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chipchaser

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Hello all,

new to fret saws and after reading posts here have acquired a Diamond AF19. It looks just like this factory image:

http://i455.photobucket.com/albums/qq27 ... ndAF19.jpg

I don't know any history or age but it may be pre 1995, as the label on the top arm has the old dialing code without the extra "1". Apart from having lost three of the four rubber feet it appears to be complete and to work ok. I haven't tried it out yet properly as I got carried away and after cleaning it up and replacing a couple of missing screws re-varnished the ply table. Must be special varnish as after almost 24 hours it is still tacky :roll: But it has turned cold and damp here so the workshop is not very warm.

The previous owner (who had it 3 years) had no instructions on maintenance or setting up. Might anyone have info on any adjustments or maintenance needed that they would be kind enough to scan and email or copy and send me? I would be pleased to cover any costs incurred in copies or post. The area around the arm pivots has a layer of dry grease. Do these bearings require any lubrication?

This machine has blade clamps as shown in the image. They appear suitable for pin or plain ended fret saw blades only. Are these type 7 blade holders?

I don't think a hacksaw blade, as mentioned in the makers description of a type 6 blade holder, would fit. I would be interested to see what the type 6 blade holders for hacksaw and other blades look like as I would like to experiment with some deeper blades for straight cuts.

I have some Axminster blades to play with. Are Olson or Flying Dutchman blades better and where is the best place to buy them?

Apologies for so many questions. Any help, advice or comments gratefully received.

Regards Graham
 

Gill

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Hi Graham

The plywood table shouldn't need varnishing. Doug designed it to be used bare. He did suggest that dusting the top of the table occasionally with French chalk (the sort you find in bicycle puncture repair kits) would make it more than slippery enough. I've never treated my own tables in any way whatsoever and I've never had a problem.

The blade holder in the picture looks like a Type 6. The Type 7 isn't suitable for pinned blades. In fact, the Type 7 were designed for some blind scrollers Doug knew who were quite able to operate a fret saw following templates, but had a terrible time when it came to changing blades.

My knowledge of engineering is so pitiable that I'm reluctant to comment on what maintenance should or should not be done. I seem to recall Doug saying that you shouldn't touch the arm pivots all, though. Somewhere, I've got the manual for Diamonds but it seems to have vanished :roll: . I've been looking for it for ages and if it turns up I'll scan you a copy. From memory, the maintenance advice was rather limited.

When I visited Doug, he fitted a saw with a 7 inch hacksaw blade simply by adjusting the black tensioning knob at the back of the top arm so that the upper arm rose higher. Then he re-tensioned it.

Blades are a matter of personal choice. I've always bought mine from either Mike Moorlach (Flying Dutchman) in the USA or HegnerUK in Hailsham. I've never found much difference between the performance of Olson and FD blades but the price is considerably different! Still, some people swear by Olson... If you use any of those three brands, I'm sure you will notice the performance difference compared to the Axminster brand.

Gill
 

chipchaser

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Hi Gill,

and thanks for your advice. I varnished the top because it was already varnished but very scratched in the area around the blade. It has dried ok now after application of warmth. I will use a bit of talc if it needs some added "slipperiness".

Having looked more closely at the blade holders I can see that I should be able to get a hacksaw blade into the slot but now I want to see what a type 7 looks like just to satisfy my curiosity! I found a site where some Diamond sales leaflets were posted but frustratingly the accessories page has no illustrations.

I expect the arm bearings are sealed for life as I can't see any way to add oil or grease without taking the arms out. Although that would only mean removing one bolt I won't bother as it all moves ok and I can't feel any play.

I took the one remaining rubber foot off as the other three were missing and, as the table varnish was dry, clamped the machine down to my work bench. The saw wouldn't turn and I found the pulley driving the arms hangs below the metal frame and was bearing on the bench top. Once raised clear of the bench on some blocks it ran fine but I found the vibration at full speed a bit annoying. I think it will cut what I need to do at about half speed or a little more at which speed the vibration is acceptable.

One other minor annoyance is that the blower outlet pipe is directly in line with the lower arm and has to bend 90 degrees to pass around it. The tube is kinked and almost closed up at the bend so not delivering as much air as it should. I may move the compressor or perhaps with luck find a little plastic pipe elbow to fix that.

The 27 tpi Axminster blades I have are ok in thin pine, up to about 9mm thick, but not so good in a piece of Beech, about 19mm thick. I will try some coarser blades from one of the firms you mention. In another thread you recommended an American scrolling site and there I found a suggestion that the Flying Dutchman blades are made by Niqua in Germany. Mike Moorlach's prices seem pretty competitive but do you have to pay import duty on top of the shipping cost? Hobbies in Dereham and a marquetry supply company (near Bristol I think) sell the Niqua blades but they use different type names so I haven't yet worked out comparative costs. I see what you mean about the price of Olson blades but do like the sound of a blade ground both sides. However, I didn't find the "cutting to the right" using the Axminster blade a problem and was able to make a straight cut in the direction I wanted ok. Olson claim their PGT blades last up to 5 times as long as ordinary blades, if so the extra cost seems reasonable. Anyone tested that claim?

If you happen to turn up the Diamond info I would be very grateful for a copy but I think I will just use the machine and trust in common sense :roll:

Thanks
Graham
 

Gill

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I've now found all the documentation that Doug gave me :) . It's not terribly comprehensive in terms of saw maintenance; in fact it's more a collection of publicity shots than anything else. Nevertheless, Diamond users should still be able to extract some useful snippets, especially if they are thinking of fitting a blade longer than 8" :shock: !

Everything has been compiled into a pdf file which is an incredible 8.7 MB unzipped and 7.5 MB zipped. If anyone knows how to make the file smaller, please tell me how. In the meantime, a copy of the file is available to anyone who PMs me their email address.

Gill

PS I've now reduced the file to a more manageable 4.21 MB :) .
 

Grierson

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I've now found all the documentation that Doug gave me :) . It's not terribly comprehensive in terms of saw maintenance; in fact it's more a collection of publicity shots than anything else. Nevertheless, Diamond users should still be able to extract some useful snippets, especially if they are thinking of fitting a blade longer than 8" :shock: !

Everything has been compiled into a pdf file which is an incredible 8.7 MB unzipped and 7.5 MB zipped. If anyone knows how to make the file smaller, please tell me how. In the meantime, a copy of the file is available to anyone who PMs me their email address.

Gill

PS I've now reduced the file to a more manageable 4.21 MB :) .
I appreciate that this thread is now pretty old but, Gill, if you get this I would very much appreciate a copy of the documentation

James
 

Bungalowbill63

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Hello James
If you want accurate information on the diamond scroll saw get a copy of Zachary Taylor’s scrollsaw bench guide it gives a
Lot of useful tips
Also I still have a copy of the instruction booklet 1988 which I can photocopy for you
 
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