View Full Version : Benefits of Home shop machining

11-29-2004, 11:27 PM
I'm getting a 16" delta scroll saw for Christmas, so I can try some fretwork, and scrollwork projects.
The kind of blades I need for this saw would be the very thin 1/16" blades, however this saw is only equipped to take from 1/8" to 3/8" blades, I think 1/8" is just to wide for intricate fretwork, so the wonderful thing about home shop machining is make the product you need.
I'm looking at designing a blade holder that will be made from steel.
I'm going to experiment with taking a 3/16" steel round bar, about an 1" or so, chuck it in my lathe, drill and ream a 1/16" hole through the center, to a depth of about 1/2",
then take it to my drill press, and drill a cross hole for tapping a 8-32 set screw to hold the saw blade in this hole.
Now after some careful measuring and layout I'll clamp it in my mill vise and machine the top portion that is solid, on both sides equally, to bring the thickness to a flat thickness of the saw blades that go in the saw, I'll have to make 2 of these one for the top of the blade and one for the bottom.
When I need to take the top of the blade out to threrad it through a new hole for cutting out a pattern, I'll loosen the set screw at the top, slide the blade out position the work piece to the next hole slide blade back in tighten set screw, and continue cutting.
I think this might work, if not I'll wait and see what kind of blade holder it is, and try to fabricate another holder like the original only with the ability to clamp smaller width blades.

11-29-2004, 11:47 PM
Although you can cut thin sheet Aluminium and Brass well on scroll saws (or other soft metals) it is far more difficult to do with steels and orther tougher materials - these are best cut with a vertical band saw driven at appropriate lower speeds for metals. Scroll saw blades are not designed to cut metal - just wood & plastic (and most plastics don't cut well either).

Generally wood working saws cannot be used without modification to cut metal stock safely.

G.A. Ewen
11-30-2004, 12:47 AM
Yup, listen to Thrud.

Your point about the benefits of home shop machining is right on. I am constantly improving or fixing things that were either poorly designed or cheaply made.

Forrest Addy
11-30-2004, 02:13 AM
Yup. Home shop machining makes it possible to spend 12 hours and $200 in new stuff to make a $12 part you could buy at Shuck's.

Keeps the checking account from overflowing too.

I reccommend it.

11-30-2004, 06:50 AM
If you wish to cut thin sheet metal, you may consider making blade holders to hold jewlers saw blades. Although they are more typically used to cut brass, silver, gold... I frequently use them in my jewlers saw frame to cut steel hinge rods in musical instruments. The down side to this is they tend to break easily and would probably be a PITA to change in your delta saw. My home shop probably doesn't make me money, but it hasn't cost me anything either. I use my machines to make instrument repair tools that far exceed the cost of the machines. I also use them to make stuff that seems rediculusly expensive for what you are getting. I recently bought a cutter for about $35 to make the rosette in a corner block for my wood casings around my doors and windows. I probably saved about $50 over the cost of buying the blocks, and I got the size and style I wanted.

Hello Thrud, wanted to wait to respond to your message until i knew you were back in the swing of things. Very glad to hear from you. Glad your feeling better.

11-30-2004, 11:25 AM
Not familiar witht the Delta blade holders. Wait till you have the saw in hand, then modify or copy the dedign for narrow blades. 1/16 blades will cut wooden fretwork just fine. Since you didn't specify the saw was for wood or metal, and based on your possession of a lathe and mill, I assume you know this was is for wood and will use it that way.

11-30-2004, 11:25 AM
I have been a machinist for several years and finally decided to move the shop to my garage and stay home with my kids. Absolutely the best thing I could have done. I used to work ten to twelve hour days for someone else and now I make the same money in three or four hours a day. Life is good.

11-30-2004, 12:25 PM
Olsen makes blades specifically for cutting metal in a power scroll saw. I have a Delta variable speed scroll saw (made in USA, it's about 8 years old). I(try to)use it for cutting clock parts from brass and steel sheet but I usually get frustrated with broken blades (yes even the special ones) and ultimately finish the job by hand; it's faster.. I persist trying to make use of the Delta becuase it takes up space.....and I can't bring myself to get rid of it. I'm getting better using the scroll saw, but having mastered the hand method, usually "finish off" by taking the path of least resistance.

I have yet to try my Butterfly die filer (with overarm) for piercing out.

I sure wish home shop EDM or water jet was a practical possibiilty!


11-30-2004, 01:08 PM
My mistake guys, I didn't specify what kind of sawing I want to do, My delta saw is for wood scroll work not planning on cutting anything else but wood, however I thought it would only take 1/8" wide blades and no smaller, but today my parents let me open the box to make sure everything, was there and nothing was broken, so as I was checking it out I found that this saw comes with an 1/16" blade the nice fret work sizes, so I was pleased to see that, now there is no need to make some sort of blade holder.
Thanks everyone for your replies.

11-30-2004, 01:18 PM
Hell, it aint *that* hard to build a CO2 laser <grin>

11-30-2004, 04:20 PM
Thanks Matt.

Yous are right about theJewellers saws too.

11-30-2004, 05:22 PM
I bought a Hegner scroll saw off ebay a few years ago and have never regretted it for a minute. Cutting fret work and intricate patterns in wood and thin metal is a pleasure and very addictive. I have had other scroll saws and a band saw but they don't hold a candle to the Hegner. Hope this helps, nice Christmas present, Wish I got it. Fred

12-02-2004, 03:49 AM
Hegners kick ass in wood or brass. Once you use those German beauties, that cheap crap Norm Abrams uses just won't do (sorry, but they are great saws).

12-03-2004, 12:36 AM
Forest wrote:
Yup. Home shop machining makes it possible to spend 12 hours and $200 in new stuff to make a $12 part you could buy at Shuck's.

Keeps the checking account from overflowing too.

I reccommend it.

I like your adituede! and quite agree. : )

12-03-2004, 01:24 AM
There are lots of other benefits....

Astonish your neightbors when the Flatbed pulls up with a scavenger hunt full of lathes, mills, and whatnots. Most housewives don't think about where to put the 9' tall bridgport.

Instill serious caution in 20 year old son, when you kindly explain that if one more broken engine ends up in the garage, I will reduce it to iron filings, mix with AL, and make a campfire.

Makes planning that garage / compound a real joy instead - and a necessity....

Gives me multiple reason to take neighbors on tour of machines they did not even know existed. After a few tours, they are much less interested.

There are lots of benefits.... :>


12-03-2004, 01:33 AM
Would that be "ADDYtoode" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif.

Well said, my thoughts exactly. I keep spending big bucks on things I can get, on sale, for chump change and not have to spend time in a frozen shop, breathing propane exhaust, wearing GLOVES to keep the metal from sticking to my fingers, nose dripping disgusting stuff that freezes everywhere, and glasses frosted over so I can't see what I'm reaching for. BUT...we must do our part to keep the world economy going and capitolism in full force otherwise we will be eating moldy meatloaf. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Happy Holidays

12-03-2004, 05:13 PM
I agree with Thrud - I love my Hegner 14" scroll saw! I cut brass and aluminum ( sometimes .090" nickel silver also) up to 1/8" thick on it all the time. I only use the Delta scroll saw for wood. Also use Olson jeweler's saw blades for metal sawing - they make good wood-cutting blades also.

The important thing is to get a scroll saw with variable speed - the Hegner is good for metal because the variable speed model will go slow enough to cut the metal without breaking the blade. Delta is a little too fast for metal at the lowest speed - also not as close in tolerances.

Hard to let the blade do the cutting - I am always trying to push the work into the blade too hard. It takes a little experience breaking blades to get the proper feel of the saw. Also helps to have the blade a little off of vertical - ie. the top of the blade should lean a couple of thousandths toward the operator - then it will cut primarily on the downstroke. Same advice when using a saw blade in a die filer.

Just take your time and let the blade gnaw into the work at its own pace. It becomes amazingly relaxing after a while. A.T.