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Double Parallel-Link Saws and safety issues with blade breakage

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  • Double Parallel-Link Saws and safety issues with blade breakage

    Just when I thought all questions were answered about what saw I should buy, another one has just popped up. In the book The New Scroll Saw Handbook, the author says that saws that use the double parallel-link system (such as the Excalibur, which I'm strongly leaning towards) have a safety issue that occurs when a blade breaks. The blade continues to move up and down until the power is shut off, and the scroller runs the risk of being stabbed with the broken blade. The parallel-arm saws don't have this problem, since when a blade breaks the upper arm immediately lifts up.

    Can anyone comment on their experiences with blade breakage on this type of saw? Such as how often this can happen (especially to a beginner), how severe the injuries can be, etc. I've been reading about how safe scroll saws are compared with the other power saws, but coming across this makes me wonder if I should consider a parallel-arm saw instead of the Excalibur.

    thanks again for all your help,
    Culath

  • #2
    Culath

    Once you start scrolling when a blade breaks your first instinct is going to be to shut off power. I have the 788 so it is the double parallel link and it has never injured me. The scroll saw is probably the safest tool in the shop. I'm sure you will really enjoy the EX I often wonder if I should have gone that route but so far the 788 has been great for me.
    Tim

    In God we trust, all others must pay cash!

    I don't want no bargains, they always cost me more money.

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    • #3
      G'day Culath,
      Believe me, I have broken my fair share of blades, and have never been stabbed. Both with a Dewalt and the Ex.
      I think the scroll saw is just about the only machine I own that has never drawn blood

      Of course the final decision is yours, but I honestly wouldn't let this factor sway you.
      Regards
      John
      "The Golden Mile"

      “In my acting, I have to identify with something in the character. The big tough boy on the side of right—that’s me. Simple themes. Save me from the nuances. All I do is sincerity, and I’ve been selling the hell out of that ever since I started.
      John Wayne
      Some of my Stuff
      Retired Medically Unfit Police Officers ***.

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      • #4
        As most saws have a top speed of around 1800 strokes per minute you can not be stabbed more than 30 times a second.
        Joking aside. I often cut with fingers touching the blade and it has never been an issue.
        I suppose it could, can and will happen someday. I use a Dewalt788 and have never had a problem. Use a foot switch for better control and if you feed the blade correctly and keep your tension tight it should almost never be a problem.
        Look into the 788. My opinion it's a better buy. http://grizzly.com
        May the wind at you back .....
        Not be from Lunch.

        Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

        Beauty is in the eye of the BEERHOLDER

        Visit My Gallery

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        • #5
          I agree with the Aussie & Oily. I have run a Hegner for over ten years, and no stabbing as yet. Break any blades??? Of couse, but I have a slap switch, and I can shut it off very quickly. Quick enough that I can get out of the way.

          I had an Excaliber, sold it at a loss, cause it had too many bells & whistles for me. Bought a Hegner at a show here in Michigan and never looked back. It wears like iron and I couldn't be happier. I fried a turn on/off switch and found that my son could rewire a new one from Menards better than a $$$$ from Hegner. That's where the slap switch comes in. It is so handy.

          My 02 cents for the day.

          Gordie

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          • #6
            I agree with John. I've also broken some blades and have yet to be injured by the saw unless I did something really stupid like putting a finger against the blade while it was operating. Once was enough.

            Jan

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            • #7
              Accidently putting my foot to the pedal while changing a blade on the EX gave me slight pinch from the lower clamp, but it wasn't serious. I've broken my share of blades, but my hand position is usually down on the wood, not up in the path of the up or down traveling blade.

              To me, compared to a Router or Table Saw, the risks of serious injury from a scroll saw would seem very small. I'm sure there have been freak injuries, but several of the folks on this forum have thousands upon thousands of hours without a puncture.

              -----Randy
              Last edited by hotshot; 08-16-2010, 09:21 PM.
              "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
              website: http://www.coincutting.com

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              • #8
                Whatever saw you end up getting, I would suggest getting a foot pedal to go with it. A foot pedal offers great control. I've been scrolling for almost 20 years and have never hurt myself during a blade break. I started out for the first few years with a parralel, or constant-C arm saw, I got my 788 in 1995 and love it immensely, (sp?). As was said, the safest power tool in the shop is probably be the scroll saw.
                Actully, I did get me a good pinch with my older constant-C arm saw while cutting thick stock. The uper arm would come right down near the wood, whereas with the parralel link arm, I can get my fingers right on the wood under the upper arm without injury.
                Jim

                The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                No task is too tedious for Art.
                Rock and Scroll

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                • #9
                  I have been scrolling for twenty plus years now. I have been so-called stabbed with a broken blade and that has been with the C-arm saw when a blade breaks. it barely draws blood and I am on blood thinners. It is so irrelevant that you usually forget about it by the time that you install the new blade. I also have an EX-30 and that has not happened yet. I would strongly recommend the EX saw and foot switch. Steve
                  If This HillBilly Can't Fix it Then it Ain't Broke!!!
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                  • #10
                    Go for the Ex 21. it will not bite you. You will love it

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hotshot View Post
                      Accidently putting my foot to the pedal while changing a blade on the EX gave me slight pinch from the lower clamp, but it wasn't serious. I've broken my share of blades, but my hand position is usually down on the wood, not up in the path of the up or down traveling blade.

                      To me, compared to a Router or Table Saw, the risks of serious injury from a scroll saw would seem very small. I'm sure there have been freak injuries, but several of the folks on this forum have thousands upon thousands of hours without a puncture.

                      -----Randy
                      I hate it when I do that with the foot switch. Scares the crap out of me. LOL
                      May the wind at you back .....
                      Not be from Lunch.

                      Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

                      Beauty is in the eye of the BEERHOLDER

                      Visit My Gallery

                      Oily's Gallery

                      http://www.picturetrail.com/oily11

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the helpful input! I may have been going overboard with the research, which I usually do when making a big purchase or buying something unknown. But it makes sense that the injury factor would have to be minimal or else the saw companies would be changing their designs or building in serious safety devices.

                        This helps in moving me closer to being ready to making the final decision on what saw to get. Thanks again for the great advice,

                        Culath

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                        • #13
                          I am not saying you can not cut yourself with a scroll saw. But you will have to try real hard to do any serious damage. I have gotten paper cuts worse than scroll saw nicks. And I have been stabbed more times with baseball bat than a scroll saw.
                          Last edited by Pajaro; 08-18-2010, 11:17 AM.


                          www.pajarostudiowns.com
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                          "The Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated......I am retired!!!!!!!".

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                          • #14
                            If you think it startles you when you accidentally hit the foot switch while you are changing blades you should have a shop hound who, when he wants attention will step on the foot switch while you are changing. Once is an accident, 10 times is on purpose. Dumb dog.... Even yet, still never drawn blood from the scroll saw.
                            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...

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

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ChuckD View Post
                              If you think it startles you when you accidentally hit the foot switch while you are changing blades you should have a shop hound who, when he wants attention will step on the foot switch while you are changing. Once is an accident, 10 times is on purpose. Dumb dog.... Even yet, still never drawn blood from the scroll saw.
                              That dog's not dumb. Devious, maybe, but not dumb. I love it!

                              Jan

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