My trunnions are jammed up!!

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Forum topic by Crickett posted 10-05-2015 08:36 PM 704 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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116 posts in 897 days

10-05-2015 08:36 PM

I’ve got a 3hp cabinet saw with a zero clearance insert, and lately my height adjustment knob on the front has been a total bear to turn. I mention my zero clearnce insert only to point out that slivers and bits are getting down in my trunnions in any large quantities. I’ve taken off the throat plate and used a blow gun with my compressor to blast everything loose, and shot WD40 into the dovetailed ways to loosen things up…. no luck. I’m trying to avoid removing the top to play doctor on my saw. If I wind up doing that, I’m going to clean out all of the grease on the trunnions and spray them with graphite lubricant which will repell dust. Anybody else ever have these issues and can lend some helpful advice? I don’t see anything binding on the worm screw and the bearings are new…heck the whole saw is brand new…1.5 years ago.

8 replies so far

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4022 posts in 1616 days

#1 posted 10-05-2015 08:58 PM

The most common cause of your problem is gunk build up in the worm gears. Clean them up with a wire brush and then a good lube. WD-40 is NOT what you should be using… it is a dust magnet and will cause all sorts of problems. Use either a good dry lubricant spray or paraffin wax so stuff won’t stick to it. Also make sure the locking mechanism for height adjustment is loose and not binding.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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361 posts in 868 days

#2 posted 10-05-2015 09:04 PM

I have a 25 year old Delta contractor saw. When I purchased it I had to take it apart and clean it. There were brass bushings that held the shafts in place, but the shafts had a little rust starting on them. I had to clean that off. Also, there typically are backlash settings for worm gear…mine has an off-centered bushing that you turn and set with a set-screw.

I would take it apart and clean off all the WD40 and old grease. I don’t have a strong opinion on graphite lube.

-- Nicholas

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1417 posts in 594 days

#3 posted 10-05-2015 09:20 PM

A machinist friend told me to use spray white lithium grease on the gears of my saw. DON’T DO THIS it will gum up with all of the sawdust.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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628 posts in 1770 days

#4 posted 10-05-2015 11:13 PM

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3450 posts in 1683 days

#5 posted 10-05-2015 11:17 PM

I’ve got a Delta x5 and had similar problems. I ended up taking the side cover off and got in there with a tooth brush and thin strips of lumber to chip out the build up saw dust. It took a couple of hours of rolling around on the floor. It was well worth the effort. I was able to get a little more height and was finally able to get the saw blade adjusted to 90 degrees.

View jbay's profile (online now)


696 posts in 316 days

#6 posted 04-03-2016 04:53 PM

Some other suggestions.

-- Glad to discuss ANY of my comments! Understanding why someone said what they said may help you understand the person.

View MadMark's profile


965 posts in 870 days

#7 posted 04-03-2016 07:49 PM

Loosen the locking knob …


-- Madmark -

View teejk02's profile


414 posts in 543 days

#8 posted 04-03-2016 08:35 PM

Newer carb cleaners in the spray cans (with nozzle) won’t hurt anything…follow with your air nozzle. I find it is a function of my shop air…winter time with the in-floor heat on I find that “gunk” accumulates on everything more than other times of the year. I only have the Delta contractor saw and no big deal to remove the insert to give it an occasional blowing (now that is a test of the site’s filters if I ever saw one).

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