View Full Version : Tools advice (scroll saw & Router)

16-10-2017, 07:48 PM

Not sure if this is the correct place to post this but I was just looking for some advice for tools. I want to start shaping headatocks and scratchplates etc and maybe eventually bodies etc. I was looking around and was thinking of buying a scroll saw and a plunge router( turning it upside down and fixing it to a routing table). Does anyone think I should get anything else or have any advice?

Thanks in advance

17-10-2017, 10:59 PM
I used a fret saw or keyhole saw if you know what I mean draw the design you want on paper copy it to the headstock mark it further out than you want it. Watch out for the headstock width it could be different on each side. Once you have cut to your rough shape use a dremel with the rotary small cylinder to get the smoothness back. Do not leave sharp angles as the paint will not stick on a corner the same so keep them ever so slightly round. use sand paper 120-240 grit depending how the surface feels use your fingers to check if it does not feel smooth keep sanding using the 240-400. Only use 600 when you are ready to finalize the work eg on primer or sealer. or veneers. The neck wood is hard wood and is easy to cut and work with a scroll saw comes under nice to have but not necessary if you have a steady hand. If you want to rout a body then you will have to buy a router and all the attachments for your shapes and then probably a scroll saw.

18-10-2017, 02:39 AM
Iíd probably opt for a good quality Band saw (14Ē or thereabouts) over a scroll saw if you have the room and the budget for it. It would give you far more utility than a scroll saw as you will be able to size body timber, necks and body outlines and your pick guards. You might find a scroll saw limiting in terms of thickness of cut unless you get an enormous industrial jobby.
A good router is a really handy tool, and if you can get something in the 1200-1600W range, with a depth stop it will serve you well routing body cavities, smoothing body outlines after rough cutting on a band saw and making jigs and templates.
Good quality bits are a must! It doesnít matter if you have the best router you can afford if you use cheap crappy router bits. Iíve used Diablo bits from the big green shed and they work okay, Iíve bought CMT bits from carbatech and I find they work much better, Iím sure some of the other guys have other recommendations. Generally look for carbide cutting edges, preferably 2 or more flutes and you should be fine.
I canít comment on the table, Iíve never used one but it sounds like a good idea if you are going to use your router a lot. Hope this helped.

18-10-2017, 07:05 AM
Scroll saws generally are limited in thickness in cut unless you spend big bucks. I use a 10" Bandsaw from Carbatec ($470) and comfortably cuts bodies, necks etc.. and at $25/blade you can change blades readily for different applications.
As for routers as FW said bits are really important and there is a lot of range of plunge routers that are not expensive. There are a lot of options for router tables (looking for one myself) from dedicated tables to insert plates to make your own portables : as example https://www.carbatec.com.au/routing-and-shaping/router-tables
Suppose it depends on what you want to spend and the amount of use that they will get as well as space available.

18-10-2017, 07:26 AM
mmmm that large Kreg table gives me some bad ideas. Carbatec is just around the corner from work too.

18-10-2017, 08:22 AM
I have built my own router tables ever since I started using them, it's pretty easy and almost no cost involved. If you can find (or build) a suitable table/bench, I can fashion you a plate (or you can do it yourself) to attach your router to. Cut a hole in the top and a rebate for the plate, Bob's ya mother's brother.

No fancy lift kits or quick change clamps, but it gets the job done. This one has been used daily for about 8 years, had to change out the clear acrylic plate twice in that time.

Also, I agree with Frankie and Tony. A bandsaw will be a whole lot more effective than a scroll saw. Scroll saws are good for fine work, but usually lack the ability to do any heavy cutting i.e. a guitar body.

18-10-2017, 08:31 AM
I like it! Simple and functional Pabs, good post.

19-10-2017, 03:17 AM
Awesome! Thanks for all the advice! Iíll look more into bandsaws.

With regards to routers, would most of the plunge routers work ok upsidedown mounted to a table? I am going to take a trip to bunnings this weekend...potentially an expensive trip

27-12-2020, 03:23 AM
Here is a nice article for scroll saws Buying Guide: https://theedgecutter.com/best-scroll-saws/.
In this they discuss about :

Throat Capacity
Blade Tension Setting
Blades and Blade Changing
Speed Settings
Flex Lighting

And you will get nice info for Best Scroll Saws.