Old Powermatic Bandsaw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Old Powermatic Bandsaw

I have a question that is probably hard to answer without seeing the bandsaw but I thought I might give it a shot in case there is some kind soul who might know the answer. I have inherited an old Powermatic Model 141 Bandsaw that belonged to my late Father-in-law. He was a great man and I thought highly of him so I was hoping to see if I can get this thing up and running. I do know that he never used it as he said he bought it from someone without knowing much about band saws, just hearing the name "Powermatic" and he said he bought it late at night in a hurry as it was starting to rain so he didn't look it over, much to his embarrassment. He said it ran rough as a cob and he never once used it as it served as a reminder of his gullibility. I thought, what the hell....maybe I can get it up and running and if not....just push it over in the corner until my grandson wants to deal with it. Lol.

I have some pictures that I thought I might include if I am able to upload them. I'm a little older and not too computer savvy. I also have some cell phone video but I don't think you can add video here in this forum? The main problem besides it running rough is that it appears the top wheel is not running very smoothly. It appears to my eye as if it's every so subtly moving up and down ever so slightly, I'm not sure. It also has a broken metal piece near the top wheel that I'm not sure if that's the problem or if it's cosmetic. If anyone has a similar bandsaw or has any suggestions at all what the problem(s) could be, I'd appreciate it. If you don't think it's fixable or is too costly to fix it.....over to the corner it will go.

Thanks for anyone who might be able to help.

John
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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A few more pictures.

Thanks,
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post #3 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 07:17 PM
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Looks like a nice saw, worth restoring. I’m not intimately familiar with that saw, but I have a couple of ideas that I hope can help.

If you run it with no blade, so that only the bottom wheel is spinning, does it run smoothly?

If so, it would seem that the top wheel may have a bad bearing or mount. Keep us posted. I like the idea of bringing an old machine back to life.
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 07:24 PM
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The tires appear to be urethane. You might spin the wheels and see if the wheels run true. If it sat for a long time with the blade under tension it might have deformed the tires. While you are at it make sure the wheels themselves are not loose on the shaft. I've also had problems with vibration using those flex motor belts like you have.

I think when you get to the bottom of the problem you will have a really nice piece of equipment. The powermatic tools of that area were some of the best. I think your Father-in-law did the right thing by grabbing it. He just should have gotten to bottom of the problem. My guess is it will be something minor.

If you do decide the tires are the problem, I would recommend replacing the urethane tires with rubber tires. Rubber tires are glued on instead of being stretched on like a rubber band like the urethane tires are.
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post #5 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion guys.

I uploaded a video of the bandsaw running without a blade at:


I shot one when the blade was on the other day and it's at:


I think a neighbor might have tried to help him several years ago and he might have put those orange tires on but I'm not sure. I will look into how to replace the tires and I'll run out and check to see if the wheels are loose. It has some kind of interlocking orange V-belt on it that I am 100 percent sure didn't come on the thing. I don't know if the v-belt is causing any of the racket.

I really appreciate both of you fellows for taking the time to try and help me. Thank you.
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 08:45 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I usually agree with Steve on about everything but I prefer the urethane tires. I consider that an upgrade and I like the fact they don't have to be glued on. On my 12" 1950 model bandsaw I upgraded to the urethane tires from the rubber.

As for the belt, that link belt is far better than a V belt. I would take the belt off and see if the motor runs smoothly by itself. Spin the lower and upper wheels by hand and see if you can replicate that knocking sound. Could be a bearing, could be a loose pulley, too.

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post #7 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Wow.....everybody has such great ideas that I would have never thought of just because I'm not that much of a mechanical minded guy. I'll take the belt off and give it a spin and see what I can hear! Great ideas.

Thanks to all.
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 09:27 PM
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What's the pulley diameter on the bottom(motor) and top? Looks like it may be spinning too fast. On my BS the motor pulley is about 1/2 or 1/4 the diameter as the driven pulley

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post #9 of 24 Old 04-03-2018, 09:46 PM
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Based on the pictures, I think youíve inherited a very nice bandsaw. It just needs some adjustments. Even if you buy a new bandsaw, most of the time they will need some initial tweaking.
Once you get it tuned-up, it will serve you for a long time.
There are several U-tube videos available to help you check-out and tune-up your saw. Good luck.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 12:00 AM
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I would wait until you find out whether the tires were the problem before replacing them. If you do choose to replace the tires vintagemachinery.org has an article on how to install the tires. It's in PDF so I'm unable to get the link for you.

The saw would take 14" tires.
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 10:31 AM
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You might also post over at www.owwm.org. It's a forum full of folks who specialize in restoring/repairing old woodworking machines (hence the OWWM).
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post #12 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 11:29 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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try this first

Bend a thin piece of sheet metal and clamp it to the housing so it barely touches the tire(s). Spin the wheels and watch the gap. If the gap stays constant, the tires are true, if not they may need to be trued OR replaced. Truing a bandsaw tire is a bit advanced, but we can cover that later.

That knocking or ticking noise when it's running is a brearing about to go bad OR one that has gone bad. If you spin the lower wheel by hand as fast as possible and still hear it, that's where the problem is and there are 2 of them. Not rocket surgery to replace them, but a bit advanced. As suggested a loose pulley may cause the same sound, but spinning by hand eliminates the pulleys as a cause.

When running in the video, the blade didn't look all that bad. As suggested it may have put a depression in the tires if left tightened for an extended time. I don't think urethane takes a set like rubber, but I could be wrong.

When testing and when you go to set it back up, back the side and rear guides off so they don't touch the blade while it's spinning. The blade looked like it was tracking on the upper wheel correctly, the gullets being centered on the tire. The bottom wheel is just along for the ride and has no say in the set up, being spaced out at the factory, and is non-adjustable. A blade that is not welded perfectly may cause the appearance of fluttering in and out. There is no cure for that except a new blade. Yours look OK in the video, but that is also easy to check by watching the gap in the table insert.


I must commend you on your first post here with a good description, good photos and the videos. Great job!
This You Tube is about a Powermatic 143 model:


This one is also very good:
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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 #13 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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I must say with complete honesty. I am grateful and impressed with all the suggestions. I guess I'm old school, but I appreciate when people take ANY amount of time out of their day and try and help someone else out with their problems. How awesome is it that some people choose to help other people they don't even know. You guys rock.

The wife has me running some errands, however, I'm anxious to try these suggestions when I get back this afternoon. I'll let you know what I find. Maybe I'll get this thing up and running smooth after all and make my FIL proud.

Thanks again!
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 12:05 PM
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The reason I suggested the pulley is that my 12" bandsaw had a knocking sound at one point. As I drilled down to isolate the noise I finally found the key was worn and loose in the keyway. But it was just sufficient enough to keep the pulley in place on the shaft. When I replaced the key the sound went away. I later replaced the pot metal pulley with a balanced cast iron double set screw pulley. Now that little 1950 bandsaw is smooth as glass.

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post #15 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Lol. You guys are brilliant. Just got home, took the belt cover and belt off and noticed that the bottom wheel was indeed knocking with simple hand rotation. Then checked the other side and noticed some play on the belt side of the saw. I included a couple videos. I apologize for my ignorance, but I'm assuming the square block metal piece sticking out is the "key" and shouldn't look like that?

Thanks!


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post #16 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 04:36 PM
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Correct. It should look like the other side. Fairly flush with the outside hub of the pulley. At this point I would loosen the setscrew, take the pulley off, clean everything, and then put it back together with the key inserted all the way in. You should be good to go once you do this.

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post #17 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks David. Do I need to or should I or should I NOT lubricate it with anything? Also, I noticed the key seems to be too long unless it's supposed to stick out like that? Should I cut it down to size or get a different key somewhere? Thanks for all the help.
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post #18 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 06:26 PM
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You never want to lubricate a shaft when you are installing a pulley. It might make it a little easier getting the pulley on but it will also make it easier to vibrate loose.
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post #19 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 06:32 PM
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It's ok for the key to stick out. My OCD would require that I cut it to length but gotta' say if it's long it'll be easier to get off later if you need. It just needs to be a good, tight fit in the shaft and pulley. How does the pulley fit on the shaft? Is it tight or does it wobble? It could be worn and won't ever get tight. Is there any metal below there - like shavings or metal dust?

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post #20 of 24 Old 04-04-2018, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Steve: Thanks for letting me know that. I am just dumb enough to have considered lubricating them. Lol.

David: It actually fits pretty tight with almost zero wobble that I can tell. I did just get back from picking up some takeout for dinner and stopped in Menards and they had a 3/16 x 3/16 x 1 inch square key for 49 cents. Found the manual online and that is the size they list....assuming it's still the same now. Didn't see any metal shavings or debris as far as I can tell. Think I'll clean it up a bit and try and put it back together and see what happens.

As always, I appreciate your time and advice!
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