ScrollSaw Information and Resources #8: Information on Porter Cable Scrollsaw

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Blog entry by jerrells posted 03-01-2011 03:40 PM 1906 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: ScrollSaw Information and Resources #7: Part 8 of ScrollSaw Information and Resources series Part 9: Lower Blade Clamp - Part 2 »

As I posted, about a week ago, I was having problems with the lower clamp holding the blade (like plain end #2) on my Poter Cable Scrollsaw. After some discussion with Poter Cable they are sending me a whole new lower clamp assembly. However it is the same as the one I have and my fear is that it will not address the issue. You see the real problem is that the thumb screw is under the table and you need to reach around the left side to tighten the screw while holding the blade through the hold in the table. Several, very knowledgable scrollers suggested that I file the end of the screw just a bit and that helped to some extent.

So, thinking out side the box, I realized the the issue is the ability to reach the screw and not the screw itself. I went to the big box hardware store and found out that the screw thread was an 8MM. So I goes down the isle looking for anything with 8MM threads. The only thing they had were hex screws about one inch long, so worth a shot. Came home and removed the burr off the end of one of them and found a screwdriver that fit a hex socket and a #10MM socket to thighen the screw. This seems to work just fine in my test last night. Today I start scrolling some larger projects and we will have the final test.

Lesson I learned, If it does not work in one method look at reasonable alternatives.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

3 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3142 days

#1 posted 03-01-2011 07:28 PM

thank´s for sharing it
let us hear if its work for you with the alternative scruwe

instead of a screwdriver with hex socket
then a better one I think is a T-wrench with a hex head
this will give a bigger toque for small hands or if the muscle ain´t what they have been

take care

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2869 days

#2 posted 03-01-2011 08:04 PM

Please let us know how that works out for you. I personally don’t use a scroll saw with thumb screws. I have in the past though and have a strong dislike for the current trend of putting thumb screws on scroll saws and calling it tool-less blade change. My Delta does use a tool for the bottom clamp, but I’d rather use the tool and get a good grip than the altenative, which is what you’ve been experiencing.
Sadly, the thumb screw seems to be the trend now, even on upper priced saws. This is fine for larrger blades. It is not so fine for small blades though, especially spirals, which I use a lot of.
The only tool-less blade clamp I have seen that works and works well is the Delta Quickclamp II system. That is what I have on the upper blade clamp of my saw. My current setup works fine because the upper one is the one I have to undo the most. Howeer, I have often considered retro-fitting the same type clamp to my bottom arm. It shouldn’t be hard to do. The upper lone of older Deltas had the Quickclamp II system on both the upper and lower arms.
You are right though, about finding something that works. I have had to do the same on my saws. I keep and extra machine screw for my bottom clamp. I strip the trhead out on it from time to time. On the upper clamp (The Quickclamp II), it comes from the factory with a plastic but on a machine screw that runs through it. While it’s a great overall setup, the first time you accidently try to clamp a blade too tight, that plastic nut is gone. I have since replaced that hold togehter with a machine screw and a wing nut.


View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2911 days

#3 posted 03-04-2011 12:03 AM

Well I thought I had this problem solved. YES the lower clamp holds the blade jusy as I want it to with NO letting go. However now I have a vibration and I am not really sure that it is a result of the bolt being placed in the lower clamp. At first I was using a one inch long bolt so I could reach it better but switched to one about 3/8 inch long because I was worried that the extra length would cause some problem. Now I have got to do some more testing and none of this is getting any projects made.

Also, I have tried looking for upgrade clamps for this Porter Cable scrollsaw. I was reading, in on of Speilman’s basic scrollsaw books, that that is one of the things to do when you have purchased a less than top of the line scrollsaw. Would like to have any suggestions that are our there.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

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