Making a DIY Scroll Saw from a Vintage Sewing Machine

Simon had a sewing machine. A well-built, vintage Brother – built, as he says, “to survive an atomic attack. Everything is shiny stainless steel or molded aluminum.”

created at: 01/14/2014

But Simon didn’t really need a sewing machine. He needed a scroll saw. Guess where this is going…   The process – basically – involved removing unnecessary components (namely, variety stitches), creating a means to mount the blade on the arm, then building a (tilting!) table, then reinforcing and rebalancing the arm in hardwood. The results look something like this: 

You can see that Simon ended up mounting the blade to the top of the needle arm, so that the whole table and new scroll saw arm actually sit on top of the sewing machine motor, which moves the blade from below.

Simon, a maker from Germany, says,

For months I had an old sewing machine standing in the corner of my workshop, not really knowing what to do with it. It had been thrown out by the previous owner because it didn’t really work anymore. The most important components, however, still functioned. I hoped I would be able to fix it.
But, whilst taking a closer look at it the other day, I figured out two issues about it:
– I couldn’t find the sources of its many problems.
– I actually don’t need a sewing machine.
A scrollsaw, on the other hand, was something I could find use in.
All materials used in this project are extracted from the sewing machine or is scrap wood.
I don’t suppose you do have the exact same sewing machine, so I’ll be a bit more general with the instructions: no measurements or dimensions. Not that there ever were any..

This project takes about a weekend.

See the full process with some how-to tips at Instructables: The Sewing Machine Scrollsaw