how to fix a scroll saw

Scroll saws are a great tool for making delicate cuts in materials such as wood and metal. But, over time, they can become worn out or broken. If your beloved scroll saw has seen better days, you don’t have to chuck it and go out and buy a new one – with some elbow grease and know-how you can get it back up to speed in no time! In this article I’ll take you through the steps of diagnosing what’s wrong with your saw; from taking it apart, cleaning out those hard-to-reach places, oiling the motor and checking blade types I’ve got all the tips you need to get your trusty scroll saw purring like a kitten again!

Supplies Needed

You’ll need some basic tools and supplies to get your scroll saw up and running again–a screwdriver, pliers, a few spare nuts and bolts, and maybe some WD-40. It’s also important to check the blades of the machine before beginning repair: make sure they are secure in their blade holders, sharpened to cut through any piece of wood with ease, moving at the right speed for the practice piece you’re cutting. The vibrations that come from an improperly installed or dull blade can cause damage to both the piece being worked on as well as the machine itself.

Having all of these pieces in place is vital when it comes to fixing a scroll saw. Blades should be chosen carefully based on the type of grain in each piece of wood; some cuts require more finesse than others. Additionally, ensure that blade holders are securely fixed so that no movement occurs during operation–this could lead to dangerous accidents! Finally, pay attention to how quickly each blade moves–you want it just slow enough for you to maintain control over your project without having too many vibrations shaking up your workpiece.

With all this preparation complete, you’re ready to start piecing together your fix-up plan for your trusty scroll saw. By following these steps closely, you can guarantee yourself success in getting back into action with minimal fuss and bother!


Carefully prying off the components of your saw reveals its inner workings, showing exactly how each part fits together to make it run. It’s important to take note of all the screws and nuts, as well as their connections – not to mention the various springs and levers that could come in handy later on. To ensure everything is properly disassembled, here’s a checklist:

  • Take pictures or draw diagrams so you can remember where each component goes;
  • Label any wires or hoses;
  • Remove any dust or debris from the interior; and
  • Check for any broken pieces that need replacing.

In order to get your scroll saw up and running again, it is essential that you break down all of its parts carefully before giving them a good clean and oiling up those rusty joints. Taking your time with this step will pay dividends downstream – no one likes putting something back together only to find they have made a mistake! Now you’re fully prepared for the next stage: getting rid of any grime build-up.

Clean and Oil

effortlessly shape wood with a powerful scroll saw

After disassembling your saw, it’s time to give it a thorough scrub down and lubricate any parts that have become rusty or stiff. Make sure you get right into those nooks and crannies – don’t let the dirt lurk in the shadows! If there are any stubborn patches of dirt, grab a toothbrush, dip it into soapy water and give them a good going over. Once everything is sparkling clean, dry all the components with a lint free cloth and then begin to oil any metal parts that may have seized up over time. Use light machine oil for this job – you don’t want to go overboard as too much lubricant can cause more problems than it solves.

Now is also a good time to check that all of the moving pieces are functioning correctly. Give each knob or screw head an extra twist if needed – you want them to be nice and tight but not overly so. Don’t forget about the blade either – make sure it’s properly seated in its housing unit before continuing with your work. If you need to replace your blade, now is an ideal moment; fresh blades cut better than dull ones!

Once everything looks shipshape again, take out any tools or materials that you will need for motor maintenance and get ready for the next step in restoring your scroll saw back to its former glory.

Motor Maintenance

Now it’s time to give your saw’s motor some TLC! Many people forget to properly maintain their scroll saws, but it’s essential for keeping it in tip-top condition. The motor of a scroll saw is the most important part as it provides the power for the blades to cut through materials. To keep your motor running smoothly, you need to do regular maintenance and check up on its components.

BrushesReplaceEvery 6 months or 600 hours of operation
BearingsGrease with bearing grease or oil depending on type of bearing usedAnnually or every 1000 hours of operation for bearings that are permanently lubricated
Armature Winding Insulation Resistance Test (Megger Test) Measuring Voltage drop across terminals while running at max speed and load using a Multi-meter Cleaning commutator from dust and carbon deposits every 6 months or 600 hrs of operation Check field winding insulation resistance using multimeter every 12 months or 1200 hrs of operation Use De-Oxit spray after cleaning commutator if applicableEvery 12 Months or 1200 Hours of Operation

Regularly checking these components will ensure that your scroll saw runs like a dream. And, if something goes wrong with any one component, you can replace it quickly and easily before anything else gets damaged. With proper care and maintenance, your scroll saw should remain in good working order for years to come. It’s now time to reassemble all the parts – let’s get cracking!


Time to get your saw back in action! Reassembling all the components is key to making sure it runs optimally for years. To make this a breeze, you’ll need some tools:

  • Tools
  • Basic Tools: Hammer, screwdriver, pliers, and adjustable wrench
  • Safety Gear: Eye protection and gloves
skillful man cuts wood with precision using scroll saw

You may also want to get a friend on board if you’re not comfortable tackling the job yourself. With these essentials ready, let’s start reassembling our scroll saw! Put on your safety gear first and foremost before starting. Then fit the blade guard back into place and secure it tightly with screws or bolts until they are snug-as-a-bug. Next up is attaching the table so that it is level with the base of the saw. If properly aligned, your work surface should be perfectly flat when cutting wood or other materials. Once everything is in its rightful place, plug in the power cord and give her a test run she should run like clockwork!

Vibration Troubleshooting

If you’re experiencing vibration while using your saw, don’t worry–you’re not alone! Studies show that over 60% of scroll saw users report some level of vibration during use. Vibration can be especially problematic if it is happening in the handle area, as it can cause fatigue and make it difficult to keep a precise hold on the saw. Here’s a few tips that should help you get to the root of any vibration problems:

Wobbly Table or ClampCheck for loose bolts/screwsMake sure all screws are tight and secure
Dull BladeReplace bladeIf possible, buy blades with fewer teeth per inch (TPI)
Unbalanced BladeBalance bladePlace a piece of tape on one side and move until balanced

Vibrations could also be caused by poor quality blades or even an uneven surface. If possible, try to ensure that the surface underneath your scroll saw is flat and level before starting work. Cheap blades will also produce more vibrations when compared to higher quality ones; so it’s worth investing in good-quality blades if you want to avoid unwanted shakes when working with your saw. As well as checking for loose screws, make sure that both clamps are firmly attached to the table so they don’t move around this can be especially tricky on larger machines but is essential for reducing vibrations effectively.

In short, there are many things you can do to reduce vibration in your scroll saw; from replacing dull blades and balancing them properly through to ensuring that everything is fastened tightly together these small steps can make a big difference in terms of accuracy and safety when working with power tools like this. So take a little time out before each use, check all parts carefully and enjoy smooth sailing from then on!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need to replace the motor?

I’m not sure if I need to replace the motor in my scroll saw. The best way to tell is to give it a good test run – make sure you use the correct blade for the type of wood you’re working with. If it runs smoothly and cuts as expected, then chances are your motor is still in good condition. On the other hand, if it sounds strained or seems to be laboring more than usual, then you may need a new one. In any case, if in doubt it’s worth getting an expert opinion before making any drastic decisions – better safe than sorry!

How often should I clean and oil the scroll saw?

I’m a big believer in regularly cleaning and oiling my scroll saw. It’s important to keep it running smoothly, while also extending the life of the motor. I like to give mine a good clean every month or so, making sure all the dust and debris is removed. I’ll also go over with some light machine oil once a month to lubricate any moving parts, ensuring that nothing sticks together or corrodes over time. Plus, it just makes everything look nice and shiny!

What is the best way to reduce vibration when using a scroll saw?

When using a scroll saw, it’s important to reduce vibration as much as possible. One way to do this is by ensuring your blade is tensioned and balanced correctly – like a tightrope walker in the circus. To get the best results, you should also make sure your saw’s base is firmly fixed to the surface it’s sitting on. This will help keep it steady during operation and stop any unwanted movement that could lead to shoddy workmanship. If all else fails, consider investing in an anti-vibration system designed specifically for use with scrollsaws; they may cost a bit more but you’ll be rewarded with smoother cutting and greater accuracy.


In conclusion, it’s clear that a scroll saw is a versatile tool and can be fixed fairly easily. It’s worth taking the time to ensure that you have the right supplies and know exactly how to disassemble, clean, oil, and maintain your motor before attempting to fix it yourself. With the right blade type for your project in hand and some basic troubleshooting for vibrations, you’ll be able to work confidently on all kinds of woodworking projects. Interestingly, scroll saws can operate at speeds of up to 3,000 strokes per minute – making them an incredibly efficient tool in any workshop! Ultimately, with regular maintenance and careful use of your scroll saw you’ll be sure to get years of reliable service from it!

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