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Forum topic by mtenterprises posted 543 days ago 3040 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mtenterprises

813 posts in 1277 days


543 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question tip trick scroll saw refurbishing

Now that we have this scrollsaw spacific forum I’m going to pose this to the readers for your input. I own a Foley – Belsaw Model 4330918 18” light industral scrollsaw. I purchased this new when it was first offered sometime in the 1980s made in Tiwan. Back then they were noted for their good quality cast iron. This is the EXACT same saw sold by Grizzly – G1060 and also sold in England as Axminster FS18. After doing some on line research I found the FS18 got some pretty good reviews. Over the years this was sold by other companies also, same thing as with all imports and there were never any improvments.
So this is where I’m going with this, first my “problems” then what to do about them. I find this to be a great machine for the most part. It’s my main scrollsaw, I have 2 others. Now I know this isn’t an Excalibur or a Hegner but for what I paid for it it’s a good machine. But I’m looking to improve it if I can. The first and major problem is with the blade holders and that is 2 part. First the blade holders use metric allen head cap screws and I wear out the heads often just by changing blades. Is there a better way of doing this or better retro fit clamps that I can use? Second blade clamp problem, this clampling system is a royal PITA to do fretwork where you need to pass the blade through many times. Is there a better way to do this? Once you release the tension both clamps and the blade come off and you have to try to hold your work and the blade all in one hand while trying to fit the blade into the other clamp set in the clamp holding jig on the table then wrench it tight. What do other saws use for this type of work and could I somehow make it for this machine? On to the next lesser problem, single speed. I would just love to have variable speed. Any ideas on how I could do it ecconomlically?
For those of you who don’t know about me I do have available metal lathe, mill and all welding and cutting tools so I’m like a self supporting shop but I really don’t want to get too crazzy with this project. I’m sure others have had these same issued and overcome them. These improvements would make me want to do lots more scrollsawing.
MIKE


This stock picture from on line is the same as my saw so you all know what I’m talking about.


This is a picture of me trying to do the juggling act while taking the picture.

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises


19 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3318 posts in 2544 days


#1 posted 543 days ago

I have the same setup on my scroller, and I also find it difficult to use. Most of the time I use pinned blades, so it is not a constant pain. I’ve just lived with the design rather than buying a saw that is not used regularly.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1624 posts in 1506 days


#2 posted 543 days ago

your clamping system looks a lot like the ones on my Hegners. Maybe a Hegner quick clamp would fit on your saw. I do not do fretwork but I know what you mean by wanting a quicker blade disconnect and re-connect. I do double bevel inlay projects by the hundreds in a year. Using a Hegner quick clamp you would have to do fretwork by bottom feeding I imagine. I have single speed saws and simply vary the feed rate for good control.

-- In God We Trust

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1426 days


#3 posted 542 days ago

First, go to a good hardware store and replace the allen head screw with one that has a head, if possible.
If that can be done, then make a quick release handle out of wood. I’ve seen it done on other people’s machines.
Something similar to this, but with the cutout for a hex head.
If this solution cannot be done, can you provide a closeup shot of the blade holders from several different angles so I might can get some new ideas on it?

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1426 days


#4 posted 542 days ago

While I left my previous answer posted, let me state that I am very wrong.
I went back and studied the photos better. Now I understand your problem. You have the same type blade holder I have on an older Craftsman saw. I use my Delta for pinnless blades. I tried the type of clamping mechanism that you’re trying to use in that last photo so I could use pinless blades on the Craftsman as well. I gave up on that exercise in frustration. I now use only pinned blades on that saw.
I’m sorry, but I don’t know of any way around that one. Some of the older saws just aren’t very well suited for fretwork. I have a couple of old saws that I keep pinned blades to use in. Then I go to a different saw for pinless blades.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View stefang's profile

stefang

12402 posts in 1918 days


#5 posted 540 days ago

You definitely have the worst type of saw for doing fretwork. You might find a more modern machine that uses unpinned blades and has variable speed on an auction site at a very reasonable price.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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mtenterprises

813 posts in 1277 days


#6 posted 536 days ago

So it seems like no one knows how blade holders evolved. I mean they didn’t just go from what I have to what is available today instantly. There must have been someone trying and testing things to make what I have better.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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mtenterprises

813 posts in 1277 days


#7 posted 536 days ago

Been kind of looking at things like this for both upper and lower.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1426 days


#8 posted 536 days ago

Through seeing and using a lot of different scrollsaws from various decades, I do understand a lot about how blade holders evolved. Simply put, they didn’t. The best blade holders today are just simplified versions of blade holder that I have on a 1947 Craftsman saw at my shop right now. The only better alternative I have seen is the Delta Quickclamp II system. The Quickclamp II system has been retrofitted to a lot of different saws too. The problem is that, unless you have one of the more popular saws, you’re kind of own your own to figure out how to do anything with it besides getting a better saw.
The thing you have pictured above, I’m not sure about. The knob on top is throwing me off. Below that, it looks like a system that has been sold since the 80s. They were originally designed to convert older Craftsman direct drive saws to be able to hold pinless blades. It may be a simplified version of the kit you’re already using in the photo in the original post. I’d be interested in seeing all the parts of the lower and upper guides of the one you’re thinking of getting and get an idea of how it works. Then, and only then, could I really offer my opinion on if they’re worth getting or not.

In the end, there are three types of blade holders that I’ve seen.
Pinless – they are good at what they do. They hold pinless blades. They usually do it well. This is the preferred holder by most scrollers, especially if they do detail or fret work. I have used pinned blades in these holder by simply pressing the pins out with a hammer while holding the pinned over a hold in a block of wood.
Pinned – Again, these usually do what they’re designed to do well, hold pinned blades. These are less adaptable though because, while it is easy to remove pins like I mentioned before, it is harder to add pins. There are various adapter kits on the market, but I have yet to find one that works well.
Pinned or pinless – These are blade holder that I mostly see on low end saws that are trying to say they can do it all, when what they actually do is nothing well. Like with most tools, if you have something that is designed to do more than one job, it usually has to compromise performance of one or all duties performed to be able to attempt to accomplish that.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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mtenterprises

813 posts in 1277 days


#9 posted 536 days ago

William The system I just posted I believe would work like this; the top knob would be tightened down to hold the blade holder in place when making the blade loose to do through hole cutting by 1. first tightening the upper knob 2. releasing the blade tension then 3. releasing the blade to pass through the hole then reversing the process. I can see the knob also as a safety device to keep the blade holder from flying away when a blade brakes. Am I wrong in my thinking? I believe I could build these and fit them to my saw. both upper and lower being the same.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1426 days


#10 posted 536 days ago

I see a benefit from that system of keeping the upper block from flying off when the blade breaks. As most scrollings know, it’s not if a blade breaks, but when. While using those similar blocks trying to make my old Craftsman direct drive take pinless blades, that was a major aggrevation. About half the time, when the blade broke, I’d spend the next five or ten minutes looking for the upper block, which flew away so fast that I didn’t even know which direction it went.
The drawback I see is that it also seems that it’ll take even more to change the blade. Unless I’m wrong, the block still looks very similar to the style I’ve been talking about that I used on the old Craftsman. You have to fit a block to the blade, which hooks into the bracket the pin on a pinned blade used to hook onto. These simply became too cumbersome to my liking.

It all boils down to what you want to do with a scroll saw. No single method is best for all types of scrolling. If you do mostly through cuts, then absolutely, that system looks like it would work fine. These type systems don’t work for me though, because I do a lot of detailed work with many many piercing cuts. I’ve done pieces that have thousands inside, piercing cuts. You can see, I’m sure, why a system such as the ones you are showing would be a pain in the rear with that kind of work.
Let me back up though. I have a saw that does great for piercing cuts. That old Craftsman that I keep mentioning that I tried using pinless blades on? I still have it. I just only put pinned blades on it though. If I’m doing work in thick wood, with through cuts, I actually prefer that old Craftsman to my Delta that only takes pinless blades. So you see, depending on the type of work being done, a system such as what you are trying to use could be ideal. It all boils down to the user and what he is using it for.

Back to the system you showed in the last photo.
If you do not do a lot of piercing cuts, then yes, I think it would be ideal. It looks like an improvement over just using the blocks like in the original post. If for no reason, it’s an improvement that you won’t be losing your upper or lower block when the blade breaks.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1426 days


#11 posted 536 days ago

Here, about halfway down the page, is the EZ set blade holder system that I keep referring to on the old Craftsman.
I don’t use it anymore. It was just something I ordered one time trying to see if it was possible to use pinless blades on my old Craftsman. I had the Delta, just thought it’d be nice to be able to do it.
While I found that it was possible, I felt it was more trouble than it was worth.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View mtenterprises's profile (online now)

mtenterprises

813 posts in 1277 days


#12 posted 536 days ago

The simple thing I did about the blocks flying away was to put a leash on them. I took some 40# braided fish line tied a loop through the hole in the block then put another loop in the other end of the line then just looped it over the pressure foot tightening knob. Still scares the s* out of you when the blade brakes but you don’t have to go looking for it. I think I’m going to tinker with this idea I’ve shown above and see what I can do. So far it’s the easyist idea I’ve seen. I can build it that’s not the problem but it would be easier if I could just buy what I need. Now if someone else would chime in here and want a set too I’d think about getting right down to doing it.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1426 days


#13 posted 536 days ago

I hope you post back when you get it done and let us know how it works out.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View mtenterprises's profile (online now)

mtenterprises

813 posts in 1277 days


#14 posted 535 days ago

If all goes well I will.

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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mtenterprises

813 posts in 1277 days


#15 posted 533 days ago

Spent some time working on the modification on my scrollsaw yesterday. I made a full size prototype out of some rock maple, man that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to run through the scrollsaw, it cut but burned too. Filed and sanded to fit and this looks like it just might work. So the prototype is done but it’s way too cold to go out to the garage to machine out a metal one. So it gets shelved untill it gets warmer out. Here’s a couple pics of what I’ve done, compair it to what I posted previously. Of course the real ones will get holes for mounting and a threaded hole for a clamping knob.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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