To help with the blades pulling loose, clean the blade grips and ends of the blade with alcohol, Then use a fine sandpaper, 220 grit or finer, to clean the ends of the blade before putting them into the saw. One or both of these tricks usually cures the blade grip problem. The blade grips usually have horizontal lines in their gripping surfaces and if these wear off, the blades can slip. Other saws like the DeWalt 788, Excalibur, Jet, and King use a set screw on one side of the blade and a special pivoting anvil type thumb screw on the opposite side of the blade grip to pinch the end of the blade. Both can wear, leaving surfaces too smooth to grip the blade end reliably and need to be replaced.
I have no idea what type of blade grips that you have, but if worn significantly they can be too smooth to grip the blade well.
I agree with the suggestions of bolting your saw down to a substantial and sturdy stand. If you can, put some heavy weight in the bottom of the frame. Some large pieces of iron or a bag of sand should do the job. Putting cushioning under the saw will make it bounce like an old horse buggy.
You will need to try many different blades to find what works best for you, and don't expect them to last very long. I only very rarely break a blade, but find that they get dull quickly. All of this will depend on what you are cutting, the speed of your saw, and the kind of saw that you are using. If the edges of the cut are burning, either the blade is dull or you are running the saw too fast.If the blade changes color, you are overheating the blade, probably by running it too fast. Scroll sawing is a small, slow, and precise form of woodworking. You can't rush it. The blade teeth remove only tiny amounts of wood with each stroke. If you push the wood into the blade too hard or fast, you will likely break many blades. I tend to use blades much smaller than many scrollers because I like the ability of smaller blades to make tight turns cleanly. I do a lot of compound (3D) cutting, so I also run my blade tension very high so that there is very little blade flex as I feed the work into the blade. Although blade tension is important, it's not as important when doing most scrolling. It becomes more important when stack cutting and compound cutting because it's very necessary to keep the blade as straight as possible for these cuts.
All of this takes time and much practice. Scroll sawing is very different than other kinds of woodworking. Learning what blades to use, how fast the saw should run, how to hold and feed the wood into the saw, how to follow the pattern lines very closely, etc. all takes time before you will get good at it. Learn to rest your palms on the table or front area of the work and steer the work using mostly just your fingers will help you stay on the pattern lines. Trying to use your arms and elbows keeps you from moving the piece quickly when following tight curves. When making right angle turns, learn to slow the feed rate so the saw blade stops cutting as you approach the turn, and then spin the piece with your fingers as you depend on the rear of the blade for a pivot point. Only the front edge of the blade will cut, so trying to push the work sideways won't work, but using the side and rear of the blade as a pivot as you rotate the wood will prevent cutting in the wrong direction.
You will also need good bright and even light from both sides of the saw blade. I have two LED goose neck lights that have about 10 very white LED's in each light with one of these lights mounted on each side of the saw so that it shines down at the blade cutting point at about a 45 degree angle to each side of the blade. Using LED lights keeps the light cool, so you don't get head and hand burns if you should touch them. You will frequently be working very close to the saw, so these burns can be frequent if using laghts that get hot. These LED lights almost completely eliminate the blade shadow and the flicker of the upper blade arm movement when cutting. Both of these kinds of shadows make it difficult for your eyes to keep the blade following the pattern lines on your work because the blade shadow can appear the same as a pattern line, letting your eyes think they are following the pattern when, in fact, they are following the blade shadow.
Central North Carolina
Last edited by CharleyL; 12-19-2017 at 12:27 AM.