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Modding Scroll Saw for acrylic (or alu?) - is it worth?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by phinix, 16 Nov 2009.

  1. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    I always liked the idea of scroll saw, but never actually used it.
    I was thinking about buying one of those, but theres one thing - it is always said it is for wood.
    What about acrylic or aluminium? Could it cut 3mm acrylic sheets or 2mm alu?
    I have a dremel and jig saw - would I gain a lot by getting that machine?
    I'm tired of paying for cnc or laser cuts every time there is something small and detailed to cut.
    Would be better to pay once for a scroll saw and do all the stuff by myself?

    Do you guys use scroll saw? and for what material?

    EDIT: I just watched this movie on YT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YmUm-wa1xI
    This guys is cutting about 15-20mm thick acrylic and it looks like it can handle it very easily!
    He mentioned he used some other blades than regular for wood, but looks like still its fine for acrylic, and here fro metal...
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2009
  2. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    I don't use a scroll saw, but I imagine that it should be okay to use with acrylic. Just pick up a special plastic-cutting blade, and you'll be alright. It's best to find a blade that specifically mentions acrylic.

    Plastic blade examples.
     
  3. Ryan Cooper

    Ryan Cooper It's been a long time.

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    Im almost sure that the scroll saw comes with different blades for acrylic and metals. I say invest in it. But make sure you buy the one from dremel.
     
  4. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    Dremel apparently doesnt sell them anymore:(
     
  5. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    I found TITAN one for £59 at ScrewFix

    and here is some other brand - DRAPER - here - for £75

    Also another one that comes with 2 years warranty - SIP - for £92...

    Thing is if they all gonna work same, no issues, I would buy the cheapest one...
     
  6. THP Dan

    THP Dan New Member

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    I was thinking about getting that one from screwfix, they also sell the blades cheap (10 for under £4) with different TPI the more TPI the finer the cut.
     
  7. sentek

    sentek New Member

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    im using a scroll saw for almost all the cutting for my mod atm.. it can handle 1.5mm alu no problem, i imagine it could do 3mm if you went slow, but you need to get some blades made for cutting metals.. ive not tried it on acrylic but ive seen other people cut acrylic on a scroll saw, i think you need to set it to a low speed or it will melt :p

    i wasnt sure at the time if i should get a scroll saw or a jigsaw, but now im glad i picked a scroll saw, i dont think some of the smaller pieces would have been doable with a jigsaw.. and it cuts much easier/cleaner/faster than a dremel, although i still use my dremel for hard-to-reach spots
     
  8. Djayness

    Djayness phwupupupup

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    I work with acrylic alot and I have a scroll saw, it adimitedly doesnt get alot of use each build and I was pretty dissapointed with it as a cutting medium. If the blade is loosened it wont cut the curves right, if its too tight the blade will snap, if you go too fast the acrylic will melt and remelt etc etc.

    Spend a bit more time with a thin acrylic jigsaw blade and you will usually get a much better result in my experience. Alot of people have had wonderful experiences with the scroll saw, just not me :p
     
  9. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    A scroll saw is great. This is the right time of year to find a cheap one too. Wait for the Christmas gift gear to show up in the hardware stores.;) I picked one up for under $100 US.
    They work great on cast acrylic 1/4" and thinner. I found I could cut even 3/4" if I kept the blade wet and cool.
     
  10. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    See, your word Cheapskate is worth a lot to me, that is why I'm going to buy one:)
    You do a lot in acrylic, so you use it a lot right? What brand is it?
    Do you think cheap one will be good? What blades do you use for acrylic? those with lots of small teeth?
     
  11. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    Hmmm... ok, so got two model I could buy:

    that cheapest TITAN - for £59 at ScrewFix

    - Erbauer for £90 http://www.screwfix.com/prods/21062/Power-Tools/Benchtop-Woodworking/Erbauer-ERB110SSW-90W-405mm-Scroll-Saw-230V

    Would I need speed adjustment? TITAN I think works with one speed, has 1 year warranty. Erbauer has 2 years I think and has variable speed and has pre-installed flex shaft, sth like dremel and comes with 100 piece kit for this shaft.... Has lamp too... but do I need all of that? I have dremel, lamp on my desk etc:)

    I believe variable speed would bebetter for acrylic to keep it cooler and not to melt together again, right? but that 1400 spm is it really that fast? Should I just go for the cheapest one?

    and what if fret saw?
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2009
  12. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Well... if you do alot with a scrollsaw, then you won't regret to invest a little bit more money.

    The PROXXON-tools >> http://www.proxxon.com/us/ << are my choice, when it comes to stuff like this... and NO, I'm not a salesmen for this company :hehe:

    http://www.minicrafttools.com/37090.html

    230 bucks seem a little bit expensive first, but this thing is really worth the money.
    3mm aluminium or 10mm acrylic is no problem with the right blades, and the right adjustment of the speed. 200 - 1,400 strokes/min and a 200 Watts does make a difference :thumb:
     
  13. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    You know what phinix, you've put me right in the mood to buy myself a scroll saw! That Erbauer one looks awesome. Although I need a bandsaw more at the moment. Hmm, decisions decisions.
     
  14. johnnyboy700

    johnnyboy700 Active Member

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    Make sure you use a blade for plastics when cutting as you will chip the edges of the cut if you use the wrong type. Its always best if you have a variable speed option on any power tool as different materials and/or thicknesses do require a change of speed for optimal results.

    Be careful of cutting acrylic at high speeds with regards to the speed of your cut, depending on the material thickness and rate of cut you may generate a lot of friction as you go, this can fuse the acrylic together again and clog the blade. It does help if you have a proper lubricant, oil based is best (not water) but be wary that when some oils vapourise with the blade heat they can produce hazardous fumes (WD-40 is particularly bad) so make sure you use official cutting lubricants.
    If you must use WD-40, then make sure you have plenty of ventilation and/or a suitable mask - you will of course be wearing eye protection...
     
  15. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    What's band saw? whats the difference? is that the one that have belt-kinda blades that goes aroung inside of it? So it doesn't go up and down?:confused:

    eye protection... :worried: ... got it... :)

    so no water? ok... soapy water, no?
    To be honest I wish I had a laser cutter;) But I like my kidney so won't be buying laser any time soon;)
    Yep, I see variable speed is a MUST for acrylic... Looks like I need to buy some more expensive then that TITAN, which has one 1400spm speed....
    This Erbauer looks cool - it has knob to change speed, has blower, has lamp (!), has that workpiece holder, so I can push it down ti the table, has built-in dremel shaft and comes with 100 pcs kit for it... £90... My wife will use it first when sees I bought it and cut sth off my body probably, but looks like its worth it!
    What do you guys think?

    [​IMG]
    Anyone in UK knows good scroll saw brand?
     
    Last edited: 20 Nov 2009
  16. voigts

    voigts New Member

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    I have a really cheap one speed scroll saw. It is wonderful for working with thinner sheet metal, wood, and cast acrylic. It doesn't however work well for extruded acrylic as extruded simply melts too easily for what my scroll saw can do. A variable speed one would be a big help here.

    I have used and used my scrollsaw, and couldn't make it through any case building without it. I can cut with a scrollsaw acrylic that my jig saw with acrylic blades would crack in pieces.
     
  17. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    Cool! Looks like really handy tool. I must save some moeny now for that Erbauer.. looks like a winner, cause got all the advantages...
     

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