Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

By kstano83
My fingers become aching from tightening and loosening clamping knobs (thumb screw) on my saw (axminster EX21) and I´d like to know whether you guys use or know about a jig/tool I could use to put less stress on my hand joints.

PS: I only tighten them as much as I need to prevent slipping out. (which still occasionally happens)
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By Droogs
you could replace the little plastic handled screw with one that has a head that takes an Allen key and then use a T handled hex wrench instead to adjust. Would be a little bit slower (with putting the hex key in an out) but would relieve the pressure on your fingers. I do find that the litttle black knob thing on my EX30 can get very tight over time if I am not changing blades often or making lots of internal cuts
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By Honest John
Why not carve out a wing nut shaped hole in a piece of scrap 2x1. You could then just slip it out very the knob and use your hand rather than your fingers. Have to be extra careful not to over tighten it though.
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By RogerS
Can anyone recommend a quality set of T handle hex keys ? Looking at eBay, for example, they all seem to be coming from the same place in China. I'm fed up paying good money for cheap shoddy tat.
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By marcros
I have a set like these ... 6kQAvD_BwE although mine came with a stand of sorts. They are supposed to allow you to feel the torque being applied so have a bit of "give" in the wire if that makes sense.

I previously had a silverline set, which were cheap and nasty in the handle dept but were dirt cheap. They were t handled but the key also stuck out of one end for where you needed more leverage or had restricted access.

If I needed another set, I would go straight for the bondhus, happy with the quality and value.
By aramco
hi I has the same problem with my ex 30 but got this from Brian - claymore - just cut a slot in a piece of wood to fit over the screw and that works well, I did see where someone cut a fancy handle out of a piece of 3/4 plywood and used that

take care
By Scrollerman
Hi kstano83 ...
Have you considered using the same type of locking lever on the EX21 used for the angle lock ?
That lever is called in the UK, a Bristol lever and also commonly called an index lever.
It's by far the easiest and best option for people who are looking for a quicker way to tighten a blade or those who have a grip problem.
The picture below is from the Axminster Tools site to show the type of lever I'm talking about.
It comes in many thread sizes to suit from Axminster but many other places sell them as well.


I hope this helps you and other members here.

By Toonie
The standard screw has a little rotating bearing on the clamping surface that grips the blade. Using that sort of clamp will mark the blades and cause blades to snap more often.

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By Honest John
Just noticed today on Steve Goode’s site, in the “tools”section of his pattern library, there is a scroll saw cut knob for exactly this problem. Looks like it just slips over the normal clamp knob when needed and then removed.
Not sure about the Bristol lever idea - all those I've seen would be a bit too big & bulky for this job, especially for the clamp under the table, surely?

The Steve Goode and Claymore ideas of making a star nut to increase leverage on the "wing nuts" seems a good idea, BUT you should not really need a lot of force to clamp the blades.

Is the "blind side" nut (opposite to "wing nut" end) of each clamp correctly adjusted?

Is the end of the "blind side" nut (where it meets the blade) flat?

Have your blade ends got a bit oily/greasy by any chance?

Personally I don't really like the idea of changing the "wing nuts" to socket head screws. The whole idea of the Excalibur system is that blade changing is tool-less (from experience of my previous machine, this is MUCH more convenient than having to use a separate tool to un-clamp/re-clamp blades if doing a lot of cut outs). But if you do want a decent Allen key set anyway, personally I'd recommend Bondhuus.

Finally, don't forget we're talking about steel male threads into "only ali" female threads here, so if you apply too much pressure you could strip the thread in the (ali) clamp body.