LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner

scroll saw blade clamps driving me nuts

8387 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  PaulDoug
I have an older Delta scroll saw that uses two little clamps with Allan head bots to hold onto the pin-less blades. No matter how tight I get them, (I've bent cheap wrenches and snapped good ones doing so), they refuse to hold onto the blade. I'm pretty sure I am not over tensioning the blades based on what I've read about what it should sound like when you pluck it and how much the blade should move back when you start sawing.

The blades are not breaking, they are slipping out of the holders. They are fairly thick, robust blades if that makes any difference, not doing fine fretwork, just some work a bit to fine for the bandsaw. I'm at my wit's end. I'm wondering if it's something wrong with the saw itself as the blades seem pretty firmly gripped in the holders but pop out when trying to cut something with the saw. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Ted, Take the bolts out that hold the blade and ruff sand the ends that hold the blade. The ends of those bolts have become real smooth and won't hold your blades anymore. See if that helps.
Also, be aware that cutting on a scroll saw is VERY MUCH slower than cutting on a band saw. Do not push too hard or the blades may pull out or break.
I have a Shop Fox scroll saw that has set screws that are allen head to hold the blades as well. I quickly got very annoyed at having to use the allen wrench to tighten and loosen so I cut a 1/4" plywood knob on the scroll saw then gorilla glued it onto the end of a longer set screw from HD so i can loosen and tighten by hand with no tools.
Try sanding each side of the ends of the blade before inserting in the holder. This will remove any oils left from manufacturing and rough the ends so that they will not slip.
Get new set screws they will have a cupped end. They won't slip. Good luck Russ.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will try roughing up the blade ends and see if that helps. The ends of the bolts don't actually come in contact with the blade at all. the holders have a vertical slit that runs about 3/4 of the way to the top and the bolt runs through the slit horizontally just above where you insert the blade and when you tighten the bold if pinches the slit closed on the blade.
Possible to put some of that Thread Locking stuff on the screws to make it harder for them to loosen?
... not the REAL TIGHT stuff… maybe Light or Medium hold?
A few years back I bought an expensive scroll saw made also by Delta it was a top notch saw with what was said to be at the time comes with latest ( quick change tensioner blade holders).I too have had nothing but trouble with them and sadly the saw sits here never been used in about four years I spent ages trying to get them to hold without success hours at a time and finally gave up. Alistair
G'Day Ted,
I realize this could be a silly thing to suggest and apologies in advanced.
BUT is it possible to go direct to the Customer Service Dept of Delta and ask them how they'd correct the problem on there machine, especially when Alistair confirmed he too had/has a similar issue.
Just my thoughts…..
Look closely at the two clamping blocks. The inner one has hole through it for the bolt. Outer one is plain square with threaded hole the the screw tightens into. The inner one has a raised flange on the back edge, parallel to the blade. The blade is placed up near and in front of the screw.
If the inner block is backwards with the flange towards the front, it will never tighten on the blade. If the inner block has been removed and put in with the flange to the outside, facing the screw head, the outer block will be cocked on the blade and will not hold.
If both blocks are installed properly, the outer block has the back edge held out by the flange and the front edge is clamped against the blade. Since the block is now parallel to the inner block surface it has full contact to the blade and should hold it securely.

My saw had the threads in the outer block stripped from over tightening. I made new clamping nut with piece of 1/4" steel, 1/2" square with (I think) 10-32 thread. If you have to make a new square nut, make and thread the hole first and then cut and finish filing the outer edges to the 1/2" dimensions. To insure it is in the center, place the nut into the clamping part and see if the screw will go into the hole without interference. Trial and error but it is possible to get a very good fitting nut. The original nuts may have been hardened but were thinner than 1/4", it should hold up very well. Don't oil the threads.
See less See more
The clamps have most likely been over-tightened and spread apart so the the bolts that hold the blade are no longer meeting together properly. If this is the case your only option is to try to close up the gap or most likely replace the clamp
This thread is 6 years old…... He probably has a new saw by now…..
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.