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Steel City 1.5 Hp, Model 35990C vs 1 Hp Craftsman Contractor Table Saw

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Forum topic by JohnH2889 posted 05-10-2013 06:57 PM 1685 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JohnH2889

14 posts in 568 days


05-10-2013 06:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question

I hope somebody can provide advice (maybe even good advice). I recently replaced my older Craftmans contractor table saw with a Steel City model 35990C. As I set it up, I aligned the blade w/in .002 parallel to the left miter slot, and also aligned the factory fence. A couple of sample cuts indicated the alignments were A-OK. The problem I’m having is that the SC saw seems to lack the power of the old Craftmans saw, even though the SC is rated at 1.5 hp while the old Craftmans was rated only 1 hp. Also, when I turn the SC off, I get a growl just before the blade comes to a complete stop. While cutting 3/4” birch, the SC stalled twice, whereas the Craftmans would have sliced through w/no problem. In addition, I let the tool do the work and don’t push the mat’l with excessive force. Could it be belt tension?...need for a splitter?...or maybe I just got a bad motor?

-- John H, Milwaukee, WI


16 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5553 posts in 2094 days


#1 posted 05-10-2013 07:22 PM

There are several factors that contribute to perceived cutting power….belt, pulleys, belt tension, pulley alignment, blade type, blade sharpness, blade width, blade height, motor power, fence and splitter alignment, power source, wood density, wood flatness, wood moisture content, wood thickness, insert flatness, etc. How easily does the blade and arbor spin free hand? What blade are you using? Is it sharp and clean? I’d definitely use the riving knife that came with the saw, and be sure it’s aligned well. Double check everything.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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JohnH2889

14 posts in 568 days


#2 posted 05-10-2013 10:14 PM

knotscott, Answering your questions:
Is it sharp and clean?...It’s the new blade that came w/the saw

How easily does the blade and arbor spin free hand?...Very freely

Lastly, I contacted Steel City. the reply is:
1) The growl is the capacitor discharging and is normal…
2) ...blade stall could be due to lack of tension on the drive belt…

And, yes, I’ll install the riving knife…

-- John H, Milwaukee, WI

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kdc68

2010 posts in 995 days


#3 posted 05-10-2013 10:19 PM

John....my $0.02…. a dull “good” blade is better than what comes with a saw at purchase….they are junk…...try another blade…An inexpensive Diablo blade at the Home Depot will be better than the blade you have 10 fold… A Diablo blade kefr is .098…Before purchasing any blade, know the riving knife thickness. As long as the kerf is wider than the knife you are good to go

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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knotscott

5553 posts in 2094 days


#4 posted 05-10-2013 10:28 PM

I’m not familiar with the blade that comes on the 35990C, but it’s a variable in the equation whether it’s a good blade or not. For comparison, it’d be good to use the same blade that was on your old saw, while cutting some material you’ve also cut on your old saw….then it’s at least close to an apples to apples comparison.

FWIW, the Steel City/Orion Craftsman hybrids used to come with a decent 40T Leitz blade. 40T can be too many teeth if you’re trying to rip something like 2” hard maple. How thick is the material you’ve tried.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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JohnH2889

14 posts in 568 days


#5 posted 05-10-2013 10:32 PM

kdc98, I have a Diablo and a Ridgid blade in 50 teeth combo blade…and your right about blades delivered with new table saws.. However, in all fairness to Steel City, the supplied blade does give very clean cuts. I am in contact w/a Steel City rep. So far he suggests checking the belt tension.

-- John H, Milwaukee, WI

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kdc68

2010 posts in 995 days


#6 posted 05-10-2013 10:44 PM

John...belt tension would be a possibility…despite the issues you are having…congrats on your new saw….

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

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bondogaposis

2682 posts in 1069 days


#7 posted 05-10-2013 11:30 PM

Try comparing the amperage ratings from each motor. That will tell you more than the HP ratings, as manufacturers have gotten very creative calculating that in recent years.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1064 posts in 1004 days


#8 posted 05-11-2013 12:06 AM

I have the 35990G.

If the growl you hear is just sound, then… ok… I was a millright and don’t ever recall HEARING a capacitor discharge, but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention.

IF, on the other hand, that growl is accompanied by a shudder (vibration) then you want to check the alignment of your motor pulley and arbor pulley. If they’re out of alignment you normally will get a shudder on start and stop.

As far as power, I’ve had no problem ripping 6/4 walnut, 4/4 maple… not sure why you’d experience a feeling that you lack power. Blade tension is a thought, of course.

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JohnH2889

14 posts in 568 days


#9 posted 05-11-2013 11:36 AM

...I really appreciate all the responses from everyone to my original forum entry about my new Steel City 35990C. I will check belt tension and pulley alignment. Also, I submitted a message to Steel City. I received a prompt reply. Hopefully the saw will perform to expectations.

-- John H, Milwaukee, WI

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JohnH2889

14 posts in 568 days


#10 posted 05-17-2013 09:41 AM

I think I found what was ailing my Steel City 35990C…I say ‘think’ because time will tell if I still have bugs. So, what did I find? The motor-to-blade belt pulleys were out of alignment by approx. 1/4”. The flat, ribbed drive belt was overhanging the pulleys. I also found the (2) set screws on the motor pulley were not snug, although the pulley is also securely keyed. I tossed the supplied blade (even the SC rep said it was crappy blade) and replaced it with a new Avanti Pro 40 tooth. I also made sure the belt was adequately tensioned. Before the fix, the motor stopped twice while cutting 3/4” birch. After the fix, I made (2) rip cuts in red oak. The saw didn’t blink an eye. I waxed the top with Johnsons paste, made a cover and lined it (to include the edges) with Zerust. Next steps…zero clearance inserts and panel cutters…but the Mrs. wants me to clean the house first.

-- John H, Milwaukee, WI

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knotscott

5553 posts in 2094 days


#11 posted 05-17-2013 09:46 AM

Ouch! The Avanti and Avanti Pro blades aren’t any better,and could be worse (they’re no longer associated with Freud, and are now very poor Chinese knockoffs)....probably not what you were hoping to hear. I’d return it and get a Freud Diablo, Irwin Marples, CMT ITK Plus, or DeWalt Precision Trim blade of the same or similar tooth count. Most run in the $27 to $40 range…. fairly affordable. For more money, Infinity, Forrest, Ridge Carbide, Tenryu, Freud Premier are all excellent.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1064 posts in 1004 days


#12 posted 05-17-2013 12:08 PM

I make my zero clearance inserts with “T”-nuts in the corners that line up with the magnets that hold the insert in place. Then I run some small allen set screws down into them and I can adjust the inserts for perfect level easily. Yeah it takes a couple minutes more to make an insert this way, but all it costs me is a couple T-nuts. I can reuse the set screws. :)

Note: T-nuts on the BOTTOM of the insert

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JohnH2889

14 posts in 568 days


#13 posted 05-17-2013 02:53 PM

First off, I think you Lumberjock guys are great. I’m glad to met you all & wish I could meet you in person…the Avanti blade…it seems to work A-OK. I can’t return it because I already used it….Zero clearance inserts…I haven’t investigated yet, but my initial plan is the measure the thickness of the factory supplied insert. If thick enough, I’d like to use flat head machine screws on the underside to get them level. I plan for (2) inserts…(1) at 90 degrees, and (1) at 45 degrees…then panel cutters again, (1) at 90 degrees and (1) at 45 degrees. Lastly, Ilearned quite a bit about setting up a Steel City 35990C. When I have time, I want to place a new message on the forum concerning what I learned…

-- John H, Milwaukee, WI

View GT350's profile

GT350

273 posts in 700 days


#14 posted 05-18-2013 03:18 PM

If your old Craftsman is like mine was it is a 14 amp motor that say’s 1 hp. I know my new 1.75 hp Sawstop pulls 14 amps also which is the same hp. Like others have said the manufacturers play with the hp numbers now. Your 1.5 hp saw very well could be a little less power than your old Craftsman.
Mike

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JohnH2889

14 posts in 568 days


#15 posted 05-18-2013 03:52 PM

GT350…Per the motor label, my 1-1/2 hp Steel City 35990C draws 13 amps. I don’t know about my old Craftsman. I did make some test cuts on my SC with red oak and the saw cut A-OK (but I had a new Avanti Pro 40 tooth blade in it).

-- John H, Milwaukee, WI

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