Tool of the Week: Scroll Saw

Image of a Delta scroll saw

A while back, I posted about the West Seattle Workshop’s band saw, which is great for doing precision work. The two drawbacks to the band saw are, first that is permanently stuck at the workshop. Nobody can take it home. Second, while it does precision cuts, it isn’t as great for doing intricate work as a scroll saw. The West Seattle Tool Library currently has three scroll saws available for checkout or for use in the workshop. The major benefit to the scroll saw is you can take it home and keep it for a whole week.

Scroll saws are built for doing really fine curves, allowing users to create a wide range of toys, puzzles, artwork and clocks. Scroll saws operate on using a similar motion to a jig saw, in that the blade moves in a reciprocating up and down motion. There are several different types of blades available, each one designed to cut different materials. A major benefit to the scroll saw is most are designed to allow blades to be changed quickly, and without additional tools, saving the user time and hassle.

In addition to the scroll saws, the West Seattle Tool Library also has an introductory scroll saw workbook, with basic information and easy practice patterns to get you started. By the time you complete the exercises, you’ll have made toys, puzzles, and relief cuts among other things. It also has instructions and patterns for cutting cardboard, paper, glass and metal using a scroll saw.

Despite the small size of a scroll saw, safety is still important. Always wear eye and hearing protection and remove all loose fitting clothing and jewelry. Make sure to keep all fingers away from the blade when the saw is in use. We like our users to be in the same condition when they return the tools, as they were when they checked out the tools.

The West Seattle Tool Library has a collection of over 1,500 tools currently available, is free to use and run primarily on user donations. Our entire inventory is available online. For more information on becoming a member, please visit our website. If you are interested in volunteering at the Tool Library, please contact us at:

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Twitter: @WSToolLibrary
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