Vintage Walker Turner Scroll Saw

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Forum topic by ChefHDAN posted 12-22-2017 11:45 AM 2270 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1659 posts in 3627 days

12-22-2017 11:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: scroll saw question refurbishing

Hey LJ’s, Merry Christmas!!!

Peeking on Craig’s List this morning, and saw this Vintage Walker Turner Scroll Saw for $50 I have a small dremel one that is used for the occasional times I need to cut something that can’t be done on the bandsaw. For $50 a piece of old iron seems like a good deal. For those of you with experience with the machine or restoration of one, what Items should I examine to determine if it’s a good candidate to be returned to good condition for use before I spend the $50?

Many thanks Y’all!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

6 replies so far

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3292 days

#1 posted 12-22-2017 11:56 AM

It may be my imagination, but I think in picture two, the overhead arm is not perpendicular to the table – it seems to lean to the right a bit. If that is true, it has had an accident or possibly a crack somewhere in the upper arm.

Beyond that, all the usual, bearings, guides, but in this case, also some lever arm wear.
And if it is a pin blade machine, they are a bit harder to find.
I can see $50 blossoming into a lot more.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2836 posts in 3700 days

#2 posted 12-22-2017 01:29 PM

That is what we used to call a “Jig Saw” The difference from a modern scroll saw is that the upper arm does not move. There is a spring in the upper arm that draws the blade back up after each stroke. Blades will be hard to find and I think they will have to be quite robust blades, unlike modern thin blades.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1160 days

#3 posted 12-22-2017 01:48 PM

I think the leaning is just in the picture.

I have an older scroll saw that takes blades with pins….it’s a pita sometimes trying to find just the right blade. Most general blades are easy to pick up, though. Even though, if I ever get another saw it’ll be pinless.

That’s a dang good looking saw you’ve got there! I love the old machines. Have you tried to use it, yet? Why did you think it needs work?

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14096 posts in 1916 days

#4 posted 12-22-2017 01:56 PM

I don’t really have need for a scroll saw but recently inherited a newer Delta 16”. I spotted a really nice looking old Atlas scroll saw on CL yesterday for $25 and heard the siren song too. I love old Iron, especially Atlas..

But, after some cautionary tales from a buddy who has an old Powermatic with the spring/plunger on the upper arm, I declined. It would look nice and I like to restore these old babies. But, I just don’t think it would be a user for me. Too finnicky and breaks blades too easily.

Take it with a grain of salt, this is second hand caution from a guy who doesn’t use the scroll saw he already has. But, the guy who warned me about the issues is an experienced craftsman who knows his tools.

FWIW, he did say he completely re-built the plunger/spring assembly with OEM parts on his and while it helped, it’s still a PITA to keep tuned and running properly without snapping blades.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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1499 posts in 3539 days

#5 posted 12-22-2017 04:47 PM

My experience with scroll saws over my 60 years of woodworking have taught me the best scroll saws are the parallel arm types that can apply considerable tension on the thin blade. The spring tension type doesn’t give enough tension. This makes the blade bend from any side pressure in turns which makes for a bad cut and leads to blade breakage. Personally, I haven’t had any problem with the pin-type blades. When I want to use a very thin blade like for marquetry I use a hand scroll saw as machines are too violent and you have repeated blade breaks.

The nice thing is scroll saws are simple machines and there are numerous inexpensive parallel arm scroll saws available. Mine is an old Chinese-made one and it works great. I am a hobbiest and not in production so I don’t need an expensive Hegner. Harbor Freight has a pretty good one for a hobbiest and I am sure there are others around. Just make sure to get a parallel-type scroll saw.

And one more thing. A scroll saw”s reciprocal motion makes for a lot of vibration. Be sure to bolt it down to a good table and it will be a pleasure to use.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View ChefHDAN's profile


1659 posts in 3627 days

#6 posted 12-22-2017 06:35 PM

Thanks all, the general consensus leads me to say I can spend near the same with many of the other newer scroll saws and not deal with any restoration issues… and then my little dremel one does a good job for what it is when I need a scroll saw cut. So I’ll just keep peekin at CL….

Merry Christmas Y’all

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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