Delta 14" band saw motor upgrade? Testing the existing 1 h.p. motor?

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Forum topic by ElChe posted 11-10-2014 01:35 AM 2276 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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630 posts in 755 days

11-10-2014 01:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: delta band saw bandsaw motor upgrade tefc baldor marathon emerson weg lesson

I am convinced my 14” Delta 28-280 platinum edition closed base 1 HP open drip proof motor doesn’t really put out 1 HP and I’m thinking of upgrading it to a 1.5 tefc motor. I think existing motor is an Emerson motor. It is a nema 56 frame and I think CCW rotation running at 1725 rpm. It does not have a riser as I don’t resaw more than 3-4”. I have 220 in my shop so if I could find a 2 HP motor that fit would also be an option. The motor bogs down with a sharp blade and it is well tuned with coplanar wheels that aren’t eccentric and are well balanced. Thrust bearings are fine. Cool blocks. Well tensioned blade. I have also blown out dust from motor and not a whole lot of dust gets into the motor enclosure. Motor is clean. Cogged belt is in nice shape. So my first suspicion is that it is the Emerson motor.

Is there a way to test the motor under load to see if my suspicions are correct? I’ve read this particular motor really sucks and not worth rewinding. A 1 HP motor shouldn’t bog down on a 4” resaw with a sharp blade (1/2” 3 tpi bimetal)?

Has anyone sourced a 1.5 HP tefc nema 56 or 56h motor 1725 rpm that will bolt on from lesson baldor weg marathon or similar manufacturer? There isn’t a whole lot of space in the enclosed base and I don’t want to redrill the base to move the frame over to make more space. I also don’t want to modify the base to create more space. I’m looking for a motor that will bolt in without much fuss. :). I suppose an open drip proof would also work bit I’d prefer a tefc. Thanks. Tom

PS. I’m not interested in getting a new band saw. :) In retrospect I wish I would have bit the bullet and bought a MM16 or a Laguna but for what I do other than resawing the Delta does what I need it to do.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

12 replies so far

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2390 days

#1 posted 11-10-2014 04:01 AM

Here is a link to the motor pictured.
Cost is $159 without coupons.
You can get 20% off coupon in any magazine with Harbor Freight ad in it.
This is just drip proof but should work in your enclosed base.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


4028 posts in 1618 days

#2 posted 11-10-2014 04:38 AM

Something definately ain’t right.. I only have a 1/2 HP motor on my 14” Delta (no riser) and have never had it bog down on me, even when resawing live oak, which is some pretty tough stuff. I think the only way you can verify your motor output would be to take it to someone with the proper load testing equipment. You could try measuring the current draw while running, but I am not sure that would tell you much unless it’s wildly off from it’s rated specs.

Swapping it out with another would be a good test.. just make sure the shaft size is the same diameter or you will also be searching for a new pulley.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View TheFridge's profile


5676 posts in 905 days

#3 posted 11-10-2014 04:53 AM

Check amperage under no load and look up typical hp for that amperage.

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

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 755 days

#4 posted 11-10-2014 03:38 PM

Thanks folks. I’m going to pull it and take it to my local shop to have it tested. Crank49, that is a tasty price on that Smith Jones 2 hp. Query, it says compressor duty on the website. The existing motor says continuous duty. Is a compressor duty motor significantly different from a continuous duty in a weekend warrior application? I don’t run a bsndsaw all day but if I’m motivated I will run it a couple hours doing contour work or resawing book matched boards. Thx. Tom

PS. I also use my bandsaw as a cigar cutter and my torch as a cigar lighter. :)

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1444 days

#5 posted 11-11-2014 01:41 AM

Supposedly compressor duty motors are able to start under load (typically, when the pressure in the tank reaches a certain level (of depletion), the motor kicks in to re pressurize. I know a number of motors specifically say they are NOT for compressor duty.

On the other hand, a compressor doesn’t typically run constantly. Not sure whether this helps.

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

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 755 days

#6 posted 11-11-2014 07:28 AM

I have no clue if compressor duty is the same as intermittent duty. I sort of understand what intermittent duty means. Like a motor that only runs 6 minutes every hour. I.e., it never reaches thermal equilibrium like a continuous duty motor and it cools down when not running. I’ve heard of continuous duty compressors so I’m confused. Is compressor duty the same as intermittent duty? Again no clue. So I think I’m going to go with a TEFC continuous duty despite the higher price. There’s a decent farm duty (again no clue what that means other than designed to work in dirty environment no offense to farmers) Lesson 1.5 hp on Amazon for $230. The dimensions appear to be about the same as the existing 1 HP motor. It is reversible and correct rpm. It is red but I do have some nice grey paint in a can. :). Link is below:

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1933 days

#7 posted 11-11-2014 12:38 PM

+1 with Brad. My Porter Cable only has a 3/4HP, and I’ll break a blade or even one time a urethane tire if I get heavily bogged down. I also don’t run a riser.
Could the belt be slipping, or possibly a problem with the pully/shaft mount?

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 755 days

#8 posted 11-11-2014 04:14 PM

Tennessee, I’m intrigued. The belt is in good shape. Is there some telltale sign of belt slipping? Like looking at belt while a buddy resaws a board? Same question for the pulley / shaft mount? Motor sounds like it is bogging down when I resaw 3” walnut for example.

To our Veteran members, thank you for your service and your sacrifices to protect the greatest Nation on Earth. :)

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View dbw's profile


143 posts in 1055 days

#9 posted 11-25-2014 05:03 AM

here are two links which may help:

I’m +1 with MrUnix. Swapping motors is an excellent idea. By the way buying a motor at Harbor Freight is like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. I’m just saying…

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View maduro's profile


1 post in 641 days

#10 posted 01-20-2015 07:27 PM

Hey guys, I too am looking to upgrade my motor on my Delta 14” Bandsaw 52-963….. the review on Amazon for the little red motor looks promising. Anybody have any photos you can post before I too go down that path? Better to learn from experience than by my own mistakes…..


-- Nothing better than a Montecristo for breakfast!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2341 days

#11 posted 01-20-2015 11:57 PM

I would look into a new carbide re-saw blade. My sharp re-saw blade will cut 12” oak without bogging down if I feed the wood at a reasonable rate. I used to question my 1 HP motor also until I got a better blade.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 755 days

#12 posted 01-21-2015 12:01 AM

Maduro, I gave up on my quest and sold my delta band saw although the leeson farm duty motor on eBay specs seemed to be just about right when I compared its dimensions to my band saw cabinet. 1725 rpm with a Nema 56 mount and tefc. Good luck.

PS. The capacitor on my band saw was failing so I replaced that and the motor worked fine. Go figure.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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