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ByronBlack

Scroll Saw Or Bandsaw?

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I went through the same decision a few weeks ago...I ended up buying a scroll saw, because there was one on sale at the local shop.

BUT --you really have to be pretty special to cut a body with this thing. Drak must be one awesome woodworker....because I had some real trouble.

The first and primary trouble is that I'm just not patient enough for this tool --you really do have to go super slowly. And even then, you're going too fast. And I was practicing on 2 cm pine boards --still couldn't do it right (yet).

Now, as someone who's ready to dive into guitar building but who's not willing to wait until he's got enough cash to get the proper tools for the job, I get the feeling you're not all that patient either :D

All is not lost, however. I'm using the scroll saw to cut my templates now. And I'm using the templates as a guide for the collet on my router. And that's what I'm using for my body blanks.

Still have to go slowly, of course. Especially you have to make multiple passes (my router doesn't like it if I go for more than half a centimeter at a time). But the template/collet pair makes it a lot more difficult to screw up completely.

You're going to need a router anyway--unless you're a craftsman like Ormsby.

I believe you CAN cut a body blank with a scroll saw. But you better be damned good and extra super patient in nature for it to work right.

PS: I have access to a bandsaw if I need it. But I decided I wouldn't have the right kind of patience to work with that either--you still have to go pretty slowly.

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yes just because you have access to faster more powerful does not mean you can go fast.

I was chidded once on the other forum for wanting to know about a large roundover bit for shapping necks. I am always trying testing and playing. Saftey is a huge concern.

making templates should be the first thing newbs do... just get a feel.

just because I can get in a plane does not mean I want to fly it, just be safe.

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making templates should be the first thing newbs do...  just get a feel.

Amen, brother. And I make it a rule to practice my "moves" a bunch of time on scrap before I got to the actual project. That's saved me from a number of screwups already (not all of them though :D )

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Maybe it's just the DELTA <trumpets blare> scrollsaw is just superior to everything else out there, maybe I just happened on to that particular saw out of dumb luck, I don't know, but I have no problems with it and feel comfortable recommending it to anyone who wants to give it a go.

After the Ryobi POS experience, I had a new respect for my old Delta saw, that Ryobi was complete junk, and if anyone tried to cut a body blank with it, I would laugh, and it is the exact replacement (price range anyway) for the Delta. Both were right around $100.00.

So maybe from now on I should specify DELTA <trumpets blare> scrollsaws...

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I dont have acess to a band saw and i dont reckon i would be able to store one in my kitchen cause thats were it would need to go! I could get a scroll saw and be able to pack it away when i am done, it may take 20 mins to cut a body out but its gonna take me longer if i use a coping saw! What sort of power etc would i need?

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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".

OK OK, I give on this one.

I can understand the point being made. :D

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My advice? Don't try to change anything, Drak, you'll just go from better to bad to worse. When Drak first "came back" I thought he'd been neutered, having read some of his polite, passive responses to threads. It took two weeks to grow his nuts back and now hes gone and had them removed again. :D

The forum needs more discussions like these for beginners to read. There is a fundamental issue here that gets to the heart of how to build a guitar.

How many posts have you read that start out like, "I have NO experience at woodworking, but I want to build this particular guitar", and I think, "Wow, this kid has a lonnnnng way to go". Learning how to use a particular tool takes time and patience and a LOT of mistakes. I'm not a stickler for what the "right" tool for the job is, there is more than one "right" tool. It all depends on how comfortable you are at using that tool (or machine) and what kind of results you can produce. Remember the sharpened spoon analogy? If you are good at it, and can dig real fast, all the power to ya!

Of course, safety is first and foremost in Drak's mind when cutting out a body. The last thing he wants to do is mess up his work, his machine or himself. But a degree of proficiency is still required to use a tool safely and with satisfactory results. Hes managed to make it work for him and that is his preference.

For those who are just starting out, exercise your options and see what works best for you.

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Well, I don't have access to a band or scroll saw - I am more comfortable and more confident in using a jigsaw ( I have several) with varying blades...a router and good ol hammer and chisel..

Whether that is right or wrong...it works for me..and they are the tools I have become accustomed to for 20 years...

If I had a band saw (which I hope to have soon) I would use it..and I would use a scroll saw for things that I feel comfortable with....

Byron...Drak is skilled with a scrollsaw...but if I were you, I would be getting one or two good quality jigsaws with good blades...you'll get more use out of them for other things...but that's just my opinion and not neccissarily the correct one...

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Interesting reading guys. However I would like to clarify just a couple of small points.

First of all, i'm quite well researched and well read on the subject and have a decent amount of experience in woodworking in general, just not in shaping with scoll or bandsaw's.

Secondly, i'm not a KID and not rushing into this with my eye's closed. I've researched and read around the area for the best part of 6 months, and have played and set up guitars close to 10, so i'm not a complete newb.

But, i must say it is fascinating to read all of your preferences for building the blanks. I do have a router, and handheld jigsaw, so if all else fails, I will try them.

On the point of time, I don't care if it takes me 1 hour to cut a body blank as long as it is perfect, please don't put me in the bracket of people who rush into things without nessecary knowledge first.

Either way, after the weekend i'll have more of an idea on which method suits my working technique, and i'll let you know what I eventually go with.

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Good luck and I'm sure you'll make an informed choice Byron...just be sure to go with what ou are comfortable with, confident with..and patience as you are rightly aware is a virtue..

I'll just add...that when I was learning wood skills from my father...I was not allowed to even look at a power tool until I learned the basics of hand tools - chisels, hand planes, hand saws....it was about 3 years before he would let me use a jigsaw or even a power hand drill....

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This is the cool factor with scroll saws:

1. $100.00 for a Delta and you're in the game.

2. Cuts body blanks

3. Cuts the cool rear cavity covers from the same body wood.

4. Cuts the steer head designs (and anything else you might want to do)

5. Will even cut inlay with the right blade.

6. You can store it away in a closet or whatever.

7. It's portable and relatively lightweight.

8. It's small and doesn't take up much room at all

9. Cuts intricate peghead shapes

I just think scrollsaws get dogged way too much as a useless tool, and I find mine absolutely invaluable to me, and an incredibly cool tool to own, for a loathsome $100.00 shives.

Love and Godspeed to all of you. :D

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circle back to perry's point. Go ahead and build one see if you like it. Rent the tool go slow and careful, if you like it then go ahead and reconsider what to buy.

I would get to the school to play around and see what works for you. Comfort levels are all different for everyone.

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Whichever I do, i'm sure of one thing, i'm going to have a great time, and I know that the guitar's I will end up building will better than what i've previously bought - that in itself is motivation for me.

IJC - i'm with you with the hand tools, they are incredibly important, and like you my dad and my woodworking tutor at school (secondary) all put an emphasis on hand tools, so now I have built up some good skills with the chisel, plane and spokeshaver, these are infact my favourite tools, (alongside my Rotary Hobby Drill and Black & Decker Palm Sander - damn thats been a godsend!!)

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A Jigsaw and a belt sander is what I used on my first..

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i second drak's preference for delta...i originally had a 9" delta bandsaw,which i used to cut out EVERYTHING...i cut bodies,necks,and fingerboards with it and just had a great time with it...and every time someone came on here saying a 9" was underpowered and useless,i just could not understand it...my delta would cut through anything you could fit in it's jaws with ease...i regularly cut necks out of 3" thick laminated maple with the only problem being that the small blade tended to wander,so i had to focus to get straight cuts...

then it was stolen,and about 3 weeks ago i went to home depot and bought a 9" ryobi...i was SHOCKED when i tried to use it...that is the most underpowered,no cutting,balless piece of backwards engineered crap i have ever had the misfortune to lay my hands on...it is ABSOLUTELY useless...it locks up inside 2" mahogany ,and bogs down on 1/4" maple.

so i replaced it with another delta 9" i bought on the net...life is good again....

i am QUITE sure that a 14" or greater bandsaw would be well worth the money....but i have no place to put one as of right now...i keep all of my tools in a walk in closet at one end of my house,and i drag them out onto the back porch when i need to use them.i am considering a scroll saw for inlays...my advice is to stay away from anything but delta...that cheap saw you linked to byron does not look quality to me at all...

the kicker?the ryobi and the delta 9" bandsaws are EXACTLY the same price.

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I also have a delta 9" and ofte use it to cut 1" Aluminum Plate it cuts it like melted butter, I havent tried hard wood yet but have no doubt it will with ease. I also have a cheap "bench top" scroll saw bought at the flea market for 20 bucks, it cuts 1/2"oak like cardboard. I was going to buy a delta, but 20 bucks... could'nt beat it!

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Does delta make anything similar to grizzly's 12" bench top band saw?

I need a scroll saw anyway, as I'm going to be making a doll house and furniture for my daughter, but I didn't think that I'd be able to make do with it for bodies.

I guess the moral here is that there is no one right way, is there? And those cavity covers Drak makes are pretty darn sweet. I can only imagine the steady hand needed for those though. How do you do that Drak, hold your breath? :D

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No, but I do use the slow speed on the scrollsaw for that.

My scrollsaw is a variable speed model, which is a whopping $10.00 more than the fixed speed (if I remember right)

Delta rocks.

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Scroll saws are great versatile tools. I have an old Delta that was my Grandfathers (I think late 50's vintage, and still kicks butt). As much as I like it and have also cut 2" thick Purpleheart with it (it does the job). I really prefer my bandsaw in most all respects. Scroll saw blades are a heck of a lot less and blades are cheaper.

Good to see a little fire out of the Drak-a-nator. Tell it like it is dude!

Peace, Rich

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I've cut thick stock with scroll saws too. I have access to a nice bandsaw so that usually gets the pick, but as long as you don't rush it a scroll or jig works just fine. Scrolls and Jigs will both go off angle and can screw up your edges if you force them. Breaking blades isn't a huge deal for me. If i'm cutting thick stuff I use a 3/8 blade and it does well. The little 1/16" blades and stuff are for scrollwork. They'll snap like twigs under stress.

Only other question I would add is are you goingn to do template work on a router table? If so then all you are doing is rough cutting the body and if that's the case, use whatever works. You'll true it up with the flush trim. If you are not using templates then you need a good sander to get the chatter out of the edges that a scroll saw will leave. If you are considering building for profit then templates are pretty important for quality and productivity, unless each guitar is a one-off custom. You'll want to have a good routing table setup.

9" bandsaws suck these days. even some of the delta <trumpets blare> ones. Delta now is a far cry from Delta 10 years ago, but still a heck of a lot better than some of the other brands.

So, if money is tight, you'll get a lot better scroll or jig saw for a hundred bucks than you will a band saw. If you have 350 or so to blow however, you could get a grizzly 14" bandsaw and have a pretty nice tool on your hands.

or, if you're patient you could get the scroll saw and spend the extra 250 on wood :D

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drak what you doing with your postings? don't start that edit crap again, you confuse me too much...

Though you spell it out very well!

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