TLC on a Diamond fretsaw

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ajs

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Hi, I've recently picked up an old 25" Diamond fretsaw. I see from web searches there is a certain amount of knowledge about these within this community.

Firstly does anyone have a scanned copy of the "manual" they could forward to me. I understand it isn't substantial but I think it would still be helpful. First thing I have noticed I need is how to turn off that "back off" on the upstroke which only seems to work with the blade orientated forwards.

Secondly and inevitably with a "new" used toy you inevitably look around and see what it needs in maintenance. The saw is generally in good nick and doesn't warrant a full overhaul just yet, just a few touch ups here and there. I guess more than anything I want a sounding board right now to make sure I'm not proposing any Real Bad Idea or if there is anything else to look out for.

Firstly is rust control on the frame, principally the arms. There is a patch of rough grinding on one side of the upper arm where it appears an asset tag has been removed - from what the chap who sold it to me said it appears this may be from an education environment. Not too much material removed and no rust yet, but since it is a match finish it's only a matter of time. I propose polishing that smooth - felt mop in a Dremel and green compound as used for your strop - to nip that in the bud.

Same treatment for a patch of actual rust on the top of the lower arm where the tensioning bar is pressed against it. I haven't checked the corresponding area beneath the upper arm but I'll be sure to do so. Seems to be surface rust rather than something that compromises the structure.

After this some protective coating on the polished areas. I hate Hammerite - always end up with brush strokes - but unless anyone has better suggestions that seems the way to go. Does anyone have colour suggestions? I see something that might be the same online (subject to computer monitors) but it's smooth as opposed to the hammer finish of the original. I don't expect an exact match but something close is preferable. This is for touch ups, if I was intending a full respray that means full disassembly and I'd probably through it in a galvanising tank at the same time. Lot of work.

There are also a few areas of spot rust poking through, nothing very big. I propose simply overpainting those with the Hammerite.

Finally in term of the structure there are a few spots of surface rust on the blade holders. Those appear to be machined from solid so I figure I'll simply polish those out with the felt mop and green. Any suggestions about finishing? Normally something like that I'd smear with Vaseline but not for gripping the blade!

Table has a few minor scratches and scuffs. More significantly a few scorch marks in one corner, they remind me of the size and shape of one of those wire bits for the instant heat soldering guns but if it came from there probably malicious rather than accidental size it seems to have gone completely through the top layer of the ply - did say it seems to be ex-education. Tempted to chisel out, fill with plastic wood and give the table the lightest of light sands - to smooth it rather than improve cosmetically. After that probably a couple of coats of Danish oil since I'm lazy unless something else is demonstrably better.

A couple of plastic tube end plugs are missing from the frame. Don't really care about replacing them at this point, although one is at the back of the top arm. I'll transfer one from one of the feet to there to keep the bearing grease free of filth.

Reading up on these saws it appears that mechanically two things tend to go wrong, the brushes and the belts. I'll get a couple of sets of spare brushes on order for when they're needed. What about the belts? I understand from a video posted by someone here the original belts are getting hard to source. There's a very good domestic appliance repair shop locally so if I can find some how well do they age on the shelf? Or would I be better waiting til they fail and using those made-to-order types?

Sorry for writing at such length about a saw that I said at the outset is essentially in good condition. It's simply that I can see it's a well built machine. I estimate it's 30 odd years old but with maintenance I don't see why it shouldn't outlive me. I'm 42.
 

ajs

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Hi Scrimper

Already seen your videos, thanks. That one about the belts was actually the one I referred to in my original post. They were actually one of the reasons I bought the saw. I remember lusting after one as a kid (perhaps 92 or 93) but when your income is £7 a week from a paper round it was a little over my budget. 😁

The videos did help to confirm it was actually worth picking up and not just a kid's idea of a great saw. Only used it a couple of times as yet to find a permanent home for it, but the sheer uumph it has makes it a lot more versatile that the typical scroll saw.
 
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Bungalowbill63

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Hello AJS,I think you have a good saw there.
Get yourself a copy of the Scroll Saw Bench Guide by Zachary Taylor
It is a quite comprehensive guide to the Diamond Scroll saw covering all the setup and operation
Also it shows all the accessories that were made for this machine.
The manual that came with the machine just gives a few maintanence tips which I’ sure you have done anyway!
I have 2 of these both fitted with quick blade tension levers on the front.
 

scrimper

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Hello AJS,I think you have a good saw there.
Get yourself a copy of the Scroll Saw Bench Guide by Zachary Taylor
It is a quite comprehensive guide to the Diamond Scroll saw covering all the setup and operation
Also it shows all the accessories that were made for this machine.
The manual that came with the machine just gives a few maintanence tips which I’ sure you have done anyway!
I have 2 of these both fitted with quick blade tension levers on the front.
I am most interested in your mention of quick blade tension levers on the diamond saw as it's the one thing that puts me off using my Diamond for intricate fretwork. Is it possible for you to show some pictures of your machine or the levers? :)
 

ajs

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Location
Preston UK
Hello AJS,I think you have a good saw there.
Get yourself a copy of the Scroll Saw Bench Guide by Zachary Taylor
It is a quite comprehensive guide to the Diamond Scroll saw covering all the setup and operation
Also it shows all the accessories that were made for this machine.
The manual that came with the machine just gives a few maintanence tips which I’ sure you have done anyway!
I have 2 of these both fitted with quick blade tension levers on the front.
Picked up a copy of the Taylor book as per your suggestion. I've only really flicked through it this past couple of days but I've already found a couple of tips worth its cost - adjusting the arms for different length blades in particular.

I did smile when I saw the picture on the front cover though. That blade in the saw. It's upside down. Oh dear. 😁
 

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