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General Scroll Saw use

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I saw where one of our members got a steal on a Dewalt.  I too looked at a new one, but it was $400 - 500 and did not want to spend that much.  I also went to the Wood Crafters store locally, but theirs were also too expensive for my budget.  I browsed the Internet some more and found a Craftsman for $120 and after checking the specifications, thought it would work well for model ship building.

The main problem I have with the saw is the hole in the table where the blade passes is too big to work with parts made for smaller ships.  I was able to rig a piece of wood with a small hole that the blade can pass through and that helped a little.


I am wondering about the Dewalt and other scroll saws:  Do they have smaller holes in the table, and are they able to handle smaller pieces?



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Here is what was done to my Ryobi to solve the problem - and it is adaptable to any scroll saw.  A piece of plexiglass was cut to size (effectively enlarged the table size) and a small clearance hole was made in the center for the blade.  It is permanently mounted - but removable - with flat head machine screws.  One might have to tap the saw's table top but as most are aluminum this isn't a big problem - or the plexiglass can be attached with double sided tape.  The protective paper was left on the underside of the plexiglass to brighten up the top and provide contrast to the piece being cut.  The plexiglass is a very smooth surface and cuts down on resistance to moving the subject.




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I have a Craftsman, probably 20-25 years old.  I put a 1/8" Masonite table on it but instead of drilling a hole I used the scroll saw to cut a slot from the back until the table was in place.  Then I used flat head screws to hold it in place.  The opening around the blade is the saw width which is great.  The drawback, which I'm willing to live with, is I have to remove the top to change blades.




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Here's what I do to make a zero clearance insert...  it's a piece of scrap plywood close to the thickness of the lip inside the hole.  I level it and bring it up to the table level using tape on the bottom of the insert.


I really need to make a new one for these particular blades but it works for the parts I'm cutting.  The hole was originally drilled to take a larger pin-type blade.




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