Dewalt 788 scroll saw problems

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Forum topic by HarleySoftailDeuce posted 09-23-2017 03:14 PM 3000 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 4198 days

09-23-2017 03:14 PM

Hello Lumberjocks,

I just purchased a DW788 scroll saw second hand. It did run when demonstrated by the seller.

I carried it into my basement by the upper part. I did not see the notice “not to carry by top member”

I checked the wire fuse (looks fine) It’s in real good condition; no frayed cords.

Plugged it in and it will not run.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a fix ??

I also want to thank my woodworking buddy…Lenny Butler for our long journey to Ware, Ma. to pick up this tool.
He’s always there for me.

Looking forward to some solution.


-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

6 replies so far

View jimintx's profile


934 posts in 2363 days

#1 posted 09-23-2017 03:23 PM

I cant speak from experience, because I have not lifted mine by the upper arm. However, it seems to me that perhaps the unusual forces of such a lift would be mostly applied to the blade clamps.

Thus, if I was working on this issue myself, i would remove the blade and see if it ran okay with that tension removed. If it did, then i would re-install the blade and test it again.

Good luck, I hope to learn more about the design and mechanics of the saw from this thread.

And – Your road trip to Ware, MA sounds like a fun time with a good friend. Those are always great.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Lazyman's profile


5455 posts in 2166 days

#2 posted 09-23-2017 03:26 PM

Just throwing out the obvious things:
-Are you sure the outlet is working? (check the breaker, plug a lamp into it, etc.)
-Check the switch with a voltage meter using the continuity testing or ohm setting (unplugged of course).
-Open the switch and make sure that the switch is not full of sawdust. Moving the saw might have made sawdust already inside the switch move and foul the contacts.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Lenny's profile


1668 posts in 4305 days

#3 posted 09-23-2017 11:21 PM

“Road Trip!” And what a trip it was. “Where are we going?” “To Ware.” “That’s what I asked you. Where are we going?” You get the gist of it. It’s always great to have company Paul, whether to pick up lumber, to Woodcraft or Rockler for something, or 70+ miles to Ware and back.

I’m happy to hear the saw is working!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View JRsgarage's profile


367 posts in 1287 days

#4 posted 09-23-2017 11:47 PM

i would check the fuse as well. which model type, 1 or 2? i have heard some of earlier type 2’s had similar issues

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2836 posts in 3700 days

#5 posted 09-24-2017 01:08 AM

Check the switch. This saw is notorious for bad switches. Most people install a foot switch on these saws and put a plastic bag over the switch that comes with the saw, to keep the sawdust out. I had one of these and killed it in 20 months. I then bought a Hegner.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 4198 days

#6 posted 09-25-2017 12:55 PM

Hello to all LJ members who offered suggestions. It was the switch…so I ordered a replacement.

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

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