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How to build a scroll saw

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  • How to build a scroll saw

    I am wondering if there are any patterns out there on how to build a scroll saw myself? I am looking particularly for a 42'' scroll saw design, but if there are others that I may just expand that will work as well. Any information would be of assistance. E-mail me at [email protected]

  • #2
    Both Wildwooddesigns and Rick Hutcheson have patterns for building scrollsaws.

    The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

    Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .


    • #3
      What on earth do you want to cut with a 42" scrollsaw?

      There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
      (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


      • #4
        Hi and welcome to the board,

        I know that what you ask exists, not sure about the 42" size though.

        I would recommend that you visit Rick H's website

        He is as close to a scrollsaw expert as you'll get and should be able to point you in the right direction.

        DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

        NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


        • #5
          42" Saw

          My pattern is for an 18" saw and not sure it would work extended to 42" arms. I have not seen one that deep before. There was a kit by U-Build to make a saw, maybe that could be converted. Also Fretmaster in Missouri and Wildwood had saws in kit form that could maybe be converted.

          Might try this one too.

          Or this might work.

          You are going to be on your own building one that deep and hoping one of these plans works.

          Is what I always wonder is if you need 42" to the back, my arms are not long enough and my eyesight not good enough to see the line 42" away to swing that wood around the front where I am at.
          Rick Hutcheson


          • #6

            Your Email seems to be from Indiana University at Bloomington. Therefore I will presume your understanding of my post.

            Most plans for a home grown Scroll Saw patterns will not have a 42 inch throat. Your 42 inch design must overcome a couple of problems. Think of a rigid 'C' that pivots from the back. Both the upper and lower arm must move together. As you know, if you just measure at the blade chucks,there will be a minor time factor delay in responding to the up and down between the upper and lower blade chucks. Thus setting up mechanical engineering homework assignment from 'Dynamics's' class on Harmonic vibration.

            Now add to that the requirements for the two arm being rigid, and rigid means mass, now you are faced with the problem of the start, acceleration, de-acceleration, stop, change direction, and start again, as the arms move through the up / down stroke of the blade. IIRC, the 'piston' problem of a gas engine.

            If you examine the new modern designs of Scroll Saws, the above is engineered away by only having the last few inches, say 8 inches, of actual up / down mass which avoids the harmonics, and the 'piston' mass problem. However, a whole 'nother bag of engineering problems comes into play as you design the linkage between the moving arms, and motor. You are back to your Dynamics's calculus and 2nd order linear differential equations. You have to add the push / pull of the linkage and the spring effect of linkage.

            When you build such a monster as a 42 inch throat, keep in mind the critical importance of the blade travel being a 3-D perpendicular travel to the rigid table top. Again, examine a commercial modern Scroll Saw and take a close look at how the table is affixed to the base of the saw to insure the blade travel is perpendicular to the table top. This is not as trivial a problem as would appear at first glance.

            Don't forget the blade itself acts as a spring and through the entire range of blade sizes, tensions, and blade speed, there can be no harmonic vibration amplitude of the blade itself left-to-right, or front-to-back.

            Are you really positive that what you want to do cannot be done using a plunge router with a 1/16 inch bit with some sort of guide template? 42 inch throat is really huge. Most Scroll Saw work is done for a viewing from about arm's reach. As you get much larger projects for viewing at a greater distance, other woodworking tools get used.

            just MHO:


            • #7
              As Phil says,

              And I guess scholarity & algebra does come handy in real life

              or you could maybe use a jigsaw, although you may have to modify/grind the blades.

              But I'm thinking at this point, after Phil's dissertation, that metallurgy might be the easiest route for you

              DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

              NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


              • #8
                Originally posted by kmeyer
                I am wondering if there are any patterns out there on how to build a scroll saw myself? I am looking particularly for a 42'' scroll saw design, but if there are others that I may just expand that will work as well. Any information would be of assistance. E-mail me at [email protected]
                Kmeyer, welcome to the group. I admire your desire to advance. you must have something in mind or would not have ask this .
                I am not, buy any means, a mechinist or scientist,or magician or as you can see speller. lol. but i did see something on TV onec that was something i wish i had. this lady was cutting on something that had a huge table. the blade gismo. came down from above her tabale. looked alittle like a huge band saw to me. but went up and down like a scroll saw.I cound not see how the arms was , but they was way up highe.???and protrued over the Huge tabale. I have a 18 inch trout on my saw and I can hardly get the wood to turn around without hitting my ,belly. but she was useing some kind of spirale. looked to me like a regular blade. she moved her work around just at arms leangth. and it was a very thick piece of wood. I too would love to see this in person. so if you find out anything. i sure would love to learn it too. I will think real hard to find what i seen. an will let you know ok. your new friend Evie


                • #9
                  a couple of old style saws.

                  This is one link I came across, there are many others out there.
                  I admire Rick H's design, both the pedal and treadle.
                  Mother Earth News has one too.
                  CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                  "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                  Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


                  • #10
                    Welcome to one of the friendliest places around.
                    I'm wondering if you couldn't cut whatever it is you are needing on a "regular" saw - perhaps a 30" - using spiral blades if your work is too big to swing around, and then maybe finish off the stuff you couldn't reach with that saw by using a Roto-zip saw or one of the clones of such a cutter. It would only work with fairly thin stock - say, 1/2" or less, but your $$ outlay will be much less, and your chances of success may be much higher. Of course, if you are trying to cut something very intricate, then that might not work. Any chance of doing your work in panels and reassembling it after cutting?
                    Anyhow, good luck on what seems a rather daunting project, and let us know how you solve your dilemma.


                    • #11
                      Sandy just reminded me on something i am doing at the time. its a project, that is about 4' x 3' .... and what i do is this. first i mill up my wood.(in the smallest pieces i can) also making the width. (as in butt joint or book macthed wood, for the whidths) then glue my pattern on it. THEN make some dove tail or rabbit ears. cuts .(across the place where it wont show) in or across the project. maybe with a hand scroll saw. with the smallest blade i can find. the kerf is important. maybe a hand fret saw. then it can go back together smoothly like a puzzale. then it is at size to cut on my scroll saw.
                      alot of the old patterns, have this in their diagram. if i cut the pieces first on the scroll saw. they wont fit so nice as to cut them first. does this make sence?? if not i'll try to make it more understandabale latter. your friend Evie


                      • #12
                        hi how to make a scroll saw ?


                        • #13
                          Although not a pattern this video shows a wooden scroll saw that has ridgid arms that may overcome some of the problems with the 42" requirement.
                          Mikiono's homemade scrollsaw - YouTube



                          • #14
                            When kmeyer originally posted this question, he seemingly never came back to check the answers. Too bad, I found the answers interesting.

                            Good point Tom, the Eclipse type mechanism would seem to work at about any distance if your belts didn't stretch/flex as length increased.
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