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Confused "newbie", here!

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  • Confused "newbie", here!

    Actually, maybe not a complete noob, but I just upgraded my old Dremel saw that I called "Shaky Jake" to a DeWalt DW788, that I have been coveting for decades! Anyway, while unboxing my new saw, I watched several videos, a couple by an amazing Scrollsaw Guru, who seems to be of the opinion that if a person doesn't disassemble a new saw to component parts and grease all the bearings, the saw may fall apart about the time the warranty expires! Not good!

    I don't have the skills or tools, not to mention the patience for such a detailed disassembly. I kept my two former saws going for decades by doing needed maintenance (very little) and lubricating regularly. Reading the DeWalt manual, I see no instructions for doing that. I want to keep my saw going for a long time, so HOW do the scrollers who own DeWalts make them last for years?

    Thanx

  • #2
    Welcome to the Yellow machine. While it is true that Dewalt does not load their machines with lots of grease I would not disassemble a machine under warranty. There are no oil spots on a Dewalt. One weak spot is the on/off switch. I would get a foot switch and leave your machine switch in the on position. Good luck and enjoy the upgrade.
    Scott
    Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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    • #3
      I have been scrolling for nearly 14 years and have never disassembled my saw. I originally owned a Dewalt 788 Type 1. the only issue I had was with the On/Off Switch failed. This was no problem as I bypassed the switch and used a foot pedal on/off switch, which is a far more convenient way to scroll.

      Since then I replace it with an Excalibur EX21. I have had the EX21 for about 4 years. I have never disassembled he EX21. Earlier this year I did replace the blade clamps with an improved design (Pegas Blade Clamps). I might add the reason for purchasing the EX21 was because the table remains level and the head rotates to make angle cuts. I find this feature useful when cutting bowls with the scroll saw.

      The EX21 has an On/Off Switch, however it also came with a foot switch.
      By the way, I gave my old Dewalt 788 to a friend. It is still going.

      I might add that the earlier years I was not scrolling for several hours a day, as I am doing now. That primarily was due a time constraint (I was still working) .

      I know others on the forum have had to make repairs, however I am not familiar with the problems or how many hours they had on their saw.

      Happy scrolling!
      Last edited by cwmagee; 10-21-2018, 09:24 AM.
      cwmagee
      aka Fibber
      Producer of fancy firewood​

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      • #4
        The DeWalt 788 seems to be a mixed bag, as far as durability goes. I had mine for many years and never took it apart to grease or replace the bearings & sleeves. Now admittedly, I am just a hobbiest and don't put the hours on a saw that a lot of other guys do. It seems that the ones with the most trouble are folks who use their saws very heavily. That said, I did replace the top clamp arm once or twice, because of stripped out threads, so the saw did get its share of use in the 12 or 13 years I had it. I sold it a couple years ago to replace it with an EX-21. I think it's still working well and probably getting more regular use than when I had it.

        I agree with NC Scroller. I wouldn't tear it apart until it was at least out of warranty and if you aren't using it a lot, I wouldn't necessarily bother until you had problems. You may never have any problems.
        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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        • #5
          Lots of good advise. My first saw was and still is the DeWalt, which is now over 10 years old.. Not a bit of problems, except the switch as mentioned. I also have the EX21 which is my go to saw, but I still use the DeWalt.
          Denny
          ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

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          • #6
            If you don’t want to use a foot pedal, make a membrane switch from a thin rubber glove. Just tape it over the switch and it will keep the dust out.
            Carole

            Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              arent the bearings on the dewalt sealed bearings?

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              • #8
                Thanks, all!

                It's good to have people that have been where I am now, and have experience with my saw. I found out there is a repair facility not far from my home, so, if something goes wrong, I'll let them worry about it. I took about 5 hours Saturday, moving the old saw out of the shop and getting the new one and stand assembled. It runs so smoothly...much better than I have experienced.

                Once set up, I started to square the blade with the table. I use a 3" engineer's square, and it would snug up to one side of the blade, all square, but, when I move it to the other side of the blade, there is gap on the other.(?)

                Passing strange!

                I put a straight edge on the table side to side and diagonally, and could see no warping. Could it be an alignment problem with the blade clamps? If so, is that a warranty problem or is it easier to correct it myself?

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                • #9
                  If my memory is correct you have a set screw on the left side of blade clamp and the thumb screw on the right side on both upper and lower blade clamps. If you do not adjust both set screws so they are the same (just proud of blade clamp slot), your blade will not be square.
                  cwmagee
                  aka Fibber
                  Producer of fancy firewood​

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                  • #10
                    Start by retracting the set screw fully on both upper and lower clamps, then turn them each the same amount until they have protruded enough to grab the blade when you tighten the thumb screw. If for some reason the blade is still not completely perpendicular, adjust them until it is. Should not be difficult to do, especially since your clamps are new.
                    Carole

                    Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      The set screw Carole mentioned is opposite the blade tightening knob. She is correct the screws will make the blade be off center. I had only one problem with the DW. There is a fitting on the end oif the motor arm. Mine came loose and made a racket. I followed the video you mentioned and it was very easy to disassemble and return every thing to its proper place. Took less than an hour. Put a piece of tape over the on off switch and as others have said use a foot switch. Do not take your machine apart unless it tells you it needs some care. Mine is 6 years in and other than the bolt fitting coming loose it runs great. If it ain't broke don't fix it

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                      • #12
                        Thank you all, again!

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