ScrollSaw Information and Resources #9: Lower Blade Clamp - Part 2

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Blog entry by jerrells posted 03-05-2011 03:53 AM 1921 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Information on Porter Cable Scrollsaw Part 9 of ScrollSaw Information and Resources series Part 10: First Craft Show »

I had posted some issues and problems with the lower blade clamp on my Poter Cable saw. I, also, stated that I was going to try a hex screw as a replacement, which I did. It worked find and the blade was more than secure however I think it contributed to the vibration on the saw. So I went back to the plastic headed thumb screw supplied with the say however is created a wooden turning knob like the one Steve Good has on the upper clamp of his saw.

Now when I insert a new blade I will hand tighten the screw then slip this little turning device on and finish tightening it for better grip. So far it seems to work fine and the vibration is back down. I still beed to find out what I can do to control a little more vibration to my satisfaction. But that will wait till tomorrow.

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

3 comments so far

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2841 days

#1 posted 03-05-2011 09:50 PM

Was this saw bad on vibration before this quest for a better grip on the bottom clamp started?
The reason I ask is it seems that vibration is an ongoing issue no matter what you do with the bottom clamp. That makes me think the bottom clamp doesn’t have as much to do with that vibration as I may have thought when I read your last post.
Some saws are prone to vibration. I don’t know about your particular saw because I’ve never used one. Several things can be done though on most saws to combat the vibration. Weighting it down is the principle behind all the different methods though. You can bolt the saw to a heavy bench. If you don’t have a heavy enough bench, you can weight the bench down with sandbags or pretty much anything heavy.
When I first started scrolling, I had a Ryobi saw. That thing, no matter what you did, vibrated like crazy. At one point I had over five hundred pounds of weight on a bench annd the saw and bench would still slowly walk across the floor. Not knowing better, I finally decided that this was just part of scrolling. Then when I finally wore that saw’s bearing completely out, I bought a Delta. I couldn’t believe the difference it made. I’m not talking about an expensive Delta either. I have a $59.99 (on sale) SS250. It runs smooth enough that I actually lay tools on the table beside the saw and they stay there while I’m cutting. I could have never done this with that other saw.
So I guess what I’m asking is if your changing the screw made vibration worse? Or was it about the same? If it did get worse, is there a way to weigh the original screw against the replacement? If the screws weigh the same, I don’t see how that could effect vibration.
I also don’t see how what you have now could cause vibration. If I understand it correctly, Steve Goode’s design there is removed before running the saw? If so, then the original screw is all that is used while cutting.


View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 03-06-2011 12:43 AM

@William – I have the Porter Cable from Lowes and yes, generally, it can be prone to vibration. However, it does not seem that it was that bad at first but has just gotten worse. I was scrolling a fine fretwork part this morning (at low speed) and all seemed to work fine. Seems through I can never get the very fine thin cuts; could be me or the saw.

I have noticed that if you look straight down the blade it is not running perpeniduclar(?). Now the great manual does not explain any of this. Each holder has an fine alignment screw on the other side from the clamp screw but no instructions. I kinow the saw was made by Rexon and even their site does not give very detailed information.

Yes the Steve Good device is only for tightening and would come off during use (or fall off). I may be asking too much of the saw but (by darn it) if it will do Fine Victorian Fretwork I’ll make it do it. That is the reason I got into scrollsawing in the first place.

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

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2887 days

#3 posted 03-06-2011 10:53 AM

First, is your blade running true from end to end? In other words, if you run the blade through a complete cyclem, is it in the same place relative to the workpiece at both ends or does it seem to “wander”? It may need aligning.

If it is aligned properly. there may be something setting off the balance. Try a smaller (shorter) bolt in place of the one you replaced and see if that helps. Even a couple of miligrams can cause an inordinate amount of vibration in a tool running at the speeds a scroll saw runs at when at top speed.

You might also try different blade choices to see if that helps.,

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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