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ByronBlack

Scroll Saw Or Bandsaw?

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I'm about to embark on my first project guitar (explorer). Which saw would be better for cutting the body-shape. Being in the UK powertools are bloody expensive, i can get a cheap 9" bandsaw for about £150.00 (and that is for a shoddy make), or I can get a pretty good Scroll Saw. ( I have a small budget as you can tell).

Which would you recommend as the best tool for cutting out the body shape? I'm a bit worried that the shallow throat of a bandsaw wont accomdate an explorer shape, whereas the scrollsaw has a much deaper throat..

Or am I looking at this the wrong way? Any advice would be very grateful. (For reference, I have a Ryobi Router, and a black and decker jigsaw which would be a backup failing either a scollsaw or bandsaw).

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For bandsaws, anything under 14" is a waste of money (common opinion)

And I've been using a DELTA scrollsaw for 10 years to cut every body blank I've ever done (over 70)

So I would recommend the scrollsaw for your situation.

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Wow Drak, I never knew you used a scroll saw for cutting your blanks. That would simplify the shop I'm going to build vastly. Any tips on picking out a good one?

Also, any chance you'd do a tutorial on your soundholes and cavity covers?

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Thanks for the snippet of info Drak, I thought I was being a bit dim seeing as everyone i've spoken to swears by bandsaws, but being on a tight budget, the scrollsaw does seem a better option.

I'm probably going to get one of these:

Rexon Scroll Saw

Do you think that would be adequate for an explorer shape?

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byron,

Drak knows what he is doing, and doing it very well, not saying you can't get the same results...

Having done product tests and worked in a woodshop, a scroll saw is really not the right tool for the job. Blade size and motor hp is not correct. Scroll saws are setup to cut pieces of wood 1/4 thick. maybe 1/2.

If you do very very slow, and make relief cuts all over the place and watch the force you push with, you might be able to make it work. once you start forcing the wood into the blade you run into some problems.

Let the blade do the work not you pushing...

-Derek

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if you're on a limited budget, dont buy either. Go to the local wood work school and hire their machinery.

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Bigd - I understand that about scroll saws, i've always viewed them as more delicate, but not having a big enough budget for a large enough bandsaw, it might be my only way -- unless of course, the Jigsaw would be more suitable?

Rhoads56 - I did think about that, in fact i'll be talking to my local college woodwork guy later this week, and hopefully i'll be able to use their stuff, although because I tend to work late into the night, it's usually more convenient for me to have my own stuff, but good suggestion nonetheless.

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Having done product tests and worked in a woodshop, a scroll saw is really not the right tool for the job. Blade size and motor hp is not correct. Scroll saws are setup to cut pieces of wood 1/4 thick. maybe 1/2.

If you do very very slow, and make relief cuts all over the place and watch the force you push with, you might be able to make it work. once you start forcing the wood into the blade you run into some problems.

Biggest bunch of BS I've read on the forum all damn week.

So Derek, you are saying you know more than I, you know tools better than I do, and you are just generally smarter than I am when it comes to tools, eh?

How many completed guitars have you built so far over what stretch of time may I ask, and can I see pictures of all of them?

Buddy, I've been working in metal, wood, and plastics machine shops since I was 16 years old and I'm 44 now, I've been in and around machine shops and custom fabrication shops longer than you've been walking this earth most likely.

You're information is wrong

You're imagination is limited in scope

You're dishing out completely incorrect information

I am NOT a pro, so don't go around beefing up your opinions with false statements like that.

ANYONE can take a scrollsaw and cut out body blanks all damn day long, there is no magic to it, there is no expertise to it, it is as simple a procedure as anyone could imagine IF you have a quality scroll saw, that is the -single- only consideration.

And mine is a junky $100.00 scrollsaw, and it has cut out -every last body blank- I have -EVER- made.

Simply because you don't choose to want to believe it's possible is no excuse to cloud or discolor someone else who might have a slightly open mind on the subject.

I just got finished cutting out 2" thick PURPLEHEART bodies with it, Purpleheart is EXTREMLY hard wood, and it cut right thru it, didn't even break one blade.

Now, unless you are going to define me as running a magic show, maybe you should stop forming opinions at this stage of your life and open up your mind to the possibilities of the world out there.

Retort? :D

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You MAY have cut out 70 odd bodies with a scroll saw drak, but IT AINT THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB. It is DANGEROUS.

You either have to GO EXTREMELY SLOW, or force the machine.

BigD never said it couldnt be done, only that its the incorrect tool.

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drak you are full of it. don't go somewhere you dont need to go.

You can also walk across the usa in a year, or fly in a day.

Like I said you are different. how many builders here have your skills?

so he buys a scroll saw, breaks some blades, maybe burns out the motor. then he buys another one. Well at that point he has just spent enough to get a decent band saw.

Ever see a scroll saw break an arm off? its not pretty specially if you hand is there.

How long did it take you to cut that purpleheart blank? 15-20 mins?

I don't care how many years you have been around a shop. Proper tool for the proper job. You gonna tell me that you would rather walk across the usa?

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I will COMPLETELY agree with both you and Perry about it not being the 'proper' <cough cough cough> ...tool for the job, I will grant you that on a shiny silver spankin' platter.

But I don't care about it being the ~proper~ tool, it works, and it works every time, and it works as good as anything else out there, barring it takes a little longer than a bandsaw.

So no one has a right to say that it doesn't work, BECAUSE IT DOES WORK.

And for the typical guy JUST GETTING STARTED building guitars, it is a good choice.

1.The PRICE is right

2.The amount of SPACE it takes up is right (for the beginner)

3.The VERSATILITY of the tool can't be touched by any bandsaw (for custom guitar work)

So.

The point I am trying to make here is this:

To have a creative, cunning, resourseful, imaginative mind plays a big part in building guitars, and the way I use my scrollsaw is a PERFECT example of resourcefulness, creativity, and imagination at work.

I will stand behind my statements, every one of them. It IS the proper tool IF you're just getting started, there is NO need to worry about breaking arms and all that crap, because in 10 YEARS it has NEVER HAPPENED TO ME.

Now, who knows and who doesn't here? If you have never used one for any length of time, then you're just conjecturing, and I'm speaking from 10 long years of experience with a BASIC model.

Since you two have shops full of big equipment, your brains can no longer be creative, you have locked yourselves into a viewpoint, a stance, a 'I own the big boy tools so I must be right' philosophy.

And I do not agree with that outlook. You two can AFFORD to be lazy in the brain, you have a shop full of the right equipment around you.

The newbie does not, and you lack the consideration to see things from his viewpoint, not just your own, because you are already sitting fat with big tools.

Big deal.

Like I said you are different. how many builders here have your skills?

How much skill does it take to feed a hunk of wood to a metal blade? I mean JEEZUS K. RIST! :D

so he buys a scroll saw, breaks some blades, maybe burns out the motor. then he buys another one. Well at that point he has just spent enough to get a decent band saw.

Hmmmmmm, in 10 years I have NEVER burned out a motor OR broken an arm.

You are making all of this up in your own head to justify your position, which is a bad position, but you now feel the need to defend it instead of admitting you are wrong (which you very much are)

Ever see a scroll saw break an arm off? its not pretty specially if you hand is there.

Nope, not in 10 years and 70 bodies later have I ever seen an arm break. Sounds like operator error (and maybe operator impatience) to me. :D

How long did it take you to cut that purpleheart blank? 15-20 mins?

Yeah, probably it did. Big deal.

If you don't have it in you to spend 20 minutes cutting out a body blank, then you will never build a guitar anyway, that much time is small change compared to doing binding, aligning important parts, nurturing a finish until it is flawless and perfect.

I still don't see any problems with a scrollsaw, what I see is your closed mind and impatience. B)

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you are a crazy hillbilly builder. :D:D

I still have yet to see anyone here do what you do with your tooling.

BTW I had a scroll saw arm break on me, the blade was short and Tension was the same, snap. the piece of wood I was working on was trashed.

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Whoah, guys, seems i've opened a can of worms here.. I appreciate all your viewpoints though, and I agree and disagree with some of your points, what I am going to do is to rent a scroll saw this weekend and cut a body blank with it, next week i'll be at my local college and will use their bandsaw.

I will then compare the two tools and make a judgement from there, but I reiterate, I fully appreciate all your input, just don't go falling out on my behalf :-)

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PS, I didn't mean that crack about lazy minds, sorry for that one.

You are both quite intelligent young men.

:D

Whoah, guys, seems i've opened a can of worms here.. I appreciate all your viewpoints though, and I agree and disagree with some of your points, what I am going to do is to rent a scroll saw this weekend and cut a body blank with it, next week i'll be at my local college and will use their bandsaw.

I will then compare the two tools and make a judgement from there, but I reiterate, I fully appreciate all your input, just don't go falling out on my behalf :-)

No, don't take it personally, I've been nice 2 whole weeks now and I'm about to freakin' EXPLODE!

:D:DB)

PS, I will qualify the point that you need a good scrollsaw, I use a DELTA <trumpets blare>

I bought a Ryobi once that wouldn't cut 1/8" balsa wood.

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lol, I love the old Drak!

he force you to think, how many people are out there like that? its great!

I just everyone to be safe. Thats my main concern.

I have noticed first time building a guitar is a lot of guys first time with power tools.

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:DB):DB)

OK, I'm good for 2 more weeks now.

Thanks Derek for letting me vent the boilerplate. :D

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Since you two have shops full of big equipment, your brains can no longer be creative, you have locked yourselves into a viewpoint, a stance, a 'I own the big boy tools so I must be right' philosophy.

I dont have a planer, a thicknesser, a drum sander, a bandsaw, a scroll saw, a disc sander, a bobbin sander, or ANY OTHER floor based machinery AT ALL (except a drill press). I DO have a duplicarver that ive never used. My main tools are a jigsaw, and a bunch of routers. I plane my necks, by hand, with a stanley plane. I cut EVERY SINGLE neck pocket with a hammer and a chisel. I DO NOT even have a neck joint template. bla bla do i need to go on??

DRAK, you, are a very patient person when it comes to making guitars. HENCE WHY they come out so well. You dont hesitate to WOD something if it isnt right. TIME DOES NOT MATTER. Im the same with my guitars. Ive got clients screaming for guitars. They'll get them when I AM ready, and they WILL be the best guitars they have EVER played. I RUSH FOR NO-ONE, i dont care how much they are paying.

HOWEVER, you're giving advice on a forum full of KIDS (i use that term in the nicest way) who want to save $3, and are so impatient they dont even have time to search with google, for the information they need. THEY WILL force the body blank through the $40 scroll saw, because its taking three minutes too long. Ive seen them do it. I have them come into the workshop EVERY WEEK and waste my time with their questions, and then blatantly disregard my advice and do it "the fast way".

There are tools, and there are the correct tools. If you cannot afford the correct tools, you have to make do with whats available. A scroll saw WILL WORK, but it is DANGEROUS, and very TIME CONSUMING. YOU ARE risking burning out the motor, and you will most definately break blades. My advice, is to save until you can afford the correct tool, the bandsaw, ESPECIALLY when the original poster is considering a career in luthiery.

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thread of the week.  Passionate informative and funny.

And to think, I'm just standing back and watching the fireworks.. lol

The old Drak is back thank god.. haha

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Sorry, I am now back in Nirvana, thinking pure thoughts and staring at my navel. :DB):D

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