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RoyB

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Happy New Year Everyone.
I've eventually made up my mind to buy a better scroll saw and am asking for some help. I've been scrolling on and off for a few years with a Delta saw and although I like it, I want to upgrade. I retired this year due to poor health so finances dictate what I buy. I've seen 2 saws, both from Axminster, they are the Excaliber and the Axminster AWFS18. Has anyone used either of these saws, and which is best? Has anyone heard if there are any second hand saws for sale on the site?
Yes I know there are a lot of questions but could someone help please. :?:
Many thanks.
Roy
 

gofer

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Hello
I brought a AWFS18 about 4 months ago and i am very pleased with it. Blade change easy and even easer now I have quick release holders from Hegner, :D No vibration I do not even have it bolted to the bench.
Barrie
 

Chippygeoff

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Happy new year Roy. Both the saws you mention are good, at the end of the day you get what you pay for so obviously the excalibur is the better saw but there is nothing wrong with the AWFS 18 either. I have the excalibur and have no real problems with it. Be sure to get some decent blades from Mikes workshop as having the right blade is half the battle.
 

RoyB

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Many Thanks for your replies.
Gofer, do the new quick lease blade clamps make so much difference to the speed of blade change? My main interest is portrait cutting so the ease of threading the blade and re-clamping is crucial.
Chippygeoff, have you resolved the problem with the upper blade clamp as per your post on SSV on 29th Dec because that would be a major problem to me if the blade clamping couldn't be relied on? As I said in my original post I have been scrolling for some years on and off and have been using Flying Dutchman blades for some time now but thanks for the heads up. My main reason for the post was to try to get some feed back from the good people of the forum who have used the 2 saws I asked about. Another issue I may have with the Excaliber is the shorter distance from the front of the saw table to the blade. I have arthritis in my hands and am not sure whether that may make it difficult for me to hold the wood and guide it through the blade comfortably. Steve Good has a review on his web site where he's not sure about this, I wondered if anyone had their own opinions?
Hope to have some more input from other forum users.
Roy
 

geoff3

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Hi RoyB,
I to like doing portraits, I have the EX21 now just sold my AWFS18.
the AWFS18 is a damn good saw very solid and reliable Ioften wish I had kept mine.
The EX21 is very nice, has good and bad points
Good
Tilting upper arm for bevel cuts,
Lifting upper arm for top feeding,
Not so good
holes in table for dust extraction are a pain, work piece can catch on them.
Blade clamps have to be set spot-on, will break or bend blades if just a fraction out,fine blades are the worst.
I had my saw 7 months when the rod in the top arm broke, ( a lot of people have had this happen) .
Axminster had three attempts at repairing it before thay sent me a new saw.
I had this saw a month and just found out when I tilt the arm 45% to the left I get a nasty knocking sound,
I am very worried about the rod in the top arm goin again when my guarentee is up.
overall the EX21 is not as solidly built as the AWFS18.
also Axminster have just put the price of the EX21 up £70.
ALL the best for the new year and get yourself a good saw and enjoy your cutting.......Geoff3
 

gofer

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Yes, I found that the quick release holders made changing blades a lot quicker.
Gofer
 

hawkinob

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Hi,
"at the end of the day you get what you pay for so obviously the excalibur is the better saw"

If that is meant to suggest that a higher price means better then sorry but I don't agree. I think that there are more bad comments about the Excalibur than the Hegner 'look a like', on this and other similar forums.

I don't have an Excalibur but know several people who have one. I have a Hegner 'look a like'. But good luck to those who go with the Excalibur.

Bob H.
 

RoyB

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Hi. Thanks everyone. You've just confirmed my thoughts and I think the AWFS18 is the saw of choice. The thing about a more expensive saw will be better surely means you buy a Hegner???? One more question Gofer, have you changed both top and bottom blade holders for the Hegner quick release holders?
Many thanks
Roy
 

Chippygeoff

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Hi Roy. Sorry for the delay, been so busy. The problem with the upper blade clamp has been put partly right but I really feel this was a one off. I am going to send it back to Axminster for a replacement and while it is away I can use my Dewalt. That was the last remaining issue. If you do buy an excalibur I would strongly advise you to tune it up before using it and I can post an article to you on this if you want it. With regard to your arthritis Roy I would suggest the following. Undo the clamp bolt and place the T section on a piece of say 3/8th ply, then draw round the t section with a pencil and cut this out on the scroll saw, you can then fashion a hand that will tightly fit over the T section of the clamp and this will prove a great help when changing blades. If you have any problems come back to me.
 

gofer

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Hi
Yes I changed both holders. Hope you get on with the AWFS as much as i have.
Gofer
 

hawkinob

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Hi,
I have a 'hegner lookalike', probably from the same factory as the Axminster one, different colour. I bought the 'quick release' clamp and found it well worth the price, it is well made but I didn't know that the bottom clamp could be changed also - not really essential in my view as the 'hegner lookalike' is a top feed machine (so to speak) as any fretwork threading of the blade, and clamping, is surely better done from the top clamp. Or am I wrong? My bottom clamp is 'used' when either the blade needs changing, for whatever reason. But I would be interested to hear if there is, perhaps, a 'quick change' bottom blade and it has advantages.
Sometimes I have a problem, due to ageing wrists, particularly when trying to release (undo) the top clamp knurled knob and have found that an allen key will fit into the side of the knob, perhaps defeats the idea of quick release but at least solves my problem. Another way I've tried is to buy a lever handle that replaces the knurled knob and this is easier, might be a boon for people with wrist problems. The only drawback, for me, is that the lever action tends to bend the top of the blade which can make threading the blade through a hole difficult. I'll attach, if I can, a picture of the lever handle. Anyone buying a lever handle should make sure that the diameter of the threading end fits the clamp hole.
Regards,
Bob H.
p.s. The instructions that came with my machine, a WMS, whilst adequate are not as full as the genuine Hegner instructions, these can be downloaded from the 'net'.
 

RoyB

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Thanks again for your replies.
Gofer. That makes the AWFS even better for me. Thanks for the info.
Chippygeoff. Thanks for your input but I think the Excaliber has too many issues at the moment for me to consider it. The blade clamping is and has been an issue with it for a while according to people posting on this and other forums and the rod on the top arm also seems to be an issue, see Geoff3's post above. I know Axminster are an excellent company with customer service at the top of their agenda, I've been buying from them for years, but I don't want the hassle when I think I've found a better option for me.
Bob. I'm glad you posted the picture of the quick release lever. I've seen it at Mike's Workshop and I wondered if it worked well. With my arthritis getting worse it will probably be one of my first purchases for the saw.
Cheers. :D
Roy
 

RoyB

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Hi.
I finally saved enough pennies to buy the AWFS18 and was lucky enough to buy if from the For Sale section, thanks for the heads up Blister. The saw arrived today, :D :D however I haven't had time to cut much with it but it's like a Rolls Royce next to my old Delta. It's a pity the AWFS doesn't have to same blade clamps as the Delta as I think they are excellent. (New Hegner clamps ordered.)
I know this question has been discussed in previous posts but I can't find it. Can someone explain to a person with NO mechanical knowledge how to lengthen the stroke length of the saw as I can't find anything in the manual?
Thanks
Roy
 

hawkinob

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Hi Roy,
As I mentioned in my previous posting, you can download the Hegner Manual from the net. Google for Hegner scrollsaw or go here:-
http://www.advmachinery.com/t-manuals.aspx
I'm sure that the Hegner Manual mentions shortening the blade stroke.
Best of luck.
Bob H.
p.s. Mentioned a few times - keep an eye on the tiny pin that the tensioning lever move on, it has no securing clamps (washers) and mine insisted on loosening. As I lost it I replaced it with a cut off split pin.
 

wood master

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hi roy how is the saw going. dont forget to post a couple of photos of your work on the machine. bye for now roy. hope you enjoy your new toy
 
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