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RiverSmallieGuy

Scroll Saws-- What to know?

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I am finally getting my first power tool-- a scroll saw, and as an amateur when it comes to a scroll saw, I decided to ask the TU community if there was anything I should know, do, modify, or purchase when it comes to making lures! I do know that scroll saws have limits to thicknesses of stock that you can cut, and I also know that they are a reciprocating blade unlike a bandsaw. What do y'all think?

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I use a scroll saw.  It’s much slower than a band saw but cuts shapes more finely.  I use standard 12 tpi blades.  If you’re cutting hard wood, it can be REALLY slow.  If you’re cutting balsa, it’s plenty quick.  I haven’t found any problem regarding the width of wood but if you plan to build large musky baits or glide baits, especially out of a hard wood, a band saw is really the choice.

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1 minute ago, BobP said:

I use a scroll saw.  It’s much slower than a band saw but cuts shapes more finely.  I use standard 12 tpi blades.  If you’re cutting hard wood, it can be REALLY slow.  If you’re cutting balsa, it’s plenty quick.  I haven’t found any problem regarding the width of wood but if you plan to build large musky baits or glide baits, especially out of a hard wood, a band saw is really the choice.

The woods I usually use are balsa, basswood, cedar, and pine, so it should be alright to use a scroll saw on small lures like 2.5" poppers, 2-3" cranks, 4" wakebaits, small walkers, right?

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16 minutes ago, wchilton said:

I'd suggest you try one before buying if at all possible.  They can be very slow.  Try some cutting like you expect to be using it for.  I use a bench-top bandsaw a lot more than the scroll saw.

My grandfather is a woodworker, and he is giving his to me, so I am definitely going to get to try it. I am not too concerned about it though. I almost exclusively use light woods like basswood, balsa, cedar, and pine.

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Scroll saw will be fine to use, especially at your price point.  I use mine mainly for Christmas ornaments and little figurines.   

A #5 to 7 blade is likely going to fit your bill (14-12 tooth).   As pointed out can be slow but not frustratingly slow.   

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Travis said:

Scroll saw will be fine to use, especially at your price point.  I use mine mainly for Christmas ornaments and little figurines.   

A #5 to 7 blade is likely going to fit your bill (14-12 tooth).   As pointed out can be slow but not frustratingly slow.   

Yep, anything is better than a coping saw... haha... (Edit: Not being rude to those of you who use coping saws, they are just a lot of work to use and they are hard to use precisely.)

Edited by RiverSmallieGuy
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6 hours ago, RiverSmallieGuy said:

Yep, anything is better than a coping saw... haha... (Edit: Not being rude to those of you who use coping saws, they are just a lot of work to use and they are hard to use precisely.)

Well to be fair a little practice will make quick work of cutting out blanks with hand tools.  I have a 12" bow saw I made from the Gramercy tool kit and a Knew Concepts Coping saw and can quickly and accurately cut out with either.    Now that said I will walk over to one of the bandsaws in my shop ever single time to cut out cranks.  :lolhuh:

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7 minutes ago, Travis said:

Well to be fair a little practice will make quick work of cutting out blanks with hand tools.  I have a 12" bow saw I made from the Gramercy tool kit and a Knew Concepts Coping saw and can quickly and accurately cut out with either.    Now that said I will walk over to one of the bandsaws in my shop ever single time to cut out cranks.  :lolhuh:

haha, yepp! The coping saw is efficient, but I want to use something that is easier to use and more accurate.

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I'm a very big fan of scroll saws for lure making. I have the option to use a band saw but always chose the scroll saw for how smooth of a finish it leaves and how accurate I can be. You can even cut through 1 1/2" lumber at a decent pace with the right set up. If I could only pick one blade size it would likely be #5. There's a huge difference between a scroll saw that takes a pin end blade and a saw that can take a pinless blade. Pinless blades are thinner, allow tighter turns and are often a nicer quality. I'm guessing many people who don't like scroll saws or talk about how slow they are using pin end blades.

Some saws can take either pin end or pinless. I had a WEN saw that could do either. I currently have a RBI 226 that I found used that I highly recommend.

Edited by Ryan V
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8 minutes ago, Ryan V said:

I'm a very big fan of scroll saws for lure making. I have the option to use a band saw but always chose the scroll saw for how smooth of a finish it leaves and how accurate I can be. You can even cut through 1 1/2" lumber at a decent pace with the right set up. If I could only pick one blade size it would likely be #5. There's a huge difference between a scroll saw that takes a pin end blade and a saw that can take a pinless blade. Pinless blades are thinner, allow tighter turns and are often a nicer quality. I'm guessing many people who don't like scroll saws or talk about how slow they are using pin end blades.

Some saws can take either pin end or pinless. I had a WEN saw that could do either. I currently have a RBI 226 that I found used that I highly recommend.

Alright! Thanks Ryan!

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58 minutes ago, Ryan V said:

I'm a very big fan of scroll saws for lure making. I have the option to use a band saw but always chose the scroll saw for how smooth of a finish it leaves and how accurate I can be. You can even cut through 1 1/2" lumber at a decent pace with the right set up. If I could only pick one blade size it would likely be #5. There's a huge difference between a scroll saw that takes a pin end blade and a saw that can take a pinless blade. Pinless blades are thinner, allow tighter turns and are often a nicer quality. I'm guessing many people who don't like scroll saws or talk about how slow they are using pin end blades.

Some saws can take either pin end or pinless. I had a WEN saw that could do either. I currently have a RBI 226 that I found used that I highly recommend.

Definitely can use  scroll saw  to make lures just don't think the pin or pin less blade set up is all that critical in many decisions. ;)    Use whatever one is comfortable with.

I like scroll saws and bought my first one 20 plus years ago and have used some high dollar ones (grandfather was big into fretwork) and with how I process blanks they don't compare to a bandsaw. Pin or pin less.  

I will often start with a basswood timber.  I will rip it to the desired stock thickness on my table saw then trace out the lure patterns on the boards.  I am not concerned with a smooth finish or accuracy.  I just need to get close to the line.  I will cut out dozens of blanks then go over to the sander and quickly touch up the blank.   I can knock out a lot more blanks on the bandsaw and then sand on the oscillating belt sander compared to doing the same with my scroll saw (pin less).

 


 

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I asked a friend of mine who was a career shop teacher about this, and he told me scroll saws are primarily designed for cutting thinner sheet material. I wonder if maybe a bandsaw would be better for cutting blanks and a scroll saw would be better for cutting lips? No idea though, as I only have a bandsaw.

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I've used a scroll saw, two bench-top bandsaws and a 14-inch floor-standing bandsaw.  I use the big bandsaw for most things.  It will cut straight if you do your part and don't rush.  A table saw is best for straight cuts, but that's a whole different beast.  Of the two benchtop units I've got a 3-wheel version and a 2-wheel version and the 2-wheel one gets a lot more use.  Have used the little 2-wheel bandsaw even for cutting brass sheet up to about 1/8 inch but it is a bit difficult to do straight cuts.  If all I had was a scroll saw I'd use it for detail work and do the straight cuts (for blanks) with a hand saw. 

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I cut blanks 1/4" or less on a bandsaw plus 1/8" aluminum with no problem. I have two scroll saws and most of the time they just sit there, band saw is faster I use a 1/8" blade which runs cooler when cutting and finish up with a sanding disk. For me I would take a band saw over a scroll saw.

Wayne

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