Table saw troubleshooting - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-20-2020, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Table saw troubleshooting

Hi all,

I recently bought a used Craftsman 10" bench saw (model no. 113.29943) and have had trouble getting it to work. I'm fairly new to both woodworking and machinery, so I'm not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to either. I was hoping I could find help troubleshooting on here and get the saw operational.

The issue is that, upon turning on, the saw will run for 1-2 seconds, and then trip the surge protector and shut off. While on, the saw blade usually turns about a quarter revolution at most before stalling, and it is while the blade is stalled that the surge protector is tripped.

One thought I had is that the belt was too tight, so I played around with different tightnesses. At one point I did find a tightness at which the saw seemed to work. It ran for multiple seconds, but it sounded too loose (why, I'm not sure, as I had no actual reference) so I cut the power and tightened the belt slightly--only to have original problem resume. Since then, I have tried again with a looser belt and not found a tightness at which the saw will reliably run. Outside of that one instance, it always trips the surge protector within a couple seconds of receiving power.

Another thought I had regarded power supply, but, while I don't know enough to say for certain, it doesn't seem like this should be an issue based on the specifications on my breaker box and the motor (breaker rated for 120V & 100 amp max, motor 115V & 14A; pictures attached). I've also included a picture of the specific circuit on which I've tried running the saw (circled in red in picture), which is marked "20" (without a unit).

Seeing as neither of my ideas have led to any progress, I would be appreciative of any and all insights and suggestions you may be able to provide. Please let me know if I need to provide additional info or pictures.
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-21-2020, 11:08 AM
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You say it trips the surge protector, do you mean the breaker? Or, do you have it plugged into a multiple outlet surge protector?

Have you run it without the belt attached?
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-21-2020, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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I was referring to a multiple outlet surge protector, but I have also tried plugging the saw directly into the wall outlet and doing so trips the breaker.

I removed the belt per your suggestion and the motor will run without it. However, it sounds as though the motor is "pulsing" while it is running--is this normal? I've uploaded a video here so that you can hear for yourself:

Upon reattaching the belt, the saw once again trips the surge protector.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-21-2020, 09:37 PM
where's my table saw?
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There are 2 possible causes ......

Well, maybe 3. First is an inadequate power supply from the wall outlet. Any loss of power from an undersized wire or multiple circuit breaker extension is not good. Use only a single 12 GA extension cord of minimum length for this mootor and don't have othwr machines on the same circuit that maybe drawing power from it.

The motor itself sound like the bearings are/have/will seize up from lack of lubrication. Spin the motor shaft and it should continue to rotate for 4 to 5 revolutions after you let go. If not, take the bearings out of the end housings IF you feel competent OR have it done at a motor repair shop. It's not complicated, but may require a bearing puller or previous experience. Do not lose track of which color wires go where! Take a photo or two of the wiring before dis assembling it!

Finally, the motors start or run capacitors may be about to give up the ghost. Again a motor repair shop would be your best bet for that also.

Tom-G, NoThankyou, Echo415 and 1 others like this.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-21-2020, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Seems like it might be the bearings...:

If I were to try to address this myself, what comes after removing the bearings from the end housings--lubricate them and place them back? Replace them completely?
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-22-2020, 03:24 PM
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I just went through this with an old Craftsman Jointer, the bearings were bad causing the symptoms you are experiencing. In my case it was one bad bearing and one bad bronze bushing.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-22-2020, 04:02 PM
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Taking the belt off is absolutely the way to start. When something won't spin, the problem is almost always in the bearings. Now you can assess the motor bearings and arbor bearings independently. Motor bearings have an easier life since the strain of the belt is constant. Arbor bearings have it harder since the cutting forces put unpredictable stresses on them. Bearings that work in the dusty environment of wood cutting need to be either sealed or shielded to keep them clean inside. Seals are plastic and are tighter. Shields are metal and are looser. A saw arbor can have either. Arbors on heavier saws may have a double row of bearings with seals or shields on just one side of each. Seals can have too much drag at higher spindle speeds. You can get thin oil to soak through shields but not seals if you want to lubricate a dry bearing. Double row bearings can be pulled apart and lubricated from the middle. I'd try 20 weight non detergent oil on the arbor bearings in a small saw. It never hurts to try lubrication before you replace bearings.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-24-2020, 03:48 PM
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I think on modern machines bearings are often lubricated for life. Lubricating them and running the saw will serve primarily to find out where the problem is. If you find the bad bearings, and I suspect the saw's arbor bearings are the most 'dead', and you get them replaced properly (whether you do it or a shop), you may then find that the motor's bearings are bad or about to fail.

Ugh. That's always a tough decision. One possibility is to shop for a good condition used saw and sell yours for parts. Or maybe convert it to a router-table Or you could do the parts replacement dance. Pretty sure the saw bearings come first. Then maybe a replacement motor? If it has a NEMA designation, most others with the same frame and at least as much power should work well.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-28-2020, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I finally got around to pulling the motor apart to look at the bearings (pictures below). Sure enough, the drive end bearing (first picture) appears to be blown out, for lack of a better term. The bearing opposite the drive end appears to be fine (second photo).

Does anyone have any experience with these types of bearings? JohnGi, I assume based on what you wrote that these bearings are shielded (the shield being the shinier metal that is "housing" the bearing)? Beyond that, though, I'm honestly not sure what exactly I'm looking at. I assume that what I'm seeing in the DE bearing is graphite originally intended to provide lubrication within the bearing that is now extruded onto the bearing surface, and that this is what's bogging down the motor; I am hoping someone could confirm or dispute this for me. With regards to the ODE bearing, I am also hopeful someone might be able to explain what I'm looking at in there, as my understanding of bearings and their anatomy is limited.

The motor was absolutely filthy inside, with up to 2 mm of fine sawdust caked onto the interior walls. It was definitely due for a cleaning even if the bearings had been fine! I still need to inspect--and probably clean--the arbor and its bearings, but the arbor turns freely so I don't believe its bearings are an issue at this time.

Rodango, you mentioned the possibility of converting this set-up to a router-table and for some reason I feel like you might have experience with that; do you have any advice or resources you can link me to in the event I decide to go down that road?

Thanks everyone for the input so far, it's been a big help!
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-29-2020, 02:36 PM
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that motor has brass/bronze sleeve bearings with a felt wick to hold oil. it even says this on your motor plate (1st pic). my craftsman motor has yellow plugs in each end cap to add a couple drops of oil each year. a little oil may fix the problem. there is a capacitor on your motor and probably a start winding and centrifugal switch to get the motor going the right way.

get rid of the plug strip on your saw. use the heaviest, shortest cord you can. i bought a 6 foot, 12 gauge appliance cord just for my table saw.

this is my motor when it failed to start. sawdust prevented the centrifugal switch from closing when off. it opens as the rpms go up. cleaned and lubricated this motor has been back in service for at least 5 years. bought new for me in 1982.
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Last edited by _Ogre; 07-29-2020 at 02:42 PM.
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-31-2020, 05:45 PM
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_Ogre, that motor! Never seen so much schmutz in a working motor.

@therold, I have not made that conversion, but I think I would given the opportunity,
basically if I had a defunct table saw on hand. I have no special knowledge, but it can be as
simple as attaching a fixed base router to a plate that fits flush with the saw table top.
Most router bases are larger than a typical t/s throat-plate, so you'd have some 'adjusting'
to do, probly scribing a line and filing to it. If you can access a 'jab saw' and use a 24tpi or
32tpi metal blade you can cut relief slots and chip them off, reducing the amount of filing
a lot. Any existing tabs recessed below the table surface in the area of the saw's throat-plate
could be part of your router-plate design.

Some people arevsatisfied with a fixed base router, others solve the issue of fine adjusting bit
height using the adjuster on a plunge base router. Others want a lifting-adjuster mechanism
built into the table -- there's a possibility to be clever with some "all-thread" to make a fine
adjuster. I have seen a variety of designs from simple to complex. I remember seeing a traverse
mechanism repurposed to give a great amount of control. A lot depends on your shop skills,
tools (are you an old hand with a 'mill' or like me, improvising with a file), and the requirements
of the plan you can come up with!

It sounds like you're on the road to repairing the saw, and I hope that works for you -- tablesaws
are great ways to make sawdust
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craftsman 113, table saw, trouble shooting

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