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  • Can't get feel of new 788

    Got my new 788 Saturday and really got into it today. My old saw was a 2 speed Delta. What I'm having trouble getting the feel for is the variable speed. I seem to have been using more blades than normal today and burning some on turns and not so much burning on straight cuts but rather just darkening the wood. It cuts like a dream but the blade usage concerns me. I know my 2 speed but this I don't except for long straight cuts then thats wide open. It also doesn't seem to be turning as sharp as I'm used to but I think thats related to the speed. I was cutting on some 1/2" red oak (2 stacked 1/4") with both FD-SR 3 and 5. I also cut on some 3/8" red oak with a #5. The 1/2" seem to have turned out better than the 3/8" color wise. Don't get me wrong now I love the saw its just that I'm backed up and don't want to waste to much time and blades figuring it out. Can any one offer any guideline for me on my 1st variable speed?
    Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
    Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.

  • #2
    Try lowering your speed and loosing your tension. Also you may want to cover the top of your pattern with clear packing tape. I use the same blades and sometimes I can't get the perfect turn if I go to fast . Just slow down and get the feel of the saw and it won't be long and you'll get use to its little twerks. I don't have a DeWalt I have a Craftsman but I'll bet they are close to the same. I very seldom use the full speed on my saw but when I do it seems to go through blades faster too- but heck as fast as they go at full throttle who wouldn't get hot and weaken blades or burn
    Sharon

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    • #3
      I guess you could say in a way I'm like Sharon (now, is that a scary thought or what!). I dont think I ever use full speed on my dewalts. Cutting 1/2 inch red oak using a #3 or a #5 should be easily done, and the blade should last you a long time.For just about all of my cutting of anything other then acrylics and thick 3D type things I run the saw anywhere between #4 and #6 to 6 1/2 . Perhaps, with all her beauty, you may be a bit anxious and forget that the blade does the work, the saw only moves the blade while you guide the wood. One other note, I have found I like the finish of the cut with a FD-TC blade, both #3 and #5 ,compared to a FD-SR of the same size.With the SR (scroll reverse) I can always see on wood where the reversed teeth stop penetrating the wood, unless they are set so high as to come through the top of the piece. With the TC (two-way) blades,every third tooth is reversed, enough to eliminate that mark like explained with the Sr's. Its not actually a mark so to speak, but its a change in color, like you mentioned. And yes, the tape is a great tool on your wood to. Dale
      Dale w/ yella saws

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      • #4
        I have had my DW788 for about 10 years and I do a lot of cutting on that saw. I always leave the speed set on 5 and use FD-PSR #5 blades. You should have no trouble cutting 1/2" Oak with a #5 blade. Do remember to cover the pattern with clear packaging tape as mentioned in previous posts. You will see a cutting speed difference between clear taped areas and untaped areas.

        Also check to make sure that your blade is a perfect 90 degree verticle to the scroll saw table.

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        • #5
          Yes , I agree that the clear packaging tape helps a lot with blade life.
          I also agree with gmakay about running the saw at half speed (or a speed you are comfortable with) and getting used to one speed for almost all your cutting. I know some excellent scrollers that run their DeWalt at full speed for everything . I don't have a DeWalt but I run my saw at 3/4 speed year in , year out. To some the variable speed is an advantage and to others it is seldom used. Every time you change speeds you have a new learning curve so that could be the reason you are having a little trouble adjusting because you were used to a two speed saw and probably only used one speed of it most of the time.
          As for the blades you are using , you just might have some from a production run that are not as good as from another production run. Yes that does happen. Been there , done that.
          I prefer the Pegas line of blades for all my scrolling. Especially the Modified Geometry ones
          Feel free to email or PM me about where I buy my Pegas blades

          There are only two manufacturers that make that style of blade. Olson and Pegas and I much prefer the the Pegas with their Swiss steel over anything I have used.
          Good luck with gettting used to your new saw and have fun.
          W.Y.
          Usual disclaimer. I have no affiliation whatsoever with Pegs blades or any distributor of them. Just a very satisfied user.
          Last edited by William Young (SE BC); 02-16-2006, 01:36 PM.
          http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

          The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

          Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

          Comment


          • #6
            I do use the clear packing tape. I put on blue painters tape, pattern with adhesive then clear tape on everything from 1/8" BB to 1/2" oak. On my old Delta I used the low speed for just about everything and high speed for long straight cuts because I found it easier to cut straight than on low. I've been adjusting my speed some on the 788 because the Delta felt to slow at times. I'm trying to find a happy medium than what I was used to. The Delta is the only other saw I've ever used. The high on the 788 doesn't seem as fast as the Delta but it might be that its just smoother and quieter. The blades are cutting like they should but just don't seem to be lasting as long.
            As far as tension goes I've been starting out on 2 and increasing to 3 - 4.5 as the blade wears down and stretches. Is this about right?
            Another problem I'm having, that only I can address, is that I'm not comfortable at the saw. My postioning is not what I'm used to and my point of view when cutting has changed with the stand. The Delta was about mid chest level and now its lower. I used to sit on a hunting stool and now I have a bar stool. I'm having to lean over more which is kinda awkward. I think some of my "bobbles" and slow down in cutting time can be attributed to this. I might end up cutting some off my stool legs. If ya' not comfortable it'll go from enjoyable to painful.
            Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
            Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have had saws from 3 manufacturers now. Each one had its own learning curve. Sometimes I would curse myself for getting a new saw.
              The funny thing is I used the same blades on each saw. They behaved sightly different.

              Like you I was getting some not so straight lines, premature breaking and some burning.

              I very seldom do any of my cutting at high speed. I am a middle of the road kinda guy. I slow down when doing really fine work. Speed up on the straights.

              I have no doubt the Dewalt will serve you really well. It may help to write down how the saw, blade and wood behave at different settings. Speed, tension etc.
              That way you now how to duplicate the effect you want and how to avoid the effect you don't.

              Happy scrolling
              CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
              "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
              Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

              Comment


              • #8
                Capt- you may have hit it right on the head when you said your new saw is higher--I know for a fact that being comfortable does effect your scrolling- I have tried different tables for the saw I use most and if I have mine on a table ( old end table from the living room) that I can sit straight and have my arms lower it does effect my work--and my body doesn't tire or hurt as much - thus better work and I work longer per sitting.
                Sharon

                Comment


                • #9
                  Capt weasel;
                  There is another factor that may giving you a little problem that hasn't been addressed yet..

                  I seem to have been using more blades than normal today and burning some on turns and not so much burning on straight cuts but rather just darkening the wood. It cuts like a dream but the blade usage concerns me. I know my 2 speed but this I don't except for long straight cuts then thats wide open. It also doesn't seem to be turning as sharp as I'm used to
                  When you say it isn't turning sharp as you are used to , that could very well be because the DeWalt has a fixed and non adjustable 30 thou back to front movement on the blade for more aggressive cutting because of it's parallel link design while your previous saw had less back to front movement because it was a parallel arm type saw. This is something that I also had to overcome when I first got my DeWalt . That back to front speed is more noticeable at lower speeds than at higher speeds and I believe that is why some scrollers use the saw on full speed to overcome that. I know a person that has probably made more large fretwork clocks than anyone here and he runs his DeWalt wide open all the time. I am not suggesting you do that but only that you will eventually find a speed that is most comfortable for your type of scrolling and then you will probably never vary all that much from that speed. You will soon get used to using the back and side of the blade when spinning the wood to prevent it from wanting to overcut on the sharp turns. No doubt you will ovecome this minor problem with some practice just the same as thousands of others have.

                  NOTE;

                  PLEASE . . . don't anyone jump all over me and accuse me of calling down the DeWalt saw like so many have done in the past when I state facts that could be helpful. I have no intention of discrediting the saw . I am only pointing out facts that could be helpfull to the original question.
                  W.Y.
                  http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

                  The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

                  Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bill is right in that the DeWalt does not have a true vertical stroke. I had similar problems when switching from the Delta to the DeWalt. At that time I was using precision ground blades from Olson which made it even worse. The precision ground blades are good blades but are pretty aggressive in sharp and "on the spot" turns. As was stated earlier, there's a learning curve associated with getting used to a new saw and you'll be more and more comfortable the more you use it. Blade selection and speed on the new saw will become second nature before long. The 788 is a fine saw and I'm sure you'll be more than happy with it.
                    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Neil;
                      You brought out a good point. I could never get used to Olson PGT blades on my DeWalt either even after trying them a couple times and maybe that was the reason why. But with my present saw adjusted down to about 7 thou back to front blade movement I am now using Pegas Modified Geometry blades with great success . I believe that only Olson and Pegas manufacture blades of that tooth design and straight in cutting capability and as I am partial to the quality of the Swiss steel and the manufacturing process of Pegas when comparing even their regular line of blades ( to other makes ) then that is why I am hooked on the Pegas ones with all their various styles.. including the Modified Geometry ones.
                      W.Y.
                      http://www.picturetrail.com/willyswoodcrafting

                      The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us

                      Delta P-20 Scroll Saw, 14" x 43" Craftex Wood Lathe and Jet 10" Mini Lathe .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Capt,

                        They're right on in saying to use the back and side of the blade to keep it from cutting when spinning your work around. It did take some time to help me feel at home on my 788, but then I've only been cutting for a few months.

                        The other thing that helped me a bunch was to block up the rear of my saw with two 2 x 4's. My back and shoulders sure thank me.

                        Harris

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For what it's worth, I cut all my puzzles from 1/4" poplar or baltic birch with a DeWalt. I set the tension on 4.5 out of 5 and the speed at about 6.2 out of 8, sometimes increasing the speed as the blade gets duller. I get around 50 puzzle pieces out of a blade when using BBirch and over 200 when using poplar (which I prefer). I'm using FD 2/0 puzzle blades and negotiating very tight turns and outlines.

                          Carter

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                          • #14
                            Used some advice and recieved some success. The first thing I noticed on the piece I cut that didn't turn out good was that the table and blade wasn't square. I took it for granted that it factory square was but it wasn't and that was why some of my cuts was paper thin on the bottom and chipped out. I fixed that and it seem to cut and turn better. Next I dropped back to cut just a 1/4" piece by itself with a FD-SR #1 with the speed on 5.5 and tension at 2.5. It cut like a dream and no burn! Before I did all the above I put the stand on top of some scrap 4x4's to raise it all up instead of chopping of my stool legs off and that made it more comfortable and closer to what I was used to positioning wise. I could get my hands right up by the blade and could see alot better although the attached light is a little in the way. I'll fix that.
                            By doing all of the above my last piece I cut come out pretty darn good. The lines cut straighter and my curves were sweeping. My blades lasted longer aswell. My repositioning has given me a better feel for my feed speed because I think I was pushing to hard and using up the blade or either the unsquareness was putting added pressure on the blade and thus wearing out. Is that possible?
                            All in all things have definately improved. Next thing I'm gonna try is a thicker piece of wood on same speed setting and see how that works out. I've found a happy medium and I'll work from there. Now I can really to begin to enjoy the 788.
                            Confuscious says, "The cautious seldom err".
                            Confuscious didn't own a scrollsaw either.

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