25 January 2020: The Scroll Saw

One of the important tools in my studio is my scroll saw.  It’s a Ridgid brand.  I bought it used for $50.00.  Immediately after it arrived in my studio I took it apart…inspected it…lubed it…put it back together…and have used it happily for the past four years or so.  It’s a very nice tool.

I had more difficulty with blades.  First is the issue of blades with pins in each end, or pinless.  Next is the issue of how many and what kind of teeth.  And lastly is the ‘which brand?’ question.  I’ve settled on Olson, 18.5 tpi, pin end (p/n 42401).  I’ve tried about 4 brands.  To me Olson is clearly the best.  18.5 tpi works well for the materials that I cut which are usually between 1/64 and 3/8″ thick.  And pin end because they are much easier for me to install.  My old eyes struggle installing the plain end blades.  I try to keep 10+ blades in my studio at all times.  It is not a good day when a scroll saw blade breaks and there is not a replacement at hand.

In the image you see the two new version 2 side frames being installed into the Drive Frame.  Hopefully I’ve thought this through enough that there won’t need to be a version 3.  Side frames are critical components that require a lot of time to fabricate.

I use french curves to help me with the layout of these frames.  I prefer gently curved lines to straight lines.


Side frames, Version 2, are being fitted into the Electric Chair drive frame.