General International has added a 45-degree left- or right-tilting head- and front-mounted electronic variable speed control on its new Excalibur 16" throat-capacity scroll saw.
"The tilting head allows the users to tilt the blade, rather than the table, when making bevel cuts," says General's Norm Frampton. "Because the table stays flat horizontally at all times, the user never has to worry about fighting gravity or having to hold back the workpiece to keep it from sliding downhill to one side through the cut. It also allows for a more natural hand position, which helps reduce hand and wrist fatigue."
Blade speed can be adjusted from 400 to 1,400 strokes per minute. "When it comes to finding the correct blade speed, there are so many variables that come into play: the type and thickness of the material, the desired finish quality or accuracy of the cut, as well as the experience, comfort level and personal preferences of the user," says Frampton. "Having the ability to adjust instantly and dial in the blade speed that feels right for any given cut, is also something that users tell us helps make their work faster and more accurate."
The EX-16 offers a large 12" x 18-1/2" table made from 3/8"-thick plate steel, topped with a friction-free coating. It has a maximum cutting depth of 2", weighs about 68 lbs. and has a 120-volt, 1.3-amp motor, according to the company.
The saw is also equipped with a flexible dust blower and an adjustable workpiece hold-down. The blade tensioning system tightens the blade at two locations: there's a quick tension lever above the blade and a fine-tune adjustment knob that adjusts the height of the upper arm at the rear of the saw.
"The upper arm tensioner comes in handy for fretwork," says Frampton. "Basically, once either end of the blade as been disconnected from its clamps, the upper arm can be lifted up and the tensioner keeps the arm in the up position, out of the way, to allow easier access to reposition the workpiece in order to drop the blade into a new hole to start the next cut."
The EX-16 is currently retailing for $499.99. An adjustable-height steel stand and 110-volt, 15-amp foot switch are available as accessories.
Contact: General International, Tel: 888-949-1161. www.general.ca
This article originally appeared in the December 2010 issue.