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  • Which scrollsaw (cheap)

    Hello everyone, I know this isn't the right way to do it, I should wait a few more months and get a decent saw but...I am impatient to begin and see if I like it and in the meantime I can save up and get a decent saw by summer. My choices at this point in time are what Home Depot and Lowe's and Sear's has...in other words Ryobi(home Depot), Lowe's(Porter-Cable & Skil), Sear's(Craftsman)...From what I have read on the net so far is...1.)do not get Craftsman,... 2.)Porter-Cable vibrates too much, 3.)Ryobi has too many plastic parts...4.) Skil seems to be the one out of this group that had the best reviews. I just found this forum about 20 minutes ago while searching, and thought I would totally embarrass myself and go ahead and ask ya'll which one of these you would recommend, seeing as obviously this is a group of experts/pros...like I said, I am limited at this point in time, I would love to have a $500+ saw but that isn't gonna happen for a while
    I am gonna go get one after lunch. Seeing what all can be done by these saws is absolutely amazing! I am stuck at home with disability and this would be totally awesome to sit in my garage and make neat little things to keep me occupied..and maybe make a buck or two..maybe, LOL.
    Thankyou in advance for any help,
    Trouble

  • #2
    Well, I finally found a thread in here that sorta kinda answers my question, started by another beginner, most replies that suggested a saw were for the Porter-Cable, so...here I go to get it! If ya'll don't mind, i might come back here and ask more really newbish questions after I get it set-up.
    Ya'll have a great day, and talk to ya later.
    Trouble

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    • #3
      Make sure it allows you to use "pin less" blades.
      The Skill would not be a good choice in my opinion.
      I think the Rockwell is also only pinned blades.
      All of the lower end saws tend to have vibration issues even some of the high end when not properly mounted. Of the three choices you presented I would go with the Porter cable.
      I think these days buying a saw is a bit of a crap shoot even in the 5-700 dollar range regarding quality.
      Rolf
      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the porter cable is the same saw as the Hitachi that Lowes used to sell. If
        that is true I would recommend it. I had a Hitachi when I first started scrolling
        and it was a good saw. I was later able to get a Dewalt and I sold it. The lady that
        bought it is still using it and is quite satisfied with it. The table angle adjustment
        was a lot better than the Dewalt and it used pinless blades. Good luck, make dust
        and have fun!!
        Rick

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        • #5
          Buy cheap? You will find cheap saws very dificult to use which could be discourageing enough to make you quit.
          Norman

          Comment


          • #6
            Check Craigslist. Around here, there are a lot of scroll saws offered at different levels and conditions. I bought one in excellent condition at about 60% off new price.

            You'll do best if you don't jump right away but follow the ads for a month or so until you get a feeling for what different brands and models are selling for.

            There's not a lot of demand for scroll saws so they sell at a good discount.

            Mike

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            • #7
              I started on a Craftsman myself. It was a great saw and it was over 18 years old when I started.... only bad thing was it was pin only blades. If there is a craftsman that takes pinnless that's what I would go with.

              Also remember, you get what you pay for. Buying a cheap saw could really hurt your future scrolling. I used a Skil for the first time today in the wood shop at my high school (yes, I'm that young). I believe it costs about $100 and it was bran new. It was terrible! I couldn't even cut a smooth line. Instead of buying new maybe you can buy a little bit better one used from someone? That is my recommendation for a small budget.

              Comment


              • #8
                I started on the lowes saw, which used to be branded Hitachi.
                Very good saw, I never noticed any excessive vibration issues. I have since upgraded, but I kept the Hitachi, and still use it on occasion. Its a bargain, if you ask me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I bought the Craftsman 16 inch, Model 21609 several years ago and am still using it. After doing a minor change on the upper blade clamp, it was and still is a great machine. However, I believe they have discontinued this model.
                  Don R
                  http://www.oldcrowwoodcrafts.weebly.com
                  http://www.oldcrowscrollwerks.weebly.com
                  Custom Made Scroll Saw Patterns

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Trouble, you are asking for trouble, HA ! I was looking at the Scrollsaw Magazine with all the saws listed, with prices & some details. I would go with the Porter-Cable also. But, that's only a suggestion. It's your money & your choice. Just make sure you use good quality blades & not those sold at Lowes or Home Depot. Good Luck & enjoy.
                    PERK

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                    • #11
                      IMHO to buy a NEW quality saw you need to spend rough $500. Cheap saws will have issues that will take away from your scrolling pleasure and you will soon out grow if you continue. Now those same saws that are roughly $500 new can be found on Craigslist for roughly half price. Watch and wait.


                      BTW there is a site: SearchTempest - The EASY way to search Craigslist

                      This neat tool allows you to check multiple Craiglists in a given range from your home.
                      Scott
                      Creator of fine designer sawdust.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've tried both the Skill and the PC. Hands down the PC is probably the best of the low end saws. Nowhere near as smooth as the more expensive saws, but a it does a credible job with some Flying Dutchman blades.
                        Mark

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ...I'm staying with my old RYOBI..lottsa hours on it .the only thing i replaced have been the clamps...had it for about 5 years .very little viabration and so far (knock on wood ) no major problems would buy another one if this one ever dies.....takes ANY type of blade.most of my work is frett.so the clams get a LOT of on off use....reasonably easy .mostly bottom feed.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi guys, I really appreciate your advice and help! I know most of ya'll won't consider my immediate purchase of a SS very smart but..I could get one now for a little over a 100 bucks or wait several months more for a much more expensive one, it's an economic issue naturally, My main hobby is Remote Control Helicopters and I fully understand the saying: "you get what you pay for!" Ahh, sorry, didn't mean to ramble on...anyhoo, I wanted the Porter-Cable but....just could not spring for the extra 100 bucks, ( I was under the impression it was 125 bucks,...*sigh*) so, I purchased the Skil, it has the ability to use pinLESS blades and has a port for the vacuum, also a light (LED) which works good, an air blower thing that just barely blows the sawdust off the workpiece. I built a table just for the SS, bolted to the wall, 1 1/2" thick table top (pine) and used a hard rubber fllor mat cut to shape to fit under it for vibration control (all this stuff I just learned from reading your Forum here, so, if I get something wrong, holler at me, I am just learning), and I got a pattern I picked up up from a hardware store of a reigndeer , I am sure you know the one, 3D. Boy oh boy, nothing like hands-on experience to teach huh? anyway, on my 4th one I got it finished without breaking it, haha...*sigh*...
                            1.) Vibration: I really do not know what ya'll are looking for in vibration, but I do know I had alot, could barely control it, after the first casualty I replaced the hard rubber mat with a very nice soft rubber mat like the ones you see in kitchens and places like that, very thick and spongy (my wife is gonna kill me when she comes home...) I also hung 2 50 lb. weights on the front legs of the table, unable to bolt the legs to the concrete floor. the vibration that I was experiencing is almost non-existent now, What are the things I am looking for or how do I tell if the machine is doing good vibration-wise, like is there a test?
                            2.) now, the worst thing that hurts is the cutting area, there is a red plastic insert where the blade is but..it is not perfectly lvl with the rest of the work surface, it is just a teeny bit lower than the rest of the surface and causes the workpiece to get stuck unless I very slightly pick the piece up and over it. The workpiece also gets caught in the L-shaped opening in that plastic where the blade is. (have to raise the piece to get it un-caught...) Any ideas on that? Was thinking of putting a strip of paper under the plastic to raise it to lvl...? As forthe L-shaped opening..I guess I just have to live with that..? I know, what should I expect for $120.00...but..except for the plastic insert I "think" the saw does ok now.
                            3.) Blades, I know you say get the better blades, all Lowe's had was Bosh brand, what kind and where do you recommend I get some better ones? Having a little trouble getting the tension right on the pinless blades too, snapped one in half...
                            4.) what speed is optimum for cutting, obviously differerent speeds give different results but was hopin' ya'll might help me save some time in trial and error. My SS goes from 400 to 1700..umm, RPMs? or is it SPM?

                            Here is my 4th attempt, was pleasant to do, but having trouble getting tight bends/corners?
                            Scrollsaw work pictures by Trouble338 - Photobucket

                            As you can see I had Trouble getting out of tight places, guess I need to use the really, really tiny pinless blades but having Trouble getting them to not snap in half when starting up.

                            Thanks alot guys!!!
                            Trouble

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                            • #15
                              Flying Dutchman Blades? Hmm, ok. thanks for the tip!

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