table saw maintenance issue/question & dust collection question

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 03-30-2008 04:37 AM 1444 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3299 posts in 3260 days

03-30-2008 04:37 AM

Feeling much better these days, and today was my first full day that I could spend in the powered shop. What a blast! I enjoy my hand tools immensely, but there’s nothing like the humming of a motor. :-)

So it’s been a while since my Delta unisaw has been run. When I started to use it today, the motor made a funny clicking type noise. The noise goes away after about 15 seconds. It’s never made that noise before.

Do you think this is something major that I need to look into? I took a look at the underside of the saw and everything looks to be in good shape. The workings do not show any rust (which is more than I can say for the table top), the belt looks to be in good shape. I had a good size spider web that went out with the dust. What should I be looking for?

Also, I noticed that my dust collector seems to be not pulling in the dust. I’ve got a small Jet. It’s always done a good job in the past. But today, it was like I had a cloud of dust in the shop. I noticed also that I had dust being shot back at me from the saw. I’ve checked the hose and there is no clogs, the fan is in good shape, the suction seems strong. Any ideas?

Thanks all.

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

16 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3352 days

#1 posted 03-30-2008 04:52 AM

Don’t know what to tell you. It might just go away.

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

View Earle Wright's profile

Earle Wright

121 posts in 3084 days

#2 posted 03-30-2008 05:13 AM

Does it return with restarting?

If so, I would take the belts off the motor pulleys and restart the motor with the access door open to observe the motor while starting. Doing this will determine if the noise is emanating from the motor or from something driven from the motor.

If you hear the noise on startup with no driven load (belts off), and if it goes away after 15 or so seconds, you likely have a motor bearing going bad or dry. If the noise is not heard with the belts off, then reattach the belts, startup again and listen for the noise.

If you hear it, and if it goes away after some seconds, I would suspect an arbor bearing going bad or being dry.

If you suspect that the dust collection system is related to this in any way, isolate it from the saw (remove the pipe) and use the same technique for identifying the noise. I call it the “divide and conquer” method of troubleshooting.

Hope this helps.

-- Earle Wright, Lenoir City, Tennessee

View Sawdust2's profile


1467 posts in 3451 days

#3 posted 03-30-2008 06:16 AM

Just letting you know they missed you.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3238 days

#4 posted 03-30-2008 10:55 AM

Ditto Sawdust, we’re glad your back in the game.

View Suz's profile


51 posts in 3120 days

#5 posted 03-30-2008 03:55 PM

You said that your saw was not used for awhile. I wonder if the belt(s) could have developed a “memory” from the pulleys and it goes away after a few revolutions of the saw/motor.

Maybe that spider that was living in your saw is now sitting in your DC, blocking the flow and is waiting for you to take the bags off. Then it will jump out at you and get even for wrecking his home in the saw!!!

-- Jim

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3524 days

#6 posted 03-30-2008 04:23 PM

and maybe your DC is clogged up from sitting.. needs a good shake rattle and roll.. and a cleaning as mentioned by Dick earlier this month.. or was it last month.. hmm

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View USCJeff's profile


1062 posts in 3432 days

#7 posted 03-30-2008 04:42 PM

I would echo Debbit as related to the DC. I have a small collector as well. The normal culprits for me are clogging on the grate before the impeller or a dirty bag. Clogging is obvious and easy to ID, so I’m thinking this isn’t your issue unless you have an intricate system to large for a small collector. I would start by using a different vac to clean the inside of both bags. If air can’t escape due to dust packing the cloth, that’s a significant problem.

No idea about the Delta. Ignorant as to mechanics.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Chris 's profile


1877 posts in 3355 days

#8 posted 03-30-2008 08:06 PM

I was thinking the belt would be the most likely culprit on the table saw. I had a similar issue on my bandsaw.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Betsy's profile


3299 posts in 3260 days

#9 posted 03-30-2008 11:08 PM

Thanks for the help. I’ve been putzing with this issue today. Anything mechanical is no small job for me. But I took the belt off, cleaned the pulleys real well and took a much better look at the belt. When I took the belt off, I started the motor – no noise. That’s a good thing.

After examining the belt closer I found some small spots on the edges that looked a little bit chewed up. That made me think maybe the belt was not riding on the pulley correctly. I went back to the cabinet and looked a bit closer at the floor of the cabinet and I did find small bits of black “dust.” I can’t imagine how the belt would have slipped off the pulley since I’ve not been using the saw. I’m also not sure why the clicking noise would go away after a few seconds if the belt/pulley is not set right.

I’ve went back and looked at the pulleys and they are as smooth as a baby’s bottom so there is nothing on there that is tearing the sides of the belt. When I put the belt back on – the noise came back. So I guess from process of elimination I think I need to get a new belt.

As to the dust collector – that’s next.

Thanks for welcome backs!

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 3074 days

#10 posted 04-01-2008 04:33 AM

Hi Betsy

May not be your issue, but if there is a bind or something that is keeping your motor from coming up to speed and staying there the start switch could be cutting in and out. However because your belt sat for a while, that sounds like the culprit, get a segmented belt—they don’t develop memory as easily—AND you can adjust the length for that perfect fit!

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 3238 days

#11 posted 04-01-2008 05:57 PM

Glad to hear you’re well enough to get back in the shop, Betsy!

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View Betsy's profile


3299 posts in 3260 days

#12 posted 04-01-2008 07:08 PM

Thanks Fred and Tom!

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3663 days

#13 posted 04-01-2008 07:25 PM

Check the set screws on your pulleys, sometimes they can loosen on you. I had that happen on both my drill press, & jointer.

Another possibility is the weights in your motor starting switch may be causing the clicking noise, until the motor reaches full speed.

Vacuum, or wash the filter bags. I you’ve been sawing highly resinous wood, the resins may have plugged up the bags.

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

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3352 days

#14 posted 04-01-2008 07:28 PM

Interesting thought about the filter bag Dick.

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

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3663 days

#15 posted 04-01-2008 11:16 PM

I think that’s what happened to my 5 micron bags, but I ended up buying a 1 micron cannister.

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

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