Table Saw Sparks

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Forum topic by Deltarich posted 03-30-2010 08:03 PM 7222 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Deltarich's profile


23 posts in 2908 days

03-30-2010 08:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: delta saw motor problem

I recently picked up a Delta Table Saw (36-320c) that was being given away for a very low price. An inspection showed the motor required new brushes which I ordered while I went to work removing the rust, cleaning, up, etc. The new brushes arrived and the saw fired up right away and I was able to make some test cuts. The motor did not have any issue with cutting the wood but I did notice through the stock throat plate what I considered to be an excessive amount of sparking. This particular saw uses the same inductive motor as 36-600 and other saws (I know there’s a belt inside but it isn’t a true contractor saw).

My question is has anybody else had experience with this motor post-brush replacement and is this something that will go away after a little bit of usage? Is it common for this saw to require commutator cleaning? If so, any experience with that? Any other ideas?

I’d hate to write the saw off even though it isn’t full size saw as it has a beautiful cast top and wings and it’s compact size is actually a plus for me at the moment.

Thanks very much for all your expertise!

11 replies so far

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2900 days

#1 posted 03-30-2010 08:06 PM

When you unplug the saw and then rotate the blade by hand, does it drag at all? Just wondering if you have a bearing problem, or if its brushing against something in the cabinet. I wouldnt think you should see any sparking…could cause a fire in the chips.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Deltarich's profile


23 posts in 2908 days

#2 posted 03-30-2010 08:44 PM

Thanks Wayne. There is a little drag but it is uniform and does not seen excessive. It did seem to cut wood okay. I can clearly see the sparks are originating where the brushes meet the commutator (both sides). Fire in the chips is exactly what I am concerned about.

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2594 days

#3 posted 03-30-2010 09:01 PM

“Fire in the chips”

I like the way that sounds—just the words—not the reality of what it would mean ;-)

I helped a buddy with a project, last week. He was using his brother-in-law’s “free from dad” Durabilt TS.

It had a thousand problems, including putting out a 4th of July fireworks show that … was exactly half-way between beautiful and …. scary!!

I told him we should make a date to tear that thing down, figure it out, and re-build it. Like you … and Wayne ... in my bones, that just doesn’t seem right.

If you figure out what the underlying cause was, I’d be grateful if you’d add to this post. I’d love to have a better idea what to look for if/when we dig in!

Best of luck!!

-- -- Neil

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2795 days

#4 posted 03-30-2010 10:19 PM

I’m no motor expert, but I know that the 36-600 uses a universal motor, which tend to spark a bit by nature of the brushes rubbing. Not sure what to make of excessive sparking but it could be related to replacing the brushes…it’s possible that in time the edge of brushes will form better to the shape of the armature and reduce the sparking.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2620 days

#5 posted 03-31-2010 02:18 AM

More than likely, there is either excessive wear or carbon build up on the armature. If you can afford to doit time wise, I would remove the motor and have it serviced at an electric motor shop. You may get lucky and he will already have a replacement on hand and you won’t have to wait.

I would think that the armature needs to be turned to smooth it out. Nice score by the way.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View iamwelty's profile


254 posts in 2535 days

#6 posted 03-31-2010 02:22 PM

I’m an insurance agent, just had a claim on a client of a fire caused by sparking Craftsman Table Saw… Saw was toast… probably $6000 in smoke damage… you may want to get it checked out… or up the insurance on your shop.

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

View poopiekat's profile


4188 posts in 3154 days

#7 posted 03-31-2010 04:01 PM

Union is right..
If the motor brushes were worn enough to require replacement, then perhaps the commutator should have been turned on a lathe to flatten out the wear pattern. Did the brushes come with new springs? If not, there may not be enough tension to hold the brushes with sufficient pressure, and the brushes are arcing as they float. By the way, is this the model with the internal motor and small timing belt between motor and arbor? If so, replace the motor bearings while you’re at it. They tend to go at the most inopportune times. They are very popular sizes, at hardware stores or NAPA has them.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Sudz797's profile


1 post in 1384 days

#8 posted 01-08-2013 10:01 PM

I have a 36-320C that sparked like crazy then quit. I took the motor to a Delta dealer and was told that the motor was not repiarable. They suggested a replacement motor that was WAY more than what I wanted to pay. Afgter numberous enquiries and attempts to find a replacement motor I have come to the conclusion that Delta produced or acquired a bad motor for this saw and now they have absolutely no interest in providing a replacement. I always thought that Delta was a reputable tool company but I am extremely unhappy with them over this model. From what I can gather you will be throwing good money after bad trying to fix this thing.

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 1924 days

#9 posted 01-08-2013 10:25 PM

Deltarich, wow…From what these guys are saying and recommending your “given away at a very low price” may go up in price. BTW, which delta are you from Rich?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View RonP001's profile


1 post in 1289 days

#10 posted 04-14-2013 02:13 AM

These cheaped-out so-called contractors saws are absolute junk. As said above, Delta, for some reason used a universal motor to power this thing. This means that you have a 10” saw blade hooked up to a router. When my motor blew up and died with a puff of smoke, I sought out a new one … I think it was about $300 from Delta Canada. I scrapped the saw because I saw this arrangement as prone to premature failure. Stationary woodworking equipment requires a good, American-made (Marathon, Baldor) induction motor. Forget the Chinese crap!

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 2816 days

#11 posted 04-14-2013 02:34 PM

You may need what are referred to as clean up or run in brushes. These brushes are very abrasive and installed first to clean up the armature, If you get these be sure to follow the run in time listed for them. Once you have cleaned up the armature put the stock brushes back in and you should be good to go.

With the way generic motor are made these days it is not uncommon to have to have to do this on brand new motors.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

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