Monday, December 21, 2009

DeWalt DW788 thumb screw upgrade. Not DeWalt Certified.

Many of you wrote to answer my question about the DeWalt DW788 thumb screw upgrade question. A few readers suggested the Quick Clamp Lever from Grizzly. I ordered one last Thursday and received it today. The cost of the lever was $2.95 and shipping to Kentucky was $7.70. Shipping was a little high so I would suggest ordering more than one lever. If you damage one you will have a spare. If you are in a club maybe you could go together and split the shipping cost. The picture above shows the male and female clamp. You will only need the male and that is what is shipped from the link above.

Please Read, Important.
This modification should only be performed at your own risk. The mod is pretty straight forward but I can not be responsible for any damage you may cause to your self or your saw. This mod is not certified by DeWalt and could possibly void any warranty you have.

This picture shows the length of the bolt as shipped. It was too long and needed to be modified.

I determined that the bolt needed to be 1/2" long. I marked the length with blue painters tape so I would not accidentally make it too short.

I decided to use the grinder to shorten the bolt. It would have been easier to use the hack saw but mine was buried somewhere not to be found. If you use a hack saw be very careful not to mess up the threads too much. You will need to use a grinder to get a nice final flat surface. Make sure the end is flat and level or you may have trouble with blade slippage. If your saw starts breaking blades or significantly bending the ends of the blade check that the bolt end is flat.

The grinder makes the bolt very hot. To keep from melting the plastic dip the bolt in water regularly as you grind. Try not to leave the bolt with half a thread when you finish grinding.

This picture shows the finished length of the bolt ready to install. The bolt is now 1/2" long.

Carefully insert the bolt to make sure you do not cross thread and destroy the upper clamp housing. Go slow and if you feel any resistance back it out and check the threads on the bolt. Mine went in easily with little resistance. Careful grinding goes a long way to prevent problems here.

After you have tightened the clamp to the blade push in on the button and set the lever to a position that will not obstruct your cutting.

Final thoughts:

If you have been following this from last week you know that a reader sent in the question about an upgraded thumb screw. I also have never been too thrilled with the screw that comes with the DeWalt saw. I posted a pattern for a hand made lever and I was pleased with it but it has the disadvantage of not having the handle adjustable when tightened.

So far I am please with this modification. My limited use has not shown any problems with blade slippage or breaking blades. Because the handle is adjustable I don't think there will be any interference when cutting thick stock.

I think there is a slight risk that you could apply too much clamping force and strip out the upper clamp housing. If you are having blade slippage problems don't just keep applying more force. Troubleshoot the reason for the slippage.

Make sure you store the original thumb screw where it won't become lost. You may decide to reinstall it at a later date.

After I posted this a received a note from "Saw Dust John". He sent me a tip that I want to add to this post. Any time you are going to cut or grind off part of a bolt it is recommend that you add a nut first. Screw the bolt all the way into the nut. After you cut the bolt you can unscrew the nut. Removing the nut helps clean and repair any damage to the threads. Great tip John. Thanks.

The Scrollsaw Workshop is primarily supported by donations. If you enjoy this Blog and would like to make a donation please click this link. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Make A Donation

This is the end of the daily posts. Keep scrolling for lot's more scrolls saw fun!
Bear Woods has been around since 1987 serving our hobby. They offer a wide range of craft products including Pegas scroll saw blades, clock inserts, toy parts, workshop supplies and much more. In my ten years of writing the Scrollsaw Workshop blog I have never received a complaint about Bear Woods. I get thousands of email a month so that's saying something about their customer service and quality products. Please support the people who support our hobby. Click now and visit Bear Woods.

Heritage Wood Specialties. Scroll saw ready boards!

Heritage Wood Specialties is a nationally recognized supplier of superior quality hardwoods to fine woodworkers across the US and Canada. Novice hobbyists and experienced enthusiasts alike can enjoy the high quality woodworking materials and kits available from Heritage Wood Specialties. Great source for scroll saw ready boards.

Seyco began business in 1986 with the goal to supply the best customer support and quality products in the scroll saw industry. I have worked with Seyco on many occasions and I can tell you they are simply the best. Please do yourself a favor and click the image above. Steve Good

Free Pattern Catalog. 1000's of free patterns.

Thousands of FREE scroll saw patterns. No registration or signup required.

The projects form these patterns can be sold without restrictions. The patterns cannot be sold.

Click here for the Free Online Catalog.


Wooden Vases on the Scroll Saw Book $12 Each
Each digital book is available for download immediately after payment.
The books are $12 per edition and contains eight unique patterns each.
Watch the following video to see how easy these beautiful scroll saw vases
are to make. 

Order the $3 pdf Catalog

This is a PDF of all the patterns in my free catalog. It is for Windows only and has a program to automatically download the pattern to your computer. Please watch the video below before you order. Click the picture to order.
You do not need a PayPal account to order. At the bottom of the PayPal page is a button that will allow you to pay with a credit card. After successful payment click the Return to Merchant button for the download.

Stencil Printer 1.7

Stencil Printer Instruction Video.

The Scrollsaw Workshop Stencil Printer 1.7 is my latest software for creating patterns. It will create key chain fobs, desk name plates and more. Click the image above to download the latest version. It is free to use donationware. This software is for Windows PC only.

Scroll Saw Pattern Printer update 1.1

Scroll Saw Pattern Printer update 1.1
Download the Free Scroll Saw Pattern Printer Version 1.1. Create name patterns in seconds. Windows PC only.
Download Version 1.1
Please consider a $5 donation for The Scroll Saw Pattern Printer v1.1.

Scroll Saw Keychain Pattern Maker

Use the Scroll Saw Keychain Maker to start a small keychain business. Build yourself a nice display and make up severl keychains with common names. Sell at craft shows, on Ebay or at work. Everyone needs a keychain. Take custom orders. Heck just make them and give them away as gifts. It's all made easy with the Scroll Saw Keychain Maker. Watch the video demonstration then download the file below and get started with the fun.
The following link will start the download process. After the file download is complete just click the setup file and the program will be installed. Please consider a $5 donation for the program.

Download the Oval Keychain Pattern Maker.

Enjoy designing and printing these great personalized key chains. Give them as gifts, make them for fun or sell them at craft shows. It's easy, just watch the video demo then download and install the program. You will be designing these fun projects in minutes. Windows PC only.
Download the Free Oval Key Chain Pattern Maker. Create Oval key chain patterns in seconds.
Download Version .9a
Please consider a $5 donation for The Oval Key Chain Pattern Maker.

T-Shirts and More.

T-Shirts and More.
Show your love for the hobby and support the Scrollsaw Workshop. Safe and secure order fullfilled by CafePress. Take a look. You are sure to find something you like. CLICK THE IMAGE to visit the store.

The Lifter

Papa's Custom Patterns.