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  • Marquetry sawing

    After using a Hegner 18" for 10 years bestowed it on a family member and am now in the market for a replacement, but before buying another Hegner would like to know more about the Eclipse.
    Would especially like to hear from anybody using the Eclipse for marquetry, as well as general comment from anybody who owns an Eclipse regarding their experience with it. I am also curious as to the weight of the Eclipse.
    Many thanks.

  • #2
    Hello Jeep,

    I don't own an Eclipse, but I have used one for several hours. One of our club members brought his to a wood show and it was one of the saws we could use to demonstrate with at the show.

    The Eclipse is the only saw on the market that has an absolutely true vertical movement of the blade. No wobble, no rocking, absolutely straight up and down. This makes for less aggressive cutting, but you can develop more accuracy with that blade movement much easier than with any other saw. This is especially noticeable when working with thicker woods, ie for intarsia or 3D cutting. If that degree of accuracy is helpful to your marquetry then it could be important for you too.

    What I don't like about the Eclipse is that it is a bottom feeder. I really like top feeding the blade through the wood. I also don't like the light supplied with the saw. It gets too hot and you can burn the back of your hand on it. We left the light off for our demonstrations. I suppose you get used to being careful around that if you used the saw a lot.

    It cuts smooth, it cuts thick wood excellently. I did some fretwork with it, and except for the bottom feeding I had no problems. It was easy to adjust to the different blade clamping system. I particularly like that if you do break a blade, the saw stops immediately. Although with several different people working on that saw all week end - no one actually broke a blade. That says a lot too when you had a lot of people who didn't have a lot of experience on the saw.

    Hope that helps. I am thinking seriously of getting one myself. If I can just convince myself that I really do need a third top of the line saw...LOL I currently own a Hegner (which I've had for about 20 years) and an Excalibur - 30" (which I've had for about three years). Both of them work perfectly fine. I am not looking to replace either of them. Just thinking some work might be easier with the Eclipse than with either of those two.

    Pat L.


    • #3
      Hegner vs. Eclipse for Marquetry work

      Hi Fretnmore,
      Thanks for your very informative and helpful response. I assume that for your "intarsia and 3D cutting" you're working with half-inch and three-quarter-inch stock. The marquetry work I do would be in the range of 2, 3, or 4 thicknesses of veneer, and the vertical cut would be desirable although the slightly more than vertical cut of the Hegner has never been a problem.
      I use a blunted needle, from the top downward, to make an entry hole for a 4/0 to 8/0 blade, so I feed the blade through from the top. Couldn't very well deal with feeding the blade from the underside of the work upwards. It also sounds like the Eclipse is a little more muscular overall compared to the Hegner.
      I may be well advised to stay with a Hegner since I also use regularly their type of magnifier/light. The Eclipse has most interesting design features and sounds like a well-engineered piece of machinery.
      Being an ole-timer and currently without a shop, I'll be using the saw in a room of our condo. Downsizing does have its inconveniences!
      Your input was very much appreciated and your further comment would be even more appreciated. Thanks again.


      • #4

        Hi, Just Thought I Would Coment On The Eclipse. I 've Had One Since Last Dec. And It Is A Good Saw. And Yes, The Light Gets Hot But You Do Get Around It And It Helps To See The Lines Very Well. It's Worth The Risk Of Touching Since It Dosent Actually Burn You. This Saw Comes With A Learning Curve, Takes Some Getting Use To, But It Does The Job. I Cut 3/4 Inch Slabs And I Like The Fact That This Saw Uses More Of The Blade Than The Others. I Have To Admit, I Almost Went With Hegner, And Will If Something Happens To This One, But That Will Proably Be A A Lot Of Saw Dust From Now. Tks, Rain Man


        • #5
          Just wonted to say Hi to Pat. Now if anyone wonts to learn anything, this is the lady to ask. she is one of my heros in scrolling , and she is a scrolling wizerd. I am so glad you have come here to teach us about what you know. I for one , hope you stay around, and join in with your wisdom. we sure could learn alot from you. I just have to post a favorite pattern, or fretwork that she has done. and it is one of the ones Im drulling over. Wayne this is who you could look up to , to be as good as. thats my dream. your friend Evie
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Thanks Jeep and Evie - blushing here

            Jeep, the Hegner is a bottom feeder also, unless you are totally removing the blade each time you want to change it.

            The Eclipse is the quietest saw I have ever worked with. That might be important to you in your condo setting too. It is a very heavy saw, so you won't be moving it around any more than you have to.

            I've heard some good things about the RBI G4 saw, which comes the closest to having absolutely vertical blade movement (after the Eclipse). Wanting to top feed does narrow your choices to the Excalibur, DeWalt, Delta P20 and RBI G4. I am pretty sure that all the other saws are bottom feeders.

            The term "bottom feeders" is not meant derogatorily, simply describes blade feeding direction.


            • #7
              When you refer to top feeder, are you saying the upper arm will raise sufficiently for the lower end of the blade to clear the table and be reinserted into the workpiece?
              My practice with the Hegner was to completely detach blade and clamps with work, release clamp at the lower end, then rethread the blade through the top of the marquetry piece. I also made a two-piece base so that I could tilt the saw in one direction and the top in the other for a level worktable. Worked very well.
              Decided that the Eclipse, which must be a fine piece of machinery, would be a little larger than I need. So then came upon the Excalibur 21" (which is also larger than needed) but features a level table and tilting blade. Thought that would be the last word. But called four of their advertised dealers here in Florida so that I could see one and learned that for various reasons they no longer carry the Excalibur line. Didn't like the sound of that, so I'm leaning toward Hegner again.
              Any further comment that you might have in light of these developments would be appreciated. Thanks.


              • #8
                Seyco does carry a garantee on the purple machine, so if your not happy, I think you could return it. Youd just be out some time, and possibly some shipping. As for blade feeding, the way you stated it was pretty accurate. For instance on my yella (dewalt) saws, I can un-do the blade from the bottom clamp, raise the upper arm with the blade still attached, rethread it into the next hole, reclamp the bottom, tension, and scroll! The p20 delta works that way, as well as the purple saw (excaliber). If you are a top feeder (meaning feed your blade DOWN through your wood), go with the dewalt, delta, rbi or excaliber. You will be happy with any of those choices. Dale

                edit : And, about that vanity mirror in evies picture... That looks like it was ten minutes of scrolling, well done!!!!!!!!!
                Dale w/ yella saws


                • #9
                  The company that makes the Excalibur (Summerville) has recently been bought out by a larger tool manufacturer in Canada. Can't remember the name right now. That may explain why the dealers you found are not carrying it. I know that Seyco in Texas is still carrying it and plans on continuing. Ray Seymore told me that he was told that they did not plan on making any changes to the Excalibur scroll saw. Always a bit scary when a bigger company buys it out though.

                  Yes, you and Dale are correct on what I call "top feeding". I do own a Hegner and rarely take the blade out of both clamps to move to a new hole. The only exception being when the piece of wood was so large that I found it difficult to impossible to find the hole from the bottom. My days of being able to do gymnastics at the saw in order to bottom feed everything have passed me by.

                  If you are unclamping both top and bottom, then perhaps the Hegner with the slotted table would work best for you. I like that slot for those times when I needed to undo both top and bottom clamps. Still dropped a few blades before I managed to get one end re-attached though. Gawd, I hate getting older and more infirm.


                  • #10
                    You NEED a RBI G4 for easy top feeding
                    My dream would be to have one of each saw in my workshop they all seem to have features that are handy for certain applications. So far the hawk covers most of my needs. 26 inch throat, easy top feed.
                    The Delta is portable.
                    Before any body beats me up I don't have any affiliation with any manufacturer, I just like my toys.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Pat brought out a good point. I too use a Hegner. bottom feed. and its great to feed without taking out the whole clamp system. to feed to another hole. but yes. I too have to take the whole thing off to find the next hole.(on a big project.) I was wondering. when you are working with a big piece on a top feed, is it hard to reach under , and find the bottom clamp.? never doing that does seem a blind job to me. but my friend BJ says you get used to it just like a bottom feed. the Eclips is looking better and better to me. I really don't like the air blower. and the light system. but love that it has a longer blade stroke. was it 1and3/4".that would make my blades last so much longer. also does it have the same up strock. using all the teeth of a revers tooth. can't remember. and the oiling system is cool. also what Pat said about the up and down mothion being so stabale , sounds so good. I have a wabbale in my blade stroke that I just can't seem to figuer out, why.
                      I am so glad you are here Pat. and Rick and Toby too. the one thing about Saw is. these guys know so much. and share. And isn't that what clubs are for. not to make money but friends. and share the what toos and what nots.
                      your friend Evie


                      • #12
                        I can only speak for the RBI G4 when it comes to the top feeding. You do get used to clamping it without looking fairly quickly. At first I had to look underneath to make sure the blade was perpendicular in the clamp, after doing Jeff Zuffino's Old and New pattern it became reflex. When I do something with lots of very small holes spaced closely together top feeding is a must. No matter what you do it takes time and practice and at my age magnification with lots of light.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Rolf. now thats a really good point. I never thought about the smallest holes. sooooooooooo. now I probley have to go in det for the top feeds. Im sold. Ok now I am wondering. how does a spirale blade work. I have found they come untwisted. some. so what do you do at feeding it into the bottom was so hard on my top feed. and fixed that. buy putting the blade in the top first. then twisting it .(already in a bottom clamp and placeing it in the the bottom.) maybe I have been doing it rong all along. Jeff how the heck do you do this. ? what kind of saw do you use. and how do you chang the blades. ? do you have the probeam of the blade comeing undone. do they breack on you. and what do you do. surely you dont use pliers to straighten your blade every time . do you. 2000, holes in most your projets. you a
                          have surly learned a thing or two. I have read your web sight, and enless it has changed. I have still not learned this prosses. maybe I will go back and read it again. but for now. can you save us some time and post what you do. thanks. your friend Evie


                          • #14
                            Ok, for all of you top feeders. When using a hole just barely big enough for the blade to fit through, doesnt the teeth on the blade catch inside that hole on its way down through. It appears to me that with the blade installed right, it naturally would catch in the hole on the way through. Or, do you use a more biggerer hole because of this? dale
                            Dale w/ yella saws


                            • #15
                              If the hole is big enough for the blade to go through, you usually don't have much of a problem with teeth catching. It can happen though, so you are feeding the blade through and not just dropping it down quickly.

                              It really doesn't take much time at all to get used to clamping in the bottom clamp without having to look. You can tell immediately when you apply the tension if everything is clamped correctly.

                              The picture Evie posted is typical of the kind of scrolling I most enjoy. Which is why I prefer top feeding for fretwork. The feed direction doesn't matter that much if you are doing mostly intarsia or segmentation. My dabbling in marquetry we only drilled one hole for the entire cutting process. I have yet to master 3D yet, so can't really speak to that.

                              As for spiral blades - I can't help you Evie. Dale calls me a "flatlander" now, and I could very easily have the title of "flatblader" too. I don't use spirals, even when cutting portraits. It is quicker for me to cut with flat blades - and less fuzzies. I know a lot of people like them, but I much, much prefer flat blades. Guess I may be too old to learn new tricks (blades)


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