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  • Howdy! (with ???s)

    Hello everyone! I've been prowling around the forum since Monday. It looks like there's a wealth of information and experience here, just what I need. Back to Monday--- I had the day off and ended up at a local indoor flea market. Blah, blah, blah --- I spotted a scroll saw. It was $50, made sounds and moved when I plugged it in, so I bought it. Now I'm full of questions. I've never worked with a scroll saw, but I have done some small scale woodworking, so I thought a scroll saw might be fun...
    The saw is a 16" Sears/Craftsman, variable speed (500-1500 spm) with 5" plain blade holder. The model # is 113236180. It came with two packages of different sized flat blades and one package of round/spiral blades. I've had no luck finding any information about this saw online --- forums, Google, etc. I just ordered a new bellows (the existing one had a huge hole in it) and manual from Sears, they should be here in a week or two. I have done a few cuts with one of the flat blades. It seems to cut alright and the variable speed does work.
    Now for the questions: 1)Does anyone here own or know anything about this saw? It's OK to tell me that's it's a dud. I'd rather know that from the start as opposed to getting frustrated about scrolling because of my tool. 2)I want to start playing with my saw but don't want to wait until the manual comes in. Where can I find out the proper way to install a blade? 3) I have photos, but I keep getting stuck at "Uploading File(s) - Please Wait." Any ideas what the problem might be? The photos are all jpegs and the right size. 4) Any recommendations regarding resources for a rank amateur like myself will be greatly appreciated.
    +++Edit 07/02+++
    I figured out what I was doing wrong uploading photos, so here they are.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by jport; 07-02-2006, 05:19 PM.

  • #2
    Hi Jport and welcome aboard, You will find this forum to be one of the friendliest, most knowledgeable on the internet.
    I think you probably have a pretty good saw to start out with, all though once you get scrolling, you'll find the hobby very addictive and it won't be long before you'll want a better saw.
    When I was starting out the first book I purchased was Patrick Spielman's, Scroll Saw Basics. It has lots of info about wood, different saws, and blades. There's also some basic patterns to get you started.
    Personally I would store the spiral blades and concentrate on the flats, they're much easier to learn with. The spirals are a bit tricky to use when you're first starting out.
    When you need more specific answers to any problems you're having, Just ask, someone will come to your rescue with some really good advice. We all had questions when we first started out and there's no better place to get the answers then right here. Please keep the first piece you cut, when you get better at scrolling it will give you something to compare too and know that you are improving.
    One of the best pieces of advice I can give you, is to buy the best blades you can get your hands on. Olson, Flying Dutchman and Pegas are all excellent blades and the better the blade, the better the finished project, regardless of the saw you're using a good blade is the key to a well cut project.
    Please post lots of pics as you're scrolling progresses, we like to see how your improving too.
    Good Luck and happy Scrolling


    • #3
      Hi Jayport. did i spell that rough. drats. anyway. sounds like you are off to a great stat. straight end blades works. as far as all the other quitions look up marsha covered it all. i just wont to welcome you to the group. we are always welling to help in any way we can. only becouse we have been there. i am your new friend Evie


      • #4

        Welcome. I hope you enjoy your visits.

        Now, $50.00 isn't a lot for a scroll saw, so let us examine your saw just to see if it might be priced at all of its value.

        Examine (just look for now) your saw looking for any pivot points, friction point, or places to lubricate. Is there a wad of old saw dust mixed with lubrication at these pivot points?

        Now, closely examine how the motor is connected to the saw arms. Belt driven? Are there small sealed ball bearings? Will you have a difficult time checking the motor shaft to insure it is not bent?

        Now the upper and lower arms. (a yard stick is useful here.) Can you check to verify the arms have not been bent. Aside: Life happens, and it is possible for the upper arm to get bent left or right slightly.

        Get the flattest and straightest 'straight edge' you can get hold of. Check the saw's table to be flat. Use a bright light, and look between the bottom of the straight edge and the table. You want no light, but as a practical matter, less than the thickness of newspaper is OK. Check left to right, and front to back. You may want to check with and without the table insert. The table insert should be flat with the table, but you may have to clean.

        Insert a blade, any unused blade, and as best you can make the table square to the blade. You may have to become inventive here to measure the 90 degrees, but do take the time now to learn the best way for you to do this. Now manually rotate the saw thru several cycles. Verify the blade travel is in the same plane. No movement left or right of the blade as it travels up and down. THIS IS IMPORTANT-- NO LEFT OR RIGHT. Then check front to back. As a practical matter, there very well could be some movement front to back as the saw cycles up and down. The less is better.

        When you manually rotated the saw's cycle, you should have also noted the drag, or friction, of the saw's movement. It should be real nice and easy. The less drag, the less the motor has to overcome.

        Now examine the blade chucks. Just remember that pin-less blades are held by friction. One of the worst problems to overcome as a newbie is blade slippage in the chucks. Slippage will cause blades to break. As a newbie, until you get some cutting experience, you will break a lot of blades as it is and you don't need the saw helping you break blades. Examine the blade chuck from a friction point of view. Will it hold the blades tight? Does it need to be cleaned? Any worn parts?

        Lastly check the blade tension system. Look for tension range, stripped threads, dried out pieces of rubber, lubrication points etc. Also check (if may mix my movie lore) tension on -- tension off, tension on -- tension off, grasshopper.

        By now you have a good list of things to do. Clean and lubricate, replace any sealed ball bearings you can, and check the motor shaft. BTW: I recommend lubrication with the 3-In-1 BLUE can. The normal red can of 3-In-1 oil is not the best for rotation motion. The Blue can is for eclectic motors and thus better for rotational motion. Don't apply any lubrication, WD-40 or anything to the blade chuck or any part of them. Just clean with mineral spirits.

        Enjoy your saw. I really hope your saw passed all these tests. That would mean you got a bargin for your money.

        This is getting too long again, I just use too many words.



        • #5
          yup, youve got it covered well. Dale
          Dale w/ yella saws


          • #6
            Wow! Though those check points are undoubtedly worthwhile, that's a lot of work. My advice is to attach the blade to the top and bottom, crank up the tension, grab some scrap wood and cut a giraffe or just anything with whose shape you are familiar. I always advise people to cut freehand before they start working with patterns. You learn about your saw and your own abilities.

            You'll also, while hopefully having fun, find out what kinds of difficulties your saw (or you) have, if any.

            That most important point is to enjoy what you're doing, both what you're learning and what you produce.



            • #7
              howdy and welcome carter
              Pete Ripaldi

              "Insert Clever Tag Line Here..."


              • #8

                - Thanks for all of the pointers, advice, and kind words from all of you. What a friendly, helpful bunch! Phil, I've printed out your machine exam list for easier use next my saw.
                - I edited my original post and added the photos that I meant to be there from the beginning.
                - Any advice on getting the right tension on the blade?


                • #9
                  I would just say, go as tight as you think you dare go, then go a little more. More tension is better then not enought, and you will find it hard to break a blade from to much tension, that doesnt typically happen . Practice, practice, practice. Dale
                  Dale w/ yella saws


                  • #10
                    I used that saw to cut out the attached ginger bread on my shed it is about 3 feet long on each side. The saw used a u shapped pin to hold the blade clamp in place while loosening and tightening the blade. It isn't a bad saw to get started with, but be warned the hobby is addictive.

                    I have been cutting for about 2 + years and am on my third saw.
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                    Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                    Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
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