Scroll saw advice

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Johnwa

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Hi all, bit of an old chestnut. I am looking to buy a 16" scroll saw for occasional hobby / diy use, mainly for toys and small stuff. This rules out Hegner, Excalibur et al far too expensive for my needs (and pockets). I was looking at the Axminster AC 405 SS at £130 and just wondered what people thought about it. I know I won't get " top" quality from this machine but is it usable for hobby use. I don't foresee me doing " filigree" type work I'm not accurate enough for that, but I will need to cut curves and chamfers in 32mm beech, oak & ply etc for car bodies and bits. Any thoughts will be gratefully received.
Cheers all.
John
I
 

AES

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Yes, really an old chestnut, and as ever, IMO the answer/s haven't changed either:

I presume that you've read the sticky at the top of this section, about "Why pay more ..... ?" etc?

As has been said many times before, just about any scroll saw - including the machine you refer to - WILL cut wood (and lots of other stuff). And it's not really a question of "accuracy" either - that only comes with practice (sorry), especially cutting dead straight lines and gentle curves, champfers, etc, all of which even "just toys" need.

The real difference between makes like Hegner, Excalibur, etc lies not in the accuracy of the finished job (as above, that's down to your own skill - i.e. practice - a LOT!) but the DOES lie in the overall ease and pleasantness of use, tensioning blades, changing blades, etc, etc, as per the above "Why pay more .... ?" sticky.

So a lot depends on how much toymaking you do - even if only a hobby, it's much more pleasurable/less irritating to use a machine where all those "convenience" matters are easily taken care of.

So if you don't want to spend the significant sums needed to buy a good machine, then keep your eyes open for the usual sources of SH machines.

And BTW, if you're interested in toy making (just about all sorts) then I'd definitely recommend a visit (several actually) to the US web site:


Includes loads of plans, a Forum (a bit like UKW, but deals primarily with toy making, obviously) plus various helpful "how to" articles, like making wheels.

And if you're a scrolling newbie, have a look at another sticky at the top of this section, all about sourcing blades, types, manufacturers, etc, etc.

HTH
 
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Johnwa

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AES thanks for your reply to my query. I do understand that you get what you pay for when buying tools, I was in engineering for many years,. But, and its a big one, you have to work to whats in your pocket and mine arent exactly bulging with readies at the moment! LOL hence looking in this price range. By the way, I can't see a sticky note icon etc on my android tablet. Can you explain please where I find it on the page please. Regards John
 

AES

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Understood, just about everyone has a budget of one size or another.

Stickies are, as the name suggests, a post or collection of posts on a particular subject which are fixed at the top of the first page of a certain Section of the Forum - in this case, the Scrolling and Scroll Saw thread. In the case of the 2 stickies I mentioned above ("Why pay more .... ?"; and "Sourcing Blades ......... ") you'll find them fixed at the top of page 1, items 1 and 2 respectively in that Section. Whereas your own post is in the Section called General Woodworking.

Sorry, I don't use anything other than my PC to view this Forum so I don't know what you're seeing on your android tablet. But go to the very first page of this Forum and you (will/should) see a list of different sections starting with General Woodworking. The Scroll Saw section is about 6 sections down from there.

HTH
 
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Johnwa

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AES, thank you for the info re stickies, I know where to look now. Thanks also for your thoughts on buying quality over shoddy, unfortunately I make the best of shoddy I'm afraid.😊😕. Have a good new year. Regards John
 

AES

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My pleasure mate. You'll find lots of help on here, for (almost!) whatever your questions are.

I do know what you mean about shoddy (e.g. it took me 3 goes and about a million years before I got SWMBO to buy me an Excali for my birthday)! But in the meantime, as said before, the machine you suggested WILL cut wood (as will all the others!) so you can make a start - and if you need plans, that link I posted, while by no means the only source, does have a huge selection of just about anything you can think of (inc a couple of freebies to get you started).

Good luck and as they say here, "have a good slide into 2022" mate.
 

againstthegrain

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I recently bought one of the cheap scroll saws for occasional use. Mine is from Von Haus because it is identical to lots of others and a bit cheaper still (at the time ). I have bought good blades and am still learning to use it, but I do regret not saving up and going for something better. The foot in particular is badly designed. And blade changing with unpinned blades is not at all easy.
My first ‘learning’ exercise was to make scroll-writer name plates for my grandchildren’s bedroom doors. The third one was better than the first... Some of the work since has been pretty difficult, but I guess I have learned what I and the machine are capable of...
 

Johnwa

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Againstthegrain, thanks for info re vonhaus, sounds like one to avoid. I think I'll maybe try to save a bit more "disposable income" and get despondent being outbid on flea bay. The problem is a lot of people now buy used kit on there now and the prices they are prepared to pay for what can be a moneypit are eyewatering!!😲😟. Oh well, ho hum.
Happy New Year to all around the world. Keep safe. John
 

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