If you are thinking about doing some scroll saw projects, you will need to consider what you will need to set up your scroll saw workshop.
A scroll saw workshop does not have to be some elaborate setup with a huge space to work in. It can take some very needed things though to get started. I wanted to share 10 things I needed to set up my scroll saw workshop and and get started creating my scroll saw projects.
The Actual Workshop
When I decided I wanted to get into scroll saw projects, I really needed a good environment to work in. The things I considered while I was thinking about a workshop were these
- Was I going to have enough room. Space seems like it can be a bit important when scrolling. I definitely need some elbow room and some actual space to be able to get up and move around a bit when my back or fingers get tired from scrolling.
- I figured that I would need some good lighting in the room. At the time I felt that I was going to need a big brighter lighting in the room as over the years my eye sight has been slowly deteriorating.
- Like any other wood working hobby, I realized that I needed some good tables, and I need those tables near by the scroll saw.
- Of course to do all this stuff in my new scroll saw workshop, I need power. For those of you that do not want to risk electric shock and such and maybe don’t now to much about power, get the assistance of a qualified electrician.
I have a 200 square foot shed I built as my workshop/storage area. It has some pretty good room as long as I can keep from putting too much junk into it for storage. The lighting is fairly decent. I run four 60W equivalent bulbs which seem to give off a good amount of light in that size of space.
I have placed tables in my workshop ready to use when I had my scroll saw. I also had three outlets installed so I could get access to power from 3 sides of the workshop.
Scroll Saw Setup
Once I had my scroll saw workshop set up and ready to go, I next turned my thoughts to the scroll saw, scroll saw table, additional lighting and a chair.
- I purchased the Dewalt scroll saw, of which I acquired through Amazon. My close second choice was a possible purchase of the WEN as it had a great price and people seem to give that one a try a lot and give it good ratings. Quite simply I chose the Dewalt because I love Dewalt products (As you may see from some of my photos). And it also did not hurt that I had some additional tax return money burning a hole in my pocket. Choosing your scroll saw should likely be one of your biggest choices when starting out doing scroll saw projects
- Next I need something to put my scroll saw on. I thought about some of the table space in my workshop and I thought about purchasing or building my own scroll saw stand. All good points to look into. I ended up choosing the Dewalt scroll saw stand.
- As I mentioned above when considering your workshop, you need to think about lighting. Having a good amount of lighting on my project as I cut it out seemed like a really good idea. There seem to various many options to choose from when it comes to lighting.
- I ran into this nice lamp on Amazon that people seemed to really like and it had a clamp on it: KEDSUM 7W Dimmable LED Desk Lamp.
- This one has a magnetic mount that could work for some:LED Light, Magnetic Mount Anywhere, 12-Inches Flexible Gooseneck .
- But again, I found a Dewalt lamp that actually goes with my scroll saw, so once again I ended up getting that one (It was actually not to bad on price).
For me, in the end I went with the entire Dewalt scroll saw package. I have not regretted it since even though it may have been a bit pricey.
Scroll Saw Blades
Scroll saw blades come in a few different varieties. Some of these scroll saw blades are not for beginners and can require some learned technique. To get my scroll saw workshop rolling I need to get some scroll saw blades to start.
I bought some reverse skip double tooth blades as some starter blades from Olson. I think that these were perfect for staring out into this hobby. The Blade has two teeth, then a gap style pattern. Down the blade there are some teeth facing in the other direction.
The teeth in the other direction help with smoothness of the cut. Keeping the rough edges off the wood with a blade that cuts smoother was something I saw as a good benefit.
When I got a little more advanced in my scroll saw projects, I went with some spiral scroll saw blades that I just can’t seem to go without now. I bought some called Flying Dutchman spiral scroll saw blades from Amazon. There are plenty of blades in the pack and I anticipate they will last me some time.
A major thing to consider when it comes to some of your first blades for your workshop is to get some variety in your blade sizes. I believe the ranges can go from #3/0, #2/0, #1, #2 to #12. You are going to deal with some different sizes of wood and I found I needed that little bit of variety to help me along in some of my first projects.
For any project dealing with wood, there is always sand paper to consider. Your scroll saw workshop will need plenty of sand paper. Sand paper comes in may sizes and grits. When I get sand paper, I go for finer grits. I do like to have some of the rougher grits on hand though. You never know when you will really need to take off some very rough edges on your work.
I like to have a good set of the square type of sand paper in my workshop. The stuff that you have to use a little bit of elbow grease to work it. I know that we all like to have our tools but often times I find myself just wanting to work out some edges on my project by hand.
Something pretty neat I stumbled onto was some sand paper called Sandits. Or, I have seen some stuff called sanding twigs. These sanding tools are very unique in that they can get into tight and small places. For a scroll saw workshop, I would highly recommend these as I have found myself trying to work out some very fine details in many of my projects.
These sandits and sanding sticks can also come in a variety of grits and sizes to get into some of the smallest nooks and crannies.
Drill and Drill Bits
Every workshop needs a drill. I can’t imagine any wood worker not having some sort of a drill. There are plenty of drills out there including non powered drills, so I can’t imagine any excuse for not having one.
For scroll saw projects in your workshop the drill is an essential tool. You will need to put pilot holes in your scroll saw projects quite a bit, and that drill is going to get used quite often.
I purchased two drills. A Dewalt and a Black and Decker of all things. I have had my Dewalt around for years. It has two battery packs and while I am using one, the other is charging. The Black and Decker is newer and I have to say I am not too disappointed with the drill.
Additionally, you will need a variety of drill bits. You will be feeding those scroll saw blades though those pilot holes so often that you will find that different sizes are a must. Different sizes of scroll saw blades in turn will require different sizes of drill bits.
For the most part though you will need the smaller range of drill bits to help you along in your scroll saw projects.
Wood glue is a great addition to any scroll saw workshop. I cannot count the times it has come in quite handy. I have broken of pieces of my project before to find that wood glue had come to save the day.
Where I have used the most wood glue would be for the Intarsia type projects. Each piece was carefully glued together to create the final project.
I typically go with the Elmers Wood glue, but I think there are other name brands out there.
You would not think it but clamps have been quite nice in my scroll sawing projects. I have used them to hold wood firmly together that has been glued. I have used them to hold onto small pieces of wood I am running through my scroll saw (keep my fingers safe). I have even used them to hold the project down to a table as I am drilling or sanding.
I have purchased these ones here at Amazon. IRWIN QUICK-GRIP 1964758 One-Handed Mini Bar Clamp 4 Pack, 6″
You may be able to get by without any sort of clamps in your scroll saw workshop, but as I have gone on scrolling, they have just been to helpful for me to not have them.
Scroll Saw Tape
When I first started doing scroll saw projects, I stumbled onto something wonderful… When people attach their pattern to the wood, I can only imagine some of the different ways people use to do so.
With much success in my scroll sawing projects, I found what is called Scroll Saw Tape. This stuff is absolutely wonderful and I highly recommend it for any scroll saw workshop.
Scroll saw tape is essentially two sided sticky tape. One side sticks to the wood, while the other side sticks your pattern to the wood. When you are done scrolling, the leftover pattern pieces peel off very nicely, leaving no paper behind.
I tried using some of that printer paper you print on and then you stick it onto your wood as it has a peel off sticky side on the paper. That was a bad idea when I realized I could not remove the pattern pieces from the wood!
So Many Patterns
There are certainly plenty of patterns out there. If there is one thing I have learned, that is there is plenty of imagination out there when it comes to scroll saw patterns.
The trick for any scroll saw hobbyist is which patterns they wish to tackle based upon their perceived abilities.
You can go ahead and create your own patterns, but chances are someone may already have something similar out there. The bad news is, that you may have to pay for those patterns. There are plenty of free patterns out there, but I think there are just as many for sale as well.
Lots of Wood
I have used pine, oak, and birch in many of my scroll saw projects. I plan to use some other woods like maple, walnut, and zebra wood.
You will need a constant supply of wood steadily coming into your scroll saw workshop. If you are a very avid and busy scroll saw worker, you will obviously have to supply your wood more often than others.
Wood can be expensive, and you will find that with scroll saw projects, wood will be you biggest expense years down the road.
I suggest some thought and planning on each piece that you cut out, as you can utilize any scraps from projects in other projects.
There are likely a few other things to consider when setting up your scroll saw workshop that I might not have mentioned. I have named ten items here that I feel are important things to think about when you are getting yourself set up, as they are ten items that I went through and thought about when getting myself set up.
I hope in reading, I have helped you in some way with some ideas of what should be in your workshop. There is no single workshop that is ideal for everyone and our needs, budgets, and abilities will be different. Good luck and thanks for reading.