I bought a Steel City table saw....

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Forum topic by ccaninus posted 06-08-2014 02:36 PM 2975 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2405 days

06-08-2014 02:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: steel city tablesaw

I really hope I didn’t jump the gun on this one. I had been wanting a cabinet saw so bad I could taste it. I went ahead and made the plunge and bought a Steel City 35912 model. This is a legacy machine but still looks great. The gentleman I bought it from turned it on and made some cuts. I looked over everything and it was in great shape. He said it was wired for 110 with a thirty amp plug (all interfaces running horizontally). He also said the paddle switch was changed out to accommodate the lower voltage. I will have to install the appropriate breaker and outlet.

Hind sight is always 20/20. When I got home, I looked through the manual and found that the voltage on this saw is supposed to be a dedicated 240v. I did get inside for a closer inspection of the motor and removed the wiring panel. The “quick disconnect” inside the cabinet is 110 and is wired to only one of the hot leads coming from the motor. The paddle switch is connected to the quick disconnect. I guess my question on this would be:

Did I jump the gun on this or do I need to rewire for 240v? I don’t want to run the saw and take the risk of damaging the motor. I have rewiring to do in the shop for a thirty amp plug anyway, so it wouldn’t be much more just to bump it up to 240. I would have to change out the paddle switch and quick disconnect, but hopefully that shouldn’t be to hard to find with a call to Steel City. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help out with this.

40 replies so far

View jonah's profile


1657 posts in 3262 days

#1 posted 06-08-2014 06:31 PM

If the motor is designed for 240V, you should run it at 240V. Period.

You won’t need a 30amp breaker or 10AWG wire for it. 12AWG and a 20amp breaker, receptacle, and cord will be fine.

I’m not exactly sure what exactly the previous owner (sounds like not a bright guy) did with the switch, but I’d replace it just to be safe. Did he give you the factory switch with the saw?

View TheFridge's profile


9249 posts in 1450 days

#2 posted 06-08-2014 06:48 PM

A 20A breaker, cord end, and #12 wire can handle a motor or load up to 16A. So if your motor draws 16A or less running on 120 or 240 that’s that way you should go. Running a 30A ckt is overkill. Any 20A double pole single throw switch will work.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View ccaninus's profile


12 posts in 2405 days

#3 posted 06-08-2014 09:18 PM

First of all, thanks very much for your answers. I really appreciate it. You guys rock. The factory switch was removed. The switch that’s in it is for 110. I can see the unused magnetic relay safety shutoff still in the bottom of the housing(pretty sure that’s what it is. I’m not sure how many amps the motor draws so a call to SC will be in order. I have heard that the terms 220v and 240v are used somewhat interchangeably…I’m hoping this is the case. I will take a look at the motor and re-post to see if I can come up with the correct amperage the motor draws….sorry I didn’t supply this in advance.

I’m in agreement that the motor should be running at 240v if it came from the factory that way with instructions saying its meant to stay that way. I’m still pretty new to the world of woodworking…to give you an idea…I’m still struggling with getting picture frames to reasonably meet up. As said before…I’ll re-post with the motor amps.
Thanks again.

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12 posts in 2405 days

#4 posted 06-08-2014 09:59 PM

snapped a couple pics with the phone…

The wiring photo is probably no help at all. What I did notice was that while end cap was on the motor, it looked like there was a gap in it on the side between the actual motor and the cap that has the motor specs on it.

View jonah's profile


1657 posts in 3262 days

#5 posted 06-08-2014 11:21 PM

You need 12-2 wire feeding some variety of NEMA 240V receptacle. You will need a new power cord for the table saw. Get whatever matches the receptacle.

Any of the ones under 20A will do, but some are more common than others. I’d recommend L5-20R or L6-20R because twist lock is just better, though honestly a normal 5-20R or 6-20R would be fine as well. Just get whatever matches the power cord you can easily find.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3549 days

#6 posted 06-08-2014 11:27 PM

Run all equipment as per instruction manual.The guy who sold it did explain that it had been altered and maybe alarm bells should have gone off, But I would revert it back to original unless you can be convinced it is legal and absolutely safe. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View runswithscissors's profile


2724 posts in 1989 days

#7 posted 06-09-2014 08:03 AM

Yes, 220 and 240 are the same for all practical purposes. I’ll bet most of the people on this forum can’t tell you whether they have 110, 115, or 120; and at the higher voltages, whether they have 220, 230, or 240. I’ve heard that the power company kind of aims at an average, and at any time your actual power can be higher or lower than the average.

You electrician guys can correct me if I’m wrong on this, and I will be duly chastened.

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

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3339 days

#8 posted 06-09-2014 09:21 AM

That’s a 3hp motor, and is best run on 240v. The good news is that you should have all the motor power you’ll ever need.

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

View nicksmurf111's profile


367 posts in 1414 days

#9 posted 06-09-2014 04:03 PM

I hope you are able to get the 220 line where you need it. I have an air compressor and two woodworking machines now that are all 220. Thankfully, I’m in the same unfinished room as the breaker pannel and can easily run a couple circuits. Those 20amp nema recepticals are easy to deal with. Get rid of the 30 amp plug, you don’t need it. Do use 12 gauge sjoow cord on the machine to minimize and voltage drop. Let us know how it goes.

-- Nicholas

View WhyMe's profile


1007 posts in 1525 days

#10 posted 06-09-2014 05:20 PM

Seeing how the motor is not marked as a 120V/240V I’m curious as to how it was wired to run on 120V without burning up the windings in the motor. The amp draw would have doubled at 120V causing a lot of heat in the motor.

View nicksmurf111's profile


367 posts in 1414 days

#11 posted 06-09-2014 05:42 PM

Sounds like the guy he got it from may have been ignorant. After reading that twice, maybe the motor was 120v compatible, but not marked as such (probably do to the underwriters).

Just the other day, I was messing with an air compressor motor I got from someone off Craigslist. He told me he wired it for 220v but it kept tripping breakers so he gave up. I decided to reuse the plug without looking twice at it. I cut the wire, tinned the leads (thin strands don’t tighten down well) and tightened down the lugs. It was a 20a 120v plug, oriented the other direction. I went to plug it in my 220v outlet and realized it didn’t fit. No wonder why I got an entire 2hp compressor for $20. 220v has gotten me a couple good deals in Craigslist.

-- Nicholas

View MrRon's profile


4710 posts in 3207 days

#12 posted 06-09-2014 07:14 PM

If the motor is a 3 hp motor, it MUST run on 220V. You cannot run it on 110V. If the guy you bought it from rewired it to operate on 110V, he may have burned the motor out. 3hp motors are not voltage convertible. If you haven’t run the saw yet, I would recommend getting your money back. There is a good chance the motor may be burned out.

View nicksmurf111's profile


367 posts in 1414 days

#13 posted 06-09-2014 07:17 PM

Some 3hp motors are convertable, but they are less common. Obviouly, you wouldn’t want to convert one.

Btw, use the 6-20 receptical and plug, or the twistlock equivalent. 5-20 is for 120v. That’s what I was referring to earlier.

-- Nicholas

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2137 days

#14 posted 06-09-2014 09:10 PM

Convert it to 220V even if it was designed for 110V .

-- "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 ccaninus's profile


12 posts in 2405 days

#15 posted 06-09-2014 09:59 PM

You’ve all been awesome. Thanks so much. The only paranoia I suffer from now is the actual cap that is on the end of the motor. As you can see in the photograph that has the motor information on it, the end cap for the motor seems too big for the motor. I feel like an idiot. I was like a kid in a toy store and now I’ll have to find out if that is in fact the original motor. This may be why its wired for 110. You all have been patient and taught me more than you know just in the answers above. I will see how it goes in the next week or so and keep everyone posted. Worst case scenario, I might have to replace the motor. If it is not the original motor, and is something less than what is advertised on the specs, I don’t want to burn it up. Bottom line is I just want to be able to make accurate cuts safely.

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