The Scroll Saw Lady

Ladies Come Learn To Scroll Saw!

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Scroll Saws – Big Girl Tools

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 19th July 2008

Anything with a motor I consider Big Girl Tools.  So, lets talk about Scroll Saws Now, I mean that is why you found this site right?

The beauty of a scroll saw is one, it is a very safe machine to operate, two, you can cut in any direction at any speed you find comfortable.  Start at a really slow speed and as you gain confidence you can turn up the speed of your cutting.  If you can sew on a sewing machine you can run a scroll saw.  Scroll sawing very basically is sewing with wood, same exact motion you get from a sewing machine.  That is the true beauty of scroll saws, so easy to learn and operate, anyone could do it.  YES, even you!

There are many, types of scroll saws these days and in all sorts of price ranges.  If you are just wanting to start in this fascinating hobby, go with the lower end models, they will serve you well for your first couple years.  They did me! 

I started with a 12″ (not very big, but I didn’t know that) Dremel.  The size of a scroll saw is measured by the inches from the blade to the back end of your machine, thus, the size of the piece of wood you can cut.  To start with, I was not cutting anything longer then 12″ trust me.  That scroll saw served me well for many years and I didn’t know I was missing out on anything till the day I decided to upgrade and then I learned the difference in scroll saws.  Had I not upgraded I still would have thought my little 12″ Dremel was the sweetest thing on the planet.

Actually I don’t even think anybody even makes a 12″ scroll saw any more.  I think the standard low end scroll saw is now 16″.  That is a pretty fair size to get almost any size piece of art made, unless you are really going into some fancy stuff!  To start with though, you better stay away from fancy and focus on technique.

You can pick up a decent scroll saw at Lowes, Home Depot, or even Sears, for around $200.  You might even try garage saling.  If you are going to buy a used saw, plug it in and make sure it works (duh) but then make sure it is on a flat surface and watch how badly it vibrates.  Don’t turn the speed all the way up because any machine will vibrate at high speed if it isn’t bolted down.  Just make sure that at medium speed the thing doesn’t walk off by itself!  Also make sure that it has Variable speeds (otherwise it is an antique) and that it uses Pinless or Plain End blades (another sign of how old a machine is – if it uses Pin-End Blades).

You will also need some blades, again, these coming in all types, sizes, makes, and models.  The good news, most stores you go to won’t carry too many variations so you don’t have to worry about.  Later, when you get into this hobby as I know you will, then you will start ordering your blades from dealers and then you will see how staggering the selection and options are.

For now, pick up some 5″ blades, they are pretty much the standard size and allow you to do almost anything with a scroll saw as a beginner, if you want to try a couple smaller sizes (if they have them) go ahead, but, you should not need anything bigger than a 5″ blade to start.

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