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  • DeWalt lift arm idea

    I was practicing some fretwork with my new DW788 saw this afternoon. I've read about the various commercial and homemade gadgets designed to keep the upper arm upright, but really never appreciated their potential usefulness until I actually tried threading the blade into another drill hole.

    I would like to be able to lift and lower the arm by use of a foot pedal. This would keep both hands free while allowing me to keep my eyes and attention focused on the workpiece and blade. I sketched out my idea on Photoshop - see attached pic.

    I would start by securely bolting a block of wood (green) to the saw stand. A 1 x 4 board about 15 inches long (green) would be hinged to the block and would serve as a pedal. I would set the pedal at a height that would be comfortable to use while either standing or sitting on a stool. I would screw a 2 x 4 (brown) to two adjacent rafters above the saw - this would serve as an attachment point for two sets of pulleys (blue). A rope (red) would go from the pedal (green) through the pulleys (blue) to a removable collar (light blue) around the upper arm.

    I figure I need only about 3 inches of rope travel to fully lift the arm. The length of the pedal and the distance between the rope attachment point and my foot would cost me some mechanical advantage, but the weight of the arm really shouldn't make this matter. Whaddaya think?
    Attached Files
    Inside every piece of lumber, there is a pile of sawdust waiting to be uncovered

    -Andy-

  • #2
    Interesting idea.

    Your saw would be "permanent" in place with that set up. Would 3" of loose rope have the potential to get tangled/snag your upper arm when in operation? With a larger piece, you'd have to move your foot pedal farther away to keep the rope from interfering with the cut - then you'd do the splits trying to push it down while threading a blade.

    I recommend buying a Jim Dandy. I ws doubtful about its advantages until I bought one and actually tried it. I wouldn't use anything else now. You will hear fro mfolks that they aren't worth the money, but I have yet to hear that from anyone who actually has one......
    ‎"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

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you top feed your blades, Andy? When I was bottom-feeding I did find the Dewalt arm awkward at times, but since I switched to top feeding I don't really notic the lack of a hold up a problem - I just use the back of my wrist to support it and then reposition the workpiece with my left hand ...
      Ian

      Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bearfretworks
        Interesting idea.

        Your saw would be "permanent" in place with that set up. Would 3" of loose rope have the potential to get tangled/snag your upper arm when in operation? With a larger piece, you'd have to move your foot pedal farther away to keep the rope from interfering with the cut - then you'd do the splits trying to push it down while threading a blade.
        The saw isn't ever likely to be moved, but the rope could easily be disconected from the saw arm and pedal. There wouldn't be much slack in the rope - when the arm was down, the pedal would be pulled into the up position.

        I didn't think about the rope interfering with rotating a large workpiece. Good catch! An extra pulley or two would direct the rope behind the rear leg.

        Originally posted by bearfretworks
        I recommend buying a Jim Dandy. I ws doubtful about its advantages until I bought one and actually tried it.
        Thanks, I'll look into this. It may not be much more expensive than all the pulleys I would need and I could spend more time playing with the saw instead of making pedals and rigging rope.

        Originally posted by PuzzledMoose
        Do you top feed your blades, Andy? When I was bottom-feeding I did find the Dewalt arm awkward at times, but since I switched to top feeding I don't really notic the lack of a hold up a problem - I just use the back of my wrist to support it and then reposition the workpiece with my left hand ...
        I've only tried bottomfeeding, Ian. I'll give topfeeding a try - it would certainly make it easier to thread the blade into the drill holes. The nice thing about the DeWalt is plenty of room under the table to access the bottom clamp.
        Inside every piece of lumber, there is a pile of sawdust waiting to be uncovered

        -Andy-

        Comment


        • #5
          Andy, once you become a top feeder you will never go back to bottom feeding. That was the main reason I purchased a Delta P-20 3 years ago, I had to bottom feed with my old Delta.
          Mick, - Delta P-20

          A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mick Walker
            Andy, once you become a top feeder you will never go back to bottom feeding.
            I'd agree with Mick there - but it did take me a little while to get used to it and not automatically reach for the top clamp at the end of a cut ...

            Maybe that's just me though - I've been driving an automatic car for around 4 years now and still occasionally reach down to shift as I come towards a curve ..lol
            Ian

            Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

            Comment


            • #7
              Before I started scrolling I don't think I ever heard anyone ever call themselves a bottom feeder, this hobby is more entertaining each day.
              Todd

              Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

              Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

              Comment


              • #8
                I call my Hegner friends bottom feeders for a variety of reasons.
                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


                • #9
                  Hi,

                  Just wanted to say that I have the easy lift arm and it's worth the price, which is surprisingly cheap actually.

                  As you mentionned, almost as cheap as the pulleys and rope you would need to purchase.

                  I do recommend a foot pedal for powering up the saw, though, if you do not already have one. That is one investment you'll never regret.

                  Regards,
                  Marcel
                  http://marleb.com
                  DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

                  NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't know what to think, but I like the picture. Looks like a scrollacopter !
                    Jeff Powell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Minor adjustment

                      Okay I only have a crude paint program here at work but I made a little adjustment. The only thing needed is a oil can funnel and beverage of choice.
                      Attached Files
                      Todd

                      Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                      Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just one more

                        Okay I apologize, beer should never be in a woodshop unless the tools are put away for the day.

                        However, I just feel the need to post one more picture and this is based on the troubles Barry was having with his Dewalt...the solution to your Dewalt problem has arrived.

                        I now retire my poor paint drawing abilities.
                        Attached Files
                        Todd

                        Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                        Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rivari
                          .....and this is based on the troubles Barry was having with his Dewalt...
                          WAS??????
                          Last edited by bearfretworks; 01-24-2007, 03:57 PM.
                          ‎"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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like your idea Todd, but it may make cutting on the lines impossible!

                            I have so much to try this weekend. I can tell that it's gonna be hard living 45 minutes away from the shop!
                            Inside every piece of lumber, there is a pile of sawdust waiting to be uncovered

                            -Andy-

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I tried top feeding this weekend and won't look back! It solved two problems: keeping the arm up while changing blades and trying to thread the blade through those darn tiny holes.

                              I removed the bottom blade guard because it was in the way. DeWalt's corporate lawyers probably told them to put it there anyway.
                              Inside every piece of lumber, there is a pile of sawdust waiting to be uncovered

                              -Andy-

                              Comment

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