Replacing Table Saw Bearings

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Forum topic by Tyrone D posted 06-07-2012 08:40 PM 9516 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tyrone D

314 posts in 2329 days

06-07-2012 08:40 PM

I just got my tablesaw running with the VFD but I have reason to believe it needs new bearings. How easy of a task is this? Do I need any special tools?
I will be replacing the Arbor bearings and the Motor Bearings.

The noises I am hearing might be from the belts which is why I’m swapping the three belts out for the Power Twist Link belts(The fancy red ones).

The saw is from pre-’63 and I have no idea how old the bearings are. I want to have a quiet saw; noise really bothers me for some reason.


-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

25 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 06-07-2012 08:46 PM

”The noises I am hearing might be from the belts” – how much of a ‘might’ are we talking about?

did you try taking the belts off and running the motor? if you get no noise -the bearings are fine…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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1730 posts in 2805 days

#2 posted 06-07-2012 08:48 PM

I think hes talking about arbor bearings. No they are not difficult to replace. Some are harder than others.

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17382 posts in 3003 days

#3 posted 06-07-2012 08:56 PM

Youll probably need a bearing puller. You can get it at hf or any autoparts store.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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6706 posts in 2195 days

#4 posted 06-07-2012 09:03 PM

For used machines (anything over 5-10 years old), I replace the bearings no matter what. You generally have no idea how hard the machine has been abused over the years and it’s cheap insurance. If it’s a well made reputable brand, the bearings should be fairly easy to replace. As for ‘special’ tools, a puller is always handy to have but not always required; and if you should need one, they can be obtained at horror freight for dirt cheap. Improvisation goes a long way.. Normal stuff found around the garage – C-clamps, wooden dowels, proper sized sockets, a bench vice, various sized screw drivers, etc.. can all be used effectively for bearing removal/installation.


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

View petergdenmark's profile


55 posts in 2415 days

#5 posted 06-07-2012 09:04 PM

Check out , where the man replaces the bearings on an old unisaw.
If you get the bearings, the replacing is pretty easy – i did it in a couple of hours on my Wadkin AGS, though it’s a 70’s model, i guess it’s pretty much the same.

-- I'm from Denmark, but live in Sweden.

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2293 days

#6 posted 06-07-2012 09:04 PM

Many times you can drive them out from the opposite side with a drift or even just a big bolt. You don’t care if you destroy them because they are garbage anyway. Drive the new ones back in with a little grease on the outer race to help things along and a socket that s the same outside diameter. You can use a rubber mallet to start things and a piece of flat wood and a hammer to finish it off. Motors are even easier because there is usaully a cap screwed on to the outside that holds the bearing into the motor housing – no need for a puller or mallet to reinstall them.

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Tyrone D

314 posts in 2329 days

#7 posted 06-07-2012 09:18 PM

When I turn the blade by hand I can hear a mid-low pitched squealing noise. It’s very hard to describe noises haha. Maybe there’s a possibility that the noise is louder and higher pitched when the saw is running.

It looks like I’m in for a busy weekend.
My grandfather may have that bearing puller otherwise it’s 20 bucks at Princess Auto.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3684 days

#8 posted 06-07-2012 09:32 PM

Take the belts off of the pulleys and check for play in the arbor by raising the blade fully and trying to rock it gently sideways in a few different positions and then spin the blade and if it’s quiet , go to the motor and plug it in , give it a whirl. Shouldn’t be too hard to tell the belts need replacing just by looking at them. They may also have “taken a set” from sitting under tension for so long without being used.
The power twist belts are going to cost you a small fortune and you may never get them to all be at the same tension. Your saw most likely calls for a “matched set” of belts.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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Tyrone D

314 posts in 2329 days

#9 posted 06-07-2012 10:05 PM

I have taken bearings off of a shaft before using a vice and hitting the shaft with a broken Roberston screwdriver.

Thanks for linking that video. It helped greatly.

I don’t think the belts on the saw currently match. One of them looks to be the wrong size. They’re all different brands. The belts on my saw are only about 1’.
It’s only going to be about 40 bucks for the three power twist belts. Is it worth it or should I stick with V belts?

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3393 days

#10 posted 06-07-2012 10:23 PM

Stick with the v-belts. Power twist belts aren’t really made for a motor with that much torque.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View barecycles's profile


257 posts in 2325 days

#11 posted 06-07-2012 11:02 PM

Everybody has their opinion on belts so I’ll give you mine. I originally had a set of v-belts on my Unisaw and there was a vibration that was just enough to bother me. I installed a pair of link belts (I skipped the center pulley) and it is as smooth as silk now.

BTW, I agree with MrUnix, absolutley replace the arbor bearings. But be gentle with the bracket.

Finally read through your blog and great work on the saw and VFD!

-- Sweeping up sawdust in Texas

View lieutenantdan's profile


176 posts in 2302 days

#12 posted 06-07-2012 11:31 PM

HF also has cheap arbor presses.

-- "Of all the things I have lost in life, I miss my mind the most."

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62 posts in 2182 days

#13 posted 06-08-2012 03:49 AM

I definitely agree with MrUNIX and barecycles, on all of my rebuilds / restorations I replace / rebuild all bearings. Depending upon the brand of your saw, you may have some issue obtaining oem bearing due to age. I have found Eurton Electric supply to be the best source of bearing. I alway replace with their “premium” bearing type where available. As for belts, I generally prefer v-belts, but where vibration can’t be eliminated before the belt, I find that link belts can definitely be helpful in significantly cutting down on vibration.

Most bearing are pretty easy to replace. An inexpensive micro bearing puller and a set of bearing separators is all I have needed for most of my rebuilds on most tools. I have found that HF bearing tools are of pretty decent quality and are definitely inexpensive compared to most other brands. A bearing press can be nice at times, but is definitely not necessary.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.

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Tyrone D

314 posts in 2329 days

#14 posted 06-08-2012 08:08 PM

I’m already too deep into this to stop now. I have the arbor sitting in front of me. I need to get a gear puller to get it apart. I’ve needed one about three times before so I figure I might as well buy one.
There wasn’t a bolt in the tablesaw left undisturbed. I moved them all and made sure they can come out in the future while I had the trunnion sitting on the ground. Luckily, everything moved easily.

Currently, the tablesaw sounds like a small jet taking off in my garage. That definitely means something is wrong. The sound is like when I’m spinning the arbor without belts but amplified to sound like a jet.
I’ll try replacing the belts first then seeing what it sounds like. If it isn’t any different, I know it’s the bearings. I also noticed there was a lot of slop in the motor shaft. I don’t have the pulley off the shaft yet but it was definitely not moving straight.

I think the problem with the belts was they were too short or too long. I noticed they were at the max adjustment on the motor mounting bracket. I’ll make sure to get belts that are about 1” shorter.

I’ll reply to everyone’s comments in a bit. I have some stuff to do that I really don’t want to do…

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3240 days

#15 posted 06-08-2012 08:49 PM

Good advise checking the bearings and motor. Use Gates V80 series belts. They are all matched. Link type belts will stretch different amounts so will never be matched. Curious as to why a VFD. Is your saw a 3 phase? Why would you want to vary the speed of a saw?

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