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Chatnoir

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This probably gets asked all the time....

But at the beginning of the year I bought an Axminster craft machine and I’ve had enough of it... it’s so frustrating to use and just not practical to use!

So I’m gonna need to look for something else.
I following a lot of American scroll sawers who all use the Dewalt but you can’t seem to get that here.

I would like a decent machine that takes pinless blades... but they easily unclamp and one with a lift up arm ..... I basically want something that I don’t have to fight with to get the blades in only to have them pop out as soon as you turn the machine on!

Thanks
 

Yojevol

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I expect you have had a look at the trade rated machines from Ax... and realised there is a big jump in cost once you move away from 'craft' machines. Have you got a budget in mind?
If you can persevere with your present saw it would be worth keeping an eye on the s/h market. 2 years ago I manged to pick up a 2 year old little used Axminster AT460SS for about ½ its new cost.
Brian
 

Chatnoir

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I don’t really have a budget but having just spent the money on the craft I’m rather annoyed I’m having to payout for another machine....

I’ll look on the second hand market but for which model? Does the bigger Axminster have a lift up arm and are pinless blades easier to mount??

I swear I nearly threw the craft machine out of a window this morning! I’ve got an order for a customer I need to get finished and a machine that is beyond infuriating to use!
 

Yojevol

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If you have a look at the AT460SS you'll see that it has a red release lever. That reduces the blade tension enough to unhook the blade end blocks. You also have to unscrew the black thumbscrew which stops the top block from bouncing up and down.
There is a handy jig on the side of the table which enables easy attachment of the blocks to the blade.
This machine is a copy of the much respected Hegner and as such its design may be considered a bit long in the tooth. It does for me but I'm not a demanding scroller.
There is a decent looking Hegner going on the other side of the estuary from you but note, it doesn't have the quick release lever. Be quick - it finishes tomorrow!
 

whatknot

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The AT460SS mentioned is the later number for the AWFS18

Both are clones of the Hegner

It does not have the lift up top arm as found on Dewalt788 & the likes of the King/Pegas/Excalibur etc

But frankly it doesn't need a lift up arm

The main improvement is to add the Hegner quick clamp which replaces the top clamp (no need to remove the top clamp, just loosen and refit the top of the blade after passing through the work piece)

I have an AWFS18 and find it s very robust, easy to use machine , blade changes are easy and quick

And no top arm to continually drop down as is reported by many with the Dewalt788 etc type ;-)

You can pick up a used AWFS18 for about £150 to £200 if you bide your time

On the continual coming out of the blade clamps you are suffering with on the machine you have, have you tried sandpapering the ends of each blade before fitting?

A light sand across the last half to three quarters of an inch of each blade, both ends, both sides removes the factory finish on the blades and gives a much better grip

Lightly sanding the inside of the blade clamps before first use also helps that

PS most of started out with a budget machine then realised the down sides to them, no different to most things really, tools, cars etc etc
 

AES

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Agree with whatnot above.

Never used either of those Hegner clones, but there's plenty on here that have, and speak highly of them. And, apart from their new prices, Hegner's have a generally very good rep.

Myself I started out with a very early 1980's Dremel (Moto Shop, long discontinued), then an Einhell (model I bought also now discontinued). Both were pretty awful to be honest (the Einhell particularly poorly made), but, WITH PATIENCE, both WOULD the job. And they did!

I now have an Excalibur 21 and the difference is like night and day - beautiful machine. But then so it should be, because as far as I can see, comparing new prices, the differential is about 3:1!

Back to PATIENCE. I can sympathise with your "nearly went out of the window" because my own experience (in my case with PC,s etc) has been similar! But I must also say that apart from the odd swearing (OK, fairly frequent) & colourful blue-air phrases neither of the above scroll saws got anywhere near flying out of the window - and (though much nearer to it on occasions) neither did any of my lap tops!

Personally I think the key is/are:

1. Are you scrolling purely for hobby or producing stuff for sale/to a dead-line? If yes, then you NEED the best you can afford IMO;
2. If you're "only" a hobbyist then again IMO, and IF you have the budget, then you should also buy the best your can afford - it just makes the hobby so much more enjoyable - see the post right at the top of this section about the differences between "cheapo" and "expensive" machines;¨
3. But if you haven't currently got the budget you'll just have to learn to calm down a bit and save the shekels until you can afford a good new machine/wait until a decent SH machine comes up near you.

3 above is obvious I know, but the thought of someone (nearly) chucking a machine out of the window does distress me - sorry if I'm preaching. But in the end, you do get what you pay for, just like anything else - and YES, there does seem to be a gap in the pricing of new scroll saws between "up to a couple of hundred quid" then nothing until "about four hundred and up".

P.S. If you do end up with a Delta (rare as hens' teeth over here, but a good rep generally) then there are several web site references to a little home-made "stick" that holds the arm up while changing blades (not necessary on the Excalibur).
 

Yojevol

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Going back to my first contribution. The guy who I bought the saw from was trying to make stuff to his wife's designs to be sold at craft fairs. The scroll saw was just too slow for him so he was investing in a CNC machine. You can get a reasonable small CNC router for the same cost as a decent scroll saw. However if you go down that route you will have to become reasonably proficient in CAD.

Brian
 

whatknot

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As far as I am aware unlike the Dewalt 788, the Delta 40-694 version does not have the need for a hold up bar or block of wood

Personally I wouldn't have either (unless cheap) as parts would be hard to get should you have the need

As an addition to my earlier post, the benefit of buying a used good quality saw are that A you have a better experience with it than a cheapie, and B the resale value will be around the same as you paid for it unlike the cheapies which lose at least 50% of its value straight out of the box



P.S. If you do end up with a Delta (rare as hens' teeth over here, but a good rep generally) then there are several web site references to a little home-made "stick" that holds the arm up while changing blades (not necessary on the Excalibur).[/quote]
 
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