Scroll Saw Novice - Help Needed

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LCROX

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Hi All,

I’m a complete newbie and recently acquired a workzone scroll, which I believe is the most basic model. Reading recommendations I purchased the Hegner clamps and Pegasus pinless blades.
Whilst this has definitely made it easier I’m still struggling a little and feel like I’m having to push the wood towards the blade and the vibrations are not making it easy to cut in a straight line. My question is, would you suggest this could be down to the scroll saw or potential user error? I’m very tempted to buy a 2nd hand Hegner but don't necessarily want to spend approx £300 on a saw that isn't going to make a difference.
Any recommendations, ideas etc most welcome
 

Blister

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Hi , I think the saying " Buy cheap Buy twice " comes to mind here
Some people who shown an interest in scroll saws do what you have
If you are in it for the long run buy a Hegner they have a good reputation and when / If you decide
to sell it on it will hold it's value , Take your time finding one local to you , Go and see / try the machine
Variable speed is nice , Hope you find one soon
 

Jaco

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More expert advice will be along soon.

Not familiar with a Workzone. If it uses Hegner clamps then spares are available.
Who manufactures and who supplies?
Did you buy new?

To start off - Bolt the saw down on something substantial and heavy, helps to control the vibration.
Axminister supplies blades and price was reasonable.
Do not push the wood into the blade, let the blade do the cutting and don't rush (my finger slipped right into a #12 blade, fortunately did not hit bone but was a bloody mess)
Practise cutting anything on thin wood to get the feeling of the saw and cutting speed, then try some 90degree turns and 180degrees.
There is a dung-load of free patterns on the web.
Thin wood = 3 to 5mm MDF and ply and hardboard. Also soft pine up to 25mm.
Good luck

My 2 Hegners were bought maybe 5th hand, I refurbished both.
 

Jaco

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Hi , I think the saying " Buy cheap Buy twice " comes to mind here
Some people who shown an interest in scroll saws do what you have
If you are in it for the long run buy a Hegner they have a good reputation and when / If you decide
to sell it on it will hold it's value , Take your time finding one local to you , Go and see / try the machine
Variable speed is nice , Hope you find one soon

Good advice.
 

Droogs

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you should be feeling that you are pushing the wood to the blade as the blade is only meant to go up and down. There is no reciprocal motion in the blade. If you mean you have to push the wood into a retreating/bending blade then the blade is not tensioned enough. You should try to tension the blade so that you get a high C note that has a bit of sustain (doesn't just thunk). Re vibration the Aldi saw is very light weight and needs to be securely bolted down preferably with some rubber "O" rings between it and the surface. This will reduce the vibrations you feel and allow any residual ones to be suck up. If the vibrations continue then look at adjusting the motor by loosening it a bit and rotating and until the vibrations die off and retighten.
Regarding the long term, as you become more proficient you will want a better machine and as the saying goes you get what you pay for. The machine you have now is around £80 in its various rebadged guises and is at the bottom end of the market. A Hegner/Pegas/Excalibur are at the top from £800 and up. But then they are leagues apart from your machine.

I don't remember if the Aldi saw has variable speed, if it does, turn it down and learn to use at a lower speed and gradually increase as you get better. Too many people have the machine at full pelt when they first get one and can't control it and give up.

There are lots of very good informative threads in the section about the various machines, take the time to go through them to make an informed more accurate choice.

hth
 

AES

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While there is, IMO anyway, SOME truth in the old saying "buy cheap buy twice", make no mistake, fitted with the right blade, correctly tensioned, and going at the right speed, your machine definitely WILL cut wood (and other stuff too). And cut it reasonably well too. It's down to you mate. Just like you (probably) couldn't cut a decent M&T first time out. You needed instruction and practice.

The bit about RIGHT blade, and tension, and right speed is I'm afraid, down to experience, and sorry, experience comes down to PRACTICE and knowledge - as above.

As well as the excellent advise above, and as well as loads of free patterns available, there are also loads of practice cutting exercises on the web, I strongly recommend you cut several of those, especially as Droogs suggested above, those dealing with turning 90 degrees "on the spot" and cutting dead straight lines.

While doing those you will not only develop the basic skills for scroll sawing you will also probably experiment with different blades, different materials, and different speeds (if your machine has variable speed, I dunno, but no matter if not, if you can't vary speed then that's one variable out of the equation while you play with the others!).

One of the best places to look for exercises is:



There are several others around, as well as the chap above, mainly US (it's apparently a much bigger interest over there). Just Google for something like "Basic Scrolling" or "Scrolling for Beginners", etc, etc. ("The world is your lobster")! :dunno:

HTH

BTW, before I ended up with my present top of the range machine, I had a total of about 3 other machines over a period of about 20+ years. Was that money "wasted"? Well in one sense, yes, of course it was. OTOH, that 20 years not only developed my skills but also showed me EXACTLY what I needed in a machine when the time came to get a "proper" machine. So money wasted? Or money spent learning? Only you can decide mate. BUT IMO it's entirely an individual choice governed by MANY different considerations, and certainly NOT just "cheapo".
 
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scrimper

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Your question has been answered extensively and expertly by other members here and I endorse everything they have said but I will just add a few of my opinions.

You ask about whether a decent Hegner machine will make a difference over your cheap saw and of course it will for the reason that it will make things easier for you and also will be a 'joy' to use. That is not so say that you cannot do good work with a cheap saw; in fact some people create fantastic pieces with very basic machines, you only have to look at some of the superbly detailed work carried out years ago on basic treadle machines to see the proof of this.

Hegner though very expensive are very good machines and are built to last a lifetime but there are also other makes of quality saw available that you could consider.
With a cheap machine you may find it frustrating and awkward to use; especially if you do lot's of internal cutting and detailed work and for some people this frustration puts them off the hobby for good. On the other hand a quality machine (of any make) will encourage you and you will look forward to using it.

Perhaps you would like to watch my video (listed in this forum) where I explain my view on cheap versus expensive machines. :)
 

s.j. joe

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One thing I did not see mentioned is to make sure you have the blade in
the correct way. Put it in with the teeth facing the wrong way and it
will not cut well causing pushing too hard and the work piece will want
to bounce quite a bit. You want the teeth pointed down when the blade
is mounted in the saw. Run your thumb nail along the teeth and feel
which way the teeth are running, put blade in with the teeth down.
I have had a Hegner for 30 years and they come with a blade guide
built into the table top the shows you which way the teeth need to be
pointed for correct use. Hope this helps.
 

AES

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Thanks for pointing that out joe. Yeah "obvious"! SO "obvious" all the rest of us forgot, and actually, very easily done too. Likewise, putting the blade in with the teeth at the back - again quite easily done if you're not concentrating and if it's a really fine blade!!! DAMHIKT!
 

whatknot

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Personally I have to disagree with the buy cheap buy twice statement, many people wouldn't start out at all if it was a case of buy an expensive saw straight off, you can do a lot of good things with a low end saw, it just takes longer and is more fiddly (blade changes etc) but of course a used better quality saw will make life easier if and when you can afford it

The workzone saw is a rebadged Scheppach as sold still for a great deal more than Aldi sell sold it for

I have seen different models of the workzone saw, but both are currently for sale on screwfix for £140 or £170, not an insignificant sum, most I have seen are the £170 version with a drive cable attachment, I have never seen a workzone version that wasn't variable speed, most have the hanger type blade clamp

I started out with a Titan saw which I quickly found out would not take pinless blades and I never managed to find a way to convert it, but still managed to make a lot of things with it, but like a lot of things in life you learn by experience

So don't be put off by a low end saw, bolt it down and practice as thats what makes the difference, and if at some point you see a used better quality machine check it out
 

Jaco

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All very good advice posted above :cool:

Blade and teeth direction - I have been caught with that one when in a hurry.

Just watch the feed speed, my small Hegner has a mind of its own especially doing internal cuts.
 
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