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It seems as though the original blade was fitted without a spacer. These usually come with any new blade. It is simply a washer (usually aluminium) that fits in the hole of the saw blade and reduces the hole diameter down to the size of the flange on your saw. This is common practice. Never try and centre a blade without the correct size hole to flange size. Very dangerous. These washes are really cheap and can be obtained from most hardware stores. Usually in an assortment of different outside and inside diameters to suit any circumstance. Hope this helps, cheers Bob.
Loosen the knob at the rear of the top arm - turn it counterclockwise several turns. The blade should now be loose. Push the "blade end" of the top arm down slightly with one hand while you unhook the top of the blade. Lower the blade a little to unhook it from the bottom arm.
Replace the blade. Hook it onto the lower arm first - you can look underneath to see what you're doing. The blade's teeth should point DOWNWARD - it's easy to accidentally install it the wrong way, so check that now. Again push down slightly on the end of the upper arm, then hook the top of the blade into the upper arm's blade holder. It should how stay in place, but loosely.
Now return to that tensioning knob at the top rear. Tighten it slowly until the blade is BARELY tight, not loose. Tighten the knob 1/2-turn to one full turn tighter to tension the blade.
1. Unplug the saw. 2. Locate the blade lock button used to lock the motor shaft when changing a blade. For your saw, this button is usually located on the left side of the blade guard somewhere around the motor housing. 3. Push the button while rotating the blade until the button engages and the blade will no longer turn. 4. Use the wrench that came with the saw (or another wrench) to loosen and remove the blade bolt. For your saw the bolt should have standard right hand threads which means you loosen the bolt by turning it counter clock-wise. 5. Remove the old blade and replace it with a new blade of the same mounting type. Some blades have a round through hole and some blades have a diamond through hole. 6. Re-install the blade bolt and tighten clock-wise while holding the blade lock button down.
I just picked up one of these saws at a yard sale. It looks like it takes a 5 inch pin end coping saw blade. If you tip the saw up you will see a piston under the table into which one end fits. There is a black spring steel receiver under the over arm that takes the other end. You can loosen the guide arm to facilitate installation. The guide is a simple brass knurled head screw with a slot in it. The motor is one of those magnetic vibratory types that is very loud when there is no blade installed, Probably scared the hell out of the seller ;-) My Gain for 5 bucks. This old craftsman stuff is bullet proof, albeit lacking elegance. This looks like a good little tool for cutting out little figures like you would use for decorative yard spinners.