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  • Scroll saw or band saw

    I am just getting into wood carving and need something to cut out and rough cut wood blanks. Any suggestions as to whether I should use a band saw or a scroll saw. I have a very restrictive budget and small area in my garage. Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

  • #2
    Re: Scroll saw or band saw

    Neil (I think),

    I'd opt for the largest bandsaw I could afford. Even a smaller bench model wil serve you better for doing blank cutouts than a scroll saw. You will probably be working with stock at least two inches thick and up to 4', and most scrolls won't handle that heavy material very well. They seem to just EAT blades when doing heavy stock. If most of your bandsaw work will be cutting moderate sized blanks (2-4 inches thick), you will want to be using 1/8 inch blades and a slow steady feed. If there are no sharp turns in your project, you can step up to a 1/4' blade to speed up the process a bit.

    Suprisingly, you can do some very intricate work with a bandsaw and an 1/8' blade. Not to the extent of a scroll saw, but still, quite precise.

    My old scroll (jig) saw will handle stock to 4', but even that one does a poor job with the heavy stock

    Al

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    • #3
      Re: Scroll saw or band saw

      All Al's advice is good...now from an inept bandsawer LOL...I have not had any luck with 1/8 in blades...it snapped right off the bat and I am not rough on my tools and didn't force or take to tight a turn? it was a shopsmith blade..maybe poor manufacturing? don't know..but I stay with a 1/4 inch and just make an extra cut or two for tight turns..thats my opinion! Also I know about tight money, but do not!!! buy a Ryobi!! I bought one, made a couple cuts and took it back as fast as my fat little legs could run!! they are junk...seriously buy a good bandsaw, even if you have to wait to save the money...(you can use a coping saw in the meantime) I bought a Ridgid..its a good saw, if I were buying again I would buy the Grizzly..the price is outstanding and it comes with the automatic tensioner, the fence and the square...best buy out there in my opinion......Oh and buy Wolf blades from suffolk machinery.....they don't cost any more than others but they are excellent blades, my saw runs smoother and quieter with the wolf blade and the cut is smoother....all this in my opinion of course!

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      • #4
        Re: Scroll saw or band saw

        1/8th inch blades are touchy, whether bandsaw, scroll saw or coping saw. Set the blade tension on a bandsaw at the medium to low range for your particular brand saw, and TAKE YOUR TIME. Make sure you turn the work into the business end of the blade and don't try to force the blade sideways. It's a learning curve with those small blades, but they do work, after you go through about 4 and figure out what's going on with them.

        Al

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        • #5
          Re: Scroll saw or band saw

          Al,

          All very good advice. I can add only one thing and that is never buy a bench band saw with three wheels. Nothing but trouble.
          I love scroll sawing but for you a band saw is the best.

          Mike M

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