Scroll Saw advice needed

I have some Xmas present money burning a hole in my pocket, and I want to buy a scroll saw, mainly for crossing out clock wheels and other
clock-related work.
As well as needing very fine toothed blades, I've read that a cutting speed of about half the 1400 strokes/min used for wood is best for thin metal. I've also read that a heavy cast iron machine is best in terms of reducing vibrations (seems sensible), and that at least 80 watt motor is advisable.
Hegner seems to be the Rolls Royce brand - but at a Rolls Royce price (300+ for the base model). Googling around, another machine which seems suitable is the SIP 1357, which is cast iron, with a cast iron table, variable speed 900-1400 and 90 watt motor. This model is available very cheaply (50), so I'm wondering if I've missed something.
Any comments on this particular machine, or any general advice on choosing a scroll saw for fine metalwork would be much appreciated.
TIA
Mike
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On 29 Dec 2006 01:39:56 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@virgin.net wrote:

I have to say I hate scroll saws with a passion - maybe I just have a duff one or my technique is crap, but I seem to spend more time fitting new blades than I do cutting stuff. Even when I get the thing going well, holding a line is a royal PIA.
My tool of choice for crossing out clock wheels is a CNC mill. You don't need anything very elaborate - for example, Arc's Super X1 or the Taig/Peatol mill works fine for that sort of light duty milling. Converting to CNC as a DIY exercise isn't terribly expensive these days (see my recent articles on re-converting my Taig - the motors/drivers etc. for that project would drive an X1 no problem). Granted, it would end up more expensive than the scroll saw route, but having both I know which tool gets more use!
Regards, Tony
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snipped-for-privacy@virgin.net wrote:

I wanted to suggest a Hegner. They are really solid. But be aware, there are models with a aluminium table (wouldn't buy this one for metalwork) and ones with a CI-table. I once was close to buying one and asked the dealer (wood related) how about cutting metal on it. He said, that one of his customers is doing boiler-plate work for vintage cars and is really happy with it. I didn't buy it, because I went out of money. But it is still on my list!
I owned (and still have) a Proxxon when I was looking for the Hegner and am really *not* happy with it cutting brass sheet. Maybe the problem are the blades (mine only accepts those with a small pin at both ends).
Nick
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snipped-for-privacy@virgin.net wrote:

I have a device that uses standard piercing saw blades to cut one-piece blanking tools from steel gauge plate up to 1.6mm thick. Its hand-operated and it seemed to me that a good quality scroll saw would serve even better, so I spoke to a Hegner rep about my requirements and was assured that their saw would do the trick. So I bought one. Since the blade travel was only about 10mm, the fine piecing saw blades I used were quickly blunted and just wouldn't do the job. The rep came round several times and eventually agreed that the saw wasn't going to do the job and refunded my money. I was using it to cut steel gauge plate rather than brass, but the 10mm travel meant that it was not possible to use anywhere near the full length of the blade, and even at the lowest speed I could cut only about 5mm before the blade was useless - when used in the hand-operated device I could cut at least 150mm. I'm pretty sure that, had the blade travel been closer to 50mm, it would have done the job, but 10mm is useless for cutting metal.
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lemel_man wrote:

Thanks to all who replied.
It sounds as though a scroll saw is a bad idea.
Oh well, back to the piercing saw!
Thanks
Mike
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Sorry, I don't know anything about that particular machine but I do own a B&Q 30 special and can comment generally as follows :
1. A scrollsaw (mine anyway, with me at the helm) will not cut to a straight line, the blade is too thin and cannot help but wander. I can cut within a 32nd of an inch however (in plywood generally) and a better quality machine used with more skill might improve on this, I can't say.
2. If you are going to be doing a sh**load of internal work (I guess crossing out clock wheels falls under this heading) then you _really_ need a saw that has a quick-change facility on the blades. On my scroll saw you have to unscrew the tension knob every time you unhook the blade, this gets old quickly as you then have to retension every time you cut a new hole.
3. A scroll saw is a delight compared to any manual saw provided you can live with 1. and 2. above - it's just so much less effort. But I speak only cutting plywood on a cheap machine as that's all I've used mine for.
Hth,
-- Boo
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I know some have got alloy tables but would anything from the Rexon range do the trick?
http://www.toolstation.com/?r=s&feature 053
http://www.toolstation.com/?r=s&feature8679
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Boo wrote:

Thanks for the input Boo. Since I don't really have any alternative solution other than hand power, I may end up risking some money on a cheap scroll saw.
Mike
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snipped-for-privacy@virgin.net wrote:

A die filer is what you need ... these don't just file ...the saw too.
can be picked up on ebay for a song ...less than 100.
mine shown here was bought for 85.
Excel sawing and filing machine.
its the metal workers scroll saw.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v190/aboard_epsilon/engrave/filing.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v190/aboard_epsilon/engrave/filertable.jpg
it's very versatile ...and has lots of speeds ...adjustable stroke, tilting table, compressed air piston blows the swarf away and it has fingers to stop the work lifting. Runs almost silently..
and almost any tool can be bolted in it's jaws.
including a magazine of continuous band saw blade ...when a bit wears out you just move it up. :)
The more imagination you have the better the machine becomes :)
PDF OF A LATER ALMOST IDENTICAL MACHINE TO MINE ...should give you info on speed and stroke.
http://www.bbssystem.com/manuals/Excel-Filling-Machine-Manual.pdf
I've tried brass lettering in a wood workers scroll saw ...took me a long time to perfect it ...and left me with very sore fingers ...ended up putting junior hack saw blades in it ...and using tile-saws to finish.
All the best.mark
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mark wrote:

Thanks Mark. Very helpful and interesting.
Certainly sounds like the ideal machine (short of a CNC mill), but I just don't have the space for another machine of this size. Which is why I thought the scroll saw might be a possible solution.
Mike
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