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From the top or from the bottom? :)

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  • #16

    I guess that I will jump in here and be the oddball. I am a bottom feeder. I had a DeWalt 788 for a number of years before getting my Eclipse and one of the concerns I had about buying the Eclipse was that I would have to bottom feed. But I have found that I do just as well bottom feeding as I did top feeding with the DeWalt. Why? Partly because I bent and broke too many blades doing the top feeding. Feeding the blade through the wood was no problem but then feeding it through the table hole was if I happened to be a bit off center. As I would drop the upper arm I would bend or even break the blade if I happen to miss the blade hole in the table. And in addition I was never certain of the exact position of the blade in the bottom holder since it was all done by feel. That meant that setting the tension dial to the same number each time I reconnected the blade might not always be applying the exact same tension to it. I don't have this problem anymore and I rarely ever break a blade.

    As for seeing the bottom of the holes to feed the blade up through I solved that problem by replacing the aluminum table insert with a clear Lexan one that allows the small light I have magnetically attached underneath to shine up onto the bottom of the wood. I am just as fast with this method as I was with the top feeding method and I even enjoy scrolling more now with this method.

    So there you have an alternate opinion. I know that the DeWalt is about the most popular saw on the market and the Eclipse is far less popular and a good deal more expensive. But each of us has his own particular idea of what saw or cutting method is the most pleasing to use. So there you have mine.



    • #17
      Don, I'm like you I bottom feed. I have a P-20, I had to bottom feed for years and it just seems easy for me to doing it this way.

      Delta P-20 & Q-3

      I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!


      • #18
        I have the G4 Hawk which is very easy to top feed. The upper arm pops up as soon as you release the blade and they have a lever that holds the arm down for you while you clamp the bottom of the blade. That said, I use both top and bottom feeding depending on the size of the project. I almost always bottom feed the small stuff.
        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


        • #19
          Seems to be a nice mix of both options on this topic with very reasonable arguments either way. I guess, as many have said, it comes down to what works for you and what you are comfortable with.
          Check me out on the web:


          • #20
            Went from bottom feeding on a dremel to top feeding on a dewalt but about the time I think that I am getting comfortable with it I have to leave for a week & learn all over again when I get back. I am going to reretire in 10 months & then saw & carve all that I can!


            • #21
              Bottom feeder here. Reason...stubborness to accept change.
              Dale w/ yella saws


              • #22
                Bottom feeder as well. Til I get the EX21 anyway. Still dream'in about it. Can't find anyone around here who has a scrollsaw much less a top feeder.

                Paul S.


                • #23
                  top feeder here too.

                  Steve in Mi.


                  • #24
                    top feeder here.
                    I just noticed though.
                    The signature for GRIZZ "It's better to be a Top feeder than a Bottom feeder". LOL


                    • #25
                      I presently bottom-feed with my old Delta but I sure do get frustrated with the cons of bottom feeding. Since the top arm doesn't lift, sometimes it's really difficult to get a bigger work piece tilted so I can I can get the blade through and then not bend the blade as I lower the piece to the table. But, you know, I've gotten used to it and do just fine.

                      When I upgrade, though, it'll probably be to the DW788. I bet I'll like the top-feeding with the moveable top arm much better.

                      Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -- Dr. Seuss

                      NEW DeWalt 788 and that old, Jimmy- Jerry- and Kevin-rigged Delta 40-560


                      • #26
                        I have a Hegner and it is differently a bottom feeder. I wanted to be able to top feed to save my back and a little bit of time. So I bought a Delta P-20 which is a top feeder and use it for fretwork and slab cutting. The Hegner is used for every thing else.
                        Chuck D

                        When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
                        Jean De La Bruyere...

                        Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw


                        • #27
                          Top Feed

                          I have the Hawk G4 and I couldn't get along without using top feed, especially on the '37 Chevy by JZ. It would be almost impossible to do this pattern using bottom feed. Come to think of it, I don't know if I could get along with any other scroll saw!
                          Last edited by Buzz; 03-07-2007, 12:31 AM.
                          We Danes are very even tempered. We're always mad about something!


                          • #28
                            I had never even heard of top feeding until recently. I've had my 788 for about 8 years now, and it never even dawned on me to try to top feed. I've been scrolling for 17 years and I've become kind of entrenched in bottom feeding, but the next fretted design I do, I've got to try this. I do have one delema though. Most of my work is inlay stuff and often there are very small pieces that normally would fall through the table and disappear, (I've spent more time than I've wanted on the floor looking for a piece of wood the size of an eraser. LOL) To solve this I put a couple of pieces of masking tape over the hole for a basic zero clearance set-up. I don't think I would be able to top feed into that tiny hole. But, I'm definetly going to try top feeding on my next fretted piece.
                            Well there's my 2 cents, ok maybe 4 cents.
                            I love this site. I can't believe how I keep learning stuff, even after 17 years.

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