Delta Contractor's Saw - Need Help - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-17-2008, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Delta Contractor's Saw - Need Help

I have a Delta Contractors Saw.
When I crank the handle to raise and lower the blade in normal operation, there is no problem. But when I want to make Dados, the height adjustment is critical and the blade changes height all by itself regardless of how hard I tighten up the knob.
If I remove the blade insert and look down there (with power cord unplugged) I could see a nut on the backside of the height adjustment.
This nut is on the threaded part that makes contact with the worm gear. While cranking the height adjustment knob, the nut stays put MOST of the time. But then at a certain point, the nut starts spinning and in effect loosens the height adjustment nut.
If you own the contractors saw, you know exactly what I am talking about.
I'm sure there is a quick fix for this problem, so what am I overlooking?

Thanks in advance

Tony B
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-17-2008, 10:08 PM
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I have one and for once I may be able to find out for you. I have mine upside down on the bench. I'll check it out. I'll try and let you know tomorrow.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-23-2008, 08:54 AM
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I was having a similar problem a couple of years back with mine. I replaced the washers in the front, behind the tightening knob. There was a fiber washer in there that I think got worn. I don't recall exactly what was there, but I know I replaced them, both in front of and behind the crank. And I know I have a serrated lock washer on it now also. It has never moved on me, unbidden, since.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-23-2008, 03:55 PM
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You might first just remove the nut, and clean the threads and solvent wash the threads of the nut. Also, remove the outside tightening knob. and clean all the parts. If you see any overly worn parts, they should be replaced. There may just be debris, or oil from wood dust collecting in there.

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-03-2011, 03:54 PM
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I posted this in another forum, and I think it applies here too:

So here's the deal for all of you poor souls unfortunate enough to own a 90's era Delta Contractor's saw: I called Delta and spoke to a guy who advised me that I could remove the "elevating shaft"-worm gear assembly (#224 in my manual, #124 in others) by taking the belt off and raising the arbor to the top, whereupon the worm-gear shaft would be free to slide out toward the back (motor) side of the table. He was sort of correct. After removing the belt, raising the arbor to full height, rotating the eccentric to the maximum play so the worm gear was as far from the spur gear as possible, tilting the arbor to about 45 degrees, and jamming a 2X4 between the arbor and the side of the blade insert opening to push the arbor upward, the worm gear could clear the spur gear and the shaft could be driven out through the eccentric sleeve. I put a nut on the wheel end of the shaft and hammered it out till it was near flush with the butt of the sleeve, then removed my nut and continued with a slim punch in the sleeve till the moderately corroded shaft could be slipped out and the sleeve pulled back out of the cast trunnion on the hand wheel side. (The hand-wheel, angle pointer, and spacer were all removed before starting this process of course.)

I was pleased to discover that the shaft was straight as an arrow by rolling it on the table with the worm gear hanging off the edge and concluded that the corrosion on the shaft and inside of the eccentric sleeve were the problem preventing smooth rotation of the hand-wheel and elevation and lowering of the blade, so I chucked the shaft in my drill and used some WD-40 soaked wet/dry paper to remove the corrosion and roughness while I spun it at moderate speed. Then I chucked it up again in the drill with the sleeve on it and spun it again with some more WD-40 while moving the sleeve back and forth along the shaft to ream out any interior corrosion/roughness.

When I reassembled the mechanism I decided to pull the spacer out of the red angle pointer and leave the angle pointer assembly off to facilitate setting the backlash/play of the worm-gear spur-gear contact (by rotating the eccentric sleeve) because it's virtually impossible to see the position of the sleeve or even to get a wrench on the silly thing and spin it while the pointer is installed in this model (who engineered that?). I never depended on the pointer much because it bent out of position so easily, I may pull the spring pin and reinstall the pointer later if it turns out that I miss it.

Anyway, the blade raises and lowers much more easily now. I greased the shaft and sleeve since the fit is relatively tight and it seems unlikely much sawdust will be able to contaminate the grease in the assembly. I hope the later models of this saw have a better system that permits simple lubrication and access to the various bolts, nuts, and other parts. This saw's trunnion and arbor seem to be a nightmare to adjust and maintain. However, if you own this saw model and are unable to resolve arbor movement issues by waxing or lubing the exposed gears you may have a similar hidden corrosion problem that can only be resolved by taking the thing apart this way.

Several months later, the angle adjustment shaft sleeve mechanism on the same saw, which operates the same way also froze. I have not been so successful resolving this. The trunnion bracket (#208) casting broke when I attempted to free the shaft from the corroded eccentric sleeve using more force than brains. I haven't yet ordered a new bracket, the price appears to be about $50-$70, also haven't gotten to work on the hand-wheel shaft to see if I can free the sleeve more easily now with the assembly out of the saw. I suspect it may be a challenge to dismount the broken bracket casting, and install a new one. Wish I could afford to srap the whole saw and buy a more thoughtfully engineered model.

Last edited by Michael H; 08-07-2011 at 04:51 PM.
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