Table Saw Blade Won't Raise

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Forum topic by johnnyd85 posted 12-29-2011 05:55 AM 7548 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2309 days

12-29-2011 05:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

First time posting, long time reader.

I just started having a problem with my Delta table saw today (model 36-729).

After adjusting the height of my blade I switched the saw on. No sooner did the blade start spinning that the entire blade assembly dropped into the cabinet (to its lowest possible height). I shut the saw off, turned the hand wheel to raise it, and it fell again.

After a little snooping around inside the cabinet I noticed the gear shaft was losing contact with the bracket which raises the blade.

The saw still tilts the full 45 degrees without any problems. In fact, at 45 degrees I can raise the blade fully. However when I return it to 90 degrees the entire saw drops again.

Has anyone ever had this problem before? Any idea what could be causing it?

13 replies so far

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2322 days

#1 posted 12-29-2011 06:24 AM

It sounds like something has worked it’s way loose. I’d sort through whatever saw dust is in the bottom of the saw and see if there’s a loose bolt or nut laying around, then try to figure out where it fell from.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View johnnyd85's profile


4 posts in 2309 days

#2 posted 12-31-2011 12:05 AM

Just an update for anyone who may ever find themselves in a similar situation.

Looks like the grooves in the gears which raise and lower the saw have worn down to a point where they lose contact with one another.

Debating whether the saw (which I bought used for $1000) is worth the 4 or $500 in labor and parts to get back in working order or if I’m better off splurging for a Powermatic or saw stop?

How would you spend my money?

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2643 days

#3 posted 12-31-2011 01:44 AM

Repair it and you will have a good saw for many years. If you can install the gears yourself then it will probably cut the repair cost in half.

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2811 days

#4 posted 12-31-2011 02:06 AM

Can you post some pictures. That sounds a little unusual for a Unisaw. -Jack

View bondogaposis's profile


4687 posts in 2319 days

#5 posted 12-31-2011 02:33 AM

I would order the parts and replace them myself. The parts can’t cost that much. Plus if you are set on getting a new saw I would get it in good working order so I could sell it for maximum value.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View johnnyd85's profile


4 posts in 2309 days

#6 posted 12-31-2011 04:06 AM

I have a video that does better justice where you can actually watch the gears slipping. Not sure how to post it to the site here.

Contacted Delta about replacement parts but they do not have any available.

I have the local Woodcraft technicians coming by next week to see if they can help out any.

Edit: set up a youtube account to post the video. video can be found here

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2811 days

#7 posted 12-31-2011 08:06 AM

Johnny, Nice video. Did you check for fallen parts like TCC suggested? Parts for this saw are readily available online. Personally I would fix it – but if they offer you a nice trade in, it’s a great excuse for a new saw. -Jack

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


403 posts in 2989 days

#8 posted 12-31-2011 09:07 AM

I definitely think that your saw is worth fixing if the rest of it is in any kind of reasonable shape because that worm gear (p/n 912143) is only $24.53 at

But before I went to replacing any parts, I would look for something working it’s way out of position or find out what caused the damage to the worm gear because you should die of old age running that blade up and down before that gear should wear out in normal use.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View johnnyd85's profile


4 posts in 2309 days

#9 posted 12-31-2011 03:48 PM

IrreverntJack – I did check for fallen parts. Spent a good hour going through the dust separator and dust collection bag. No luck.

Sawdust4Blood – taking a closer look I think I may need part number 912143 and 912128. The latter of the 2 is the one Delta recommended but does not have available. For reason of my own sanity I’ve asked woodcraft to handle this problem for me. While I may be an amateur woodworker, I am by no means mechanically inclined and would probably do more harm than good.

Not sure if the sound came through clearly in the video but it definitely sounds like the gears are grinding when I turn the wheel handle. Maybe something loose/missing is the cause of the bad gears?

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2811 days

#10 posted 12-31-2011 05:02 PM

The worm gear and the arbor bracket. Check the teeth on the arbor bracket. The bracket is the cast iron piece that rides on the worm gear (screw). The worm gear is softer than the cast iron and may have sacrificed itself without damage to the brackets teeth. If the arbor bracket is not harmed the repair is much simpler. It would be a good idea to find a reason for this to have happened – batch bad/defective of parts, loose collar on height shaft, bushings? -Jack

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3287 days

#11 posted 12-31-2011 08:06 PM


Give these folks a call if you are still having trouble.

When I got my new (used) uni a couple years ago, I took it part and sent the arbor swing arm to them for bearing replacement and for them to give it the once over for me. Thank god for “if it fits’, it ships”!

Have you taken the top off the saw, removed the belts and arbor bracket swing arm, to see what’s going on inside? YOU CAN DO THIS YOURSELF!!! Don’t waste your money! Lord know is I can do it, ANYONE can!

I’ll be willing to tell you more about my journey in Uni rebuild if you want… Give me a shout.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View GeorgeEasyHangIt's profile


1 post in 319 days

#12 posted 06-09-2017 05:04 PM

Hello Everyone. I just signed up .
I need to ask for HELP. I having a big problem raising the saw blade on a Grizzly 1023RLX.
At first it was just a little tight and annoying . then it turned into a two handed job to raise it.
At this point I opened the side door to check the gears and an overall inspection. I decided it needed some cleaning of the dust. OK. Did that.
Then I lubed the flat surfaces where the motor slides up and down. (whitelube was the only thing I had) Also, I put it on the vertical screw gear. NOTHING CHANGED.
After using it for about four hours doing rips, I went to lower the blade. It was “OK” but started getting harder to turn the crank to make it raise. After about 20 times up and down it won’t move! At first it was hart to raise but lowered quickly and easily. The raising was just getting worse and worse. Then the lowering got stiffer also. Now the blade is stuck in the up position no movement.
Its like the center lock knob is tightened all the way but it is actually removed at this point.

Any ideas.?
PS: I removed the caked on wood dust.

Also. I’m in the middle of a paying shelf job and NEED to know soon. Please!
Thank you.

-- George, Staten Island NY

View ejwu's profile


7 posts in 279 days

#13 posted 07-19-2017 11:18 PM

My unisaw was like that when I bought it. It’s all good after I waxed the tooth surfaces on the arbor bracket and worm gear.

-- Keep learning

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