1954 Delta 40-440 24" scroll saw restore

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Project by That_Weird_Uncle posted 03-04-2019 09:51 PM 1686 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I picked up this 1954 Delta scroll saw for 45 bucks off of craigslist and went to work on it. I completely disassembled the unit and stripped every part of rust/paint. I gave it 5 coats of sherwin williams oil based paint replaced the gaskets gave it an oil change in the oil plunger splash assembly using 30wt non detergent oil. I made the wooden knob for the upper jaw so i can do tool free fretwork. It came with a dayton momentary switch but it was originally wired up without a ground and the female plug was shot. I replaced the plug on the foot switch with a grounded plug that was always on for my light. Then i added a twist connect plug that’s actually controlled by the footswitch for the saw. Doing it this way allows me to turn the light on even if the saw is off which is nice for checking over your work. The light i picked up at my grandpas cabin and didnt come with the saw. Its from the 40’s and has a 100w incandescent bulb needless to say this is my best lit tool in the shop. This saw has an air pump built in the lower plunger assembly so i picked up some black rubber fish tank tube and outed that through the frame to supply a constant supply of air removing dust from the cut line. Thus far i’ve put about 6 hours of use on the saw cutting out brackets from 1 1/8” plywood. It handles like a champ. The base is an old steel pedestal from a table i cleaned and painted it up then glued together a slab of plywood thats 3” thick by 14” wide and a little over 2’ deep. I torched the plywood with a propane torch and gave it a soaking in mineral oil. Everyone that sees this saw is surprised by how quiet it is. Its a little quieter then your average sewing machine and it weighs in around 200 lbs with the stand so there is nearly no vibration.

-- "The beatings will continue until the morale improves" --Grandpa

9 comments so far

View pottz's profile


10286 posts in 1787 days

#1 posted 03-04-2019 11:13 PM

wow an oldie but a goldie.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View EarlS's profile


3774 posts in 3151 days

#2 posted 03-05-2019 12:30 PM

Great job on the restoration!!!

I figured it was heavy and purrs like a kitten when it runs. They just don’t make tools like that any more. That looks like a keeper. Is there a belt guard? I guess I’d better start watching my local CL and going to some of the local auctions and estate sales to see if any of the old farmers have stuff like this up for sale.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View ezal's profile


9 posts in 964 days

#3 posted 03-05-2019 03:40 PM

If you look in my work shop picture I have one just like it. I got mine from my Grandfather.

Good find and good job on the rebuild it will serve you for many years.

View JCamp's profile


1208 posts in 1353 days

#4 posted 03-05-2019 03:41 PM

Great job. I love seeing old tools brought back to life

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View That_Weird_Uncle's profile


57 posts in 522 days

#5 posted 03-05-2019 07:26 PM

Thanks Earls Sadly mine was missing the stock belt guard, base, motor and lamp. It does have the motor adjustment bracket which people have listed on ebay for 55-60 bucks otherwise it was not the greatest saw in terms of everything being stock. I’ve got a step pulley but i’ve found i mostly just stick to one speed so i was debating whether or not i wanted to keep the bracket and try to find parts to make this fully stock or sell the bracket and use this puppy like the plane jane workhorse it currently is. I like to make belt guards (and zero clearance inserts) out of laminate flooring. Its thin, very stable and inexpensive and heavier then wood of a similar size (which is great to help keep an insert from moving that’s what the insert pictured is made of) so i’ll likely be making a guard for this down the line.

-- "The beatings will continue until the morale improves" --Grandpa

View zwwizard's profile


212 posts in 4512 days

#6 posted 03-06-2019 05:40 PM

I have one just like it. A little hint, you can rise the top blade holder out of the way and put a saber saw blade in the bottom holder and use it that way. They made the saw in 18 inch and 36 inch lengths.

-- Richard

View That_Weird_Uncle's profile


57 posts in 522 days

#7 posted 03-08-2019 07:45 AM

I have one just like it. A little hint, you can rise the top blade holder out of the way and put a saber saw blade in the bottom holder and use it that way. They made the saw in 18 inch and 36 inch lengths.

- zwwizard

Awesome tip, I was able to get a copy of the manual on owwm and they also talked about using it as a light duty die filer machine. It really is a versatile tool.

-- "The beatings will continue until the morale improves" --Grandpa

View Jarrhead's profile


91 posts in 4162 days

#8 posted 03-14-2019 02:46 PM

I love to see people bring these old machines back to life. Good job!

-- trn2wud

View Thomas Maloney's profile

Thomas Maloney

28 posts in 2142 days

#9 posted 03-26-2019 04:47 AM

It looks beautifully refurbished and I think you’ve done a lovely job out of cleaning it up! Can’t wait to see in action now that you’ve got a couple more years out of this classic piece.

-- Thomas Maloney -

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