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Scroll saw:- Have I made the a good choice?

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Aquachiefofficer

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I'm a novice and new to the scroll saw. I've just ordered a Record Power SS16V after being inspired by Claymore (Brian) and others. I had a limited budget and decided to buy new rather than chance possible disappointment.
Have I made the right choice?

Regards, Paul
 

Aquachiefofficer

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Quick edit: I was in two minds as to wether I should ask if I'd made the right choice or a good one.
Sorry for the typo.
 

AES

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The Record is the same (apart from the badge and perhaps the colour, plus minor details) as many other scroll saws which all seem to come out of the same Chinese factory. UK prices apparently vary from the lowest at perhaps about 50-odd quid (Aldi I think) to over 150 quid, under various names, some well-known, some not.

Make no mistake, they WILL all cut, and once you've practised a bit (a lot?) and fitted the correct blade for whatever you're doing, they'll cut, and cut well.

The only downsides with all these saws is "secondary" stuff like ease of blade changing and needing a tool or not, tensioning, dust blower, speeds selection (or not), etc, etc.

If you're going to get into scrolling, you will get fed up with the various short comings, as above, but A) there are various mods that can be done to improve matters (search this section) and B) you will still be able to sell the saw on if you want to upgrade to a "professional" machine.

Basically it depends on you. Personally I wouldn't have bought that Record, but that's because I know what I know now.

Before that I learnt - the hard way. I had a very old Dremel (restricted because you could only use their blades, not standards) followed by an Einhell (not the current model) which was pretty awful and I suspect, worse than your Record (in my case it definitely was, 'cos it had a bent arm which couldn't be straightened - but it STILL cut)! In other words, you learn by doing, and just like any other hobby, what you end up investing is up to you - I now own an Excalibur 21 which is MILES better than my previous two machines - but then so it should be, it cost MILES more than both of them put together!

In short, don't be too worried, you've bought that machine now, and as said above, it WILL cut, and cut well (better than you can to start off with if you're a beginner).

After that is up to you, but I strongly recommend some time spent searching this section for a lot of very good info to help you on your way, including possible mods and lots of blades info, plus searching the net under "scroll saws" or similar. You'll find loads of how to cut tutorials, plus all sorts of patterns, etc.

So, good luck and enjoy - "don't worry, be happy"!

HTH
 

Claymore

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Hi Paul,
Sadly I have to agree with Andy above BUT you may be lucky and have one that the top arm is straight which on the two versions of this saw i had caused all the problems. You will be able to sort many problems out by using it at the lowest speed you can which will cut vibration and by using a slower speed it will give you time to get used to cutting (if its on faster they tend to run away with you) also bolt it onto a solid table/bench/stand with a rubber car mat sandwiched between the saw and the table again to cut vibrations to a minimum. I don't know what type of blade clamps your saw uses yet but think it will be what i call hangers where you attach two blade holders to a blade and they hook it onto the saws arms, not the quickest to change but still doable. When you say you were inspired by me (that's my head expanding again lol) was it to do with Intarsia? if so then your saw should be able to cut intarsias with a bit of tweaking because unlike scrolling you don't need to keep unclamping the blades to poke through a hole and then reclamping and with intarsia/segmentation you use bigger chunks of wood usually around 20mm thick and you cut in from the sides to cut the individual pieces so much easier. Like Andy said said get yourself some decent blades from Axminster etc I use Pegas number 3 Skip blades for 99% of everything i make even Corian they will cut any wood right upto 40mm and just use less pressure and go slower letting the blade do the work and using as little pressure on the blade as possible and its slow but gets you there in the end and will improve your patience which is important for all scrollsaw work. I can't do the fiddly scrollsaw work the other guys on here do but when doing Intarsia if you go wrong you can either adapt the pattern to suit your bits or throw it in the scrap bin and cut another piece so you never ruin the project just one little piece.......go wrong on a scrollwork project and chances are you have ruined it and will have to start again with a full sheet of plywood. Another plus for Intarsia is the fact you can use any little scraps up so don't throw away any as they do come in handy at some stage (i have loads of plastic bins in the workshop full of different types/colours of wood ready for a certain part to be cut)
I use self adhesive A4 labels to print my pattern on and then stick onto the wood, they work great (it was one of the guys on here who recommended them to me and saves lots of time and has made my cutting much cleaner) If you make a pattern by either drawing/tracing/printing one off try and make sure the lines are as thin as you can get because ideally you want the blade width to be the same as the drawn line width as this does make your pieces fit together better and when you have cut a few different parts from different woods they will assemble much nicer with narrow gaps if any.......its all practice but anyone can do it...the key word is patience for any scrollsaw work try not to rush anything. Like Andy said above do lots of browsing online at techniques etc and you will soon be up and running.
Cheers
Brian
 

Aquachiefofficer

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Thanks for the advice gentlemen. Time to get back on the learning curve.
Special thanks to Brian for the PM.
Regards, Paul
 

whatknot

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Have you made the right choice, well yes, you have ordered a scroll saw ;-)

Although as others have said most sub £200 scroll saws are very similar with only a couple of major differences

The Record you have ordered is as others have said sold under various retail badging at prices from £70 to £200

I have a Scheppach version but its the exact same same in a different colour

It will certainly do a job of work for you as will most other saws, like most machinery, cars etc usually the more expensive models have more bells and whistles than the cheap versions, ie the cheapest car will go from A to B but the posh versions will usually do it quicker, quieter and in more comfort

The first thing to do is order some good quality blades as advised by Brian, the ones supplied with the saw and from most large DIY type retailers are rather agricultural, they will cut but crudely, you not not regret getting better blades (incidentally the better quality Pegas blades will be cheaper than the vast majority of DIY store blades)

In the sub £200 variety of scroll saws, the two significant differences are the blade changing which I think has already been covered (also see the review video below) and the tensioner

On your type you need to unscrew the tensioner each time you change the blade, then retighten after changing the blade, some lower end saws have a lever as well as a knob, so once tension is achieved you can flip the lever over to release the tension then flip it back again after the change, its not the be all and end all but makes blade changing quicker and easier and therefore more enjoyable

The key to producing any form of woodwork is practice, the more you do the better you will get at it, eventually if you enjoy it you will probably want to invest in a better saw but for now you will be able to do all manner of work with yours

If you haven't already discovered it, do visit Steve Goods site
http://scrollsawworkshop.blogspot.com/ where you will find his catalogue with more free patterns than you will ever need, plus lots more besides

A review on your saw which covers the main points
https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=1zMU3seVu94

(I wouldn't agree with his assessment of dust extraction though, its very important IMHO)
 

Aquachiefofficer

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Pegas blades ordered from Axminster.
I hope to receive my saw in the next couple of days so I'm looking forward to a happy week ahead. :D (hammer)
Regards, Paul
 

AES

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Great stuff!! I too like Pegas blades (though there are others - apart from the DIY Store "not so specials").

Do a bit of practising then a couple of "simple" patterns and you'll soon find it becomes quite addictive.

Enjoy yourself.
 

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