Vintage Table Saw needs a new motor

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Forum topic by John Smith posted 12-21-2017 12:55 PM 583 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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John Smith

576 posts in 95 days

12-21-2017 12:55 PM

finding myself completely out of my element when it comes to electrical stuff.
I am finishing up “renovating” a vintage 10” Craftsman ProSeries table saw made by Ohio-Forge.
it is of the 1980s era. having built a cabinet for the base, cleaned up 30 years
worth of crud, it is in pretty decent shape mechanically. This morning, I replaced the
main wiring and a new on/off paddle safety switch, fired it up and man-oh-man what a racket.
my first thought was the blade arbor shaft bearings . . . .
removed the belt and the noise is coming from the 80 pound motor. (it is really heavy).

so – with a new motor on the horizon, I am finding all kinds of very unfamiliar information.
Pool Pump
Fan Blower
Air Handler
Farm Duty
Agriculture Duty
and the list goes on and on.
without any motor knowledge what-so-ever, I am looking at the basic 1.5hp, 3450 RPM motor.
my local Haba Freight is out so I will have to order one through ebay, Norton Tools or somewhere.
the average price is around $159.00 so that will be my budget.

what replacement motor would you suggest for the residential table saw of this vintage ??

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

16 replies so far

View wichman3's profile


62 posts in 553 days

#1 posted 12-21-2017 01:08 PM

I would pull the motor apart, clean and lube the bearings before I replaced it.
Most of the terms used to describe motors are advertising only. You do need to match speed and amps along with the mounting style.

View MrUnix's profile


6480 posts in 2131 days

#2 posted 12-21-2017 01:12 PM

Different manufacturers call them different things… you do not want a pool pump or fan motor, but a basic general purpose 3450 rpm 1.5hp motor. Farm duty is what I believe HF calls them, which basically just means that it will run continuous and has moderate starting torque. Just make sure the mounts are the same, which probably is a standard NEMA 56 frame. Or, you could just fix your existing motor. If it runs, then you haven’t let the magic smoke out of it yet and it can be repaired easily. Probably just need a couple new bearings. Cost you about $10. Since you are planning on trashing it anyway, won’t hurt nothing to open it up and have a peek :)


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

View Tennessee's profile


2808 posts in 2446 days

#3 posted 12-21-2017 01:17 PM

First off, +1 for taking the motor down, pull the end bells, see what is rattling around. It is turning, so it is not burned out, at least not yet. Changing the bearings when open is a given.

If I were to change it out, I would at least take the information you have, and the layout of the mounting feet to determine the NEMA code. That will tell you exactly what you need, and not have to modify the mounting system at all if and when you finally buy another.

But my bet is this motor is not dead. It turns…makes a heck of a racket, but if it was fried, you would have only silence or smoke.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View TheFridge's profile


9079 posts in 1418 days

#4 posted 12-21-2017 01:18 PM


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

View runswithscissors's profile


2693 posts in 1957 days

#5 posted 12-23-2017 05:36 AM

HFs farm duty motor is 1750 rpms. You need a 3450 rpm motor. Although an “open frame drip proof” motor will work, a “totally enclosed fan cooled ” motor (TEFC) has the advantage that sawdust doesn’t get into the works so easily.

I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to take apart the motor you have. May be an easy fix. New bearings are easy to find (pay no attention to the brand of the motor) and cheap. Take the old bearings in to a shop, or call one of the bearing supply outlets and give them the specs.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Loren's profile


10089 posts in 3580 days

#6 posted 12-23-2017 05:48 AM

There’s a fan underneath that end cap. Perhaps
it’s making a noise.

View sawdustdad's profile


354 posts in 817 days

#7 posted 12-23-2017 02:01 PM

Looks like a TEFC motor on it now. Agree you might be able to rehab the motor you have. If you do replace it, I prefer TEFC motors. is a good source. Probably could find one on ebay or amazon as well.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View knotscott's profile


7937 posts in 3307 days

#8 posted 12-23-2017 02:06 PM

Ohio Forge is one of many brand names that sold a contractor saw from the Mao Shan plant in Taiwan. Many of the motors from those would work if you can find one that will fit an older Jet, PM, Grizzly, General International, AFF, Omega, and several others.

As others have mentioned, can’t hurt to take a look and clean up the one you have first. It’s already broke!

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

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

576 posts in 95 days

#9 posted 12-23-2017 02:15 PM

Thanks guys – I ordered the motor off of ebay and got it two days later,
yesterday with free shipping (yeahhhhh FedEx)
the old motor is toast – very strong burnt smell inside but the cooling fan was true and tight.
got the new motor in and it sounds like a baby snoring it is so quiet.
I am surprised at how well balanced the arbor still is after 30 years !! it is tight and true.
the 10”x60T Avanti-PRO blade is whisper quiet. very satisfied with the setup.
the saw has been in storage a couple of years but has seen some extreme duty
in a professional setting. it took a good deal of elbow grease and solvents just
to get the compacted sawdust out of the gear tracks so it would elevate and rotate.
it weighs just about 300 pounds so it is not a portable job site tool. the new wood cabinet base has castors.
all in all, I am pretty satisfied with it now.
first projects are sleds and zero clearance inserts.
then – after all SAFETY guards are back in place, I can CAUTIOUSLY get a few projects started.
Regards and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all you guys !!

(scuse me a minit – gotta open the winders = it will be 82f*. later this morning).


-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View MrUnix's profile


6480 posts in 2131 days

#10 posted 12-23-2017 04:28 PM

Don’t trash the motor… it’s not dead, so either try to fix it or give it away to someone who will. If I were closer I’d drive by and take it off your hands for you :)


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

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

576 posts in 95 days

#11 posted 12-23-2017 04:58 PM

Brad – my daughter lives in Orange Park.
so on my next visit in a couple of months, I will drop it off to you !!
and you can have all 80 pounds of it.
-or- you can come get it and I will PAY YOU to deliver the 3 tool boxes I am storing for her !!!
There is a junk recycle guy that comes down my street regularly and I was gonna give it to him.
I very rarely put anything in the landfill if someone else can use it, fix it, recycle or repurpose it.

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View MrUnix's profile


6480 posts in 2131 days

#12 posted 12-23-2017 05:07 PM

Dangnabit… Orange Park is still a pretty far piece from me :( I’m up just north of Ocala.

Anyway, those old motors are beasts… I am currently putting back together an old 1/2hp Craftsman badged R/I motor that I replaced the bearings in, and that one weighs at least 70 pounds. Lots of copper and iron in them old things, which gives them gobs of torque. One I’m working on now dates back to around 1937.


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

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

576 posts in 95 days

#13 posted 12-23-2017 05:25 PM

oh no, Brad – I thought I saw somewhere that you live in Orange Park – my bad.
(I guess it was some other member).

I can mail it to your for $147.50 for postage LOL LOL this is one heavy beast, as you say.
anyways – it will not be going to the landfill. I may attempt the electrical diagnosis after
the Holidays just for experience. who know, a little work and new bearings may put another
30 years of life into the old boy !!

Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Johnny in DownTown Central Florida

-- Graduated Valedictorian from the University of HardKnocks --

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

482 posts in 3822 days

#14 posted 12-23-2017 06:08 PM

Glad you’re up and running. For future reference check out for lots of motors at great prices. As stated by our very knowledgeable LJs above, it can be a pain to modify your base mounting setup if the replacement motor isn’t a match…been there done that haha. I put a 220 volt 3hp open drip proof pool pump motor on my vintage craftsman 8” saw (overkill I know but it was like a hundred bucks for 3 hp… I couldn’t resist) with some shop vac paper filters on the end to stop most dust from entering, and it’s been a beast running great for many years. Enjoy your saw!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View diverlloyd's profile


2587 posts in 1789 days

#15 posted 12-23-2017 07:02 PM

If you guys really want to send something heavy to each other call grey hound. They will transport it for the price of a seat. You just need to call and ask about it. I have a buddy who restores peddle cars and that is how he sends them.

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