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Band saw or scroll saw

Old 04-28-2011, 03:10 PM
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R. Ortiz
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Default Band saw or scroll saw

I am looking forward to scratch building some RC airplanes and I am thinking of investing in a new power saw. I already own a small table saw but I cannot decide between purchasing a band saw or a scroll saw. I will be cutting mostly balsa and plywood.
I am new at scratch building and would appreciate any information that will help me decide what type of saw I would find more useful. Thanx
Old 04-28-2011, 03:47 PM
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limeybob
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

Scroll Saw. make sure the blade is easy to replace , most are these days.
Read the reviews, especially the sears ones.
These people know what they are talking about,
http://www.sloanswoodshop.com

Buy a good one.
Regards
Bob
Old 04-28-2011, 04:22 PM
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Tony Hallo
 
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I'd say band saw. I've been building from plans since 1989 and only recently purchased a scroll saw, maybe I never took the time to learn how to use the scroll saw? I have a 5" throat metal cuting band saw that cuts everthing from steel to balsa wood with the same blade.

Shop Tools I use the most;
Drill press
Band saw
12" disc sander
9X19 metal lathe

Not so much;
Scroll Saw
Oscillating drum sander

It's niceto have them all however because each has it's own specific use
Old 04-28-2011, 04:34 PM
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R. Ortiz
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

Thank you for your help R. Ortiz
Old 04-28-2011, 04:52 PM
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CK1
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

A bandsaw will give you a beter overall cut with the use of guides etc. and will handle thicker materials. The scroll saw will allow you to make inside cuts in areas that a bandsaw will not. I have both and use them both regularly ,but if you had to choose only one it should be the bandsaw .
Old 04-28-2011, 05:22 PM
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cutaway
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

Both have their place. I have both and use them for different purposes. I've started figuring out more and more uses for my router table and spindle sander as well.
Old 04-28-2011, 05:38 PM
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Campgems
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I'll agree with Tony, the bandsaw is a better tool for outside cuts. It is especially good on thin delicate cuts at there is no up motion to snag the wood an pull it up. I have both a band saw and a scroll saw and the usage is at least 100 to 1 in favor of the band saw. You can rip long pieces of wood, set angles of cut and generally cut really straight lines if you set up a fence or use the protractor head. If you tame the speed down it will cut aluminum withfew problems.

For a lot of inside cutting, the scroll saw is good. Until I got the scroll saw, I used a wide throat Jewelers saw with 2/0 blade for all my inside cutting. It was a little slower, but the results were good, and it is a lot easier to store when not in use than the scroll saw.. For stuff like lightening holes, a drill bit and/or a burr in the flex shaft was very adequate, and you didn't have to unmount the blade are remount it for each piece.

Like a lot of things in the work shop, it all boils down to a mater of personal taste. There are a lot of guys who wouldn't own a band saw and really prefer the scroll saw. Their opinion is as valid as my preference for the band saw. It is a tool they like, are comfortable using and gets the job done for them. Same as my band saw is for me. If you could, try out both before you buy. Maybe a high school shop class if they still have such things. Or some of the guys in you club will have one or both of the machines. Then you don't get a let down feeling the first time you use it and it isn't what you expected.

If you geta scroll saw, get one with a wide range of speeds, a variable speed is really needed. Get one with at least a 14" throat, bigger is better. Get one with a cast Iron/aluminum table. Plastic and sheet metal isn't a good choice. Ipicked up a Craftsman 16" a couple years back at a clearance sale at the local OSH store. I've had one of the little Drimll jig saws before and there is just no comparison between the two. Once I discovered that the high speed setting was causing me problems and tamed down the machine, it works very well. A blade change, or putting the blade through the work for inside cuts took a bit of getting used to, but things go much smoother now that I have learned the machine.

I think you will be happy with either machine if you give it time and learn to use it. And you shop isn't complete without one of them.

Don
Old 04-29-2011, 02:36 AM
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Rodney
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I have both and if I had to choose only one, I'd keep the bandsaw. I now rarely ever use the scroll saw and could easily get by without it and I build a lot of models. For those inside cuts, the old coping saw (hand powered) will suffice or use the drill press.
Old 04-29-2011, 03:06 AM
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eagledancer
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

i have both, use the bandsaw the most, hardly ever pull out the scroll saw unless i want to cut inside formers. but have found if i just cut a slit in one side of the former make the inside cut then scarf a piece of material over the access slot. so much quicker with bandsaw
Old 04-29-2011, 03:42 AM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I also prefer the bandsaw over scrollsaw. But there's a big difference in cost between the two machines which might be a consideration. On a limited budget, a good scroll saw might be the best way to go. In my experience, buying a cheap tool(in this case a cheap Chinese bandsaw) just isn't worth the problems it brings. A good bandsaw may set you back several hundred bucks. A good scroll saw would be less. BTW, I ventured into a couple of Pawn Shops recently. I saw a few scroll saws that could be had for less than $75.00.
Old 04-29-2011, 04:01 AM
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R. Ortiz
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

Thank you for all the information. It has been very helpful in deciding what to do. I think that I will start with a band saw and as soon as I can I will invest in a scroll saw. R. Ortiz
Old 04-29-2011, 08:46 AM
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limeybob
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

Well, looks like I'm in the minority.
My bandsaw has a limited throat width, so I can rip long pieces OK, but not so wide.
My scroll saw has unlimited width and 14" depth.
So I guess you will need to decide what you will be cutting the most.

Bob
Old 05-01-2011, 12:38 PM
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SKYHI1
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I have both, like them both use them both.
Sometimes I wish I had a table saw..


Frank
Old 05-01-2011, 01:49 PM
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Props4ever
 
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

Scroll saw is a must for any scratch builder, i have been scratch building for 6 years now and i don't know what i have done w/out one!

Drill presses, belt and disk sander are must also.....

Band saw if you will be cutting bigger sizes of plywood and lots of it...
Old 05-01-2011, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I use both, I also use my table saw for ripping the ply. I have also been know to rip out some stringers from sheeting when needed on the table saw. A band saw will cut faster and cleaner than a scroll saw but for inside cuts the scroll saw is a must. A good belt/disc sander combo goes a long ways as well. I cut my outside cuts about 1/32 oversize then sand them down to final shape.
Anthony
Old 05-01-2011, 07:36 PM
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ARUP
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I use band saw the most. If I had the $$$ and expertise I'd have a laser cutter!
Old 05-02-2011, 07:05 AM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

Although you have made your decision, I will chime in anyway. I also have both and would choose the band-saw, it is more versatile than is the scroll-saw, you can just do more with it. I cut my wing ribs as a block (both similar and tapered) and then slice them off like meat, very handy. Course, that was before I built my CNC router table, now I just push a button and walk away

David
Old 10-23-2011, 03:12 AM
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dadragon
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

Get both.
Old 10-23-2011, 04:17 PM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw



+1

Old 10-24-2011, 02:39 AM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I have a 14" band, 16" scroll and 12" table saws and use all three equally. I also have a benchtop versions of the belt/disc and oscillating horizontal belt/spindle sanders and drill press. Having all of these different "toys" to play with has taught me that having the right tool for a job not only saves time, it eliminates ruined parts and frustration. That being said, I didn't buy all of these at once. I started with a 7.5" B&D band saw, then the belt disc followed by the table saw. I found very quickly that each had it's limitations and, as the cash became available, the rest somehow started "appearing" in my garage, the 14" bandsaw only after I wore out the B&D toy after almost 20 years. What may sound surprising is I have two Dremel tools and they hardly ever get used any more
Old 10-24-2011, 08:45 AM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I have all of them.

For someone starting out, I would recommend the scroll saw, BUT with the goal of getting a bandsaw quickly. I'm in a hurry, and I don't like using a coping saw...I don't even have one anymore.

Having said that, I use my bandsaw the vast majority of time. Cutting out parts, ripping strips (less waste than a tablesaw, BTW). a 10tpi blade is the most I would use-it's better for plys, and 15tpi the smallest, esp. ifyou are doing thinner balsa. A good compromise would be 12tpi (that's teeth per inch, BTW).

As others have said, get quality. My bandsaw is a sears 14" throat depth, and the scrollsaw is also a sears 16". Both have cast tables.

A drill press is nice, but not really needed in this hobby. But you'll want one anyway.

I don't have a spindle sander. I have used a "robo sander" (sanding drum) in the drill press in those rare instances I needed to do internal sanding, usually large formers.
Old 10-24-2011, 03:19 PM
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WhiteRook
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

BAND SAW , because scroll saw blades dont last , youll go through a zillion of em , especially if your cutting aircraft ply. 1/4 inch
bandsaw blades even have a short life as it is
Old 10-25-2011, 05:47 AM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I have all three, but if I could only have one it would be my band saw.
Old 11-14-2011, 08:33 PM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

CNC 4 way
Old 11-15-2011, 03:44 AM
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Default RE: Band saw or scroll saw

I scratch build alot & i use both equally. I find i use my band saw on things like firewalls (hard wood & straight cuts ) & my jigsaw on wing ribs etc. The jig saw is easier on internal cuts ( faster to remove & replace blade ). Im glad i have both...Gene

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