Can an old, heavy cast iron scroll saw cut guitar bodies?

Michael A.

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There is a saw for sale locally that looks like it would be sturdy enough to cut out the 3-4 guitar bodies I'd like to build or modify in the coming years. I'm waiting for the seller to tell me the brand, etc. I will never have space or justification for a band saw unless used or a table top model. This one is very inexpensive, so I thought it might be a better option than the jig saw I already have. Any thoughts?


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RodeoTex

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Yes, that should cut bodies.
Slow going though because the travel of the blade is going to be less than the thickness of the body. Thus it can't exhaust all the sawdust on each stroke.
I did it this way for a long time before finally getting a band saw.
 

Peegoo

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Here's the limitation of a scroll saw: the stroke needs to be at least as long as the wood is thick.

This allows the teeth on the blade to clear the chips out of the kerf as the work is advanced past the reciprocating blade.

If the stroke is shorter than the thickness of the work, the blade cannot clear the chips because the gullets between the teeth clog up, forcing the blade sideways and causing it to overheat. It makes for a very inaccurate cut, and the blades don't last as long.

Scroll saws are generally best for thin materials.
 

schmee

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Nice heavy machine, but still limited by the tiny scroll blade. I would guess it will be pretty rough non perpendicular cut. Great for 1/4" thick material.
 

old wrench

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For cutting out guitar bodies, typically around 1-3/4" thick -

With a good blade in your jig saw, it'll run circles around that scroll saw

Scroll saws are great for fine and detailed work on thin stock -

They are capable of work where you need to cut out a shape within a shape, like for instance a pickup hole within a pick guard

You can drill a starting hole just large enough to pass the scroll saw blade through, then re-attache the blade and saw away

I bought a used scroll saw a long time ago because I thought it would be useful, and I still have it, but honestly, I rarely find a use for it

The only guitar-related work I've it for is cutting pick guards and pickup surrounds and for cutting rear control cavity access panels on thin-line type guitars where the thickness is only about 1/4"

Like this -

IMG_1207.JPG

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Michael A.

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Thanks for the input from all! There are some differing opinions, but the consensus is generally to skip it. I'll save money if the jig saw is a better option, and will find some high quality blades and give it a go.
 

eallen

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For cutting out guitar bodies, typically around 1-3/4" thick -

With a good blade in your jig saw, it'll run circles around that scroll saw

Scroll saws are great for fine and detailed work on thin stock -

They are capable of work where you need to cut out a shape within a shape, like for instance a pickup hole within a pick guard

You can drill a starting hole just large enough to pass the scroll saw blade through, then re-attache the blade and saw away

I bought a used scroll saw a long time ago because I thought it would be useful, and I still have it, but honestly, I rarely find a use for it

The only guitar-related work I've it for is cutting pick guards and pickup surrounds and for cutting rear control cavity access panels on thin-line type guitars where the thickness is only about 1/4"

Like this -



.
+1 on George's thoughts!
A good jig saw and blade can work quite well. I had a nice Bosch I used for a few years when I first starting building. The real key is the blades as well. Bosch TT30BFP & T308BFP precisons hardwood blades are the tops. Hardened ridgid blades.

Eric
 

randomhitz

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checked one out to try from my local tool library. A little research told me that thicker wood needs a blade with less teeth. The one with the most teeth was 7 per inch. After trying with the fine cut blade the saw came with I thought it seemed possible to do with the school saw. I ordered some course blades to try but I have not had the chance to try them yet. Having no experience with scroll saws I found that figuring out what blade to get was a bit complicated. There are two types of blades--one with a small pin through the blade at the top and the bottom and one without. It would be nice to have the optimal blade in the machine to make a judgment about it suitability.
 

jedediahd

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Pretty cool saw, though. Bet it can make great templates, stencils and the like. Looks perfect for overlay material as well (like for headstocks) Good use for cutting tops and pickguards as was noted. If you machine enough thickness for the top, maybe you could get enough stroke to cut the body?
 

robt57

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Drop top of 1/4" for a [and cut] 1-1/2" pine back perhaps. Even 1/4" thick could be edge of tomorrow if your drop top is Walnut, Bubinga, etc. Just IMO.
 




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