noise is only marginally louder than that of a typical conversation. If there is less vibration, the cuts will be cleaner, and there will be fewer mistakes.
What to Look For When Purchasing a Scroll Saw
Although scroll saws are relatively straightforward machines, this has not prevented manufacturers from developing more advanced models that include various additional features…
- When planning to use your scroll saw on more than one kind of wood, you absolutely need to invest in one that has variable speed control. It’s a plus if it’s on an area of the machine that’s easy to get to; most models have it upfront on the top, right above the blade itself.
- Another essential component is a stable base equipped with a clamping system. A stable base to work on is provided by scroll saws clamped securely to a heavy bench. This also contributes significantly to reducing vibrations and noise during the cutting process.
- Pinless blades are typically thinner, making them less likely to crack when being turned in confined spaces. In addition to this, they are less difficult to thread into drill holes to perform inside cutting. Attachments for blades that do not require pinning are typically favoured, also known as unpinned.
- Table Tilt or Blade The ability to make angled cuts, which are essential to completing parquet projects, is provided by tilt systems. Tilt systems include systems that put the blade at an angle. Tilt systems that put the blade at an angle are generally prefered because the fixed horizontal table provides a better and safer platform than one that can be tilted
- Tool-less Blade: You should choose a tensioning system that you will be comfortable with. Tensioning systems are a matter of preference. If you have the opportunity, ask a shop assistant to demonstrate how it is done on a particular model.
Safety pay attention to the construction and the materials
The tensioning system may be adjusted with knobs, levers, or cams, depending on the model. However, regardless of the type, you should make it a point to become familiar with the mechanism. In contrast to other power saws, this one will require you to re-tension your blade on occasion. Which is especially important when working on intricate cuts. Choose a tension system that will last; pay attention to the construction and the materials.
- After some practice, using footswitches will become second nature, and you won’t be able to imagine life without them. They eliminate the need to remove your hand from the workpiece to pause or resume the sawing action with your foot, which is made possible by the tool’s design.
- It is helpful to have features that collect dust so that your working space is free of dirt. As well as other particles so that you can see what you are doing. Most models come standard with bendable blow tubes that can be directed away from you.
- The intricate work you will be doing with this tool will be significantly facilitated by incorporating LED work lights into its design. Even though lighting is not required, having a good LED light directed squarely at your workpiece. This can go towards ensuring that you do not stray outside of the lines when working on designs among the most intricate.