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Thread: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

  1. #1

    Default Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Hi folks,

    I recently purchased a Steel City 3HP 10" table saw, model #35905 (http://steelcitytoolworks.com/produc...=12&tool=35905).

    The vibration is enough to shake my 4' level off of the table. I have verified a few things:

    1) The table is quite level.
    2) The blade is very straight <0.0005" (Forrest Woodworker II).
    3) All of the hardware is tight.

    I purchased four anti-vibration leveling pads from (http://www.vibrationmounts.com/Store...=Products3.htm) but that doesn't seem to have help much.

    Also, I am having a trouble getting the belt pulleys aligned. The arbor pulley isn't as thick as the motor pulley (height-wise).

    The manual states a straight-edge should be used to align the pulleys, but this is impossible for two reasons. One, when the pulley grooves are aligned the pulley heads are offset because of the larger head on the motor pulley. Secondly, the motor mounts don't allow for a ~1/4" offset to get the heads aligned.

    Where is a good source to purchase belts online? I had read that rubber belts can contribute to vibration fs it has remembered its shape.

    Is there a good place to purchase aftermarket pulleys so I can use the linked style belts and make to it easier to align them? The current pulley system is a poly v-belt.

    Thanks,
    graham

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Waterloo, ON
    Posts
    1,231

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Something sounds completely wrong here. I suggest calling Steel City and getting their opinion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ottawa
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    3,116

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Something sounds completely wrong here. I suggest calling Steel City and getting their opinion.
    I agree. What you are descibing is completely off the wall. There is a serious issue with the saw...don't use it to cut wood until it is fixed. See if you can check the arbour of the motor for runout or bent shaft or something.
    Last edited by OttawaP; 03-27-2009 at 01:46 PM.
    Paul

  4. #4

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Thanks.

    I haven't cut anything with it yet and won't. I am getting really concerned, overall, because there a few other problems with the saw, that I have since fixed.

    I noticed that the arbor jam nut on the pulley side wasn't completed seated on the pulley. When I took it off it wobbled off, like it was the wrong thread size.

    Sure enough the jam nut was a fine pitch M16, that was forced on the arbor bolt. The arbor shaft is a fine pitch 5/8 thread (verified by a thread gauge). I replaced the nut with a grade 8 nut. Fortunately, none of the threads on the arbor bolt were wrecked.

    There have been a couple of other things as well. The miter slot to saw was misaligned by about ~0.003". It's now under 0.0005".

    The riving knife was also not square to the blade. It's about 1/8" from top to bottom. It was also not aligned to to left side of the blade.

    Speaking of that, which side of the blade should the riving knife be aligned with? The SC manual says the left side, and the book I purchased by Paul Anthony says it should be the side facing the fence, which is on the right side of the blade.

    The arbor flange run-out is almost not measurable <0.0005". The arbor radial run-out is about 0.0012". I think that it good, right? What should I expect the axial play to be? (pulling the arbor in and out).

    I called/emailed SC, talked to J. Box, but I am not sure if he took me seriously. He said he was going to send me another jam nut on Wednesday but I still haven't received it. I also sent an email this morning concerning the vibration, riving knife, overall concerns, and etc. But haven't heard back from anyone yet.

    Thanks again,
    graham

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    The thriving metropolis of Ayr, Ontario
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    911

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Graham

    If this saw was purchased new, I would be making noise about returning it to the place of purchase. Definitely not right.
    If a man speaks in the forest, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Hi Graham,

    I've got a similar TS from Steel City. I had some noticeable vibrations from mine but it was because the TS wasn't on a flat surface. I added some of the one-tonne adjustable glides from Lee Valley and it fixed the problem.

    I had a threading issue with the 8" jointer that I bought from them so I contacted the local SCTW rep and he actually came to my place (Montreal) to remedy the situation. Excellent service! Where are you located?

    Also, when the motor powers down, there is a point where the saw will vibrate heavily for a moment. The rep confirmed that this was normal.

    Eddie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    I have the 1.75 version of the saw and didn't have any problems setting it up. The riving knife seemed a bit out and I fiddled to get it in the centre of the blade (hope, that's the right solution). Otherwise, the saw went together flawlessly and passed the nickel test. So I think that you need to call Steel City to figure out what's wrong.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    London ON
    Posts
    2,047

    Default Hey Graham

    I have the SC 35904, otherwise known as the 'saw from Hell". I too have excessive vibration,so much so that the locking nut on the height adjustment wheel will fall off. I think that I have a bad arbor bearing because after shutting down and slowing, it has a distinct ticking sound.I also think that the tensioning spring gizmo is half assed, resulting in annoying belt squeal on startup. I wonder if the spring is not strong enough to supply enough tension to eliminate belt flutter or vibration. I haven't contacted SC yet because I am waiting till I have time to change out the bearing, little busy right now. Last week the retaining nut located on the inside of the saw that locks the height adjustment shaft, loosened and caused the entire arbor assembly to drop the blade to below table height. That was exciting. I know that some people have had great luck with their SC tools but this is my second saw, the first was a total """POS""" that was eventually switched out by the company, and I still have serious doubts about their QC. Personally I will never buy, use or look at another SC product. Period. Get in touch with the sales rep for SC, not the retailer and explain the problem and request that a tech checks out your saw in your shop. This was my first "brand new" table saw and for the money I really expected better.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    I thought one of the big things about SC is their 5yr warranty. So why are you guys with bad product trying to fix/ problem shoot beyond the manual. Just call SC and have it rectified. You may void warranty by messing with things yourself or at least give the company a way out. I would be all over them like flies on shhhh for that kinda vibrations.

    The riveting knife should be set to the side with the fence.

    Grillzy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    California
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    Steve

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Quote Originally Posted by Grillzy View Post
    I thought one of the big things about SC is their 5yr warranty. So why are you guys with bad product trying to fix/ problem shoot beyond the manual. Just call SC and have it rectified. You may void warranty by messing with things yourself or at least give the company a way out. I
    Grillzy
    Absolutely agree - note the comment about giving them cause to deny responsibility... I don't think anything beyond minor ajustments from the manual should be done.

    Contact Steel City Tool Works Canada • P.O. Box 44 • Carlisle, ON, L0R 1H0 • 877-728-6651 or the management of the retailer.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mount Hope Ont.
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    Real Name
    J.P.

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    I have found SCTW to have very poor QC but their service is impeccable. Forget the dealer and go right to the source. They will make it right one way or another.
    I can't believe you guys are doing all that work on a new tool. That's just nuts. Other then basic set up and alignment you shouldn't accept anything substandard.

    Oh Ya, there should be no runout in the arbor shaft at all.
    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    I'm pretty new with woodworking and I think if I had to experience anything close to that I'm hearing from you guys would of turned me right off at the start.

    I purchased a Ridgid TS3660 about 3 weeks ago and have had only one issue. The stock blade that they provide with the saw measures around 0.72 inches in kerf width. The splitter measures ~ 0.88. Spruce cut fine, but 3/4 MDF got stuck on the splitter. An easy fix was just to buy an aftermarket Freud blade that was greater than 0.88 kerf.

    Hope you have better luck and make sure to contact them and demand someone come out and look at your issues!

    bc

  13. #13

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Thanks for all of the responses and suggestions!

    The vibration is "fixed." At least I can balance a nickel on it. The nickel falls during startup, but after that it stays put, even during shutdown.

    I purchased 2x two groove sheaves:
    http://www.maurey.com/pdfs/pdf3.pdf

    And two PowerTwist Belts:
    http://fennerdrives.com/high_perform...twist_home.asp

    The SC deluxe models have a 3 belt system. Two was all that would fit due to the axial length of the pulley side arbor bolt.

    I also picked up a 1/8" brass spacer to replace the 1/4" iron spacer so the jam nut would have more threads to engage.

    I am disappointed how the arbor pulley side bearing is captivated. They used the heads of three screws (partially stripped of course), which is pretty cheesy. I will probably replace that with a low profile bracket that engages the entire surface of the outside edge of the bearing.

    Some material from the underside of the table needs to be removed in order to get back the 1/4" of saw height that was lost. The belt rubs one of the thin gussets when fully raised.

    Another item that was pretty annoying was that the set screw holding motor pulley in place was completely stripped and had to be drilled out. Speaking of cheap screws I also replaced the four set screws on each of the table wings with hardened ones. They were prone to stripping.

    On a positive note. Mr. Box from SC called me and mentioned what I could do to fix the riving knife issue (replace the stock washers with smaller ones), and his method for lining up the pulleys (the ones I took off). He didn't seem interested in addressing the vibration issue.

    I am not, at all, impressed by the SC service. The replacement jam nut has yet to arrive and by now he should have offered to send someone to give my saw a good tune and etc.

    Based on this it's highly unlikely that I will purchase or recommend another SC tool. The quality control is absolutely pathetic, the engineering is good in some places (arbor run-out) yet questionable in other areas (i.e. bearing captivation). If I was Mr. Box I would be knocking heads over there at SC.

    There is a considerable about of motor lurch on startup. It rides up the belt some, but settles down quickly. I am not sure if this is function of the type of belt or the method used to keep the motor in place, basically a spring, which doesn't appear substantial enough for the 3HP motor.

    I ran the saw for about two hours in the 90 and 45 degree angles, and then inspected the nuts, bolts and etc. Everything seems to being staying put. I will probably add some locktite just to be sure.

    It also seems that the cabinet base needs some stiffening. I think the it is flexing some with the leg levers installed, especially on startup. If it was directly on the floor with shims I bet it would be better.

    If there is interest, I will keep this thread update with my progress.

    Maybe I will be able to make some sawdust sometime in the near future.

    The engineer in me can't help but tinker with these things. My professional background is motion control.

    If you see anything that I have done that is clearly wrong please let me know. This is new territory for me.

    Thanks again!
    graham
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    Feb 2006
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    2,931

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Don't think you should have messed with the saw but just let them do their job and they would have made it right at no cost to you.

  15. #15
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    Steve Morris

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    are these types of problems typical with steel city?

    im considering a mortise machine and SC is on the list of posibilities
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont

  16. #16
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Quote Originally Posted by stevem View Post
    are these types of problems typical with steel city?

    im considering a mortise machine and SC is on the list of posibilities
    I have a 14" BS, 1.5HP DC, air cleaner, and 13" planer from SCTW. No problems with any of them.

    Cheers,
    Keith.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Thom View Post
    Don't think you should have messed with the saw but just let them do their job and they would have made it right at no cost to you.
    That would have been great. Mr. Box expressed no interest in sending someone out to do their job. Several phone calls and emails, with photos, expressing concern should have been enough to warrant, at least, a courtesy check to my home.

    Mr. Box was very nice on the phone and I appreciate that he took the time to call me back. It's unlikely that would have happened from another vendor.

    The upgrade cost was minimal (<$100), and the gain in understanding, confidence and experience, with a rather large piece of equipment, was well worth the effort, imho. I place a high value on understanding and knowledge.

    The belts were the most expensive piece ($55). The pulleys were $17 per.

    I am still in the market for a planer, jointer, and dust collector. SC tools is still in the mix but I will be more skeptical and discerning when considering their products.

    I am debating whether or not to cancel the backordered SC air cleaner and order one from another vendor. SC's price-points are hard to match. But the thought of spending another week 'fixing' something in order to get the performance I thought I was paying for is unsettling.

    Kindly,
    graham
    Last edited by grahamreitz; 03-28-2009 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Added more material for clarity

  18. #18
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    Darren Jamieson

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    Sounds like a lotta work to me. I think this is what we get with most tools now becouse no matter what you buy the cheapest bidder is the one who got the job manufacturing the machine in the first place.(I have done no homework with SC machines but can only assume) Most stuff now even with an American or Canadian sticker on it is still made offshore and sent to us with what ever brand name sticker on it.
    Anyway if the saw works for you that is all that is important but the one thing I notice right away is there sure isn't much of that jam nut holding the pulley on.
    Darren in Oshawa

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    832

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    The Jam nut picture is scary, Therer are hardly any threads holding it, not enough in my opinion! if the saw was purchased used that is one thing if it has a 5 year transferable warranty SC should have made it right. There is no way the saw was right from the factory! It looks like a brand new saw, is it ? or did you get a deal on it in "as is " condition? If you purchased it as is, Caveat emptor. Otherwise I'd be truckin it right back to where I bought it and asking for a replacement. By the way who is Mr. Box??? am I missing something?
    Regards
    Pete
    Last edited by Pete in Milton; 03-28-2009 at 04:56 PM.

  20. #20
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    Steve Morris

    Default Re: Excessive Table Saw Vibration

    that nut holding the pulley to the shaft is totally unacceptable period, its dangerous even deadly
    DO NOT use the saw like that

    the service from steel city sounds terrible, i'll be crossing them off my list
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont

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