Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #87: Refurbing an old Delta 40-530 Scroll Saw

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Blog entry by retired_guru posted 11-29-2016 07:03 PM 2821 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 86: Repair Broken Handle on Antique Rolling Pin Part 87 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 88: Moving the Furniture...Again, or: Down to One Table Saw and Making it Count »

The other day I finally got around to refurbing an old Delta 40-530 single-speed scroll saw I bought a few years back. It has been sitting in my dungeon workshop all that time, gathering sawdust, dungeon dust, and more than a fair share of new rust over the old. Here’s what it looked like before disassembly:

There is surface rust over all of the table top and blade guide hardware. The blower hose has hardened to the point where it’s no longer flexible enough to allow the upper arm to move freely. Here it is disassembled, as far as was necessary or possible without damaging components:

The chassis is one crudely machined hunk of cast iron. First I vacuumed the sawdust out, then carefully cleaned with a cloth rag and generous applications of a spray on lube. Lots of sharp and jagged edges to cut oneself:

The control arms were cleaned. This entailed removing the pivot bolts from the brass bushing, cleaning both, doing the same to the cantilever spacers the tensioning rod goes through. The control arm assembly was installed, adding a little white lithium grease to the bushings, pivot bold sleeves, and cantilever spacers:

The motor was cleaned, added to the chassis, then mated with the control arm linkage. The linkage has two sealed roller bearings that still moved well. I smeared a little lithium grease over the bearing covers. White lithium grease tends to liquefy under load. There is an excellent chance a little will seep into the bearing race upon use. I had to add two small washers to the top bearing to keep the linkage in line with the connection:

The unit assembled less blower hose and table top:

I had to buy 20 ft. of replacement hose to get this small section made. A little over $3.00: I’ll find some use for it in the future.

Cleaning the rust off the cast iron top was a lot easier than anticipated. I wish to thank the 60 grit sanding disk I used, and its partner, the angle grinder. The nautilus shell pattern is original. The sheen is all mine:

I have both flat and spiral blades for this, in various teeth counts. If I can get my projects up to day in time, I might get to make some simple scroll saw Christmas gifts for the family.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

7 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


6541 posts in 3036 days

#1 posted 11-29-2016 07:20 PM

Scroll saws can be an addiction! I have used one for 60+ years.

Nice save, that is a decent saw.

Use paste-wax on the table fairly often. Prevents new rust and makes work turn easier. here is a website to a friend of mine that is a very good place to get blades, accessories and even help with any related questions.

A few other tips, use a clear tape over the wood and draw your pattern on it. Also I use old candle stubs to wax the blade often in hard wood or thick cutting. Try it then see if it works for you. (It was listed as an advice thing on my first saw in the book in 1953!

Scrollsaw site that I am part of too.

Also get a light and a chair/stool—or what works for you to be comfortable cutting.

I also stack cut with a thinner piece of masonite/plastic etc. sandwiched in between two or more pieces—to make a template if I intend to make more than one of the item.

Hope this helps and enjoy the “new” toy!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2129 days

#2 posted 11-30-2016 01:16 AM

Thanks ralbuck! Bookmarked the links and will keep the tips.

The two coats of Original Formula Johnson’s Paste Wax should hold until I get to using it. I used the same wax on the Hitachi when I removed all the rust and it’s about time for a cleaning and new couple of coats. Good stuff.

I have a metal machine shop stool with an adjustable back. I need to make a seat pad for this old tush. :) I believe I posted a previous blog entry showing the base I made and where it is located.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

View hnau's profile


88 posts in 1312 days

#3 posted 11-30-2016 05:31 PM

-- Spammer in processed of being removed.

View luv2learn's profile


3065 posts in 3073 days

#4 posted 12-01-2016 04:43 PM

Nice restoration Paul. I hope that it will give you many years more of use.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2129 days

#5 posted 12-01-2016 09:29 PM

Nice restoration Paul. I hope that it will give you many years more of use.

- luv2learn

Thanks, Lee. I hope so, too.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2165 days

#6 posted 12-12-2016 11:23 PM

Nice restore, Paul, I see you’ve been a busy lad. Looks like the dungeon is coming along very well!

-- Ed

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4482 days

#7 posted 01-11-2017 10:25 PM

Could you add a something to the motor to vary the speed? I have a potentiometer that govern’s the rate of the motor on mine, would it be possible to retro-fit such a thing to this saw?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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