dead bandsaw motor

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Forum topic by skyboy_psu posted 09-24-2012 07:16 PM 1894 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 2093 days

09-24-2012 07:16 PM


My bandsaw, a Rockwell Delta 28-100 from 1963 gave out on me this weekend. It was working, then stopped. It would hum, but not turn. I opened it up to see if the wheels were slipping or if it was clogged or something obvious. The wheels wouldn’t spin, and while I’m standing there trying to diagnose a problem, the motor started smoking (white), let out that great acrid smell, and then instantly, the fuses blew.
I’ve taken the motor apart, and can’t find a replaceable capacitor, nor a replaceable fuse. I’m at a loss for what is within my power to replace. I’m hesitant to reassemble it.

Should I consider having the motor rebuilt or just look for a replacement—either for the motor or the entire saw? Anyone attempted this before and have an idea of a parts supplier for brushes, since that is one thing I have yet to investigate.

14 replies so far

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2224 days

#1 posted 09-24-2012 07:50 PM

Depends on what you want. Do you want the bandsaw motor to be the exact model for what you have or just get it going again. 1963 motor could be fixed again, cost I have no idea. It would have to be taken apart to determine how extensive the repair would be, new windings,bushings,bearings. Personally I be replacing the bearings and have it gone through by a professional. Delta parts are still plentiful. OWWM site is very good for restorers of the good old iron out there.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View MrUnix's profile


6761 posts in 2221 days

#2 posted 09-24-2012 08:29 PM

Ouch.. it is usually fatal when you let the magic smoke out of a motor. Couple of questions.. what kind of motor is it and do you have any pictures of the ‘guts’? I doubt it has brushes since it is an external motor with a belt drive, but you never know. The absence of a capacitor typically indicates that it has a centrifugal start switch internally, which would not cause the problem you describe. When you say you couldn’t turn the wheels, can you turn the motor by hand freely (with the belt removed?). That would at least indicate if it is the bandsaw or the motor that is stuck. If it’s the motor, then chances are your bearings/bushings are toast.. which would in a lot of cases allow the rotor to make contact with the windings and cause a short. If it has bearings, they are pretty easy to replace.. if it has bronze bushings with felt packing around them, they are a PITA. If the motor turns freely, then an ohm meter can help determine if the windings are shorted. Give us some more info and maybe some pictures..


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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3983 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 08:41 PM

Rebuild the motor. Way less expensive than a new one.
If it smoked, the motor is toast. No brushes in that motor, brushes won’t cause the smoke, nor will bearings.
Been there-done that with my compressor.


View skyboy_psu's profile


21 posts in 2093 days

#4 posted 09-24-2012 08:52 PM

Here are some pictures of the motor: 1/2hp 1750 rpm, single voltage, single phase, made by Marathon Electric Corp. No picutres of the inside, yet.
Bill, if there are no brushes, then what is there to rebuild? Where can I find parts, and for someone who is basically a shaved monkey when it comes to electrical work, how difficult is this going to be?

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2196 days

#5 posted 09-24-2012 09:03 PM

Hey skyboy! I saw you at with the same problem. Hope you can find someone here who can help you with your problem. Welcome to the forum!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View stevemorris's profile


46 posts in 2328 days

#6 posted 09-25-2012 05:46 PM

thats too bad, those old marathon motors were great motors

chances are pretty good the start switch stuck in the closed position and the windings are toast. sorry to say its garbage unless you know how to rewind a motor

old motors are cheap and plentiful, ive got a half dozen of various types in the pile under my bench

-- My Shop is a Beaver Lodge

View skyboy_psu's profile


21 posts in 2093 days

#7 posted 09-25-2012 06:04 PM

I’m going to blow out the motor tonight. I heard as a possible diagnosis that dust might have shorted the connections and caused the fire. If not, I’m in the market for a new motor. As you said, these motors are pentiful. Very heavy so that might preclude a deal for getting one shipped. How far is that pile under your workbench from Maryland?

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2537 days

#8 posted 09-25-2012 06:34 PM

White smoke usually means the windings went or an internal capacitor blew. This would almost certainly be a Capacitor start/Induction run motor, and there may actually be a capacitor inside the motor, or possibly in a junction box nearby, or in the connection box on the motor. In any case, I don’t know if I would plug it in without first checking to see if the windings have shorted to ground. Get an ohmmeter, put one probe to the casing metal, one to the leads, if you get anything in the way of a reading, your windings are touching the case and it should not be plugged in for any reason.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2707 days

#9 posted 09-25-2012 06:41 PM

pro time I think…1963 was a long time ago! I’d find a shop that can rebuild but also sells…honest shops will tell you the truth (yeah I know…won’t be Ebay pricing but what’s a few extra $$$)?

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2196 days

#10 posted 09-25-2012 07:06 PM

Good luck on your tool restoration, skyboy!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2096 days

#11 posted 09-25-2012 09:22 PM

try craigslist. sometimes you can buy a whole machine take out the motor and pitch the rest. Northern tool has motors for cheap. try harbor freight.

View skyboy_psu's profile


21 posts in 2093 days

#12 posted 09-26-2012 05:56 PM

Hello everyone,

Thanks for the suggestions. I took this into a local electric motor shop. They blew out the dust and said that it probably just shorted out because the contacts in the switch had been clogged with sawdust. It lives again! This is great news, becuase I only paid $50 for this little saw, and a new electric motor was going to be at least $150 (I would have been in the market for a new saw with more features instead).
I’m confident that it isn’t going to catch fire again on me….I’m going to build a shelf over the motor to keep some dust off of it, and I’m going to vacuum it out at the end of every day with the shop vac.

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2196 days

#13 posted 09-26-2012 06:30 PM

Wow! Congrats to your restored motor, skyboy! You have a lesson to learn. Always take care of the motor, buddy.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2198 days

#14 posted 09-26-2012 08:40 PM

Good thing, you got it going again. There is nothing like the old band saws.

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