Saturday, March 27, 2010

Home made scroll saw stand by Kenneth Van Winkle.

Hi guys, I have been under the weather with a bug of some type. I have not been out of bed for a couple days so of course I have not done much here. I wanted to do a post tonight and luckily Kenneth Van Winkle had sent me this article to share. There are several good tips here. Thanks Kenneth. I appreciate the help while I work on feeling better.

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Kenneth Van Winkle:
Here’s another idea to possibly share regarding scroll saw mounting options:

I wanted to mount my saw, but didn’t fully agree with most of the commercial options available...As other people have done, custom building one seemed to be the best way to get the desired results...In searching the internet, I ran across a few different do-it-yourself designs, but once again, none of them seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.

- The first thing to point out is that this is a three-legged design...Research revealed that a three legged stand, for any purpose , not just mounting a scroll saw, provides the most stability (the commercial stand for the Dewalt uses the same concept)...Research also revealed that a heavier base provided a better mounting surface for a scroll saw; or any other machine that generates vibration/cyclic movement...Some say that a lighter stand has a tendency to “walk” across the shop floor...The three-legged design combined with the added weight provides an extremely stable and sturdy mounting base that doesn’t move while the saw is in operation.

- The saw is mounted on top of a solid piece of wood (plywood has a tendency to amplify vibration more than solid wood)...The mounting surface is covered with carpeting, and then carpet foam padding is placed between the carpeted surface and the bottom of the saw...The saw is firmly bolted to the mounting surface, but rubber washers, along with other steel washers, were used on both ends of the bolts to help dampen vibration. One item to mention here is that the idea is to provide enough anti-vibration and noise dampening, without compromising the firmness of the mount...If the interface between the stand and the saw is too “squishy” and “soft”, the saw could be allowed to move too much in relation to the stand that it would cancel out the reason for mounting the saw in the first place.

- Several sources mention tilting the saw slightly forward to provide a better working angle (both for viewing, and for comfort)...This particular design uses a 5 degree tilt (which is coincidently the same angle used to cut and mount the legs)...Research indicated that a variety of angles could be used; anywhere from absolutely level to as much as 30 or more degrees...It would appear that operator preference dictates the actual angle that is used ...I chose 5 degrees, because it provided the ability to take advantage of tilting the saw while not over defying gravity (I didn’t want to continually push uphill too much, and I also wanted the ability to take my hands off of the work piece without it sliding off the table).

Other than the stand, the photos also illustrate a couple of other tips that I’ve picked up on.

- I rigged up an aquarium pump to replace the insufficient blower that came with this particular model of saw...The pump sits upon a piece of carpeting to help reduce noise...I was unsuccessful in obtaining any specific information regarding the actual size of aquarium pump to use for this purpose...Once again, I think this is simply a matter of personal preference...Initially, I used a pump rated for a 10 gallon tank (pretty much the smallest available), but found it to be just borderline effective...Rather than using trial and error by upgrading one size at a time, I decided to skip up a couple of sizes and use a pump rated for 60 gallons...This model of pump provides many configuration options, as it has two outlet ports and greater airflow than the smaller models...I configured mine by using both outlet ports; routing them trough a “T” fitting...If one of the outlet ports is left open, the pump generates more noise than if both are used...The tubing is attached to the upper arm of the saw using some adhesive 3M cable routing clips...I installed a needle valve that was provided with the pump at the point where the tubing enters the flexible blower tube that came with the saw...It provides easy access to adjust the air flow while the saw is in operation...The flexible blower arm was repositioned and attached to the bracket degined for the hold-dwon (shich I don’t use)...It allows the blower the added reach to blow the dust backward, away from the operator.

- As the blade slot in the table on the Dremel is relatively large (at least from side-to-side), a sheet of thin hardboard was attached to the tabletop with carpet tape...A much smaller blade hole was then available to prevent smaller pieces from falling through the table, and to provide a surface that is just slightly larger than the original table, without flopping over the edges...As a disadvantage, the table cannot be tilted without modifying the design (but then, I haven’t yet cut anything that required the table to be tilted)...Now instead of waxing the cast iron table, I use spray pledge on the hardboard, and maintain a clean and slick work surface.

- Not shown in the photos, I use a footswitch and a magnifying lamp mounted to a sawhorse set up next to the saw stand...Both of these items are highly recommended by various sources as options...However, after having used them, I’ve found them to be almost essential to provide a certain degree of accuracy and control while cutting.

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