foot powered Scroll saw #3: tension adjusting and blade mechanizium

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Blog entry by Tom8021 posted 07-17-2009 12:49 AM 6229 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: foot powered Scroll saw #2: Part 3 of foot powered Scroll saw series Part 4: The Tower »

To make it so you can adjust the tension on the blade I took a 12” threaded screw and put it through oversize holes in the back end of the arms.

I put a nut on the bottom and a adjustable knob on the top.

The other end was a bit harder to figure out. I kept browsing over all of the fasteners at Home Depot, thinking there has to be a way to make a solid connection between the arms and the blades. Then it hit me and I think it is simple and strong.

I took a threaded rod coupler and drilled a hole in the side of the arms just big enough to put the coupler in snugly . I then used epoxy to keep it there. I was careful to keep one of the flat sides of the coupler parallel to top of the arm. It just will make the next step easier. When the glue is dry, I then drilled through the top of the arm right through the coupler. Next came a set screw and brass screw that I filed flat where they meet the blade.

Keep the knob on the top arm as small as possible, it gets in the way when using the saw.

6 comments so far

View MattD's profile


150 posts in 3943 days

#1 posted 07-17-2009 01:10 AM

Nicely done so far! I think I could probably build this from the details you have here. Well.. just the top part so far of course. Appreciate this..

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#2 posted 07-17-2009 05:06 AM

this is really cool Tom

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3647 days

#3 posted 07-17-2009 05:16 AM

a fantastic project, and a terrific tool!

how is it working out for you ?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Tom8021's profile


73 posts in 3237 days

#4 posted 07-17-2009 06:02 PM

As far as working out for me, I say terrific. Yes I broke a lot of blades at first, but now I break them a lot less.

The control I get is fantastic, I can stop and turn easily.

The draw backs are that my leg gets tired. My eyes aren’t what they use to be and blowing away the saw dust needs a good set of lungs. This isn’t for a old guy like me, lol.

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 3267 days

#5 posted 07-17-2009 06:31 PM

This is a superb project and series of informative posts. Hopefully, you’ll take us all the way with this wonderful creation.

Might not a small fan or blower mounted nearby help with the sawdust?

View Tom8021's profile


73 posts in 3237 days

#6 posted 07-17-2009 06:50 PM

I tried a battery operated fan and it wasn’t concentrated enough. It really isn’t that big of a deal, but I keep thinking on it. My old scroll saw had a bellows on it, but that won’t work with my foot powered, too slow.

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