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Restoration of radial arm saw - Montogomery Wards TCP 2610E

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Blog entry by KTNC posted 05-10-2018 03:58 AM 2530 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

4/17/2018

Purchased for $20 – craigslist

I already have one fully functional Craftsman radial arm saw and a DeWalt that I plan to restore later. Why buy this Montgomery Wards saw? I’ve been wanting one ever since I found out it has an extra deep cut depth and it has a 20,000 RPM spindle.

I brought it home in the Subaru Outback. I had to remove the saw from the stand and disassemble the stand to get it to fit. The seller helped me get it into the car.

It’s missing the anti-kickback device and the rubber elbow that goes on the guard. The vertical movement is frozen. The bevel motion is frozen. The arm does rotate on the column and the saw assembly does slide back and forth along the arm. The motion that allows the saw to rotate from crosscut to rip is OK. The plug is missing the ground pin.

After I got it home and started reassembling the stand, I realized it was damaged and flimsy so I won’t use the stand. The table it came with is worthless. There were no arbor wrenches.

The wood on the old table was soaking wet. I think they had this sitting outside in the rain recently. It looks too rust-free to have been out there for a long time.

Search for a router adapter part 84-2613. The shaft is 15/16 inch diameter – 20 thread per inch. There was a post on lumberjocks saying that a porter cable collet would work. I spoke with a customer service rep at Porter Cable and he said they don’t have anything that would work. He referred me to Delta as he thought they took over the Powr Kraft line. The Delta service rep said no they don’t have any parts either.

4/27/2018

I found a open end 15/16 inch wrench that was 1/8 inch thick at Habitat Restore. It bent when I tried to remove the saw blade. I’ve ordered a piece of 3/16 inch thick steel from Amazon and will make a wrench from that.

I checked the cut depth and was happy to see that it’s more than 3 1/2”. That means I’ll be able to cut a 4×4 in one go. My craftsman’s capacity is about 2 1/4”.

5/2/2018

I made a wrench from the 3/16 inch thick steel bar. I used a drill and hacksaw to remove most of the material. Finished with a file. I also had to use a grinder to reduce the thickness slightly near the opening. It worked great: I got the saw blade off.

I finished making a wooden base for the stand and installed the saw onto the stand. After that, I diassembled it into all it’s major components.

I installed a new 3 prong plug and ran the motor. It works but makes an unpleasant noise. That might just be how it sounds since it runs at 20,000 RPM and has hears to reduce the speed to 3450.

5/9/2018

On May 4, I tried to get the column and base separated. I used lots of PB Blaster and then used some pipe clamps to apply force. It did not work.

Based on what another Lumberjack experienced, I decided I need a press to apply more force. I took it to my auto mechanic and he put it in a 12 Ton press and it didn’t budge. The auto mechanic suggested I freeze it and then apply heat to the outside. I took it to a local tool sales/service shop and they only had a ten ton press. His advice was to order a new assembly and if that’s not possible then it’s junk. I bought a 20 Ton press from Harbor Freight and got it assembled today. By itself, even the 20 Ton press did not work.

The base is aluminum and the column is steel. Because Aluminum’s CTE is higher than steel, all I have to do is uniformly heat it rather than applying heat only to the base. The base will grow faster than the column and cause the parts to want to separate. I used my outdoor gas grill to heat it up. I then put the column (steel) end into a bucket of cold water. Back to the 20 Ton Press and it moved right away! I pushed it down as far as I could and then turned everything upside down and pushed the column all the way out. I preferred this method of heating because the base is painted and I didn’t want to scorch it with a torch. I think it’s also less likely to crack or for me to accidently cause a fire. Note that if I had followed the auto mechanic’s advice to freeze it, that would have backfired. Freezing the entire assembly would have caused it to get tighter because the aluminum base would shrink faster than the steel column.



11 comments so far

View TheNJ's profile

TheNJ

5 posts in 1287 days


#1 posted 05-10-2018 03:25 PM

I have the exact same model. Inherited it from my father in law, who got it from his dad. It is loud, probably the loudest tool in my shop, but it works great and I wouldn’t give it up. Only problem I’ve had is with the switch. I’ve had to rebuild the trigger at least twice, it’s just old tech and wears out over time. One day I might try to find a more modern solution.

View NormG's profile

NormG

6216 posts in 3090 days


#2 posted 05-11-2018 08:06 PM

Wow, great saw

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

85 posts in 342 days


#3 posted 05-17-2018 03:00 AM

5/16/2018

Today I worked on the motor and yoke assembly. The handle came apart pretty easily.

Freeing the wires from the switch proved difficult. I wanted to preserve the switch and not cut the wires. Now that I’ve done it the hard way, I suggest the following to anyone reading this.

The wires are not soldered, they are held in place by interference/friction. I didn’t try it, but I think you might be able to free the four wires by inserting a shaft (like a nail) into the hole adjacent to the hole the wire goes into.

what I did was to take apart the switch. The switch is held together by two #4 machine screws. They go all the way through the plastic housing and terminate in the metal part on the opposite side. The holes are tapped and the screws thread into those holes. Unfortunately, they would not back out. I think the assembly process involves some kind of damage to the threads once they are inserted – presumably to prevent them from backing out on their own. I used a file to remove the part that protruded through the surface and eventually got the screws out.

Since the switch was apart, I disassembled it and removed all the saw dust. I put it back together by using two 3/4 inch long #4 machine screws and two nuts. I put Lock tite on the threads.

I separated the yoke and the motor and removed the motor pivot. There appears to be no damage, just old grease and dirt. I think after it’s cleaned up and reassembled the bevel pivot will work fine.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

85 posts in 342 days


#4 posted 06-06-2018 03:42 AM

5/19/2018

I disassembled the motor. There are brushes on the left and right side. Looks like a lot of material left, so I assume they are OK.

The motor housing has three sections. One contains the gears and appears to be sealed: no sawdust in there. One section is where the tmotor spins and the the third is where the saw shaft spins. The last two sections are open for air circulation and there is a lot of sawdust and dirt in there.

The sealed section has a lot of grease. That grease appears to be good: it hasn’t turned hard. I’ll replace it anyway. I’m hoping to find a vendor that sells lubricants and take a sample so I can match it.

This saw has three shafts and three sets of bearings. It seems like only one of the six bearings needs replacement. It has one side open and that side is exposed to the sawdust. One of the other bearings also has one side open, but that side is exposed to only the sealed section. The bearing that was open and exposed was dried out and made a bad sound. All the others seem OK.

I removed all the grease and cleaned out all the dirt.

5/21/2018

I bought a bearing puller ($7) and removed the two bearings I planned to replace. It did the job, but it damaged one of the bearings. Either I’m not using it right or this kind of puller is not to be used if you need to reuse the bearings.

I took the motor parts (not the case) to a motor repair shop to get some replacement bearings. He says will be able to get some that are sealed on both sides. I should have them in a couple days. I also asked the tech to check the bearings I was not going to replace. He advised replacing one of those and did it on the spot. He let me watch him remove the old bearing and put on the new one. He used a bearing splitter and a press. That technique looks much better and less destructive than the three claw puller I used.

I asked about the grease. He advised that I need axle or bearing grease, not electric motor grease. I have a tub of brown colored wheel bearing grease that I will use.

I put the column and base into a pail of Evaporust at 3PM.
5/22/2018

At 5PM, I took the column and base out of the Evaporust. It made a huge improvement on the steel column but not so much on the aluminum base. I think I can just grease and reassemble now. Before and after pics below.

6/5/2018

Last week I purchased a second Montgomery Wards TCP 2610E radial arm saw for $75. This one has the anti kickback device that I was missing, a nice base cabinet and some accessories: the router adapter, shaper adapter and a drill chuck. My plan is to continue with the renovation I started. The second saw gives me the parts I was missing and a supply of spare parts.

Bearings:

It was not possible to get replacement bearings for the 7109s that are sealed. Instead I replaced the 7109 that is on the 20,000 RPM spindle andhas it’s open side in the greasy gearbox with a new 7109. I replaced the other 7109 (the one on the 3450 RPM spingle with the open side exposed to contamination) with a 6202. The 6202 is wider, but that works because the trough that it lies in is open on one side and the shaft has no ridge to prevent pushing it on farther.

I installed the new bearings with my press. I used a socket to push on the inner race. This was my first time and I was very relived that it went smoothly. I loaded up the gear chamber with new wheel bearing grease and put the motor back together. The shafts turn easily. I won’t be able to turn it on until I get a few more steps done.

I disassembled the yoke and carriage for cleaning and lubrication. The carriage bearings turned, but were a little sticky. I’m soaking them in paint thinner and will follow that with a soak in oil.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

85 posts in 342 days


#5 posted 06-08-2018 02:39 PM

6/6/2018

I cleaned everything

- simple green and paint thinner to remove dirt and grease
- steel parts soaked in EvapoRust
- aluminum parts washed with soap and water

The plastic snap bushing that acts as a bearing for the front end of the elevation shaft was broken. It’s one of the few (thankfully) plastic parts on this machine. I bought a bronze bushing from the local ACE hardware store to replace it. I had to enlarge the hole in the front panel of the saw table frame to accomodate it’s larger OD. It worked great.

After applying grease, I installed the column support, column and elevating mechanism. It works well. I measured the vertical motion at 7 3/4 inches.

I took apart the arm subassembly. Everything is in good shape. After derusting, cleaning and reassembly I’m confident it will work well. The mechanism that indexes and locks the arm to the column has several parts and it might not be obvious how to put it all back together. I took many pictures to help me get it right. Below are a few of them.

The big black rectangle covers the bottom side of the arm and it’s long edges are the track the carriage rides on.

This is the end far from the column. Pulling on the small rod releases the miter index. Pulling on the big handle moves the large rod that pushes on the brake activator (to clamp the arm to the column

This is the end near the column. One pin engages the Index Collar (for setting miter angle). The other pin engages the brake shoe (locks the arm to the column)

This is the brake shoe.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

85 posts in 342 days


#6 posted 06-08-2018 03:43 PM

6/7/2018

I put the track bearings back onto the carriage. They are clean, lubed and spin freely. Two of the four track bearings bearings have eccentric screws. This is how you adjust the fit between the carriage and the track.

I reassembled the carriage, yoke, motor, handle and trigger. I plugged it in and pulled the trigger to …. silence and dissapointment.

I figured out the trigger switch was not working. Apparently when I disassembled and cleaned it I messed something up. I took it all apart again, and I could not see how it ever worked. As it slides back and forth with trigger actuation, there is a spring that wiggles but it cant engage and move the electrical contacts: maybe I lost something. Below is a picture of the faulty switch. Perhaps someone reading this and has opened one of these up can tell me if it looks like anything is missing.

I took the trigger switch from my second saw: sure glad I bought two! Note: you definitely can get the wires out by pushing a nail into the hole next to the hole where the wire enters.

I installed that switch (without any disassembly this time) and it worked. The motor sounds great!

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

85 posts in 342 days


#7 posted 06-09-2018 01:59 AM

6/8/2018

I cleaned and reassembled the arm sub assembly – very straightforward.

I mounted the arm on the column. To do this, I put a box on the table to support the arm. I used the elevation mechanism to raise the colum into the arm.

I wanted grease between the arm and column for easy rotation, but also wanted to keep the place where the brake shoe touches clean. To to this, I put grease on the column in the appropriate place and put grease on the inner upper ring of the arm.

The next picture is when the column is just beginning it’s trip up the arm. As the column is raised wiggle the arm side to side to help it to slide down.

The next picture is when the column is at the top of the brake shoe. At this point you need to insert the index collar before raising the column any more.

Keep raising the column until the through holes in the column align with the threaded holes in the index collar.

Install the two bolts that hold the index collar to the column. These bolts allow for adjusting where zero is on the arm rotation.

I slid the motor and carriage assembly onto the arm. At first it wouldn’t fit because the Track bearings spacing was too narrow. I used those eccentric screws to loosen them enough to easily slide the carriage onto the arm. Later, I tightened them up to remove excess play.

After putting everything else back, the mechanical restoration is complete!! All the motions work smoothly and the motor runs great.

Next I have to make a table and do a Jon Eakes tune-up.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

85 posts in 342 days


#8 posted 06-14-2018 11:02 PM

6/11/2018

I started making a table. It will be 3/4 inch plywood with a 3/8 inch particle board sacrificial top. I took my 6 foot level and a flashlight to the local ACE hardware store. I checked all of ther 2’ x 4’ plywood panels to find the flattest one in the store. Got some chuckles, but the guys understood when I told them I was making a table for my radial arm saw.

I chose to place the edge of the table in the place where a vertical line from that edge will intersect the front most tooth edge on a 10 inch blade. That allows for a maximum sized workpiece (bigger than a 4×4) to be in front of the fence and the blade to start spinning without contacting it. A short fence will also be able to be in place and allow the blade to spin without contact. Note that this is not per the original design. The designers meant the front edge to be an inch or more forward of this point. I can tell because that is where zero on the in-rip scale is set. I prefer the longer cross cut with the fence behind the main table than to be able to use the rip scales.

I chose to make the table 48” wide by 24” deep. That’s quite a bit larger than the original. The elevation handle would hit the bottom of the table, so I cut a 12” x 6” notch.

I cut the plywood down to precise dimensions and drilled small pilot holes to locate the place where the bolts will attach it to the saw table frame. The particle board is cut oversized because I plan to use a router to trim it back to the plywood once it’s all put together.

The particle board top is 1/8 inch short on the edge next to the fence. This creates a trough where sawdust can go and be out of the way while making a cut instead of getting between the workpiece and the fence or between the workpiece and the table.

I’m using Thompson’s Water Seal – the water based type. I just painted one surface each on the plywood and particleboard for now. I’ll paint the rest later after it’s all put together.

6/13/2018

Yesterday I attached the sacrificial top to the table.

In the picture below, I’ve put masking tape on the places where no tacks should be placed since these are routine places the blade will be travelling.

The sacrificial top is attached to the table using Elmer’s rubber cement and solid brass brads. This is the technique recommended by Jon Eakes. The rubber cement is applied all along the outer boundaries and the places where the four mounting bolts will pierce the table. The rubber cement provides a weak bond so that when the top gets worn out you can (hopefully) remove it without destroying the table underneath. Solid brass brads are uses instead of steel so that if the blade hits one, it wont damage it.

In the picture below the table is placed on the saw. The gold color is from the Thompson’s Water Seal: 2 coats.

Today I made a single back table. There are usually two pieces behind the main table: a narrow one to place the fence at the position where you can get the max crosscut on 3/4 inch material and a larger one to position the fence as far back as possible so you can get the maximum out-rip. For now, I just made one that will allow for placing the fence either at the rear of the main table or as far back as possible. If I choose, I could rip this one in two to get the usual configuration.

Jon Eakes recommends leaving the sacrificial top off of the back table(s) so that they will be lower than the main table. I did that when I set up my Craftsman and found I didn’t like it. So this time, I’m making the back tables the same height as the main table.

I attached the tables to the saw and found that they are not flat. They are flat in the middle but droop on the ends. They are flat along the short dimension, which is where the saw travels when doing a crosscut. The error is close to 1/8 inch on one end and more like 1/16 on the other. For now, I’m going to live with it. Maybe later, I’ll rig up some supports to prop up those ends to get it flatter.

I started the Jon Eakes tune-up today. For all the details get his book “Fine Tuning your Radial Arm Saw”. It’s essential if you want to get the best from your saw. Of course, you’ll also need the user manual to see exactly how to make the adjustments on this saw.

Procedure 8 – Travel Square to Fence (Rough) is particularly challenging on this saw. When you move the arm to zero (normal crosscut mode), the index pin falls into a slot in the index collar. You can feel it engage and that’s how you know you have returned to the zero position. There is a lot of play in this mechanism: the end of the arm moves side to side by more than 1/8 inch with the index pin engaged. At first, I thought maybe I got something wrong when I reassembled it. I checked on the second saw and it is the same. It’s just the way it is. This doesn’t mean you cant get your saw back to zero easily, but it does mean it’s harder to set where zero is. The procedure is to engage the index pin, loosen the arm brake, loosen two bolts that attach the index collar to the column and then move the arm to where it should be and finally tighten those bolts. What makes this hard is that when you move it you have to account for the play in the index mechanism. The trick is to figure out which way it needs to go (left or right) and begin the adjustment with the arm in a position where it has already used up all the play before you loosen the arm brake and the bolts. After a few frustrating attempts, I got the hang of it and was able to set zero perfectly.

This saw does not have a built-in adjustment to remove horizontal heel. I checked it and fortunately the error is miniscule. If the error was large, you’d have to put some shims between the track bearings and the yoke to correct it. Zero horizontal heel means when you configure the saw so that the blade is parallel to the table the plane of the blade really is parallel to the table.

The vertical heel adjustment on this saw is pretty straight forward. However, the manual says that when you are done the yoke index lever should move freely but not drop. When I was done, it dropped and there was a lot of play. I figured out that the two brackets on either side of the yoke index lever can be moved independently. If they are spread apart, you get the problem I had. The solution is to make them snug against the lever.

6/14/2018

After going through all the tune up procedures, the saw is very well aligned and cutting perpendicular to both the fence and the table. Success!!

I made a cardboard dust cover and attached it with rubber cement.

Here are a few pictures of the finished saw.

View ohtimberwolf's profile

ohtimberwolf

847 posts in 2438 days


#9 posted 06-16-2018 12:02 AM

All I can say is WOW!!! larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View andrewaustin's profile

andrewaustin

1 post in 57 days


#10 posted 06-25-2018 02:53 PM

This is fantastic … going to go thru this very thoroughly as I have the EXACT same saw.

Not sure if you are answering questions, but is there a MUST CHECK or DO list you would recommend … in lieu of complete dissassembly?

All the mechanics of mine seem good (swivel/elevate/slide/lock/etc) ... only concern is if the noise I hear as the motor slows is whacky bearings or no lube.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

85 posts in 342 days


#11 posted 06-25-2018 03:52 PM

Hi andrewaustin:

Glad you are finding this helpful.

I will send you a message with recordings of how my saw sounds now that it’s all rebuilt. Compared to other saws, it is loud and unpleasant sounding. You can compare how your saw sounds and decide if you want to take the motor/gearbox apart.

I would recommend a complete disassembly, but if you only have time for partial …. There was a tremendous amount of dirt/sawdust inside the sections revealed when I removed the handle and was getting ready to take the motor/gearbox out of the yoke. Lots of dirt inside the open chambers of the motor/gearbox but the part with the gears is closed and that was clean. There is one bearing that’s open on one side and totally exposed to the elements. You’ll see when you read the details that I replaced that one with a slightly larger bearing that’s closed. If you get into the motor/gearbox, that’s the bearing most likely to be shot. Also, the inside of the arm was very clean.

Please do yourself a favor and get a copy of the user’s manual and Jon Eakes book on how to fine tune your saw.
After you read through how the saw operates evaluate it again. There may be problems that you don’t realize right now

Good Luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance.

regards, Kery

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