Table saw squeaks (R4512)

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Forum topic by squarehippo posted 02-11-2013 08:48 AM 3348 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2032 days

02-11-2013 08:48 AM

I did an amazingly stupid thing the other night. While trying to raise the blade through a sheet of 3/4 plywood for a sled I was making, I ran into a little resistance. So I clamped it down tight and tried again using a bit more muscle but without success. (I had just been reading about the difference between high-end blades and what I’ve been using, so I just assumed I had a dull blade. Which is obviously no excuse for what I did.) As many of you have probably figured out already, I had forgotten to remove the riving knife. Now, right when I turn on the saw I get a squeal. It lasts a few seconds with a 10” blade, is just a chirp with a 7 1/4” blade, and is completely squeak free with no blade on the arbor.

Everything I’ve read about squeals mentions bearings as the likely problem. I just want to make sure that’s where I should start. It sounds like a relatively simple process to replace them. I guess I will be buying a dial gauge soon to measure arbor runout, though I really doubt I applied enough force to do that kind of damage. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

9 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile


2764 posts in 2049 days

#1 posted 02-11-2013 08:54 AM

The squeaks and squeals are a mystery to me, but if it makes you feel any better (it probably won’t), I have now, not just once, but twice, tried to tilt my blade to 45 deg. with my 90 deg. ZCI in place. The insert didn’t fare so well, and I had to sort of glue it back together, and it’s kind of ugly.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2489 days

#2 posted 02-11-2013 12:23 PM

I did something similar one time, tried to raise the blade into a piece of plywood without taking of the riving knife. But luckily did not force it. Glad to hear that I probably saved the bearings from certain damage

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3419 days

#3 posted 02-11-2013 01:11 PM

I will make a guess based on my long experience with machinery.
Before I replaced any bearings I would have a look at the drive belt. If it slipped when the saw was stalled the belt may have become glazed. One of the tricks they use in cars that have squealing belts is to put a little brake fluid on the belts. It softens the rubber just a little and keeps it from slipping.
If it looks shiny and the brake fluid doesn’t work replacing the belt is the next logical thing to do, and its much cheaper than a bearing replacement.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View johnstoneb's profile


2938 posts in 2197 days

#4 posted 02-11-2013 01:45 PM

If it is a chirp at start up then goes away it is not bearings but probably belt slipping. Tighten the belt if that doesn’t stop it replace the belt. Belt dressing was made for flat belts and all it does on other types of belts is create a mess and shorten the sife of a belt. barke fluid on a belt will take the paint off any thing it is flung against when you turn the tool on.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2465 days

#5 posted 02-11-2013 02:33 PM

I’m siding with the belt theory myself, it seems more likely to make a chirping noise when it slips. I’ve had a table saw do that to me because the tension was not correct (a little loose). Some elbow greese fixed that. As others have mentioned, there may be a problem with the belt itself now if it slipped a lot when you tried to force the blade. The brake fluid seems like an easy enough troubleshooting step and if that doesn’t work, replacing the belt is definitely far easier to try as a troubleshooting step than replacing the bearings.

View squarehippo's profile


16 posts in 2032 days

#6 posted 02-11-2013 03:49 PM

What a great resource. It was indeed the belt! Of course, I took the whole saw apart, preparing to replace the bearings before I even noticed that the belt was loose. (I’m going to think of yesterday as a comprehensive maintenance day.) Thanks to all!

View peter_horn's profile


4 posts in 1001 days

#7 posted 09-23-2015 12:10 PM

Same saw. Same squeal. Tightened belt. Noise went away. Thanks guys!

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1423 days

#8 posted 09-23-2015 06:53 PM

Can a glazed belt be fixed by sanding off the glaze with fine sandpaper?

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3419 days

#9 posted 09-23-2015 07:48 PM

When I was working in the automotive trade we used to put a little brake fluid on glazed belts. It softens the rubber.

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

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