Scrolling, scrolling along...

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jerrye

Jerry
Corporate Member
I have been admiring (and have taken advantage of through purchase) the work of scrollers here for some time. I have had in the back of my mind that scrollwork would be something new I'd like to try.

Given that I'm dipping my toes in to see if I like it & have the aptitude for it, what would be recommendations for a starter saw that won't break the bank or drive me nuts from frustrations using it? What features would be worthwhile? If I go used, what should I look for when inspecting a saw?

TIA!
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Jerry, most of the entry level scroll saws > $200 are junk. There are some great saws on the market like the Hegner, Hawk, Excalibur, Eclipse but they are high dollar. The best in the mid range is the Dewalt 788. They go new for about $500. You can find some deals on craigslist like these in your area:

http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/tls/4232724281.html

http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/tls/4231876490.html

If you get one of these I highly suggest buying the light attachment. They are available through Amazon for about $30.00.
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
I agree with everything Scott said. The DW788 is not cheap, but is the right pricepoint for a saw that will not only not frustrate you but will be usable long after you become an accomplished scroller. You can buy cheaper saws and they WILL frustrate and disappoint you. You can buy more expensive saws (up in the thousands of dollars) but you'll be more than happy with the DeWalt. No need to spend more than what it costs. I got mine for $250 on CL. Couldn't be happier with it.
 

sawduster

New User
Robert
Another vote for the Dewalt 788 :icon_thum as stated about $500 new but if it don't suit ya yer only gonna get about $300 out of it so go ahead and buy a $300 used one :gar-Bi They hold up well and are generally just used, not abused.
some things to look for :
the opening around the blade ....if it is noticeably chewed up on the either side or the back it is an indication that someone regularly forced their cuts and may have been rough on the saw . nothing wrong with this, just an indication that you might want to check other things more thoroughly.
There should not be a lot of " slop " in the upper arm from side to side with no blade installed . It will move some but shouldn't be really loose.
Tilt the table and bring it back to zero. It should move fairly smoothly and you should feel a little " bump " as it comes back square. There is a small ball bearing that helps hold it true to zero and sorta locks it .
Put a blade in it and fire it up. Turn the speed all the way down and all the way up. Should be minimal vibration even at the fast speed . Be cognizant of any " knocking " while it is running
check the deck ( table ) for flatness if it is a type 2 ( stated on the motor ) some of the type 2's were shipped with slightly scalloped decks
If it is a type 1 and $300 or less and reasonably clean ....just buy it ! Type 1's are hard to find and definitely better built :icon_thum
look for a lot of dust around the rocker switch. eventually dust gets in these and causes them to become " intermittent " switches :cool: pretty easily cleaned but another small sign of negligence ....I have a piece of rubber glove over mine to prevent this

That's all I can think of for the moment ....hope it helps
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Agree with what Sawduster said 100%. The one I found was a type 1 and is definitely worth what I paid for it.

Hope you find as good a deal as I did on CL.

BTW, I've learned a lot of tips from him just by watching him work during various Outreach programs. It is a great learning resource and a great way to spread the woodworking message to others.
 

LeftyTom

Tom
Corporate Member
All the above, plus if you decide scrolling is not your bag, you can easily sell for around $300. FWIW, I paid $250 for mine in Winston-Salem NC (Type 1 motor)
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
As previously said the only real design flaw with the DW788 is the rocker switch. Most regular uses get a deadman type foot switch and just leave the switch in the on position.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
Ilove my 788! I use a foot pedal switch, and leave the saws switch in the on position--I also covered the saw's switch with painters tape to keep the dust out.
 

mtdawg

New User
jim
I started with a Ryobi 18" scroll saw. It was functional, but not much more than that. I broke a lot of blades because it was too difficult to consistently set the tension. It was also fairly light duty and I managed to twist the blade knob off. My current saw is a DeWalt 788 and I love it. Perhaps there are better saws, but at this point I'm very satisfied with what I have. I paid 467.00 on Amazon which was considerably cheaper than anything I could find locally. I opted for the stand and light options. I've heard that the light is the least desirable, but I find it to be functional. I've had this for two years and have never had a problem or had to make an adjustment. I also added a Lifter to hold the upper arm up.
 

PND

New User
Phil
Obviously many people on the forum love their DeWalts. I do see that there is an Excalibur 21 in our classifieds for $650.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Obviously many people on the forum love their DeWalts. I do see that there is an Excalibur 21 in our classifieds for $650.


The EX is a step up from the Dewalt. A step up in quality, features and cost. The Ex-21 with stand and foot pedal goes for about $850 new. If I did not already own 3 scroll saws (2 Dewalts and a Hawk) I would give that one in the classified ads some serious consideration.
 
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