Wednesday 11 July 2018
WPP has featured scrollsaw projects from the very start but we seldom look at the kit required, so here we we're having a look at a premium Excalibur scrollsaw model – the EX-21.
Size-wise, this machine sits in the mid range of three Excalibur models; the others have smaller and larger tables than this one. The major difference is the table size, with most other other features being apparently identical.
It is heavily built with thick folded steel fabrications, including the large area table. The blade arm is equally solid and can be wound up or down to suit blade size.
It is powered by a brush motor that can be adjusted to alter the degree or not of horizontal oscillation. The movement mechanism for the blade is confined to the very front end where there is a blade tensioning lever. This is applied after fitting a pin-less blade between the clamps, which are tightened with lock knobs. A wire guard underneath keeps fingers safe and above the table a combined work hold down and guard is fitted, which can be removed if required. A segmented blower is fitted and under the table there is an extraction facility connected to a thin plastic shield, which draws
dust through holes in the blade area.
On the front of the blade arm there is a rubber 'on-off' switch and a variable-speed control for working in different materials. The arm can be tilted up to 35° left and 45° right, by using a large twist knob and locking lever. The holes in the lower machine sides are designed to hold plastic tubes, which are often supplied when you buy packs of blades. The steel stand is an extra but is height adjustable and gives stability with no vibration.
Overall, this is a well-behaved machine and the price reflects the quality. It works smoothly and, of course, using the correct blades for the job in hand makes a big difference. There is little to criticise: extraction and the blower do a reasonable job, the only minus being a slightly noisy mechanism in the upper arm of the machine. The EX-21 is well built and will therefore give years of good service.
Pegas scrollsaw blades
To complement the Excaliber EX-21, you need a good variety of scrollsaw blades and the Swiss-made Pegas blades are about as good as you can get. They come in a bewildering array of types and sizes, but hopefully Roger Buse's article will help guide you. A good place to start is the 'blade mixed pack', which gives you a chance to try out various types and tooth sizes. A tip, though, is to buy larger pack sizes when you know what you actually want and save money, because creating a decent size project could cause you to go through quite a few blades and possibly run out just when you don't need to!
Blade types available are as follows: spiral, modified geometry, reverse skip, coping saw, metal cutting, pinned and skip-tooth. All are supplied in various tooth sizes, click here for more information.