Youtube has some good videos on doing major re-builds of DeWalt 788 saws. The best is in 4 parts and made by Gwinette Woodworkers in Atlanta. It's a bit slow and drawn out, but covers all of the details very well.
If you need to service your 788, you need to know that the frame of the saw is the covers, kind of an exoskeleton. There is no internal frame, so one side of the covers needs to be left on to keep the saw from falling apart. With more experience, this won't matter as much, but to someone new to servicing the 788, it could be a mental disaster if they should take both side covers off at once. Inside it's just a bunch of linkages, a crankshaft to convert rotary cam motion into back and forth motion, and bearings at each pivot point. Some bearings near the blade are very tiny. Back near the motor there is a vertical arm that pivots on a large cap screw, and this is a design weak point. This bolt can loosen, and has been known to break on a few occasions. I now keep a spare, but mine hasn't broken, yet. I also keep a complete set of bearings, bought from a local bearing distributor, and not from DeWalt or a tool parts supplier. Why pay list price plus when the same bearings are available much cheaper from a local distributor. You can actually buy better bearings than the originals, if you give them the original bearing numbers and ask if better quality bearings are available. I have the bearing list somewhere, and I'll find it if you need it.
If you have trouble tightening or loosening the blade wing bolts, get those knobs, but don't fasten them to the wing bolt. Just use one when you need to loosen or tighten the wing bolt like you would use a wrench. Those wing bolts are special. They have a flat pivoting end on them, so they don't cut into the blade as they are tightened against it. I also keep a spare set of these, just in case. On the opposite side of the blade arm is a set screw. You can adjust it, with the blade thumbscrew loose, to slightly move the blade grip right or left so that the blade movement is perfectly vertical. These set screws can loosen, so I now use Blue Locktite on them to keep them from moving, yet still be adjustable.
Central North Carolina
Last edited by CharleyL; 06-21-2017 at 08:22 AM.