The first step is to choose a simple range of quality tools. Many of the projects you will undertake in the early days of woodworking do not require a lot of high-tech equipment. It is not necessary to go out and buy the most expensive tools. You can pick up the basic tools you need from garage sales, online auction sites and or second-hand stores.
One of the most common tasks associated with maintaining a jig saw is changing the blade. Most units do not even require special tools to switch out blades. Additionally, many units come with a built in vacuum system that will allow you to clean the dust created during cuts to make sure that there is no obstruction in your work.
Overall Layout: The overall layout of the controls and adjustments of the saw is very important to consider. The power switch, tension lever and speed control ideally should all be located at the end of the saw’s arm within easy reach. Since with most scroll work you need to stop and feed the blade through a hole dozens or even hundreds of times, the tension lever and power switch are much more convenient if they are close to the upper blade holders. (Most but not all people undo the blade from the upper blade holder to feed the blade through a hole. Some people however, do find it easier to undo the bottom holder instead.). Also, you may occasionally want to adjust the speed control or tighten the tension while in the middle of a cut so it is good to have these controls within easy reach.
Other considerations: Some other things to look at are the manufacturer’s support and service. Will you be able to get the saw serviced locally? How long is the warranty? What is the manufacturer’s reputation in general? Does the saw have any extras or special features that you think may be useful?
Other notable mentions RBI and Eclipse both offer high end saws with great performance and low vibration. You may want to check these saws out if you can afford them. Since they are out of most people’s price range, I have not heard a whole lot of feedback on them. In my opinion, many of these models do however have inconveniently located controls and/or require tools for blade changes which do give me cause for concern.
Although detailed cuts are among the band saw’s strong suits, the scroll makes these detailed curved cuts with surpassing precision. Unlike the band saw, though, a scroll saw has the ability to cut intricate shapes on the inside of a workpiece. In other words, a band saw can cut shapes and a scroll can cut shapes and then cut more shapes inside those shapes. The band saw is strictly a perimeter cutter whereas, by pre-drilling a small hole into a workpiece and fitting the scroll saw blade into said pre-drilled hole, the scroll saw can perform detailed interior cuts as well. This is especially helpful to our most crafty and creative woodworkers.
Excalibur EX-16, EX-21, EX-30 The Excalibur series of scroll saws have always been praised by their users. The EX-16 can be had for just a few dollars more than the Dewalt/Delta saws and the EX-21 and EX-30 are approximately $200 and $350 more than the 16″ model respectively. Stands and a lamp with magnifier are available for the Excalibur line of saws. The stand can be purchased separately or as a package deal with the saw.
Skip Tooth – Like a regular tooth blade but with about half the TPI. Slower cutting, better chip removal. Blade will stay cooler.
When first starting out in woodworking, you will need to establish a pattern or system. Begin accumulating woodworking projects that you will would like to work out. If desired, most people can complete projects and have success. However, it’s important to get the tools, supplies, and plans before starting. You will have more success and fun in the process when prepared. Once you have everything you need, then you can begin building some beautiful pieces of woodwork.
– You can be more generous with the tape in waste areas on the wood however you should have at least two pieces in the work area to prevent your layers from moving when the waste is cut away.