scroll saw or band saw?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tommy Gunz, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. I'm a newbie in woodworking but I'm planning to put together a little workshop in the garage and start to learn how to build a simple bass. I understand that a scroll gives much better flexibilty in making curve cuts, but would it work for a typical 1 3/4" thick body blanks? I use a band saw once a while at work, but I could only make slightly curved cut because the blade will bend too much, may be it isn't heavy duty enough? What's the minimum size of a band saw that I should get?
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    try a band saw with a wood working area, and use a thinner wood cutting blade. The thick blades with many teeth are for metal work. The thinner ones with coarser teeth are for wood. Try that.
  3. Thanks for the advice. Yeah, the one we use at work are mainly for cutting metal plate and plexi-glass board. May be that's the problem. What about the side space clearence? The scroll saw that I'm looking at in the catalogue has 16" of spacing but a tyical band saw only has 9". Would that limit my ability to turn the wood in different direction as I'm making the cut?
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    get one of the bench style scroll saws. you will need the work area. Most bench top scroll saws would be way too small.
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Get a band-saw. Scroll saws are for thin work, and will choke on some of the dense woods you'll use. Plus, you'll use the bandsaw for lots of other stuff like resaw.

    Get a 14" bandsaw or larger if you can afford and fit it in your shop. I started with a benchtop band saw, which was 9" (I think) and it was okay, but underpowered for big jobs and didn't work for anything bigger than a 5 string.

    A 1/4" blade should be able to cut most contours.
  6. mikgag

    mikgag Guest

    Mar 25, 2002

  7. yeah, I need to come over to you and Al's new shop and check out what other equipment I should buy (steal). :D

    FBB, thanks for the info!
  8. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    I tried using my scroll saw (before I had a bandsaw) for body cuts. It worked, but the blades broke and dulled very quickly, and it was also less precise than using a band saw because there's more give/flexibility in the scroll blades.

    Agreed, get a band saw + 1/4" blade, and practice on scrap.