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Model Airplane building tool review-- Dremel Scroll Saw!

By Cliff Griffin   


I have often wondered why several guys cursed their Dremel scroll saws. This weekend I took the time to figure out why the Dremel scroll saw stinks so much. Since this is the only one that I've used in the last 15-20 years, I thought they were all like this...except for other foul descriptions of this saw, which never said WHY the Dremel is so bad. I often had a hard time getting a straight cut, and it seemed to stray off at an angle. I thought it was just a bad habit of scroll saws. But...not anymore...and the fix is not that difficult.

This weekend I set out to make my Dremel worthy. At first, I thought it was an old blade, so I put a new one in. That didn't do it. Maybe the blades were too narrow, so I bought some that were wider. That didn't do it. Then I looked closely at the blade holding system. There are pins on the ends of the blades, the blade goes through a slot, and those pins go into grooves at the blade holding ends...but there are two problems with this system...

First, the slot that the blade goes through is wide, maybe 1/16" of an inch or more. That's pretty bad when you are putting in a blade that's only .020" or so. That means that the blade can tip at an angle, if you slide the top to the left, and the bottom to the right. (Or vice-versa.)

Secondly, the grooves that the pins rest in to "center" the blades are about twice the size of the pins!!! This allows the pins to freely slide fore/aft...and since the alignment slot is wide enough, the left pin can slide forward while the right pin can slide back. With the blade rotated like this, the thing is guaranteed to cut at an angle.

The FIX:
The simplest thing is to just push the blade up against one side of the slot, and that pretty much squares it up, if you remember to do this each time. You also need to push the blade so the pins hit the front (or rear) of the grooves each time.

A better way...I filled the grooves with JB Weld, and popped in a blade, centered and straight. I noticed that the Dremel brand blades have slightly smaller pins than the Rigid brand blades...so I used the Dremel blades to set the JB Weld in. The larger pins center on the grooves just fine.

Now the foot still stinks (too large and spread out with about a 1" gap, especially for the smaller items, or cuts close to an edge) but at least I can get the thing to cut straight! It's really not so bad any more. rcfaq

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