scroll saw blade clamps driving me nuts

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Forum topic by Ted78 posted 01-13-2014 07:56 AM 6301 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 3010 days

01-13-2014 07:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: blade holders delta question scroll saw scrollworking

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.

-- Ted

12 replies so far

View Vinnie's profile


105 posts in 4399 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 02:03 PM

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.

-- Personalized name signs, Ham Radio Call Signs, Cut Coin Pendants Home Decor and More!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2872 posts in 3932 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 03:00 PM

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.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View Notw's profile


896 posts in 2763 days

#3 posted 01-14-2014 04:18 PM

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.

View oldwormy's profile


16 posts in 2901 days

#4 posted 01-14-2014 11:16 PM

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.

-- AlW

View tuffruss's profile


38 posts in 3393 days

#5 posted 01-15-2014 04:31 AM

Get new set screws they will have a cupped end. They won’t slip. Good luck Russ.

View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 3010 days

#6 posted 01-15-2014 07:39 AM

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.

-- Ted

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5062 days

#7 posted 01-15-2014 06:38 PM

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?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4595 days

#8 posted 01-15-2014 09:12 PM

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

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

View crowie's profile


4333 posts in 2961 days

#9 posted 01-16-2014 10:49 AM

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…..

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View LAW's profile


11 posts in 394 days

#10 posted 03-03-2020 03:46 AM

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.

-- LAW, Midland MI

View Davevand's profile


244 posts in 1846 days

#11 posted 03-03-2020 03:14 PM

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

View PaulDoug's profile


2481 posts in 2714 days

#12 posted 03-03-2020 05:05 PM

This thread is 6 years old…... He probably has a new saw by now…..

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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