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Dewalt Help?

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  • Dewalt Help?

    Hi everyone,

    I would like to thank everyone for their previous help. Now onto my new Dewalt questions. To get what I *think* is reasonable tension I always have to crank the tension up all the way. I am not even sure that *all the way* was providing enough, so I tried the portion of the DW tuneup to increase the tension. Basically popped off the switch, and tension rod cover, and turned the tension rod clockwise. At this point, I must have turned it at least 5 times (maybe more) and haven't really seen any difference.

    My questions and thoughts:

    1) Could be that my technique is just terrible and that there really is enough tension, but I don't think so. I am now using FD blades.

    2) Any other place on the saw that would be an obvious source of not enough tension? Somewhere else to tighten?

    3) Any DW expert owners in the Boston area, that wouldn't mind coming for a quick visit in Waltham to either debug the tension problem or tell me *the tension is fine, you just are terrible with the saw*.

    4) Any other suggestions?


  • #2
    This is probably a stupid question but are you ensuring the top blade arm is positioned in the absolute bottom position before you tighten the blade chuck? Sometimes I have to apply a little extra pressure to convince it to pop in place. If it is not in position you will have very little tension on the blade even when you crank it up...probably not the problem but I thought I would offer it.
    Check me out on the web:


    • #3
      I am ensuring it is positioned in the bottom position. Not an unreasonable question though.


      • #4
        You may not be seeing a difference but are you hearing the difference when you ping the blade (pluck it guitar string)? As you tighten the blade the note should become higher and higher.

        If that's not happening and the note stays much the same then it sounds like the blade must be slipping a little bit each time you notch up the tension.
        "If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."

        Saws: AWSF18, Meccano Mk II


        • #5
          Thanks Chris... As I notch up the tension I do hear a difference, in that the pitch does go up. I think though, that the highest note is not high enough.


          • #6
            I've noticed several posts in which Dewalt owners mention running their tension towards the top of the adjustment range. It just seems to be the nature of the beast, though it wouldn't hurt to have someone take a look for you.


            P.S. Just remembered this audible "ping" test for saw blade tension:

            Ready to pluck your scroll saw blade? Listen to the sounds of scroll saw blade from too loose, just right, way too tight. It's very helpful to learn the soun...
            Last edited by PeteB; 02-28-2007, 04:50 PM.


            • #7
              Thanks Pete for the audible test.

              In my estimation I would say that at my highest tension I get the sound that is *not quite there* from that *ping test*.

              My feeling has been that I was close to getting enough tension, but not quite enough. If the ping test is close to accurate then I think it still isn't quite there.


              • #8
                On mine, when I tighten the tension, I can see the upper arm raise higher as I crank up the tension. I can see it happen with or without a blade in place. Can you see the movement as you crank up the tension? Also, are you sure your tension is totally at 0 when putting in a new blade? If the tension isn't totally released when putting in a new blade, that could also be the cause of not being able to tighten the tension enough. Just a thought.

                We are the music makers.
                We are the dreamers of dreams.

                Easy scrollin' with a DW788


                • #9
                  I find that I sometimes need to push down very lightly on the upper arm before I screw in the top blade clamp. When I do that, I can get "proper" tesion on a setting of 3.
                  ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

                  D. Platt


                  • #10
                    Hi Mia,

                    The arm definitely raises as I crank up the tension with and without the blade. The tension definitely increases as I crank it up, just seemingly not enough (or it is enough and I am just barking up the wrong tree).

                    Thanks bearfretworks,

                    I tried gently pushing down before loading the blade thinking that was the problem, but it definitely doesn't seem to be the issue.


                    • #11
                      Like Mia mentioned, are you sure the tension is 100% released before tightening the blade?

                      Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


                      • #12
                        If you are "seeing the arm go up with or without a blade the tension is doing what it is supposed top do. Tension is just increasing the distance between the top and bottom holders. If you are not getting enough tension and are watching the arm move up the blade is slipping in the holder. Do you notice after running the blade a while and shutting off that there is slack in the balde? Your blade is slipping and you can look toward dealing with that issue. I have an issue like that but I use only 2/0 blades and there is not alot of surface area to grab on to. Are you using small blades? If so try a #7 blade and see if you can get good tension. Will also let you know if it is a blade slipping issue. Les-jr


                        • #13
                          I use a 2/0 blade most of the time, tension is usually enough around 3 or 4, never had to push top arm down.

                          Scrollin' with DeWalt DW788


                          • #14
                            My first thought is to eliminate any chance of blade slippage...lightly sand the ends of the blades, and the ends of the thumb screws. It won't do any good to add tension if the blades slip as soon as you apply the tension...



                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone. I will double check the slippage factor this weekend by roughing up the ends of the blades and the thumb screws and report back.


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