Carbon Brushes for old school H&A Swing Saw? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-30-2012, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Carbon Brushes for old school H&A Swing Saw?

Hey all, first post here. I recently bought a house with a decent work shop on it. Long story short back in the lumber storage area was an H&A swing saw that the estate auction people had no idea what was and it was a bit heavy so they just left it there.

The problem I'm running in to with it is that it was getting some heavy arcing off the carbon brushes and would spin slowly backwards, or just sort of be stalled, not spinning any direction.

The carbon brushes are in pretty poor shape and I have no idea where to source any. According to the micrometer they are 29/64 wide and 1/4" thick. They look like originally they'd have been about 5/8 long and have a 3" bare copper lead coming off of them.

My first question here is would chewed up brushes like this cause the motor to spin backwards slowly or to not spin at all. If not what could that be, the wiring appears to be correct. It's 240v but only single phase, no three phase workings going on in there.

Second question, where would I find brushes this size. I've checked carbonbrush.com but they didn't seem to have anything the right size, or if they did it only had a little stubby lead coming off of it. I might just need to rig up something custom there.

Anyway, thanks and hopefully I get some replies as I'm stumped.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-30-2012, 11:48 PM
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Grainger might have what you're looking for. They have 4 pages of brushes on their online catalog. This one sounds close to your description: 5/8 X 1/4 motor brush

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-31-2012, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll check them out. I think I might have enough play in the brush holder to be able to use just a 1/4 x 1/2. I'll have to look in to it some more and see if that works. Still need to figure out if worn brushes would cause symptoms like that or if there's some larger wiring issue though.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-31-2012, 12:19 AM
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I'm no motor expert but I don't see how worn brushes can make the motor run backwards. I dunno. I do know that continuing to run the motor with arcing brushes can eff up the commutator and let all the magic smoke out. I'd not run it until you replace the brushes, then see what happens. How old is the motor? Here's an old post from Practical Machinist.com that might point you in the right direction. Backwards Motor
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-31-2012, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Not sure, last patent number on the frame is 1928 and it's a cast iron frame. It's pretty old.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-31-2012, 12:52 AM
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Check eBay. I just did a google search for "carbon brush 29/64", and found some on eBay.

Other option is to buy some slightly oversize and and them down.

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-31-2012, 07:40 AM
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if you can't find the exact size, buy the next size larger. a little careful/fine file work will bring them to fit. try to clean the commutator when in there, brass bristle brush and electric cleaner spray. even light emery cloth if needed. not sure if the commutator/brush contact area dynamics would allow reverse direction even if they were maximum out of tolerance. but, some universal motors are capable of reverse direction when the polarity is exchanged between the brushes. you need to check out the supply wiring and voltages.

Last edited by TimPa; 08-31-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-31-2012, 08:07 AM
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Probably an RI motor and the brush assembly needs rotated slightly to get it to turn the correct direction and will probably take care of the arcing.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-31-2012, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah the communicator was pretty crudded up, so I've cleaned it off. Warner, you are the wizard of the hour. I thought the ring the brush mounts were attached to was fixed. I didn't realize the screws that go through it are actually going through slots. I backed them off and behold, it rotates. I rotated it a bit, it went from sort of slowly rotating backwards arcing everywhere to it smoothly and quickly rotating backwards.

So then I rotate the ring back the other direction and viola, smooth operation in the right direction and no arcing. Thank you again Warner. I am definitely gonna get new brushes anyway since these are chewed up, but I appreciate it. This saw is sort of the centerpiece of the shop and I thought I had screwed it all up.
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