need HELP from the tool junkies

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Blog entry by Mike Shea posted 01-26-2009 05:12 AM 1980 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello everyone…... its that time to wipe the thick layer of dust from my shelves, drawers and tools. i do this at least once a month. during that time i blow all the dust out of the shop with my leaf blower. i take all of my important tools apart and replace brushes, belts, bits and blades. i oil, grease and lubricate all moving parts and bearings. the tool that i pay most attention to in the shop is my 10” cabinet saw. i am constantly checking to see if the blade is square to the miter slots and fence parralell to the blade. i keep my 0 degree and 45 degree stop carefully tuned. my cabinet saw is verry important to me when producing precision work.

My saw is a 2007 10” craftsman proffesional cabinet table saw. it has treated me verry well however recently i have had a few problems. i have fixed most of the problems already. there are two problems that i just cant seem to fix. i dont even know whats causing it.

PROBLEM 1- by far the most important problem. as time has passed i have noticed the saw begining to shake. in the begining the saw was only shaking when powered up and when powered down. the trembling was only being caused at a certain RPM. once the saw got up to full speed it would stop. i could not identify the problem and as time went on the shaking got worse. it now shakes consistantly. it seems to only be shaking around the motor where the belt drive wheel is. i replaced the belt cleaned and lubricated in and around the pully area. the problem still existed. i then checked both of the pully wheels with a dial indicator. they seem to be fine. they dont seem to be bent or lopsided. just after cheking the pulleys i put the belt back on and the shaking continued. to find out if the motor was shaking internaly i took everything appart and pluged the motor in by itself. when i turned it on it ran like a champ. it ran smooth. i cannot figure out what is causing the problem. it really doesnt affect any cut that i make with the tablesaw. the shaking seems to be confined to the motor and surounding parts. even though it does not affect any cut i make. it concerns me because a saw should not sound like that. as i said before it still seems to be shaking more violently at low RPM’s. when powered up and down

PROBLEM 2- allitle less concerning to me but definetly a priority as it does affect certain cuts i make. when the blade is low to the table and checked for squareness to the miter slot its perfect. within .002”. as the blade is raised higher and higher it becomes more and more out of square. as much as .012”. i tried changing blades and the problem still existed. as i hardly ever need to raise the blade all the way this problem isnt affeting me very much iether but as i said before a saw shouldnt be doing that. lol.

any help at all would be great. i know that there are allot of woodworkers on lumberjocks who have a tremendouse amount of knowledge when it comes to tools. i might need to give more imformation on the kind of saw i have but i hope that i have provided enough information for one to get an idea of what problems i am having. all i have to say is. should have got a delta or powermatic. lol

-- i can do all things through christ who strengthens me

15 comments so far

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3691 days

#1 posted 01-26-2009 02:48 PM

I believe the vibration is from the belts on the saw. New or old, standard belts begin to develop a memory. The distance from pulley to pulley makes the belts oval. As they spin, they cause vibration. I might suggest replacing them with some link belts. I have an old drum sander that used to shake a tremendous amount when I purchased it. I replaced the belts with link belts and now it purrs. They really do make a tremendous difference, even in cut quality. Since they are tiny links, they never confrom to the oval shape.
You may also want to take your pulleys to a machine shop and have them trued up on a metal lathe. If they are cast metal pulleys, they are almost never perfectly round.
As for the blade issue, I am stumped. You may check to see if there is a tiny burr on the face of the arbor flange?

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4270 days

#2 posted 01-26-2009 03:31 PM

I agree with Rhett about the link belt pulley, I wrote a review about it, check it out. I had a belt on an old lathe that had developed a memory like rhett said and I could’nt turn anything round. As soon as I put that belt on you could lay your chisel on your turned piece and it would not bounce at all, it ran smooth as silk. I never changed the pulleys either. My review Mike is under” Industrial Machinery”. I also used it on a table saw, with equally fantastic results.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3788 days

#3 posted 01-26-2009 04:19 PM

You might want to check the pulley alignment if you haven’t done that allready. I’m not sure whats with those Craftsman Professional HYBRIDS, but I’ve seen alot of people that buy them eventually sell them in a year or two.

View John in SD's profile

John in SD

140 posts in 3837 days

#4 posted 01-26-2009 06:42 PM

Make sure you align your blade with the miter slot while it is at full height…...that can make a diference.

-- Life used to be soooo much simpler!!!!

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3788 days

#5 posted 01-26-2009 06:55 PM

Blade alignment with the miter slot is more criticle if you use the miter gauge alot for crosscuts, personally I don’t, stock miter gauges usually have a little slop in the miter slot anyway, thus not makeing them very accurate. I think a miter saw is more accurate, safer and probably faster.

View Mike Shea's profile

Mike Shea

152 posts in 4018 days

#6 posted 01-26-2009 06:56 PM

thanks everyone. i had heard about the link belts but didnt think that they would make much of a difference in performance. lol. im going to my nieghbors right now to steel one from his shop. i have never tried one. im gonna give it a try and see if it works.

woodchuck1957- no i have not done that. i had no idea i was saposed to even check that. i didnt even think of it. thanks woodchuck. ill get back to everyone to let you know if it worked

-- i can do all things through christ who strengthens me

View Mike Shea's profile

Mike Shea

152 posts in 4018 days

#7 posted 01-26-2009 07:10 PM

yea i do actually use my miter slots quite often. i have a number of jigs and sleds that depend on the blade being paralell to the slots. ya know i have a 12” dewalt compound miter saw and ill tell ya…. it works great for mouldings and other hard to make cuts “but” my tablesaw produces a crisp clean square edge always. its my go to tool. its funny how different people work. my expensive dewalt miter saw is sitting under the table collecting dust. i also use my RAS more than the mitersaw.

-- i can do all things through christ who strengthens me

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3788 days

#8 posted 01-26-2009 07:50 PM

Mike if thats what your comfortable with, I guess thats all that matters. I just think sometimes some people get a little too carried away with dialing a table saw in. How many proffessional trim carpenters do you know that use a tablesaw for the majority of their crosscuts ? None that I know of. The link belt may not work on your saw, if I remember correctly, the saw you have uses a flat ribbed poly belt and different pulleys, which should be good enough.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3917 days

#9 posted 01-26-2009 08:14 PM

could be bearings too. Runs fine untill its under a load…........

check the trunion gears as they build up with pitch, same for all gears.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Mike Shea's profile

Mike Shea

152 posts in 4018 days

#10 posted 01-27-2009 08:38 PM

you are indeed correct. my tablesaw runs a flat ribbed polly belt. i didnt even remember until you mentioned something. when i pulled it off yesterday i noticed that the belt is being chewed up on the right side. whats wierd is its not being worn on the ribbed side but on the back side….... kinda wierd. anyways there goes that i dea of replacing it with a link belt. can i change the puleys out to run a link belt? if so i will check to see if my local woodcraft carries them. i will probably have to order the pullys unless all table saws run a standard size pully. you guys are a great help in distinguishing what problem i am having and i am certain that the vibration is the belt now. let me know what you think?

as far as pully alignment how do i check for that. do i just hold a straight edge to both pulleys. its kinda hard to see the straight edge through the throat insert of the table top. i might have to take the cast iron top off to acurately check that. unless there is a better way of checking pully alignment that i am not aware of.


-- i can do all things through christ who strengthens me

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3788 days

#11 posted 01-27-2009 08:49 PM

Inline Industries has the belt, and they do sell balanced machined pulleys, you may have to e:mail or call them to see if they sell pulleys to fit that saw, or you could just buy a new belt from Sears. The type of belt you have now should be a good belt also. To check pulley alignment, you put a straight edge on the side of the motor pulley and line it up with the arbor pulley.

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3717 days

#12 posted 03-18-2009 02:55 PM

wait… are you guys saying that you can’t replace a poly v belt with a link belt?

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3785 days

#13 posted 03-18-2009 03:20 PM

Like Mike said above, it is indeed funny how differently people work. That’s the interesting thing about woodworking, there are many different tools and methods to accomplish the same task.

I don’t even have a miter saw. For precision crosscuts I use a sled. I also have an Incra 5000 sled that is capable of precision miters. Obviously then I need to have my miter slots parallel to the blade. To do this alignment, I have a dial indicator that mounts on a fixture that slides in the miter slot. Since every blade has a certain amount of runout, I mark a spot just under a carbide tip with a marking pen. I then check that spot with the blade at the far forward position, and then rotate the blade to the far rear and check that same spot again with the dial indicator.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View BroDave's profile


107 posts in 3838 days

#14 posted 03-18-2009 03:38 PM

wait… are you guys saying that you can’t replace a poly v belt with a link belt?

No, Mike’s saw has a ribbed belt, like those on your car.
Link belts are perfect replacements for V-belts.

-- .

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3697 days

#15 posted 03-18-2009 04:43 PM

Link belts also have a higher parasitic loss than a properly designed cogged V-belt. You will be doing yourself a disservice replacing a strong poly belt with one, but its your money.

Weird shaking issues like the OP has (remember was not at full speed, only during startup/shutdown) can be caused by a few different issues. I’m going to go over all the diagnostic steps, some of which you seem to have already performed.

The first test would be to take the belt off and start/stop the motor a few times and see if it still happens. It will be more subtle, but you should be able to sense it. Try keeping your fingers on the motor.

If its the motor the bearings could be cheap. If it doesn’t affect the performance of the saw I wouldn’t worry too much about it, but swapping the motor bearings could solve your issue.

If it doesn’t happen without the belt its probably resonance. Motors have vibration and the saw is responding to a specific HZ. As time progressed something has loosened up. You need to go over the saw and check every nut, bolt and set screw. No matter what saw/tool you have this should be a yearly maintenance issue to ensure all set screws are properly tightened. The damage a loose pulley can do is pretty amazing.

This is of course assuming proper pulley alignment. Next check is that. To tell you the truth I tend to eyeball it. I’ve dialed in more machines with my eyeball that I have with a straight edge.

Just by default you should replace the belt. They’re cheap, and its good insurance to buy a good brand like Gates or Goodyear. Just go to the Auto store and they should be able to hand you a new one.

If the pulleys aren’t aligned you probably need a new one anyways. Small uneven wear and abrasion on the edges will cause issues down the line, if not already.

Also check saw performance without the blade installed. I’ve seen some blades with distortion cause increased vibration. One saw could balance a dime on edge during start and stop without a blade. With the bad blade iit could barely do that with a nickel and its wide edge. Big difference. Replaced the blade and the dime worked.

I’ve never seen the guts of your saw, but it sounds like it has 2 connecting rods holding the arbor assembly together like a contractor saw does. I say this because problem 2 is the exact problem you will have when the tie rods are not in alignment. Take something flat that is almost as long as the rods and wider than they are apart and balance it on the rods. it should not rock or wobble, if it does you need to loosen up the nuts holding it together and get them parallel.

Due to space and budget constraints I have neither a RAS nor a Miter Saw. All cuts are done on the table saw for me. Getting your saw aligned shouldn’t be impossible. You just need to know the steps it will take.

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