2019-10-21

My First Scroll Saw - Beginners Scroll Saw

AMT Scroll Saw
AMT Scroll Saw
This was my first scroll saw and the only one I used for forty plus years. I cut a lot of projects on this saw. I purchased it new direct from AMT. It is solid cast iron, which I am sure helped a lot with the vibration.

The stand I purchased from Sears after the first attempt at cutting. At the time, I did all my work outdoors, and it was evident that using a scroll saw sitting on some 2x4s stretched across sawhorses wasn't going to hack it.

I made some simple projects from one of Patrick Spielman's books and learned to use the saw cutting out little animals pallet wood.  Forty years later, my grandson plays with these. I still make them using small bits of wood leftover from other projects.

Handmade Wooden Toys Elephant Puzzle and Animal Cut Outs Made With My Scroll Saw
Handmade Wooden Toys Elephant Puzzle and Animal Cut Outs Made With My Scroll Saw

I soon discovered that pin end blades were inadequate for most scroll saw work.  Fortunately, there was a kit available for my saw that let me use pin end blades. I cut lots of fretwork patterns, one I could use pinless blades, and the blade selection was much better.

Scroll Saw Layered Wood Toy Animals, Cat, Giraffe, Puppy, Cat, I cut with my AMT
Scroll Saw Layered Wood Toy Animals, Cat, Giraffe, Puppy, Cat, I cut with my AMT


Many years later, I bought an old RBI Hawk two speed saw cheap and refurbished it.  I used this saw for a couple of years while the AMT collected dust. It didn't cut better, but the blade changes were much improved, and I liked being able to cut standing up.
Fretwork Rose I made from oak reclaimed from pallets using my AMT scroll saw
Fretwork Rose I made from oak reclaimed from pallets using my AMT scroll saw

Then one day I saw a short video demonstrating how easy it was to change the blades on an Excalibur EX21 scroll saw. I wanted one badly but not for $800. I got lucky, and a used EX21 showed up on my local Craigslist.

Fretwork Grape Vine Shelf  - One of many fretwork projects I cut with my AMT scroll saw.
Fretwork Grape Vine Shelf  - One of many fretwork projects I cut with my AMT scroll saw.
I surely didn't need three scroll saws, so I gave the AMT to a friend, but only after doing a side by side comparison where I cut the same project on all three saws. EX21 wins. Blade changes trumped and advantage the other saws had. As far as cut quality goes, I could not tell a diffrence.