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First time observations

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  • First time observations

    Hiya' all. As stated in a previous post, I recently purchased my first scrollsaw: a Dewalt 788. Since this is my first saw and I don't know anything about any other saws, some of these observations apply only to the DW 788. I'm the type who does a lot of research before doing something and have observed the following:

    1. Elmers' spray adhesive doesn't work that well for attaching patterns to the wood. ???Any recommendations from anyone?

    2. Definitely use clear packing tape for at least 2 reasons: to lubricate the blade and to help hold the pattern to the wood when the Elmers' adhesive won't.

    3. Jim Dandy to the rescue. This device is a needed asset to help keep the upper arm out of the way when changing blades or inserting blades in drilled holes.

    4. A stool of the correct height and/or a cushioned mat on the floor sure saves on the feet and back.

    5. Slower is better, at least for a beginner. I've only done about 20 cut outs out of approx. 250 on my first project and am slowly getting the hang of it.

    6. After many years of drilling holes, I've found that faster is better for the small drill bits used in scrollsawing. :

    7. The speed adjustment and tension lever are very user freindly.

    8. When assembling the saw, I discovered that the table is not rock solid but seems to work adequately.

    These are just my own personal observations. I am receptive to any and all tips and ideas from forum members. I'm also enjoying participating in this forum. Any knowledge gained is time well spent! Sorry to be so long winded: chalk it up to newbie enthusiasm!!!

  • #2
    Re: First time observations

    Jim, in response to your list:
    1. I use Duro spray from Walmart and it works pretty good. Sometimes on intricate close pieces it turn sloose.
    2. Definately Yes.
    3. I top feed so the Jim Dandy would probably not help me all that much. You should try top feeding as it speeds up blade changing considerably and is so much easier. It just takes a bit of practice.
    4. Yes
    5 You will soon be turning that thing up to a much higher speed as your experience increases so does your speed of blade and feed.
    6. I am not sure on this one but it is probably a fact. My old drill press is a one speeder so have not experimented.
    7. Definately
    8. I did not have that problem. After putting my table on and tightening it doen it was as steady as a rock.
    Grandpa Grizzly


    • #3
      Re: First time observations

      Hey GG: It sounds as if I'm on the right track so far. I made a few more cutouts today and did speed the saw up a little. The two areas I seem to have the most trouble with are making tight curves/turns and pivoting the workpiece to make a return cut. When pivoting the workpiece, I keep pressure on the backside of the blade but I still manage to sometimes get off the line. I have to remember to turn the workpiece faster as the radius of the curve gets smaller. Like I said before, 'practice, practice, practice' is the only way to learn!

      I'm going to build my own version of a lift to help raise the arm up during blade changes and blade insertion. For right now, it's easier for me to feed the blade up through the bottom while the arm is supported by my height calibrated can of water based polyurethane. I'm sure, eventually, things will become second nature to me.


      • #4
        Re: First time observations

        Jim when making turns it is not so much as turning faster as it is to learn to use your fingers as pivot points. You apply downward preassure on the side you are spinning into. This can be done with either hand. Just don't use a death grip or the wood will not spin. You will get the hang of it with practice.
        John T.


        • #5
          Re: First time observations

          jt: So far, so good. I can't be called 'Nick' yet! I'm finding that the hardness of the material you are cutting/sawing also has a bearing on it. The first proiect I picked is a cross about 9'X14' with about 250 cut-outs. I chose that because of the number of cut-outs and the different directions I have to cut. For me, I've found the best way to learn is to just do it. I have over 40 years experience using production machinery of one type or another so I have a working knowledge of what to expect. Practice is the only way to learn. Take care...


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