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Upgrading 1/3 HP motor on old Homecraft bandsaw

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Forum topic by ppg677 posted 06-27-2016 11:32 PM 504 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ppg677

78 posts in 316 days


06-27-2016 11:32 PM

I recently picked up a Homecraft 10” bandsaw from the 1950s. Same as this item:

https://www.facebook.com/My-Projects-162477820441707/photos/?tab=album&album_id=193530177336471

Beautiful construction quality. Cast iron.

I’ve tried it cutting a 3” thick bandsaw box. The bandsaw seized up a few times. Since then I’ve cleaned up the bearings and applied machine oil to all the right spots (including the electric motor). Even so the bandsaw also occasionally doesn’t start (the motor hums), though that could be the crummy original AC outlet wire.

Seems pretty straightforward to replace the 1/3 HP motor with something else, right? Any downsides to replacing this with a 1/2 or 1 HP motor? Either something used or from Harbor Freight? 1725 RPM seems pretty common.


15 replies so far

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TheFridge

5764 posts in 946 days


#1 posted 06-27-2016 11:55 PM

Looks like it. I’d get the same rpm and frame size. I think 56 is one of the most common frame sizes.

Edit: It really should capable of doin almost whatever you want on that saw even with 1/3hp.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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ppg677

78 posts in 316 days


#2 posted 06-28-2016 12:02 AM

So you’d expect 1/3 HP to be able to resaw 4” ?

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4203 posts in 1659 days


#3 posted 06-28-2016 12:05 AM

Sounds like you have a dull blade and possibly a bad start capacitor or centrifugal switch in the motor. Are you using a new blade? Just an FYI, Delta recommended a 1/3hp motor for their 14” bandsaws, and a 1/2hp for production work or when using the riser block. That was of course back when you had to buy the motor (and stand) separately.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1936 posts in 1448 days


#4 posted 06-28-2016 01:09 AM

I have that same bandsaw and original motor. Mine belonged to my dad and was in excellent shape…much better than yours. I replaced the tires with urethane ones and it runs great.

The biggest problem with this saw is the thrust bearing behind the blade. I have not been able to find replacements. Mine are OK but would like to have one.

I also have the matching bench top drill press and it is just as heavy. They put a lot of iron in these things.

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MrUnix

4203 posts in 1659 days


#5 posted 06-28-2016 01:27 AM

The biggest problem with this saw is the thrust bearing behind the blade.

Those use a 1/4” I.D and 7/8” O.D. bearing IIRC, and since the OD is not critical in that application, you should be able to use any 1/4” ID bearing (ie: R4-2RS, 1602-RS, etc…) of with a sufficient OD to reach the blade. Alternatively, you can either turn down the existing mounting shaft or if you don’t have a lathe, fabricate one that will accept more standard bearings such as the 608 (standard skate board bearing). This thread over at OWWM should give you some ideas and some links to similar threads: BEARING ?

Cheers,
Brad

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

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Woodchuck2010

504 posts in 318 days


#6 posted 06-28-2016 02:50 AM

Nice looking saw. Great job on the restore. I’d probably enclose the motor to keep sawdust out of it.

-- Chuck, Michigan,

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ppg677

78 posts in 316 days


#7 posted 06-28-2016 05:46 AM

Heh, not my restore but I have the same saw.

I haven’t quite figured out how the blade is supposed to interact with thrust bearings.

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MrUnix

4203 posts in 1659 days


#8 posted 06-28-2016 05:51 AM

I haven t quite figured out how the blade is supposed to interact with thrust bearings.
- ppg677

Obligatory band saw tune up video:
Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass

Should be all you need to know.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1936 posts in 1448 days


#9 posted 06-28-2016 11:53 AM

I will probably have to make something for the thrust bearings. The problem is not the bearing but rather the stud that goes through it. I was just hoping that it was something real easy. Two years ago, I bought the Rikon 10” bandsaw and put a Carter Stabilizer on it. It is a good little bandsaw that I use for making toys and small parts. I have a 16” Jet for resaw. It is amazing as the Delta Homecraft Bandsaw must weigh a couple times the Rikon.

Now, I have to figure out which 10: bandsaw to keep.

The bearing on the Delta Homecraft looks like the following. I do like the picture I found where someone used a small cap head bolt through a bearing as a replacement thrust bearing. It looks like to be the easiest replacement.

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ppg677

78 posts in 316 days


#10 posted 06-28-2016 03:38 PM

Thanks for all the great info! I have a dumb question— how do I know if the thrust bearings need replacement? I cleaned mine up and they spin freely, however there is a bit of play in them.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3926 posts in 2703 days


#11 posted 06-28-2016 06:21 PM

If you are going to replace the motor, I wouldn’t go much bigger than 1/2 a horse. Anything larger would be overkill. The thrust bearing should be positioned so that the blade doesn’t touch the bearing until you start to cut. Then the blade will ride against the bearing. Those Homecraft tools were the economy line for hobbyists, but they turned out to be better than the new stuff from China. I had the Homecraft drill press and it was a very heavy and powerful tool. When they say they don’t make em like that anymore; believe it. I am through buying new junk. Any time I’m in the market, I look for good old American iron.

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MrUnix

4203 posts in 1659 days


#12 posted 06-28-2016 08:30 PM

I do like the picture I found where someone used a small cap head bolt through a bearing as a replacement thrust bearing. It looks like to be the easiest replacement.
- Redoak49

Yeah, that is described in one of the threads over at OWWM I linked to above…


(From this thread over at OWWM: Homecraft BS guide bearing?)
That thread also shows adding a 1” riser, so you can use a standard sized blade.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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ppg677

78 posts in 316 days


#13 posted 06-29-2016 05:18 PM

Looks like my old motor doesn’t have a capacitor. I assume just start windings and a centrifugal switch as pictured. Besides cleaning it up and applying oil, any advice on debugging this? I’m not even sure how this switch is supposed to work.

When I start the motor (under no load), about half the time it will hum for a few seconds before starting. I assume this is not as intended.

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MrUnix

4203 posts in 1659 days


#14 posted 06-29-2016 05:31 PM

Looks like my old motor doesn’t have a capacitor. I assume just start windings and a centrifugal switch as pictured.

Yup, split phase and not a cap start… no biggie. Also has sleeve bearings (bushings) instead of ball bearings. Also not a biggie, as properly maintained, they will last much longer than a ball bearing… just not as easy to replace when/if needed. You should have oil caps above each one on the end-bells, and felt wicking packed around each sleeve. Might be a good idea to pull the felts, give them a good cleaning (mineral spirits works well) and then re-saturate them with some fresh non-detergent 20w oil. 3-in-1 has some specific for fractional hp motors and can be found at the BORG. Make sure to give a couple drops every now and then once it’s back in use.

As for the centrifugal switch, clean up the mechanical part so it pops in and out freely. On the motor housing side, there will be a switch (two contacts) that is operated by the mechanical part shown above. Clean the contacts and make sure they are in good condition. Blow out the rest of the accumulated crap and sawdust in the motor and you should be good to go once you put it back together.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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ppg677

78 posts in 316 days


#15 posted 06-30-2016 03:32 PM

Thank you MrUnix. I did what you said and now the motor seems to start no problem.

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