Today, I ventured out into the sea of commuter lemmings to return the
"defective" scroll saw. And while the sales guy rebuked my visual
inspections of the remaining saws with "Well no one else has
complained about these", I opened three more boxes. As for other
people complaining, it speaks both to new user (in)experience and the
fact that many of these may not be opened until after Christmas.
Just wait, Dude...
Feeling more than a bit like Goldilocks, I opened box one, it had the
same defect; Box two, ditto; But the third box was just right. Funny
how the last box you look in always contains what you're looking for.
Including the original, that's a 75% rejection rate.
Nice Going, Guys!
Anyway, this replacement saw performs much better. The zero clearance
insert I fabricated for the original saw simply would not stay put due
to the blade's unpredictable vacillation - even after mowing through a
piece of wood or two. On the replacement saw, it's rock steady. Also
missing is the tear out of the wood fibers around the cut. This
particular saw cuts clean. The following picture dramatically
illustrates the difference between the two upper arm/clamp assemblies:
The tables on both are roughly milled, as per most all Delta products
as of late, but is a nice size and the rearward extension is useful
for additional support. The table insert opening is level in this saw,
but was canted on the original. The original table had grind marks
measuring up to .008", but was planar. The grind on the new table is
better, measuring about .003", and is flat with the exception of a
small crescent shaped .008" bump at the right rear of the insert
opening. At least it projects upwards, so removing the lump and
polishing the grind marks from the table should be straightforward.
After all, inexpensive has it's price...
The motor retains speed throughout varying loads (the controller IC
pretty much guarantees that much), and with a coarse blade, I had no
trouble sawing detail into 1.5" pine or 3/4" oak, ash and walnut.
The aluminum clamshell housings actually fit together properly on this
unit, unlike the original, but I don't know if any of the threads are
stripped - and at this point, I don't really _want_
So at this point, I am venturing to say that these saws do offer a
bargain if you can avoid the lemons. Much beefier than the $160
Hitachi or the $199 Dremel, but not as finely machined as the $500
Dewalt. And you get a fairly sturdy three-legged steel stand to boot.
If you are interested in one of these saws, support your local
woodworking dealer and buy where you can inspect the unit before
purchase. Rockler is currently selling these units for $159 - while