Home-made Scroll Saw / Fret Saw from Scrap.

This project was made so that smaller detailed wooden parts could be cut. It was very basic with no tilt on the table and simple blade holders. Construction was mostly from wood.

This project was also designed to make use of an old jigsaw which had a broken blade holder and trigger switch.









The jigsaw had the broken switch removed.

A new blade holder was made from a block of steel and a square washer held in place by a wing nut. The block was brazed on to the old blade holder and machined so that the clamping face was square with the axis of the jigsaw.

On the underside the mounting plate had one corner removed to give clearance for the wing nut.









The base of the scroll saw was a piece of 20mm thick marine plywood. Cut to shape and sanded as shown. The size of the wood was large enough to give a working area of 150mm an all sides of the blade. An extended area at the back gave the saw a throat of 250mm.

On the underside, at the back a piece of hardwood was cut to give a table height of 190mm. This was needed to accommodate the jigsaw under the table. At the front two blocks were bored to take some old kitchen unit legs which were adjustable to level the table.

Underside of table









The remaining parts were just cut to suit. The arm was cut from an old coffee table leg (oak).

A piece of M10 steel studding was used to connect the tensioning spring to the adjuster wheel which was just a apiece of timber turned on the lathe.

The pivot for the arm was drilled last with the blade assembled, to ensure it was vertical in both planes.









Blade holder pinned in place

The upper blade holder was a 12mm piece of square bar turned to have an 8mm spigot on the back. This was pushed into an 8mm hole in the end of the arm and pinned in place.

A little extra was sanded from one side of the arm to make clearance for the wing nut.









The jigsaw was fitted with a variable speed control which was a purchased part. It was fitted as shown here, between the input supply and the motor wires and was suitable for up to 600W (The Jigsaw was rated at 350W).






The initial cuts were OK, but the spring tension was not high enough and the blade buckled at higher speeds. At lower speeds the saw didn't have the strength to cut thicker material.

With a stronger spring fitted performance was much increased, but the problem with this whole design was that the stronger spring loaded the motor more. However, in reality this didn't seem to be a problem.











First cut on the saw











Finally some photos of the general arrangement to give a feel for the construction.