table saw clicking as you turn it by hand, looking for advice

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Forum topic by dmoney posted 04-03-2010 02:58 PM 2430 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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191 posts in 3047 days

04-03-2010 02:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

I have a Delta contractor table saw. If you spin the blade by hand you can hear the arbor making a click sound each time as it goes around.
It sounds normal when running, probably because the clicks are so close together and it’s going much faster.

I looked under there and can’t see anything that looks like it’s hitting something.
I’ve been using it like this for a few months and it hasn’t gotten worse or changed at all.

I ask this because I don’t think the saw has as much power as it should. It bogs down way too easily in my opinion. It has the original Delta motor, I think it was a 1999 saw and has the 1.5 hp.

The lack of power really bugs me. I gotta feed the wood thru really slow to keep the blade from bogging down, I’ve only been cutting pine and cedar which are pretty soft, hence I think something’s wrong.

I might be looking to upgrade table saws if I can’t get more power out of this saw.

Is a bearing going out?
what could this be?

-- Derek, Iowa

28 replies so far

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3168 days

#1 posted 04-03-2010 03:05 PM

First of all, dmoney, does the blade rotation seem equal all the way around? Are you sure that it is the arbor? Could it be the motor? Sometimes dirty brushes or badly worn brushes will click on the armature. Remove the belts and see which one makes the noise.

Is the motor capable of running on 220 V? If it is , that may be why you feel the lack of power. If you can rewire to 220 and you will see a marked difference in performance.

You may have a bearing starting to make noise on the arbor, may have to replace it.

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

View dmoney's profile


191 posts in 3047 days

#2 posted 04-03-2010 03:33 PM

it is running on 110. the motor does say 115/230 so it looks like it can do 220.
it is the arbor clicking, when i remove the belt and spin the pulley on the motor by hand it is quiet. when I spin the blade by hand, I hear the clicks.
it’s not the zero clearance insert it still does it with that removed.

Now that I go turn it on again I think it is clicking really fast while it’s running. just hard to tell because it becomes a constant noise when it’s spinning at full speed.

from what I read on another post, switching to 220 wouldn’t make much difference in power?

does it sound like a bearing that is going out or went out?

-- Derek, Iowa

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3026 days

#3 posted 04-03-2010 03:35 PM

Like UnionLabel said. I would remove the belt and the blade. Then spin the arbor. It should not be making a noice. There should be no side to side movement either. If there is, it needs to be addressed. Then spin the motor and see if the noice is in the motor. Generally, a noice like that, is not normal. Also, check the belt, it may have some cracks or damage to the belt that makes the clicking noise when it hits the pulleys or something.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View dmoney's profile


191 posts in 3047 days

#4 posted 04-03-2010 03:48 PM

the belt is new and it makes the noise when you spin the arbor by hand without the belt.
there is no side to side movement and it still cuts straight but I do think I’m losing some power.

I’m becoming pretty sure it’s a bearing now and will probably start disassembling the saw to further diagnose.

-- Derek, Iowa

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4186 days

#5 posted 04-03-2010 04:25 PM

This may be hard to tell without another saw to compare it to, but I wonder if the arbor is spinning as freely as it should? If some of your horsepower is being “wasted” on excess resistance in the arbor, that might explain the lack of power.

I know zilch about electricity, but everything I’ve read says you won’t gain any power by switching to 220.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3168 days

#6 posted 04-03-2010 04:47 PM

Okay, now that you have determined it is the arbor, here’s what you need to do. Get a very long thin blade screw driver, either Phillips or straight blade, place the metal end on first one side of the arbor housing, then the other and the butt end to your ear tightly. Rotate the arbor and see if you can determine which side is louder if at all. You should be able to tell which side you have a clicking bearing using this method, unless you have a mechanics stethoscope.

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3132 days

#7 posted 04-03-2010 05:25 PM

I have a 1990 Delta TS, should be no noise in the arbor. My saw is absolutely silent when turned by hand. Once you have fixed the arbor, if that is the source of the problem, then a link belt, machined pulleys, and then a high quality thin kerf blade will make cutting better.

Re 220. Just my impression. I run my own circuits, but I am not an electrical engineer. There should be no increase in power. However, depending on your electrical situation, you may find that the saw will run better, because you will not be pushing the limits of the cord, household circuitry, connection imperfections, etc. I switched to 220 to prevent things like the lights dimming etc. Now with my DC, RAS, and TS all on 220 there is no effect elsewhere in the house. That suggests to me that the motor might run better especially under load. That is my general impression for both of my saws. In theory, with ideal circuitry, there should not be any improvement. But in the real world I suspect there is better performance in certain situations. By running on 220, you will also get the saw on its own circuit. Probably all fuzzy thinking on my part…...(-:

All I know is that my wife no longer complains about flickering lights, etc. So it definitely improved the harassment factor…..(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4267 days

#8 posted 04-03-2010 05:39 PM

It sounds to me like you have one ball that has a flat spot in the arbor bearing.

You should be able to get new bearing for your arbor at a local bearing supply store.

Take it apart, & get the numbers off of your bearing, Or bring it to the store.

They should be able to match you up.

The bearing supply will be much cheaper than Delta’s prices.

As long as you have it apart replace all of the bearings.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3430 days

#9 posted 04-03-2010 06:27 PM

Sounds to me like the arbor bearings are worn. I would pull the arbor and replace the bearings.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View dmoney's profile


191 posts in 3047 days

#10 posted 04-03-2010 06:55 PM

thanks for all the help! especially UnionLabel.
I got the arbor housing (if that’s what you call it) removed from everything else. see pics.
On monday, I’m taking to a machine shop to get the bearings pressed out and replaced. My dad said the welding/machine shop here should be able to do it pretty easily.

below are some pics of it dismantled just so you guys can see what I’m talking about.
Maybe they will help others if someone else is ever interested in getting their saw apart to have bearings replaced.

-- Derek, Iowa

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18249 posts in 3643 days

#11 posted 04-03-2010 07:42 PM

After you get the bearing fixed, if the saw still bogs down, it could be stuck on the starting winding. Tap on the motor case with a 2×4, see if it makes any difference.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View MedicKen's profile


1612 posts in 3430 days

#12 posted 04-03-2010 07:51 PM

How old is the saw? It might make sense while you have things apart to look at the motor bearings as well.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View dmoney's profile


191 posts in 3047 days

#13 posted 04-03-2010 09:00 PM

it’s a 1998. if this doesn’t fix everything, the next thing will be the motor bearings.

-- Derek, Iowa

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3168 days

#14 posted 04-03-2010 09:35 PM

When it comes to the motor, find a good electric motor shop. They will be able to test the brushes, brush contact and both the armature and commutator of the motor, not only the bearings. The motorshould spin freely now with out any belts on it. If it does, your lose of power wouldn’t be bearings. You would smell that anyway just due to the friction at 3750 rpm.

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

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3343 days

#15 posted 04-03-2010 11:24 PM

Replacing the bearings on an older saw is a good maintenance move IMO whether it was the root cause of the clicking noise or not, so no harm done there.

Regarding power, if the bearings are bad that might rob some of the power….the check is well described above. AFAIK, that’s an induction motor and doesn’t have brushes. You could be losing some power due to voltage loss from a long thin extension cord, long run on the circuit, or other appliances drawing from the circuit….symptoms would be dimming of lights and slow startup speed, bogging, plus the motor would run hot and would eventually let the smoke out. 220v or an adequate dedicated 20 amp 110v line could solve that issue, but if the current 110v circuit is adequate the saw should run well….220v might gain faster startups and faster recovery time if there’s less voltage loss, but every circuit and situation is unique. Be sure the 110v wiring is correct according to the schematic inside the junction box.

With pulleys aligned well and belt properly tensioned, the blade and fence well aligned, and good blade choice, you really shouldn’t struggle to cut much with that saw. The fence and blade alignment are pretty critical, as is good blade selection. A decent 40T or 50T thin kerf blade that’s clean and sharp should walk right through most 1” material and should handle in the 1-1/2” to 1-3/4” range depending on a few things (like moisture content and flatness). For frequent heavy ripping over 1-1/2”, a good 24T FTG thin kerf rip blade should rip to full blade height with that saw.

Good luck!

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

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