When most people hear of a scroll saw, they think of intricate woodworking projects and become intimidated. They don’t realize that scroll saws are much easier to use than they imagine and are an incredibly versatile tool to have as part of your arsenal. This post will cover what this tool is, the different types, and some tips on getting the most out of it.
What Is A Scroll Saw?
An example of a scroll saw is a type of saw that is used in woodworking and some types of metalwork (with the appropriate blade for metal cutting attachments). It is used to cut out intricate or simple scroll saw patterns for finishing designs or creating difficult-to-create patterns. An arm attached to the blade moves up and down, back and forth, or around a pivot point. The blade is generally very thin and narrow, with teeth on its edge.
What Is A Scroll Saw Used For?
A scroll saw is a powerful tool that uses the reciprocating motion of the blade to cut out intricate designs in material, usually wood. The blade can be adjusted to follow any desired curve or pattern, making it possible to create detailed designs precisely. With a scroll saw, you can either drill an initial hole and cut from the inside out or cut from the outside in and make your way inwards. The blade is short, extremely thin, and essentially reciprocates vertically. Blades come in various sizes and tooth designs for usage with multiple materials.
While mainly used for cutting wood, the right blade may also be used to cut plastic, metal, and even glass, as previously mentioned. The main disadvantage with scroll saws is that they are limited by your skill as they need patience and accuracy when cutting delicate pieces of wood because it takes time to make sure everything is aligned correctly before making the next cut. In any case, this is typically the most significant limitation when using most power tools, and as always, practice makes perfect.
Types Of Scroll Saws
There are many different types of scroll saws that vary in size and features. The most popular types of scroll saws are the table-top scroll saw, and the floor-standing scroll saw. Table-top scroll saws can be easily moved around a work area, while floor-standing models are usually stationary. Table-top models also tend to be more affordable than their larger counterparts. Various arm styles are also available. Home improvement stores usually carry the parallel-arm design, which is the most popular. The main options include:
- Rigid arm: These are no longer popular due to the addition of more options in modern variants.
- C-arm: These are the most versatile and the most powerful but need a lot of practice to achieve the desired results.
- Double parallel-link: A double parallel link scroll saw is the most used by professionals as they take some time to master. Nevertheless, in the right hands, you can create any design you want.
- Oscillating loop: These are rare and expensive but can create some of the most accurate cuts out of all models.
- Floor: A floor scroll saw is very powerful and often used to cut various materials. However, they are expensive and can be overkill for a beginner.
- Benchtop: A benchtop option is often the most versatile for home DIYers as they are affordable and don’t take up too much space.
Parallel arm: This is arguably the most popular, and it’s good because there are fewer parts to maintain.
The Main Advantages Of Scroll Saws
- They are also relatively straightforward to use with practice, making them ideal for hobbyists and crafters. Some of the main advantages of using these tools include:
- Fast and accurate cutting.
- Minimize waste.
- Lots of options to choose from.
- Relatively small footprint compared to other options (depending on model).
- Precise control via a foot pedal.
How Do You Use Them?
As previously mentioned, a scroll saw is a type of power saw used to cut intricate shapes. Therefore, their principal value comes when you have to cut detailed pieces to complete or complement a project. There are seven primary steps to get the most from your machine.
- Prepare your board for your scroll saw by cutting it into a size it can handle.
- Mark out your design on the material.
- Check the blade for optimal tension.
- Ensure the blade is squared to the table.
- Wear the correct safety gear and turn your machine on.
- Carefully place your material on the device and line everything up.
- Start cutting, maintaining patience and accuracy.
- Finish the piece by sanding off rough edges and refining the cut.
The scroll saw is an excellent tool for hobbyists, artists, and professionals. It can be used for many different tasks, including cutting curves and creating intricate designs. It provides many advantages over other power tools. In conclusion, a scroll saw is an excellent addition to any toolbox.