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little change big increase in joy of cutting

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  • little change big increase in joy of cutting

    I have been flustrated more and more with trying to find tiny holes from the bottom of the work. I have a DeWalt 788 and thought I would really enjoy cutting a lot more but as my projects have gotten smaller and tighter, getting the blade though the small holes from under the work has left my stressed.

    Big Change

    Loosen and tighten from the the bottom tension bracket.

    I reach under and lossen the blade lift up the arm and rethread though the hole on top. Very easy and stress free.

    Also, I have tape a 1" board to my saw head so when I lift the arm the board swings down and holes the arm up. Then all I have to do the slightly raise the arm and move the swing arm out and let the arm down. So easy I now love scrolling a lot more.

    Need more info let me know.

  • #2
    Jim, you are now a top feeder rather than a bottom feeder. I started with a 20" Delta saw that I had to bottom feed with. I used that saw for 11 years. I finally purchased a Delta P-20 that I could top feed with. Would never go back to bottom feeding, so much easier to top feed. The top arm of my P-20 stays up until I am ready to insert the blade into the next hole.
    Mick, - Delta P-20

    A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


    • #3
      I do both bottom and top feeding depending on what size the work is. But most of the time I top feed. I agree with you both it is MUCH easier to top feed if you can.

      Life is hard. It is even harder when you are being stupid.
      John Wayne


      • #4
        Hey Jim, That's what the DeWalt is designed for...Top Feeding! I don't need anything to hold my upper arm up. I hold it up with one hand while with the other hand I line up the blade with the hole, then let the upper arm lower itself and the blade into the hole. It's a piece of cake!
        Dan in So.Ca.


        • #5
          I wish I could top feed, but alas I'm stuck bottom feeding with my skill till I can upgrade. And the sooner the better!
          Don't bother with role models and hero's. Just be yourself. Unless yourself is just too much trouble for you to handle.


          • #6
            Jim. That is a brilliant idea with the swing arm. I too have a 788 and bottom feed but today I get my Excalibur 21 so I am looking forward to top feeding. What I find is a big help, especially on projects with a lot of holes for cuts outs is to first drill the holes on my pillar drill with a scrap board underneath and then sand my project with 120 grit. I then have nice clean holes and can easily see where the blade goes.


            • #7
              I can't make the switch to top feeding as I almost always have a zero clearance on my table. And since with inlay, I only drill one hole at a time, so at least I don't have to choose which hole is next.
              Plus, I've been a bottom feeder for 20 years...Old habits are hard to break....

              The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
              No task is too tedious for Art.
              Rock and Scroll

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              • #8
                Top feed is much better IMHO. It takes so practice to develop the "feel" but it does really help.
                Creator of fine designer sawdust.


                • #9
                  When I got my DW788 I started top feeding even on inlays and won't go back.

                  Liberty Twp (Cincinnati), OH

                  If today were perfect, there would be no need for tomorrow!


                  • #10
                    Call me a contrarian, but I still bottom feed with my DeWalt. I've read all the comments over the years about how much faster and easier it is to top feed, but I haven't tried hard enough at it to get used to it. I don't do production work, so speed isn't really an issue with me. I have no problem with bottom feeding. I use a Jim Dandy lift kit and if I'm drilling really small entry holes, I take an awl to them to open them up a bit before trying to thread the blade through. Otherwise I'm pretty comfortable bottom feeding.
                    Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


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