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Aragorn

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Hi
I have a very cheap Ferm fretsaw and I'm wondering if the problems I have with it are a case of "you get what you pay for", or whether there's much to "know" about them.
e.g. the cut wonders too much; can't get a very tight radius; excessive vibration makes using it a bit hit and miss...
Is this a blade issue or the machine? For my fairly limited use, the Axminster fretsaw seems a bit steep at about £250, but they don't offer anything in between this and a £30 one.
I am happy to buy a better saw, but would welcome some advice first.

Thank you
 

Adam

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How about this on Friday ad?



SCROLLSAW, MULTICO Pro-Mex. 18inch throat-depth, cast iron table, 1/8HP, Bargain, £53, Polegate. 01323 487443 / 07766 724981.
 

Woodythepecker

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Aragorn, yes as far as scroll saws go i believe you do get what you pay for. But of equal importants is the blade. There are dozens of different blades and even more if you count the ones that cut plastic, metal and even glass. Your best bet would be to get a mixed pack.

One of the best scroll saw manufacturers on the market is Hegner UK. They have 4 or 5 saws starting from the Multicut 1 for around £180 right up to the Polycut 3 which is something like £900. It all depends on the size of work you do. The Multicut 1 has a 14 inch throat and the Polycut has a 20 inch one.

Believe me if you want a decent scroll saw and you do not need a big throat then the Multicut 1 will give you first class service.

Good luck scrolling

Woody
 

UKTony

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Aragorn,

It is more the blade than the saw, especially if your using the pin head type. I do a lot of scroll saw work and upgraded from a Charnwood to the Rexon sold by Screwfix now at under £100.00 last year which is dual speed and uses non pin head blades i make puzzles for the local school and it works great your welcome to come and try it out

I still have the the Charnwood 16" gathering dust in the workshop which i'm about to stick on ebay if anyone wants it :wink:
 

Midnight

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Aragorn...

it's been years since I last used one of these.. more than I care to mention, but the basics never change. By definition, these saws should be able to cut the tightest, most intricate shapes with absolute accuracy. To do that, you're gonna need decent blades; the best I've heard of (for use in marquetry) are jewelers saw blades, just be prepared to replace frequent breakages. The accuracy comes from having a real stable platform to guide the work over; all the vibration should be contained in the arm and cutter. Variable speed and integral blowers are useful features too...

I've often contemplated the Rexon machine Tony mentioned, but I just don't have the shop space unfortunately. Sadly, I'm all too familiar with the terms Ferm and disappointed being associated with each other.

Of course...<says he applying a little grease> you could always do it handraulically; fret saws were designed for this kinda work afterall...

;)

Whatever you choose, I hope it serves you well; they can be real fun to use.
 

Gill

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Hi Aragorn

One of the big problems you’ll have to contend with if you do get a decent scroll saw is that you’ll inexorably find yourself moving away from ‘proper’ woodwork into more delicate, decorative pieces. You’ll suddenly find wonderful opportunities to express yourself not only as a craftsman, but also as an artist. I’ve got all sorts of work around my house, ranging from intarsia plaques to house name plates and (when Advent comes round) Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to get round to making my own Christmas pyramid but I’ve got some unique decorations for my tree that I’m very proud of and a nativity set I made myself. I also have friends and family giving me their projects – you’re never alone with a scroll saw.

All of which makes me wonder how much use you’ll get out of your saw. Since you already have one that doesn’t meet your standards, I’m presuming you want something beyond the basic. Here’s where I’m going to agree with Woody that Hegner are, in my opinion, without peer. I’ve been using their saws for more than 15 years (admittedly, not as regularly as I’d like to) and I’ve yet to try a machine at any show to match them. My own primary machine is a 2SE and I certainly find the variable speed a boon, especially when cutting tight turns. It also helps if you’re cutting material such as perspex which will melt if you use too high a cutting speed.

The suggestion of using jewellers blades for fine work is one that I’ve adopted myself and I always buy my blades from suppliers in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Be warned – they’re fragile, especially when you first start using them. The advantage, though, is that they’re so fine that you often don’t need to actually turn your timber to make a cut! (I know you’re not supposed to work like that, but if you don’t tell anyone I won’t either.) The only problem is that the blades don’t have pins that some scroll saws require to hold them in the arm. Of course, when you’re doing fine piercing work, pins would make the blade unacceptably wide anyway.

Hope this helps

Gill
 

dedee

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Aragorn,
I have had a Hegner Multicut-1 for 4 or 5 years and use their blades with the reverse teeth at the bottom, helps prevent tear-out on the underside.

Some examples of what I have cut with it can be seen on my webpage in the Toys section (see below)

I have never used another machine so cannot compare, but this one seems quite & vibration free (when clamped to the bench). I modified the dust blower so it blows away instead of towards you.

My only problem is not using it enough. The problems I have encountered with wood burning or non-vertical cuts can all be attributed to either blade tension or feed rate. After an hour or so of use one can "feel" if the blade tension is correct but to start with after several months of not using it it takes a while it pick this up.

I am currently working on some Xmas candle holders in walnut & beech about 7/8ths" thick with the words joyeux noel formed in a circle with space for a tea light in the middle, total diameter about 5". This design requires over 20 inside cuts some of which are very tight. I'll take a photo tonight for you to see.

Andy
 

Aragorn

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Thank you all so much for your replies. Very useful and interesting.
GillD":24dcyn49 said:
... you’re never alone with a scroll saw.
:lol: Damn - my second splutter of coffee all over the screen and keyboard this morning :D
Adam - good find. Thanks!

_______________
Cheers!
Aragorn!

Slightly concerned... Why do I get the feeling I've just stumbled upon another slope... Where's Alf? This just doesn't feel right :? :wink:
 
A

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Aragorn

Rexon here and no problems in a year of occasional use
 

dedee

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Here is what I am doing for Xmas on the Hegner.
On the left is birch ply just as a test. The one on the right is walnut. I cut one in beech last night (takes about an hour) and I found the beech much more of a problem with the wood burning. I think I will stick with the walnut. I have another 4 to make.

The centre will have a flat bottom hole to accomodate a tea light candle. Just awaiting for the 40mm bit to be delivererd



Andy
 
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