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  1. #1
    GSXR1000's Avatar
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    If only one saw for scratch/plans building, BAND or SCROLL... which one to go with

    I want to start building scratch/plans building. I know having both saws is best, but to get started which is more invaluable to a scratch plans builder?
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  2. #2
    ByLoudDesign's Avatar
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    MirroMart jigsaw!
    Kits: F11C-2 1:4, Do-24T 1:8, P-3 1:10, H 500 1:5, XFY-1 1:4, SR-9 1:4, V-22 1:6, B-25J 1:4, F+W C3603 1:5, B314 1:11, Projects: 350i King Air 1:4, 156X Beaufighter 1:4, DHC-4 1:10, TBM 1:4 www.bylouddesign.com

  3. #3
    Propworn's Avatar
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    If I could only have one saw I think the scroll saw would be the most versatile. Its the easiest one to do inside cuts just disconnect the blade pass the work over the blade and reconnect then you can cut out inside shapes. The band saw will only do this if you have the capability to break then re-weld the blade once it has been placed inside.

    Dennis

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
    If I could only have one saw I think the scroll saw would be the most versatile. Its the easiest one to do inside cuts just disconnect the blade pass the work over the blade and reconnect then you can cut out inside shapes. The band saw will only do this if you have the capability to break then re-weld the blade once it has been placed inside.

    Dennis
    Why not just pass the work over/under the blade?

  5. #5
    rgburrill's Avatar
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    Many years ago I had a Sears (Ryobi) Precision Woodcutting System. Among other items I came with an table leaf that you could mount a jig saw to upside down. It made a great scroll saw.

  6. #6
    ByLoudDesign's Avatar
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    Seems they do not carry it anymore?? SSA16HLVHR 16" scroll saw
    Kits: F11C-2 1:4, Do-24T 1:8, P-3 1:10, H 500 1:5, XFY-1 1:4, SR-9 1:4, V-22 1:6, B-25J 1:4, F+W C3603 1:5, B314 1:11, Projects: 350i King Air 1:4, 156X Beaufighter 1:4, DHC-4 1:10, TBM 1:4 www.bylouddesign.com

  7. #7

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    Since I have several kinds of saws, I'll throw in my two cents on this one.
    If you're cutting long straight cuts, stick with a band or circular table saw as a scroll will limit length
    If you're cutting small parts with sharp curves, a scroll saw is better but it can be done with a narrow bladed band saw
    If you're cutting across long stock, go with a scroll or circular table saw
    If you're cutting inside curves or circles, go with either a scroll saw, jig saw or drill press equipped with a hole saw
    If you're looking for a saw that will do it all, they are presently made of "unobtainium"
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  8. #8

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    Building for 28 years
    Do all my wood cutting by hand with a scroll saw for circular stuff
    i find a hacksaw blade with an electric tape handle very helpful ( the fine tooth one to cut steel)
    i do have two saws with wooden handles that i got at the hobby shop ( do not remember the brand name )
    One fine tooth and one coarse tooth use the fine tooth mostly
    Cut metal screws bolts brass tubing wire landing gear with a dremal and a cutting wheel from the LHS ( or tower )
    I am only cutting balsa wood up to 1/4 inch and 5 ply 1/4 inch ply wood
    i would usually purchase light high quality balsa and plywood to replace any wood in a kit that is to heavy or inferior quality

    Enjoy
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  9. #9
    Propworn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgburrill View Post
    Why not just pass the work over/under the blade?
    A bandsaw has a continuous loop blade to cut the inside of a piece the blade must be broken then threaded through the opening and re-welded. Not worth doing for wood or composite materials. That is why a scroll saw is much more versatile. In the tool and die trade it was common to re-weld the bandsaw blade inside a part to cut an inside shape out. A scroll saw or jigsaw was not practical cutting 2 and 3 inch thick metal.

    Dennis

  10. #10

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    Go with the biggest bandsaw you can afford along with a $5 coping saw for that sort of rare inside cut. I say biggest you can afford because you might need to cut something not airplane related some day. I also do woodworking so I bought a 14" bandsaw and use it all the time on hardwood. However; if you absolutely don't intend to do any larger jobs, then a benchtop bandsaw will be fine. Just don't buy one with 3 small wheels. They tend to break blades. 2 large wheels are much better.

    carl
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  11. #11

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    What Carl in post #10 said. I've been building models for the last 50 years and have both a band saw and a scroll saw. The band saw is by far the best choice if you can only have one. Just get a 2 wheel with as big a throat as you can afford. For the few times you need inside cuts, use the hand powered coping saw. Stay away from those mini saws unless you are only doing very small models and only cut balsa.

  12. #12
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    For model building, I think a good-quality scroll saw is most useful. A bandsaw is good for longer, straight cuts, but I tend to use the scroll saw more. Most cuts are for the fuselage bulkheads and wing ribs. They are usually one-off or two-off. You can work just as fast with a good scroll saw as with a bandsaw with the scroll saw having a smaller kerf.
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  13. #13
    Propworn's Avatar
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    I have two of these and when placed in the vertical with the addition of the table it makes a very good bandsaw. The bench top bandsaw doesn't get used much any more but just in case its ever needed I just can't make myself get rid of it. Years ago I bought a 4 inch dremel table saw, dremel scroll saw and used them just about every day. I still have them and these are great. They still work flawlessly and take up little room on the work bench so when I am building I still put them up for quick access.

    Dennis
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  14. #14
    allanflowers's Avatar
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    This tool has been very useful for me, especially on long liteply fuselage sides with lots of holes. Drill a hole and do the inside cuts. No fighting the "arm" like on band saws, etc. It would be even better with an orbital jigsaw. Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    If I were to live with only one it would be hands down a bandsaw. For interior cuts it's simple to cut in from the outside and do the cutting then pass back out and close the gap with a sliver of wood glued in the saw kerf. And for that small added step I get a saw which cuts smooth as a laser instead of shaking up and down like a paint mixer and trying to shake the work around.

    The downside is that most bandsaws do not have a deep throat. That's where a scroll saw really shines.

    As it happens I've got both a band saw and a scroll saw. I keep trying the scroll saw to see if I can tune it or try a different blade but in the end it's all for nothing and I go over and hug my bandsaw after getting frustrated with the scroll saw every time.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
    As it happens I've got both a band saw and a scroll saw. I keep trying the scroll saw to see if I can tune it or try a different blade but in the end it's all for nothing and I go over and hug my bandsaw after getting frustrated with the scroll saw every time.
    Do you have a variable speed scroll saw? Mine has a speed control and it works well at slower speeds when cutting ply or balsa. When I crank it up, however, it's a bench shaker that knocks over almost everything sitting on the bench
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  17. #17
    foodstick's Avatar
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    I will say one thing here.. I recently purchased a Nicer wen bandsaw, and love it. And it is so easy to resaw wood down to different sizes I find myself making sticks instead of digging thru the box of sticks I have.

    But when you need a scroll saw you need a scroll saw ! Check the swap meets you can buy them cheap very often..Just saw one for $20. So possibly buy a decent bandsaw, and keep a cheap scroll saw somewhere out of the way until you need it.

    Now if you absolutely have so little room its maybe a good idea to get a really good scroll saw with variable speed.. I have found with practice I can cut almost anything I want hobby wise on a scroll saw...

    I am also very interested in Allan Flowers homemade saw above.. and have always wondered how ell it would work...
    Self taught with Sig Trainers, and weaned on Balsa USA WW1 kits.. BUSA Brotherhoods #112 !

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  18. #18
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
    Do you have a variable speed scroll saw? Mine has a speed control and it works well at slower speeds when cutting ply or balsa. When I crank it up, however, it's a bench shaker that knocks over almost everything sitting on the bench
    Yes, it is an older Ryobi model with the variable speed. What it lacks is the geometry of the arms where the blade advances into the cut on the down stroke and retreats on the up stroke. Having the arms that form the "bow" sit at a suitable angle to act in that manner seems to be a feature found only on the higher end saws or by accident on the lower price saws.

    I do use it at some lower speed to limit the vibration but mostly it's the way it tries to lift the work off the table with every stroke that makes me prefer my bandsaw. Working with the band saw requires so much less pressure on the work that when it's all in tune it feels almost like working with a laser.

    I have used a top notch well tuned up scroll saw way back when while at a wood working show that had all the "right stuff". it was VERRRRRY NIIIICE ! ! ! And I'd happily use something like that. But few of us are willing to pay the cost of such units. At the time some 20 years ago that particular saw was over $1500. Meanwhile back at the rank and file end of reality between similar cost scroll and band saws my own feeling is that I'd take the band saw every time.

    For internal cuts I'd either use the cut then repair idea mentioned earlier to get the blade into the internal area. Or in my case I'd pull out and use my scroll saw. Or if it were only one item I might just drill a hole and use my hand operated coping saw and bird's mouth board held in my vise.

    I've tried to give the scroll saw a fair shake over the years. Even bought some Olson blades for it a year ago. That all helped a lot. But in the end I just find it easier to like my bandsaw over the scroll saw.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  19. #19

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    The blade you use makes a big difference on any type saw. For model work (all types of wood and occasionally some metal) I have found that the 1/4 inch metal cutting blade on my bandsaw will do 99% of the work I need for modelling very well .

  20. #20
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	2201990 This is an example of a fuselage that I can cut out in just a few hours with my saw. Drill 1/4" holes and easily cut the inside parts. This fuselage is about 48" long, which would be very difficult with a bandsaw due to the "throw" of the arm. With this saw, NO PROBLEM. I does require ear protection due to the fact that the box becomes an effective sounding board.

  21. #21
    Moderator BMatthews's Avatar
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    I get around it by simply not building with that style of construction. I'm not being sarcastic, I just conciously made that choice. Neither am I a big fan of using liteply which is a material that begs to have cutouts of that sort. If I did use more liteply there's no doubt that I'd be a lot more friendly with my scroll saw.
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  22. #22
    allanflowers's Avatar
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    Liteply is a legitimate building material and, like all products, has its strengths and limitations. Better than sheet balsa in some ways, it is the material of choice for many modern kits, due to the availability of laser cutting. Of course, in designing for laser, it becomes necessary to make preliminary prototypes. This saw is excellent for that job.
    I also have a 14” bandsaw with the capability of really low speeds - which is great for metal (I have cut up to .75” aluminum and a lot of .25” steel. On wood, it gives me better control on long smooth lines but frankly sucks on interior cuts. I really don’t like to compromise my structures with little half-assed repairs, especially when this saw offers me a much better solution for those interior cuts.

  23. #23

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    All of those inside cuts could be made just as easily if not faster with a coping saw.

    I'm not a fan of lite ply fuse sides either but for different reasons. I don't like the way it turns out under a fabric finish, it's prone to splintering, and it doesn't absorb engine vibration like balsa which leads to cracked glue joints. I think it's heavier too.

    Kit manufacturers came out with plywood fuselages in order to save money. For me, there were no other advantages. The locking tab construction that a few used made for a quick, straight fuse but at the expense of an ugly finish.


    carl
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  24. #24
    allanflowers's Avatar
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    I get that there is a lot of traditionalist resistance and BIAS against liteply. I have seen this for many years, as long as the material has been in popular usage.
    As I have said in the past, a designer has to be aware of and conversant with many materials, adhesives, processes and structures. Even the traditionalist’s “stick” fuselage is dependent on decent (and historically recent) available glues.
    Liteply is just another material, and it has to be evaluated IN CONTEXT of many other issues. Typically it is weak in one plane, a bit heavier than some (sheet balsa) construction but amazingly good at making CAD-ACCURATE glue-together structures. I produced a fuselage for a kitted E-V that you can build on your lap - with far better accuracy in terms of the usual fuselage twist associated with ANY other type of build. One can put this fuselage together in an hour, and know for a fact that the tail planes will actually line up correctly with the UC and the wings. 30 plus custom kits out… no complaint about the liteply.
    I also did a 1/6th scale Siemens Schuckurt D-3, using lite ply for many components. This model is absolutely museum scale (and is in fact on permanent display at the San Diego Aerospace Museum). Believe it or not, liteply was the obvious and best possible answer in many cases to match the D-3’s historical ring construction, making for the best possible SCALE solution. In fact I used a sandwich of 1/8” sheet balsa bonded to 1/8” liteply (cross grain) for the fuselage rings…. just a matter of knowing and utilizing each material’s properties.
    Of course it is necessary to know, respect and deal with the weaknesses of a material, along with its significant advantages.
    That is what a true designer does.
    In regards to the comment that other saws are faster at doing interior cuts than my saw, that is absurd. You should see me do one of these fuselage panels, simply drilling a 1/4” hole in each interior bay – then zipping it out. I have several coping saws and have used them a lot. I am quite aware of their abilities and will always used them when they are the best choice.


    Currently I have five models hanging from my ceiling that are traditional built-up construction (some liteply, some stick) AND five (please forgive me) FOAMIES. I would have denounced these evil things a few years back but they are fantastic, adding so much enjoyment at this stage of my life. I know that my collection of scale awards at various regional meets around California and Arizona will not grow with these foamies. So be it.
    Last edited by allanflowers; 02-21-2017 at 12:23 PM.

  25. #25
    Propworn's Avatar
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    Right wrong or indifferent everyone is entitled to an opinion. Isn't this a wonderful hobby where we can all find satisfaction in the methods and tools we use. What is ugly or inferior in one persons eyes is a work of art in another's. Too many get they're knickers in a bunch when others find a different form of construction or type of tooling more suitable and openly post the preference in opposition of the poster. In my years of enjoying this hobby I have gone from stick and tissue cut from raw plans to owning cnc equipment capable of the most intricate airfoils and shapes. I still enjoy stick and tissue building and equally well enjoy modern construction methods that are engineered for the lightest of weight yet stronger than methods that proceeded them. Tooling from simple hand tools to the latest cnc or laser cutting is an option for anyone if you look around. A well built model no mater what tools or equipment used in my opinion is a work of art. Too many of you get hung up on "My way is the only way." mentality.


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