Table saw tuning and repair on a budgetPretty much the most important machine in a woodworking shop is the table saw. But seeing that I'd just bought my house the year before setting up a workshop in my garage, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a good table saw.
I found an old Rockwell Beaver contractor style table saw at a yard sale, for $135 back in 1996. It had some dried paint stuck to the rusty table, a dull 7 1/4" blade mounted, and somewhat neglected looking, but with some potential. I bought the saw as a stop-gap measure to keep me from spending $2000 on a proper cabinet maker's table saw.
Even with a good blade in it, I could tell there was a bit of blade wobble. I disassembled it and took the arbour out to see what I could do with it, but couldn't even get one of the bearings off it. Calling a local electrical repair business, I was surprised that I was still able to buy a new arbour for it, for a cost of $50. It came with one of the bearings already attached - I guess it wasn't meant to come off. Mounting the new arbour, I found the pulley had a bit of slack, but shimming it up with the aluminium from a pop can, I got it on perfectly centered. It cut nice and smooth after that. I have no pictures of the shaft replacement part of the process, but the other improvements I have made are documented on this page. I have however since then come up with another procedure for fixing a saw arbour.
I also rewired the 1.5 hp motor for 240 volt operation, which gave it a little more 'oomph' because the voltage drops less when its under load.
This saw was my only table saw from 1996 to 2007. Not because I didn't want to spend the money, but because this cheap old saw, tuned up right, was good enough for my needs.
When I moved the saw to my new workshop in 2017, I took the opportunity to make a video about it:
Later in 2007 I moved it to the basement of the house to set up a
shop in the basement there.
Worn out height adjustment repair
Sliding table substitute
Table saw table extension
Dust extraction system
Zero clearance table saw throat insert
Tenon cutting jig
Mobile table saw base
See also my articles about my Delta hybrid table saw