Yesterday I had my electrician buddy over for dinner and plied him with beer and BBQ steak so I could get the lowdown on the right way to get 220v to my table saw. I made a late run yesterday to home depot and bought 30ft of 12/2 SJ cable, a 20amp breaker, cable plug, 20amp socket, a box, and 15ft of 12/2 romex. This morning, I found that the plug and the socket that the HD “expert” gave me yesterday were of differing types. The plug was 20amp 220v and the socket was 20amp 110v. So off to HD again this morning and I upgraded both plug and socket to the larger round spade locking type. When I got home I quickly found that the cover plate that I had for the first socket didn’t fit the new larger upgraded socket. I also needed a pipe nipple and locking rings to mount the switch to the saw, so off I go again. Projects are fun to work on, but this is the sucky part if your not well organized.
So I am really lucky in that the ideal place for my new 220v outlet is going to be a few inches below the power panel, so this means I don’t have to fish cable behind drywall, I don’t have to drill holes in studs, so it’s much easier.
I cut a hole in the drywall for the box, ran one end of the romex down an existing hole in the panel and right out of the box hole. I seated the box and screwed it down, stripped back the romex and connected then mounted the new socket.
I cut the romex to length to where the new breaker will go, then connected the wires to the ground bus and the breakers, then seated the breaker in the panel.
Now it was time to install cable and switch assembly in the saw. The switch box is mounted to the saw by a 3 inch length of pipe that screws in to a threaded hole in the bottom of the cast iron top. I screwed the pipe in to the top then mounted the box to the pipe.
I pulled out the old cable all together, the insulation was cracking on both ends and I just didn’t want to use it. I wired in my new cable to the motor and had to make a few adjustments to the switch in the box before I got it to where I was comfortable with it. Then it was time to test it out, fire up the saw for the first time since I bought it.
In the many reviews on the old unisaws and all the forum posts, I’ve heard about the motor bang wen it starts up. This saw doesn’t do that at all. It seems to start fairly quietly. In my last forum post, I talk about these Power Twist Link Belts that I decided to try out. The reviews saw that they are supposed to take out much of the vibration, and some people have said that they run quieter than the standard v-belts. When my saw runs with the top off and no blade mounted, I can hear the belts, it almost sounds like a fan running at high speed. Not quite what I expected, but not anything that’s annoying either. After letting it run for a couple of minutes, I shut it down and I noticed the belts were warm and seemed a little more slack than they were, so I loosened the motor and adjusted belt tension again. Started and ran again, seems to run fine.
NOTE: The only thing I found that’s not quite right with the belts is that with the top on and the blade elevation all the way up, the link belts sit a bit higher in the pulley and it actually hits the cast iron top so the outside surface of the belts would rub the top if you started it up with the arbor all the way up. I will have to make a conscious effort to check this before starting the motor whenever I’m cutting thick stock.
So at this point I put the top on and bolted the extensions on, paying close attention to leveling the seams. With the full width top on and bolted down with a blade installed and the throat plate in, this thing is a little quieter than it was with the top off, but it’s way quieter than my old Delta Shopmaster TS200LS. Which isn’t saying much, cause that thing’s a POS. The Unisaw just hums along.
When I was setting up for this last test, I realized I put the saw blade on backwards only after I took the picture, before I actually turned the thing on.
My fence needs some attention, so I’ll work on cleaning that up tomorrow, and I need to order some glide pads so it’s not so hard to move the thing around. Also, my mobile base comes in on Thursday, so with that on it will be pretty easy to work with it.
-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."