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  • Things you can't live without?

    Hey guys and gals,

    I thought I would start a thread to get some opinions on different aspects of saws.

    I am not looking for what saw you think is the best or worst, but if you want to give your opinion on one or more feel free. I am more concerned with what parts of your saw that you don't like and what parts you just can't live without.

    Reason for this thread: I think this info would benefit everyone, but it is mainly for new scrollsawers like me that are looking for their first saw or first saw upgrade.

    Add your comments and suggestions and I will do my best to keep the list updated.



    This list is in no particular order of importance. All items listed are opinions of people in this thread.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The List of suggestions
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Must Have List
    Easy Access to blade clamps for quick Blade changes (Top and Bottom)
    Quality pin-less blades
    Variable speed controls
    Tool-less blade Clamps
    Easy access to controls
    Spring loaded upper arm
    Easy to reach quick tension lever
    Top loading Capability
    Segmented articulating blower arm with powerful blower at all speeds
    Powerful motor
    Plenty of room between upper arm and table top
    Minimal front to back blade movement


    Accessories
    Ring lamp magnifier
    Removable blade clamps with preloaded blades
    Foot switch

    Safety Equipment
    Comfortable Safety glasses
    Respirator and dust collection/removal

    Links

    Scroll Sawer Website (Ok, this may go without saying but I couldn't not add it.) An excellent source for all scroll sawing information. Make sure check out the forums!!

    Mike's Workshop Flying Dutchman Blades. Contact Mike with any questions regarding blades. He is very knowledgeable and helpful!

    Pozsgai's Designs A source for a lot of Scroll Saw accessories and upgrades

    Scrollsaw Workshop Steve Good's Blog is a great place for videos and patterns for Scroll Sawing

    Feel free to let me know if there is anything you would like addes to this list!!

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Special thanks to the contributors:

    Arcy (Rob)
    Bill Wilson
    Kepy
    Tenfingers 2
    Rolf
    Stoney (Al)
    Toneman (Tony)
    Last edited by Dave J; 06-18-2012, 10:11 AM. Reason: Adding to the list

    I'm multi-talented: I can talk and piss you off at the same time


  • #2
    Easy access for blade changing: as much as I appreciate that my EX cuts more smoothly than my previous craigslist special, the most appreciated upgrade is that I don't scrape my knuckles and struggle to change blades. I would have gotten the EX much sooner if I'd put money towards it for every instance of blade-changing profanity.

    --Rob

    Comment


    • #3
      Some of my preferences are conditioned by the specific saw that I currently have. I've gotten used to it's features and capabilities and not having used too many other saws, I can't say for certain that I couldn't readily get used to something different.

      That said, a few scroll saw features I definitely wouldn't want to live without, regardless of brand, are variable speed, easy to use blade clamps (no tools required) and all the controls located within easy reach. Those are pretty much a given. I also have grown quite accustomed to the ability to raise the upper arm up and out of the way for feeding inside cuts. I didn't have that on my first saw and I think it would be very tough for me to do without it on a future saw.

      In addition to features of the saw itself, there are a few aftermarket accessories that I also consider must-haves. First & foremost is a footswitch. I also like the EZ Lift, but that accessory is pretty much exclusive to one brand of saw.
      Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

      Comment


      • #4
        1 through 4 are a must. 5 and 6 I don't care about.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agreed with Kepy, then last weekend I was doing a demonstration outside my shop. In my shop the arm of my saw is tied to the ceiling with a stretch cord that holds the arm up to change blades. I didn't realize how much I would miss it. So I guess I'll make my list 1-5 but 6 not so much.
          Political correctness is always political and rarely correct!

          Comment


          • #6
            Dave the list you have pretty much covers it. I have used a variety of saws and some are relatively new designs with some inexcusable design flaws, such as lower blade clamps that are almost impossible to get to.
            1. Easy toolless blade changes. To that I would add removable blade clamps (Hawk G4 and Hegner) you can have several clamps loaded with your favorite blades and just pop one into the bottom arm clamp the top, tension , and Go. The added advantage if you strip a lamp screw you just swap the clamp not rebuild a saw. I always liked the Delta quick clamps.
            1A. Front quick tension release Simple cam lever.
            2. top loading capability A must for large projects with small holes.
            3. Powerfull blower.
            4. Spring loaded upper arm that goes up out of the way automaticly when a blade snaps or you release the clamp. (Hawk G4 and I think the Ultra)
            5. I cant imagine using any saw without a foot pedal.
            6. Variable speed, I have it but rarely use it. But when you have a special need it is a must.
            7. Reliability with good support if you ever need it. This can be a deal breaker.
            8. It must have plenty of power and room under the upper arm.
            9. Front to back motion should be at an absolute minimum.

            Scrolling should be fun and relaxing, a less than desirable can really put a dammper on that joy.
            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


            • #7
              I would only add that a well designed sawdust blower with segmented articulating

              arm is very much desirable. The blower should also work well at slower than

              maximum speed.
              Stoney aka Al

              This gettin old stuff ain't for sissies!

              Comment


              • #8
                I absolutely must have 1-5. I have poor eyesight so, I must top feed and of course the arm must raise. Also, accessories I use are magnifyer and light and foot switch

                Tony,aka,Toneman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the reminder Tony, something I would add to my list is a Ring lamp magnifier
                  But that is a add on.
                  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


                  • #10
                    I'd split this into two lists: one for saw features and one for accessories.

                    The foot pedal and magnifier lamp won't affect saw choice since you generally buy them separately and can add them to any saw. The same goes for quality blades, comfortable eye protection, respirator, and dust collection.

                    On the main list, I'd add pinless blades (how did we miss this?) at the top of the "essentials" list and change liftable top arm to having a choice of top-loading or bottom-loading the blade.

                    This list should help weed out some of the low end systems. I'd expect any new medium to high end saws to have all of these.

                    --Rob

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone for all the responses. I will update the list as soon as I get some spare time today!!

                      I'm multi-talented: I can talk and piss you off at the same time

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ok guys, I have updated the list and changed it to list Must have's, Accessories, and safety equipment.

                        Feel free to look over the list and express your opinion on what should be under each category and anything that should be changed or re-worded for better explanation. I am also going to try to create a link for each item so new people can see first hand what we mean by each item

                        Stoney... What do you mean by segmented articulating arm?

                        I'm multi-talented: I can talk and piss you off at the same time

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Stoney means the flexible multi jointed blower tube.
                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rolf View Post
                            Stoney means the flexible multi jointed blower tube.
                            oh.. ok thanks

                            I'm multi-talented: I can talk and piss you off at the same time

                            Comment

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