Can I repair this JET table saw?

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Forum topic by Bill615 posted 08-13-2011 09:13 PM 3110 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2483 days

08-13-2011 09:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jet table saw ts repair

I have a Jet Contractor TS that I bought about 10 years ago from an add in the newspaper for $150. I don’t remember exactly, but I think the guy said it was about 10 years old then, making it about 20 years old now. It was stored/used in an unheated barn then and moved to my garage at my old house (heated, but only when I was working out there.) Now it is stored in my heated/AC basement workshop, but I haven’t used it since we moved into this house 3 years ago. Instead, I have been using a portable delta model to rip down 2X stock to finish the rest of the basement.

I want to sell both of the saws on Craigslist and purchase a cabinet saw. However, when I fired up the Jet, it starts very slowly and finally reaches what seems like its top speed. As soon as I start feeding anything, even soft 3/4 poplar, the saw will stop and most of the time trip the 20 amp breaker. It has a new, sharp blade, so that is not the problem. The Delta, plugged into the same outlet, does not have any problems ripping 2X stock.

I am thinking the Jet has a motor problem. Is there anything I can do to tune this up? I don’t want to sell it in this condition.

7 replies so far

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3535 days

#1 posted 08-13-2011 09:21 PM

Check that the arbor shaft spins freely. Maybe the bearing are freezing up??

Take the belt off and see if you can turn the blade by hand.

-- Childress Woodworks

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4980 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 08-13-2011 09:47 PM

I would agree with checking all the moving parts to ensure nothing has frozen. If you determine it is the motor, sometimes just blowing the dust out helps. If it’s a capacitor they are fairly cheap and easy to replace. There may be a centrifugal switch that’s acting up. If you don’t want to troubleshoot the motor, you could take it to a motor shop for diagnosis…the one I use doesn’t charge for the diagnosis if you have him do the repair.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Bill615's profile


12 posts in 2483 days

#3 posted 08-13-2011 09:48 PM

I took the belt off and the blade spins fine.

View Bill615's profile


12 posts in 2483 days

#4 posted 08-13-2011 09:51 PM

I plan on taking the motor apart later, but I am not sure I will know what I am looking at. I remember replacing some brushes on a motor in shop class, but that was about 20 years ago.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3052 days

#5 posted 08-13-2011 09:57 PM

Mr. Childress makes a good point and that is certainly an easy one for you to check yourself. While you have the belt off, check to be sure the bearings on the motor spin freely as well. As far as the electrical is concerned, I used to service automotive shop equipment and the most common cause, when I saw a problem like you are describing, the problem was usually a start capacitor on the motor. Most industrial grade electric motors use a start capacitor to add a little extra juice to get the motor up and running on start up. First thing to check is to see if there is a start capacitor on your motor. Most motors will have a little sheet metal bump (not the one where the wires are tied into the motor) that houses the capacitor. If that capacitor is bad (and after 20 years, I would not be surprised at all), the motor will usually never get up to full speed and power. These usually are not difficult to replace. The hardest part is finding the appropriate replacement capacitor. If you aren’t comfortable with it, any electric motor service shop should be able to do it without spending too much. They, of course could also tell you for sure if that is the problem.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Loren's profile (online now)


10373 posts in 3641 days

#6 posted 08-13-2011 11:15 PM

Sometimes running the motor with no load for 1/2 and hour can
smooth it out – with motors that need oil especially, but on sealed
bearing motors it can’t hurt either.

Don’t spray WD40 into the bearings. If you did, the grease may be
dissolved in the bearings.

View Jeff's profile


433 posts in 3188 days

#7 posted 08-13-2011 11:29 PM

Since you’re going to sell the saw on CL anyway, why not try a few things yourself, then advertise in in its present condition? Granted you won’t get what you would for a running saw but it won’t be your headache to fix. Spend the time enjoying your new saw. Good luck.

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