Vintage 24 inch Scroll Saw restoration project

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Project by woodsawdustmaker posted 08-08-2008 04:53 AM 25975 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Vintage 24 inch Scroll Saw restoration project
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I recently purchased a homemade scroll saw for my son at the estate sale of a deceased friend. His son said if I bought that saw he would give me an “old” saw out in their race car shed. The free saw was a 24 inch Craftsman scroll saw with no model number on it anywhere. Some research indicates it was made around 1937 for Craftsman by Walker Tucker Company. The saw was covered with dirt, motor oil, rust, and sawdust which would require a lot of cleaning.

A lot of the pictures I made before and during the disassembly somehow were deleted from my computer. After taking the saw completely apart I realized it might be a challenge to reassemble.

Disassembled saw

I cleaned the parts with electrolysis which took several weeks because the saw has large parts and a lot of parts. My plastic vat (actually a plastic tool box) used to soak the parts was not large enough to put the whole saw in at the same time. The electrolysis loosened up the crud which had to be scrubbed from the parts.

After much scrubbing, drying and priming the saw was ready for a coat of paint. I used blue paint as close to the original color as I could find. The finished product looks much better than when I started.

Painted saw

-- Max - Birmingham, AL

20 comments so far

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 4974 days

#1 posted 08-08-2008 05:07 AM

Very nice looking saw. good restoration.

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5202 days

#2 posted 08-08-2008 05:09 AM

Excellent restoration! How’s it run for ya?

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4980 days

#3 posted 08-08-2008 05:13 AM

very nice restoration. thats a really nice saw to have and for free too! great find and thanks for the post.

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 5096 days

#4 posted 08-08-2008 07:25 AM

That is so cool! Did you make it so that you could use pinless blades?


View EEngineer's profile


1139 posts in 4825 days

#5 posted 08-08-2008 01:17 PM

I have found few things that please me more than restoring and working with “old arn”.

Today, with scrap prices going up like they are, a lot of these old machines are going to be melted down unless they are rescued and put to work!

If you haven’t found it already, check out Old Woodworking Machines for a lot of help and information on restoring old arn.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5169 days

#6 posted 08-08-2008 01:35 PM

Thats cool! It looks like it should be in a collection of antique tools. Great job restoring it. I love the blue!


View Miket's profile


308 posts in 4984 days

#7 posted 08-08-2008 02:23 PM

Very cool!

-- It's better to have people think you're stupid rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

View Bob42's profile


457 posts in 5002 days

#8 posted 08-08-2008 02:44 PM

Nice job on the restore and the price was right.

I have a newer model of that, born date about 1950. OWM is a great place for info.

Mine works well, I was wondering how yours operates?

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View Big_Bob's profile


173 posts in 4921 days

#9 posted 08-08-2008 05:19 PM

Nice job! Just a tip I have taken old cast iron parts off my Unisaw as well as my Oliver lathe to my local automotive engine rebuilder. They hot tank them it only takes a few days. I think on my Oliver lathe it cost me $60. When I got the parts back they were clean and paint free.

-- Bob Clark, Tool Collector and Sawdust Maker

View sharad's profile


1119 posts in 5016 days

#10 posted 08-08-2008 07:09 PM

A very nice restoration job. Sorry to miss the pictures before restoration. Many such old tools can be made functional only if somebody like you desire to do it. Let us know how it works.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View woodsawdustmaker's profile


46 posts in 4836 days

#11 posted 08-09-2008 03:30 AM

The saw still needs some work. The gasket on the sump is leaking a little oil which should be an easy fix with a little Form-A-Gasket. The packing around the motor bearings is the type that had a yarn type wick which has deteriated. My plan is to try to repack the gland. The motor runs pretty smooth but the oil in the bearing cavity leaks down and the warm motor smokes the oil. It looks and smells like a car that is burning oil. At this point I have not changed the blade that was in the saw when I got it. When I get the oil leaks stopped and install a new blade I believe it will saw smooth. The 24” throat will allow me to do a few projects my 16” Ryobi will not allow. Someone asked if I made it where I could use the pinless blades. It had the original clamps for pinless blades and what looks to be a section of a bandsaw blade in it. I am not sure they even made the pinned blade saws when this saw was produced.
Thanks for the words of encouragement received on this project.

-- Max - Birmingham, AL

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4935 days

#12 posted 08-09-2008 04:17 AM

Very nice job with the restoration. The best part of having an old tool is using it. Have fun.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4915 days

#13 posted 08-09-2008 08:35 PM

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4797 days

#14 posted 08-09-2008 08:54 PM

you didn’t tell us how it performs.I would like to know.In any case you did a great job of the restoration.I love turning old tools machines into better than new condition.especially when my friends laugh at my purchases and tell me to chuck them in the dumpster read /skip in the uk.Usually I do what you did and take them completely to pieces and give them what I call a birthday and do them from bottom up to better than new.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View woodsawdustmaker's profile


46 posts in 4836 days

#15 posted 09-24-2008 08:13 PM

I finally got the oil leaks stopped, the bearings repacked with yarn, and ordered some new 6” blades from Sloan in Lebanon, Tennessee. The saw runs smooth and cuts fine. I decided it really needed a saw dust blower so I made one out of material I had in my shop. It is constructed of some plastic pipe using a piece of all-thread with a piece of leather between two washers for the plunger. Soldered a wire to the althread and ran it through a fitting to the top of the saw head. Connected the wire to the spring tube. When the saw pulls the spring tube up and down it drives the plunger inside of the plastic pipe. I used a PCV valve from an car as a checkvalve on top and connected a plastic tube from the homemade pump to the holddown guide. It works like a charm.

-- Max - Birmingham, AL

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