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Anyone else here use a DeWalt 788?

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  • Anyone else here use a DeWalt 788?

    Greetings Fellow Scrollers,

    I was curious whether any of you regularly use a DeWalt 788 in your scrollsaw adventures. If so, are there any tips or suggestions you can offer? Are there any positives or negatives I should know about? I am relatively new to scrollsawing.

    Thanks so much for you time.

  • #2
    I used one for over 10 years. If I still had one I would replace the blade clamps with the Pegas clamps.
    Scott
    Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NC Scroller View Post
      I used one for over 10 years. If I still had one I would replace the blade clamps with the Pegas clamps.
      I did put Pegas clamps on mine at about 10 years and used it another two. It is still in use by a family friend.

      The biggest tip I have for Dewalt users is to buy a can of Johnson's Paste Wax and keep the table buffed and waxed. That cast iron rust easily.

      Use good blades, be patient, don't be hard on yourself and just enjoy making sawdust.
      Jim
      When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
      Too early to leave, too late to call in.

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      • #4
        I still use my 788 but I will probably be ordering a Pegas soon. Don't forget to release tension when you finish cutting I've replaced that little wedge a couple of times.
        Tim

        If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

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        • #5
          I still have my DEWalt 788 and use it occasionally. As a Pegas distributor, my go to Saw is the Pegas.
          Denny
          ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

          Comment


          • #6
            I also have a 788, however, mine has a home made MDF tabletop after the original got lost in luggage whilst I was traveling overseas. A long story which I'll not go into.

            Ref blade clamps, frequently check both upper and lower clamps have no oil on them which may cause the blades to slip. Pulling a piece of 120 grade wet and dry through them occasionally when they are almost closed up will also help the clamp surface to grip the blade.

            For comfortable scrolling it pays to lift the back end of the saw away from whatever surface you mount it to to tilt the table about 7 degrees towards the front of the saw. This will stop you getting a crick in your neck when sawing. Also make sure that whatever seat you use when cutting is at a comfortable height for sawing.

            Start off at slowish speeds and do not overly push the wood into the blade. Let the saw do the work!

            Practice, practice. practice!! If you find you are struggling or have problems open up a post in the forum and ask for help/advice.

            Welcome to the forum!
            Last edited by jim_mex; 03-29-2022, 07:28 AM. Reason: bad soelling
            Jim in Mexico

            Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
            - Albert Einstein

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            • #7
              I had a DeWalt for several years, before selling it and replacing it with an Excalibur. It was a fine saw and for many years one of the most popular scroll saws out there.

              A couple aftermarket accessories make the saw all the more user friendly. A footswitch (I use the deadman style) and the Jim Dandy Easy Lift kit are practically essential if you intend to do any serious fretwork.
              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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              • #8
                All of you have contributed wonderful advice amd i appreciate that. NC Scroller i have read about the Pegas blade clamps and that they are lighter and put less wear on the motor. Are these the resons you would recpmmend them?

                Jim McDonald, i will get the paste wax as a rusted table would nit be to my liking. I am currently isong olsen blades. What brand would you recommend?

                evilbadger, thats one thing i like about my dewalt. I do alot of internal cuts so blade change is easy. When it's not in use, i release the tension and remove the blade. I think ive only forgotten release tension prior to (or dial ut back up after) a blade change once. Im not sure what qould happen if i sdodnt but i will say a blade without tension makes for a rwal sloppy cut.

                @jim-mex, should i fold the sandpaper in half with abrasive side facing outward when i do this or simply slide the piece (without folding it) once for each side? I'm very tall (6'1") so i am always looking for ways to work without killing my neck. I like the idea of tilting the saw forward. Is 7 degrees the max recommendation? Re: speed, what do you consider a slowish speed? Ive worked between settings three and four on the dewalt but am still experimenting with different speeds, woods, amd saw blade to get a feel for where their sweet spot is...that jappy place wher r the blade can do the work and all i have to do is keep the wood steady. Practice wont be a problem as i am pretty overzealous with this new hobby. I spend every hour i can at that saw.

                BILL wilson, I've seen the easy lift kit and, with all the internal cuts i do, it looks like it would be a lifesaver. I have a Wen foot pedap (somewhere around here). Will any oedal work and are there variable speed pedals on the market?

                Thanks so much for your excellent suggestions!


                Last edited by BreathingSince72; 03-30-2022, 03:42 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do not use a variable speed foot pedal, The saw motor has to be designed for it. I use a foot pedal that is on as long as I have my foot on it.
                  The Pegas clamps are much easier to use, I have them on an older Excalibur 16. They have them for the Dewalt also.
                  Regarding blades everyone finds their favorite brand over time. I have used Olson blades for years as that was what I got comfortable with.
                  I cut and sell delicate ornaments I used the Olson 2/0 R 28 TPI for many years they are slow cutting and give you lots of control. I also like the Olson Mach and PGT blades. But my favorite distributor retired and I switched to Pegas blades, I now use a more aggressive blade for my ornaments for faster cutting. Pegas MGT 2/0 R 15TPI and the MGT 1R with 13 TPI, They cut very fast and may not be the best choice for a new scroller.

                  Ideally it is a good practice to have 3 in the wood at all times. When purchasing blades don't just look at the number but also the Teeth Per Inch (TPI)
                  Last edited by Rolf; 03-31-2022, 09:14 AM.
                  Rolf
                  RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                  Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                  Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                  And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Harbor freight has a double tap foot pedal for $10. Lots of time I will take my foot off the pedal then tap pedal to stop. After getting used to it, I really like it.
                    Betty

                    "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Betty (and many others) likes the foot switch style pedal and just as many of us prefer a deadman switch where if you lift your foot, the saw stops. Again, available at Harbor Freight.
                      As for blades, you will get as many answers as people responding. But, your best bet is find a blade you like from a vendor you can deal with and go from there. Don't buy hardware store blades unless you are in a bind and can get to a Menards where they sell retail packaged Olson blades. Mail order blades are generally cheaper and there are great vendors out there. I have used Olson (good blades, but not my favorite); Flying Dutchman (my former go to blades and a very good, yet aggressive selection); and my current favorite Pegas available from our buddy @sandyoaks (Denny) in Tennessee.
                      Jim
                      When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
                      Too early to leave, too late to call in.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wood craft also sells Pegas and used to sell Olsen. But they are almost twice the price. It took me a while to get used to the second tap to stop but once I did I found it more comfortable. I keep my foot flat on the floor next to it so a quick stop is possible. I order blades from Denny on Monday and have them on Wednesday.
                        Betty

                        "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          @jim-mex, should i fold the sandpaper in half with abrasive side facing outward when i do this or simply slide the piece (without folding it) once for each side? I'm very tall (6'1") so i am always looking for ways to work without killing my neck. I like the idea of tilting the saw forward. Is 7 degrees the max recommendation? Re: speed, what do you consider a slowish speed? Ive worked between settings three and four on the dewalt but am still experimenting with different speeds, woods, amd saw blade to get a feel for where their sweet spot is..
                          Hi - You can fold the sandpaper in two with the abrasive side facing outwards. The idea is to lightly sand the clamp faces to remove any 'polish' effect they can get on the surfaces which clamp to the blade.

                          Ref tilting the table. There is no fixed angle. I just find 7 degrees is ok for me. What I suggest you do is first decide on the height you wish to sit at using preferable an adjustable height stool. Im 5ft 10" and find a stool seat to floor height of around 26" is good for me as I prefer to not be fully sitting down and to have my feet on the floor. Once you are comfirtable with the seat height you can then try blocking the back end of the saw up to tilt the table to an angle you are confortable with. I like to be able to look down onto the blade and pattern cutting line from a distance of about 3 - 4" perpendicular to the blade vertical travel.

                          Ref speeds - First off concentrate on being able to exert sufficeint downward pressure with your finger tips close to the blade so as to make sure your wood is in firm contact with the table - this is essential - and start off with a blade speed of around 5. With practise you will quickly be able to up this speed as you progress. I rarely try to cut at maximum speed on my saw as once it gets to about 80% of the max speed a little vibration tends to set in. Also its difficult to suggest a specific speed as this will usually need to vary dependent on what type of pattern you are cutting i.e. how intricate it is, and also what thickness of material you are cutting.

                          As others have said, don't skimp on your choice of blades. Buy from a reputable manaufacturer.
                          Jim in Mexico

                          Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                          - Albert Einstein

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have used a DW788 for about 7yrs. Just bought a new one. Problem. The clamps,upper & lower are too far apart. My 5” blade will barely reach so it’s difficult to clamp them. Also, the tension knob isn’t working properly. You barely turn to tighten and it’s too tight. Don’t think I would be able to move it to the 5 setting.
                            Last edited by RockNScroll; 09-24-2022, 02:01 PM. Reason: Add my given name

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RockNScroll View Post
                              I have used a DW788 for about 7yrs. Just bought a new one. Problem. The clamps,upper & lower are too far apart. My 5” blade will barely reach so it’s difficult to clamp them. Also, the tension knob isn’t working properly. You barely turn to tighten and it’s too tight. Don’t think I would be able to move it to the 5 setting.
                              Make sure to totally reduce/release the tension before installing a blade. The Dewalt is designed to use a standard 5" blade.
                              Scott
                              Creator of fine designer sawdust.

                              Comment

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