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Changing Bearings on a Table Saw

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Forum topic by Blake posted 03-11-2008 10:27 PM 16328 views 4 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blake

3439 posts in 2625 days


03-11-2008 10:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw bearings

It’s been on my mind for a while now. I have an old Rockwell/Delta contractor saw. The bearings aren’t terrible but they seem like they might be entering the end of there life. They are just getting a little rough.

I’m not that serious about diving into this project right now, its not at the top of my priority list. But in case I ever get more serious about looking into my options for a smoother running saw…

  • How much do bearings cost and where do you get them?
  • How hard is it to change the bearings? (it doesn’t seem like a very fun job)
  • Is it hard to get everything to be true once you reassemble it? (I remember hearing sometime that it requires a lot of pounding with a mallet.)
  • Should I stick to “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”?
  • Is it worth it on an older (not very high-end) saw like that?
  • What else do I need to know about changing table saw bearings?

Thanks, Lumberjocks!

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com


20 replies so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2739 days


#1 posted 03-11-2008 10:31 PM

Try here for parts:

http://www.ereplacementparts.com/delta-parts-c-3275.html?osCsid=cab09f434de3209956caa4158b468ee5

Which bearings are you talking about? In the motor? What makes you think they are going out?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4938 posts in 2633 days


#2 posted 03-11-2008 10:43 PM

I guess you are talking about the arbor bearings. Yes they do go out and yes they can be changed. I have done it on my old 1954 Craftsman that I still use. You will know it when they go. They will squeal or you will get a lot of runout. Don’t pound them out with a mallet. Take off the trunion and take it to a mechanic with an arbor press and have them pressed out, and the new ones pressed in. I would go to the manufacture for a replacement number. It may be a standard bearing that you can buy for cheaper elsewhere, but they are not an expensive type thing. A inexpensive place on the web where you can buy bearings one at a time is VXB.com.

As far as alignment when it is all done, I think you can handle it in a hour or so. It aint brain surgery.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

1776 posts in 2741 days


#3 posted 03-11-2008 10:48 PM

Hey Blake, I used to have an old Delta/Rockwell saw. They were built pretty tough. Probably one of the best upgrades would be to replace the motor with a more modern version as the old ones eventually grow weak, and are not as energy efficient as todays motors.

The blade bearings are easy to replace and the whole assy. should pull from the saw without much difficulty. Your new bearings should be of a “sealed” type as they really get abused by the dust. A good supplier is VXB Bearings but be sure to accurately mic the dimensions before you order. (When I ordered the new set for my armature, the inside dimension was maybe 1/1000” too small causing me to have to machine the armature shaft to fit.) My armature eventually went south due to weakness, not the bearings.

Other parts suppliers are Acetoolrepair.com and Toolpartsdirect.com. I found all kinds of goodies for my saw thru them…except the armature as it had been discontinued. OH, I definately wasn’t bummed though as this caused the wife to give in to a new saw purchase!

Your saw looks of the cast iron table and the fence looks like an accurate type as well. Definately worth upgrading. Give that baby a V8! Maybe a Chevy 454, fuel injected, blower, some chrome. Arr-Arr-Arrr!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3151 days


#4 posted 03-12-2008 01:17 AM

Its not a problem. Bearings usually have a part number on them and do a search on the web for that number. You might find a cross reference.

probably less than $20.00 each. As for me I knock them out myself. I use a brass rod ond run it through to hole on one side to get to the bearing on the other side. Tapping with a hammer and moving around the bearing should knock it out.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

1776 posts in 2741 days


#5 posted 03-12-2008 10:49 PM

Cheap Chinese sockets are great for pounding out bearings too, but you always run the risk of cracking the base. Best to get them pressed out if possible.

My bearings were ordered matching the part number, size etc. The new ones matched perfectly, except for the inner race was 1/1000” too small. Go figure. Anyhow, I put the armature into the drill press, run it up to a good speed, and hit the bearing area with a bastard file followed up with emery cloth. Worked fine.

Adapt and overcome!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Rich_S's profile

Rich_S

53 posts in 2616 days


#6 posted 03-13-2008 02:45 AM

Another source of parts is www.dewaltservicenet.com They are the “factory” parts handlers for Delta, Porter Cable and Dewalt (in fact it is part of Dewalt) and typically for the special stuff they are the source that all the other vendors go to. They have all the manuals online, the exploded parts diagrams etc. Plus they show online whether or not a specific part is available. You need to know your model number and serial number (in some cases) to search the parts. If it shows that it is not available on their site then the chance you’ll get the parts is nill, unless someone had an extra sitting on the shelf. However, as far as bearings go they are more universal so you’ll likely find you can get them through a number of vendors. The dewaltservicenet site is not the friendliest site to navigate around, but once you figure it out it is very useful.

-- Rich, Madison WI

View Blake's profile

Blake

3439 posts in 2625 days


#7 posted 03-13-2008 03:41 AM

Thanks for the info. About how much time and trouble is involved for a first-timer on this job? An afternoon? A weekend?

And what’s a ball-park for how much good bearings would cost?

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Dadoo's profile

Dadoo

1776 posts in 2741 days


#8 posted 03-13-2008 02:21 PM

I think I paid around $10-20.00 for my bearings, this also depends on what type you buy. Ceramic bearings are by far the best, and the price reflects that. Like I said though, you’ll want sealed bearings.

As for time…Well that depends on a couple of things. First would be your mechanical ability. You seem to have your “stuff” together in this field, so I don’t think it will present a problem. The second thing is how your saw is constructed, and how easily it comes apart. You haven’t provided a model number, so that’s about as far as I can go.

Once you get into it though would be a great time to overhaul the whole thing. Get all that dust and crap out of there. Clean up the rack and trunion gears, etc. In other words…make it new again!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View opinionated's profile

opinionated

6 posts in 1834 days


#9 posted 12-16-2009 08:31 PM

I have replaced many arbor bearings on Delta saws and there are a couple of rules that govern an installation that will last as long as the original. First and foremost is to never install bearing by pressing on an unsupported race. If you istall the bearing in the casting and then press the arbor in you have damaged that new bearing and reduced its life. Second rule is to clean very throughly the arbor and casting. The third rule is never press on the arbor uing the blade flange. Even a small arbor press can easily distort the blade mounting flange. Always press using the end of the shaft as a bearing surface. The delta saws have been designed such that the blade arbor end of the casting alows the outter race to move. This is essential to accomodate arbor shafts and spacers that vary in length a few thousandanths of an inch and for thermal expansion of the shaft as the machine runs and the bearings warm up. If the surface in which the bearing is mounted is not clean this cannot happen and bearng life will suffer. As for bearings, The Standard C-3 class 6203 bearing is more that sufficient and may be either sealed or shielded. I never work on newer delta saws but the old saws always used a shileded bearing and not sealed. I have installed both and the sealed bearing seems to work fine in both the contractor and unisaw. Bearing are available on e-bay or your local bearing supply house for about half of the price you would pay from Delta.
I ave developed several special tools for installing the bearings in Delta saws, but a reputable shop with an arbor press and bearing separators and pullers should be able to remove and install the bearings in your casting. I wold add that this is the perfect time to set your casting and arbor assembly in the milling machine and true up the arbor mounting face. I use a mounted stone in a Bridgeport mill to grind the blade mounting face to achieve a less than .001 inch runout.

Here are the basic steps to installing a set of bearings in a Unisaw or contractors saw.
Remove the arbor casting from the saw.
Remove the pulley from the arbor.
Remove the locknut from the arbor shaft.
Using a dead blow hammer or brass, bump the arbor out of the casting. Don’t loose the wave washer that is installed behind the blade end bearing.
Remove the pulley end bearing locknut. Use a screwdriver and hammer for this if you do not have a 40mm slot spanner. (who except me does)
Using a brass drift remove the pulley end beaing and discard.
Using a bearing separator and puller remove the blade end arbor bearing from the arbor shaft.
Clean all surfaces thoughly with scotchbrite or fine emery.
Install the blade end bearing on the arbor shaft using a 17 mm bearing pusher and press.
Install the pulley end bearing in the casting recess and install the locknut.
Warm up the blade end of the casting using a propane torch to about 200 degrees.
Install the wave washer in the blade end of the casting.
Install the spacer tube on the shaft.
Install the arbor shaft and bearing in the casting.
The arbor should be supported by the end of the shaft on the arbor press and a 17 mm pusher should be used on the other end to ensure the load is not being transferred to the bearing races as the arbor is pressed into the housing.
Install the shaft locknut and pulley.
Check arbor flange runout and correct if required.

View DurangoDelta's profile

DurangoDelta

8 posts in 1426 days


#10 posted 01-29-2011 02:06 AM

Is there a trick to removing the nut holding the pulley on the arbor? I have a post ‘88 Delta contractor saw.

No matter what I try, I can not seem to break that nut free.

Thanks.

View opinionated's profile

opinionated

6 posts in 1834 days


#11 posted 01-29-2011 03:18 AM

I am a little confused. The pulley is held on by a single setscrew on every delta contractors saw I have ever worked on. The nut is behind the pulley and if the lock tab washer is on it, take a sharp chisel on bend it down. Some saws don’t have this washer installed. You may want to view my youtube video. Just go to youtube and search for delta arbor bearings. I give a detailed disassembly and assembly video in 2 segments. Pulleys can be stubborn. I use a bearing separator and a puller to remove them without damage if they are stuck on the arbor. Usually the pulleys on the contractor saw are cast ron and not zinc die castings like on a sears saw. They tend to come off a lot easier. You shuold only have to back out the setscrew and pull off the pulley. Post a photo if it is indeed different that I have explained.
Jim

View opinionated's profile

opinionated

6 posts in 1834 days


#12 posted 01-29-2011 03:22 AM

Here is the link in case you have trouble finding it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYTJxc67ghk
Jim

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3209 posts in 2574 days


#13 posted 01-29-2011 03:28 AM

Although this is a old delta saw a 1944 model you can get the jest of what it take to change a bearing on a delta, really nothing change that much. http://www.popularwoodworking.com/Delta%20Unisaw/...hope this help Blake…

View DurangoDelta's profile

DurangoDelta

8 posts in 1426 days


#14 posted 01-29-2011 03:38 AM

Starting in 1988, the Delta contractor saw has a two piece cast pulley that is held on with a single nut. There is no lock washer, no fold down tabs, nothing.

View opinionated's profile

opinionated

6 posts in 1834 days


#15 posted 01-29-2011 03:45 AM

Is it a left hand thread?
I would apply a propane torch to the nut to warm it up to about 250 degrees to soften the thread retaining compount that Delta must have used on this nut.
I have to say this is the first Delta arbor of this configurtion I have ever seen. I would also get the entire casting off the saw and clamp the pulley in the jaws of a vice, using wood protectors of course. this would allow you o use mor force if needed to remove the nut. I assume it still comes out by driving out a pin? Don’t lose the wavy washer that goes in the pivot joint.

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