Something different! - A lathe powered scroll saw

  • Advertise with us
Project by MactheKnife posted 12-29-2013 12:03 AM 14408 views 12 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my latest project, its a Scroll Saw and its powered by my Lathe.

The design is inspired (ok copied!) from this one by Corydoras, after a lot of hunting around, but I never found another powered by a lathe.

I wanted to take the drive for this from my lathe for several reasons, but mainly because its quiet!

Its mostly made from offcuts, the base is 60mm Beech Ply from my workbench build, the frame and arms are Ash and I used about an 1/8th of a sheet of 10mm Beech ply for the table and its support. The alignment bearings are mounted with Iroko and the lathe adaptor is an oak offcut. It has bearings in the rocker arms, drive link and lathe attachment, 14 in total (sounds excessive, but most are doubled up). The blade hangers are some old brackets I had which were modified with a hacksaw and a hammer to fit.

Blade changes are simple and require a few turns of a wing nut to complete. it will take standard length junior hacksaw blades or the larger scroll saw blades (fitted in the pictures). It runs on the lowest speed on my lathe and cuts brilliantly and is as quiet as I intended, probably because of the excessive amount of bearings! The lathe mount is the same as the one on the wall in the photos, which is my lathe mounted sander.

Total cost on this one was about £20, half on bearings and half on the 10mm beech ply. I haven’t done any sketchup drawings of it, but if anyone wants some I can do.

Here it is in motion:

20 comments so far

View Bsmoot's profile


64 posts in 4440 days

#1 posted 12-29-2013 12:53 AM

That is so cool keep up the good work

-- Bryant north carolina

View bch's profile


310 posts in 4187 days

#2 posted 12-29-2013 04:18 AM

I love it! I love “re-purposing” your lathe to make other tools. Great job.

-- --bch

View jim65's profile


1021 posts in 3432 days

#3 posted 12-29-2013 08:36 AM

That is an excellent project, very nice!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View Dutchy's profile


4399 posts in 3667 days

#4 posted 12-29-2013 08:58 AM

Great idea. Thank you for sharing. Nice build


View clieb91's profile


4267 posts in 5433 days

#5 posted 12-29-2013 12:51 PM

A really neat idea. Great way to utilize the tools you already have and keep some costs down.
Looks like it works well, how is the cut on it?


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1392 posts in 3212 days

#6 posted 12-29-2013 01:22 PM

Wow thats clewer. Love home made machines!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View HuckD's profile


312 posts in 3213 days

#7 posted 12-29-2013 07:08 PM

That’s thinking outside the box. Good job.

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View Underdog's profile


1918 posts in 3534 days

#8 posted 12-29-2013 09:50 PM

Ingenious! I’m very impressed!

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View MactheKnife's profile


81 posts in 3367 days

#9 posted 12-30-2013 12:50 AM

Thanks for all the comments.

clieb91 it does cut quite well, I have only used an old 15tpi blade in it and I was able to cut out jigsaw shapes easily. I used a temporary cutting table as a rest to cut the final top you see in the pictures. I’m still messing about with cutting speeds, its on its lowest setting now, but I have had it running much faster, just need to see how comfortable I am with it at higher speeds. I’m not used to scroll sawing so its a learning curve.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4832 days

#10 posted 12-30-2013 02:59 PM

Looks like a great idea and nicely done too. It looks like you have a Record lathe like mine. The only negative for me would be the need to stand up while using it, but ok if you don’t mind standing.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Woodknack's profile


13594 posts in 3878 days

#11 posted 12-30-2013 06:11 PM

Very cool. The old Goodell Pratt lathes had a similar scroll saw attachment but it was quite small. They also had a tablesaw attachment that looks scary as hell.

-- Rick M,

View MactheKnife's profile


81 posts in 3367 days

#12 posted 12-30-2013 09:14 PM

Stefang, yes its a Record CL3 the cutting height is about elbow level for me when standing, which is my preference whilst I still can!

Rick, I saw an old Craftsman version of the Goodell Pratt attachments, that sowed the seed of the idea, although I agree the tablesaw attachments look downright dangerous.

View Woodknack's profile


13594 posts in 3878 days

#13 posted 12-31-2013 07:58 AM

I can’t quite make out the entire mechanism, so is the lathe spinning a cam that oscillates the cutting arms?

-- Rick M,

View MactheKnife's profile


81 posts in 3367 days

#14 posted 12-31-2013 10:20 AM

Rick, yes thats right, its essentially an offset crankshaft. The lathe chuck holds an oak disk about 2 inches thick. it has a hole drilled in it for an M8 bolt, that hole is offset from the centre about 1/2 inch. That sets the stroke lenght. I tried several off sets to get the stroke right. The M8 bolt is connected to the short arm that drives the cutting arms. the upstroke pulls the top arm down via the link at the rear, the down stroke pulls the top are down via the saw blade.

If you want to use longer saw blades you can use the wider offset at 3/4 inch which gives a longer stoke and slower cut.
I’ll try and take some pictures of it dismantled.

View customturnedwork's profile


43 posts in 3037 days

#15 posted 03-10-2014 08:52 PM

What size are the bearings? Are they bronze bearings or Ball bearings?
Could you send me the specifi cations and drawings/pictures of the Sketchup model?
Sketchup will not run on my computer so I can’t use the Sketchup file.

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics