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  • DeWalt DW788 Info

    I just purchased a DeWalt DW788. I would like some feedback from people who own the saw and have hours logged on it. (I also need to mention I am new to scrolling but not to woodworking.) I havent received it yet (ordered online) so I was wondering??? How easy is the blade change? I have heard good and bad. How is the vibration? How is the customer service? Who uses it with the material hold down REMOVED? (Since it just gets in the way!) And does it make a noticable diffrence? Any information would be greatly appericated.

    I decieded to go with the DeWalt for several reasons. First, I had bought a Delta 16", first day out of the box the blade tension screw broke, didnt even get to use it. So I took it back to Lowe's and they gladly exchanged it for a new one. The second Delta I had the quick change lever on the top would not stay closed. So I just decieded to return the **** thing and spend the extra money on a saw that would last me for awhile (only cost me $150 more than the Delta, plus I gained 4" in depth!) I was leaning towards the Dremel 1800, than I ran across the DeWalt. I guess I am looking for a little reasurance that I bought a good saw.

  • #2
    lDeWalt

    hey Super, I think you made a good purchase. I have had 4 so far and find them to be quite reliable. Why so many? I give classes to new students. Anyway, The blade change is very quick, but it helps to remove the guard underneath. I thread all my projects from the top down so the DeWalt is perfect. I use a block of Oak to put under the arm when I am changing blades. Just never bought the arm lift. You will experiment with both the tension and the speed. I run mine at about 6 1/2 on the speed and just push tension until it feels about right. Better too tight than too loose. Practice practice. If you have a questions just let me know. Toby Tyler, Board Of Directors of SAW. happy scrolling

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    • #3
      Welcome to scroll sawing hobby (addiction?). I'm on my third 788 since last Nov. The newer Type 2 saws (as noted on the motor housing under the serial number) have a manufacturing tolerance issue with the size of wedge at the back of the upper arm that does not allow the upper arm to close down far enough. You should be able to have about 1/4"-1/2" clearance both above and below the blade holders. On my last saw the arm would not even close enough to put a blade on and had to be taken to a service center to be adjusted. Even then they could only adjust the arm to allow for about 1/16" blade clearance. If you using a larger blade of say #5 or larger you should be ok. But, with the finer blades this wedge defect makes attaching the finer blades frustrating. DeWalt is working on the problem and says it will be several months yet before a fix will be avail to current saw owners. You might want to review previous post on this issue. Also, check your table for flatness by takings a straight edge and placing it on your table with a light behind it. The table should be flat and you shouldn't see light under the straight edge. Because of their milling process it's not unusual to have dips and valleys across the tabletop but, there are some that are better than others. Two out of my past three had a couple valleys of 12/1000" on both sides of the table blade hole. If you do have either of these problems be sure to contact DW Customer Service to lodge a formal complaint in your name so that you are covered when the new wedges become avail. Good luck.

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      • #4
        I'm sorry. I forgot your other questions. Removing the bottom blade guard allows for easier blade mounting. I top feed. The upper guard was removed immediately. I have a DW metal three-legged stand and vibration is very minimal now that I placed 40# of lead shot across the top cross-member just behind the saw (that made a big difference). The saw is on a concrete floor and, I'm thinking about placing hard rubber pads under the stands' feet to see what happens next. Maybe I can elimate what little vibration there is left.

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        • #5
          Superman, at the risk of starting a battle about which saw is better. I would return the Dewalt and get the Delta P-20. They have had a lot of problems with the new Dewalt 788 The price is about the same. I looked long and hard at both saws and chose the P-20, it is a heavier, industrial type saw. You don't need the "Jim Dandy" or a 2X4 to hold the arm up on the P-20. The older 788's made in Canada were good saws, but as I said, many problems with the new model. Have had mine since Jan. 2004. Whichever saw you choose most people remove the hold down, it is supposed to be a safety feature that is required on all scrollsaws. Mick.
          Mick, - Delta P-20

          A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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          • #6
            I definitely agree with Mick. Even if you get a good one it's life is in proportion to how many hours you put on it. I completely wore out one of the so called *good* Canadian made ones in 3 years and upgraded to the industrial quality Delta P-20 . It has way more hours on it now than my Dewalt had and is still in new condition and hasn't cost me a nickel in repairs and zero down time . It is a joy to use because it has the easiest top feeding system on the market and it's built like a tank.. The difference in the two saws is night and day. I have only touched on a couple reasons that I prefer the P-20 over a DeWalt. There are dozens more reasons. If you would like to hear more, just email me at [email protected]
            W.Y.
            Last edited by William Young (SE BC); 04-08-2006, 11:03 AM.
            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


            • #7
              Thanks for all the info!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, youve got a lot of advice already, but ill add a nickles worth to. Blade changing is super simple, especially compared to the saws you have returned.Just a twist of a thumbscrew, and the blade is released. You can top feed, or bottom feed the blade, whatever is comfortable for you.Way back when BY was using a dewalt, he boasted on how he could change fret holes in 6 seconds,and I didnt think it really was possible, but after a hundred or so holes, I actually timed myself changing, and yes, under six seconds from turning off the saw, to restarting, which involves releasing tension (just a simple lever slid to the left), unscrewing thumbscrew (about 1/4 turn), lifting arm, lifting wood out of fret cut( yes, I am a bottom feeder), rethreading blade back in the next hole (BTW, I use a hole just big enough for the blade to fit through, not a huge hole), setting the wood on the table, bringing the arm down and tightening the thumbscrew,retensioning the blade, and hitting the start button (I dont use a footswitch).After you saw a few hours, you will see how quick it is. I do use a jim dandy lift for the upper arm, I think its $20 well spent, although I cant figure out why dewalt hasnt come up with their own lift thingy, either as an accessory or as an integral parton the big yella.
                There are problems with one part that causes blade installation to be very difficult, only on certain saws, NOT ALL Type 2 saws.Hopefully you will get lucky and get a good one. I havent heard of any remedy for the problem, but by now I am sure Dewalt has made something available (if they havent, its a huge mistake on their part again, the first being moving production overseas) I have not needed customer service at all on either of my two dewalts in the years I have had them, and they dont sit idle, they get tons of use by me, my family, and my 4H group of kids.hey are a good saw, for the money, you cant expect anything better.
                As for vibration... two years ago I cut out a project at a scrollsaw picnic in WI using a saw somebody brought there for the saw corral.It was a personal saw, not a factory special tuned job. For probably an hour or so, I cut out a project with a nickle standing on edge on the table, and not once did it tip over the entire time I used the saw. It did hit the floor once, but only when I spun the wood and hit it. All saws will vibrate some, but a well tuned saw will vibrate so little its not an issue. I did the nickle trick on one of mine at home, and had the same results, but since then, I have adjusted my saw stand to raise the back of the saw a few inches, which makes it so much easier for me to sit at for long periods. I hope you did order the stand as well, if not, watch for one on ebay, it too is money well spent.
                My material hold down... well, its not removed, instead, its removed from original location and intent. I removed it, turned it upside down, and put it back in the holder, and use it to hold my plug when I unplug the saw. I see it as a useless contraption on the saw, but it covers their but from a lawsuit if some moron decides to try cutting his arm off just for kicks.I havent removed the bottom blade guard, it poses no problem for me.
                Ok thats my nicklesworth, I hope it helped in some ways. Dale
                Dale w/ yella saws

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                • #9
                  Saws

                  I have had my dewalt since 1999 and still love it. I have no problems with vibration, find the blade change easy. I feed from the top and find it no problem. The only problem I ever had was with the on/off switch. A spray of electronic tuner cleaner clears it up. Have fun.

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                  • #10
                    I was in the process of choosing between the D.W. 788 or the Delta P-20 just a month ago. I still think both saws are excellent but since the D.W. saws are still having problems with the blade holders I chose the P-20. I can't speak for the D.W. but the P-20 cuts like a dream with very little vibration &
                    blade changing is fast and can be either top or bottom fed.Good luck on your choice.
                    Bill
                    Delta P-20

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                    • #11
                      Hi Dale;
                      I don't ever reacall 6 seconds blade changing on my Dewalt but I do recall 7 seconds. And that was all bottom feeding. I tried time and time again to top feed with it but just never could master it with that big heavy top arm and not having enough hands to use all at the same time. To some it is easy. For me it is not at all easy so I hade to remain a bottom feeder all the time that I had that saw.
                      Now with the P-20 with balanced graphite arm the whole arm can be lifted totally effortlessly by just grasping the blade itself just under the arm and lifting it and move the wood with the other hand and put the end of the blade over the next hole and let go and it just drops right through. It is simplicity itself and a joy to use and I can't imagine anyone ever going back to bottom feeding after trying top feeding on a saw that is designed so good as the P-20 is..

                      I am not here to rake any saw over the coals like I often get accused of by some that read me wrong. I simply state my own experience and I can't help it if it upsets a few that don't want others to know some facts.
                      That is why I said in an earlier reply in this thread if it is of interest , then email to get many more facts.
                      Best regards.

                      BTW;
                      Every P-20 comes with a heavy duty steel three legged stand (requires assembly) in the same box as the completely assembeled saw comes in . It has a a lower steel shelf included and the back leg is adjustable up and down. A good point to keep in mind when comparing prices of some saws that don't come complete with a heavy duty adjustable stand. Of course with a 110 lb saw the stand has to be of heavy guage steel so that is probably why they made it so strong. I checked the stand on a "different" make saw in a tool shop one day and the quality was pathetic. I used a home made stand out of 2x4's and plywood when I had my DeWalt.
                      W.Y.
                      Last edited by William Young (SE BC); 04-08-2006, 05:11 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 .

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