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Forum topic by ded posted 03-04-2017 10:05 PM 958 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ded

4 posts in 288 days


03-04-2017 10:05 PM

Greetings all, short time lurker but finally signed up! Sorry for this being so long but I want to give all the info I can. I took the plunge and bought a table saw yesterday and now I need some advice from a community who knows, and who I trust. I bought a Rockwell 34-345 in pretty good shape off CL for $150.00. I’m hoping, and praying, the laughter stops after I say it came with a Vega fence. I figured the saw itself was worth $25-$100 so with the fence it seemed like a no brainer, hopefully I was right. Here’s a couple of issues/questions I have concerning this TS.

Before I bought it I fired it up, looked and listened and noticed the blade wobbled slightly as it was winding down. I grabbed the top of the blade, turned it and wiggled it back and forth. It did have a little play and a slight clunking sound, the bearing does sound noisy and feels a little rough when turning it but the shaft didn’t seem to be what was clunking or moving. I looked closely at the pulley and arbor shaft while I was moving the blade and it seemed solid too. While looking at the pulley and shaft while I was wiggling it I noticed the arbor housing(?) itself was moving a little and the sound and play seemed to be coming from there, so I assumed I could tighten up some mounting bolts and fix the wobble. Bought it, got home and tried to tighten the bolts I thought would effect the movement of the motor but only found one that was ‘loose’, it only turned maybe a 1/4 turn so that wasn’t encouraging at all.

Next thing I did was put a straight edge across the blade and in a couple of spots I could rock the edge back and forth a little, in other spots I couldn’t so I started thinking blade. Next thing I did was take a combo square and put the base on the table and adjust the stick to just touching on top of the threads of the arbor shaft, it seemed to slightly drag the same amount all the way around and didn’t seem to vary as I turned it, so again I’m thinking blade. I didn’t know how else to check it since I don’t have a dial indicator and when thousandths make a huge difference my method probably isn’t very reliable but it’s the only way I knew.

The blade ‘looked’ old so I figured might need one anyway and might fix the wobble too so I bought another blade. The old blade had buildup around where the washer contacts the blade, as did the washer, so I’m thinking good thoughts. Cleaned the washer, the pulley flange and put on the new blade hoping for the best but it still has a little run out when turning the blade by hand. After looking around online I now find out this thing has a discontinued arbor that’s prone to failure and can’t be found anywhere. Should I take it apart and replace the bearing? Is it possible to just change the bearing? Is there a chance it will fix the wobble? If so could someone tell me what to expect, the do’s and donts and the procedure. Should I junk this thing and be somewhat content I paid $150.00 for a good fence? Should I just run it until it gives up?

I cleaned all of the gunk and grease from the worm gear, the teeth on the motor the worm rides on, the plastic gear that adjusts the blade angle, the bracket it rides on and the area around the motor that rotates when you adjust the blade depth with brake cleaner and lubed it with dry lubricant. Man does it adjust with ease now! While doing all of that I noticed this thing has a grease fitting on the case that mounts to the motor and houses the arbor and I assume bearing/s. Is that factory? If so should I just pump some wheel bearing grease in there and hope it quietens down what I think is bearing noise? If so how much grease?

If I should go a different route that has better parts availability, easier maintenance, better reliability etc then I’m all ears as long as it’s under $200.00. Again I’m sorry for the novel but I figured the more info you have, the less you have to type in the long run!


7 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6012 posts in 2038 days


#1 posted 03-04-2017 10:37 PM

Post some pictures of the ‘grease fitting’... that saw should not have any. The motor is a brushed type pseudo-direct drive deal with an intermediate belt to drive the arbor shaft, and it uses sealed ball bearings. And based on your description ”the bearing does sound noisy and feels a little rough when turning it…”, I’d say they are well past their useful life. Don’t use it in that condition, as it could cause even more costly damage if you do.

If it were mine, I’d tear it down, clean and lube (and paint if so inclined), replace the bearings, check everything else (belt, blade, wiring, etc…) – then put it back together and align/adjust to final specs. Doing so will not only let you find any other potential problems before they get worse, but will leave you with an ‘as good as new’ saw that should be good for another several decades of use. The arbor flange and washer can be trued up easily if that is indeed a problem.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7789 posts in 3215 days


#2 posted 03-04-2017 10:59 PM

The fence is a decent buy at $150 if it’s functioning properly. IIRC, that saw is direct drive with a universal motor. If it was working well, I’d say run it, but it sounds as though it may have some issues that may not be worth messing with. If you’d post your nearest major city, maybe someone here will spot a decent full size contractor saw with a belt drive induction motor that’ll have more potential.

Also, a decent blade is really important to the end performance of any saw. What blade did you get?

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

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6012 posts in 2038 days


#3 posted 03-04-2017 11:17 PM

IIRC, that saw is direct drive with a universal motor.

Sorta but not quite… while it is a universal motor with brushes, it has a separate arbor shaft that is run via a small belt. The bearings are not that hard to replace, and I always recommend changing them on any newly purchased used machine – you have no idea what the saw has been through or its maintenance history, so it’s just cheap insurance to prevent more costly problems down the road. It also allows you to open things up and discover any potentially hidden problems that were not obvious upon initial inspection. Of course, you have to be at least a little bit mechanically inclined to do so :) YMMV.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View ded's profile

ded

4 posts in 288 days


#4 posted 03-05-2017 07:30 AM

Thanks so much for all of the responses! I live in Kansas City, MO and expanded my search out to around 3 hours North, South, East and West but the majority of CL listings are Delta Shopmaster’s, Ryobi’s, the newer cheaper Craftsman’s, “vintage” ones with no wings, miter gauge and/or fence etc. and even those are way overpriced, but maybe one of y’all would have better luck. Of course I would like one with a riving knife and/or splitter or at least the option of mounting one without a lot of engineering involved but I don’t expect a whole lot with my budget. The grease fitting is a zerk fitting, it’s perpendicular to the arbor shaft and it’s on top of the arbor housing(?). When I saw it I was like “What tha what?” because it would take a lot of grease to get up to the height of anything that turned and I assumed the bearings were sealed so it made no sense whatsoever.

Is replacing the bearings pretty straightforward? How is the arbor shaft secured? Would I just put a puller behind the pulley and the arbor shaft comes out? Does the shaft have a retainer behind the pulley that bolts on and secures it, does the pulley flange act as the bearing retainer? I am pretty mechanically inclined as one uncle ran a garage and one ran a body shop and basically grew up in both and learned to assess and think before diving at an early age. I could eventually figure it out but knowing what I’m up against before hand would make the process go a lot smoother and faster. I can’t stress enough how much I honestly appreciate all the advice and direction from everyone here so again, thanks!

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6012 posts in 2038 days


#5 posted 03-05-2017 10:58 AM

Well what do you know… I went and checked the parts diagram for that saw and there is indeed a grease fitting on that thing! Not sure what it’s greasing… but it looks like it might be for the arbor – although it calls it the “Arbor bearing w/ring”, whatever that means. I’d have to see it in person to know exactly what is going on in there, as it’s not exactly clear just by looking at the diagram. The operating manual for a similar saw (with the same motor arrangement and grease fitting) does not mention it at all, which is kind of strange.

The motor should be pretty easy to get open… and the bearings in the motor should be easy to yank once you pull the armature. As for the arbor – you will have to look at it after you open thing up to determine it’s condition… post some pictures along the way so we can see what you got.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1508 posts in 1226 days


#6 posted 03-05-2017 01:39 PM



Well what do you know… I went and checked the parts diagram for that saw and there is indeed a grease fitting on that thing! Not sure what it s greasing… but it looks like it might be for the arbor – although it calls it the “Arbor bearing w/ring”, whatever that means. ...
Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Out of curiosity I looked at the diagram and my first thought was the same as yours. What IS that grease fitting for? That grease fitting doesn’t appear to be in the right place for the arbor. Is it possible that the blade is raised and lowered by rotating the motor in the motor bracket? The grease must be to allow the motor end bell to rotate within the bracket? A loose fit there could be another source of play. It doesn’t appear to have a traditional mechanism for raising and lowering the motor. It looks like the raising shaft goes through the center of the tilting knob to rotate the motor to pivot the arbor up and down. Hopefully there is enough clearance to pull the motor out of there to work on it without removing the entire tilting mechanism from the saw.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

230 posts in 372 days


#7 posted 03-05-2017 02:04 PM

I am not familiar with the saw, but to check out a blade clean all the gunk off. (rust, resin, whatever)

lay the blade on something very flat. I always use a machined surface. (like the top of a table saw)

It should lay flat. push down on it in 6 or 7 places around the edge. It should not rock. it should be touching everywhere. If it does, mark the spot and rotate the blade 90 degrees. If it still rocks in the same place it is the blade and not the table. Turn it over and do the same thing on the other side of the blade.

If the cutting edge of the carbide is chipped or will not scrape your fingernail it should be ground (Sharpened)

I find it a good investment to get the best blade I can afford.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

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