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(I asked Should I sharpen or replace my table saw blade? and got a good answer. (Paraphrased: sharpen $100 blades, replace $30 blades.) But, as it turns out, I was suffering from superstitious behavior, attributing the problem to the last thing I did rather than finding the root cause. A brand new blade bogs down ripping 1/2" poplar so the blade is not the problem.)

I have a Craftsman table saw (model 113.298031) which recently started bogging down and stalling while ripping soft woods (1x4 pine, 1/2x3 poplar). I cleaned the blade to no effect and put in a brand new combination blade also to no effect. I now wonder if the belt or motor are to blame.

The motor mount allows the motor to be pivoted to tighten the belt but is at the furthest point from the blade so there is no room to tighten it by adjusting the position. The belt is a series of links that look like leather. It seems I could take the belt off, remove a link, and put it back together as a quick and cheap way to prove if the belt is the problem. If that works, does it mean the belt is so stretched out (and weakened) that it needs to be replaced or does that solve my problem?

  • does the motor stall or does the belt slip? – ratchet freak May 2 '18 at 13:44
  • Hard to tell while standing in front of the table. – Chris Nelson May 2 '18 at 13:46
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    There is a definite sound difference between the two. If the motor stalls the frequency gets a lot lower as it tries to regain speed. When the belt slips the sound is much higher pitched. – ratchet freak May 2 '18 at 13:49
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If there is no more room for adjustment of the motor to tighten the belt then the belt is too long. If you have a link belt remove a link. This can give the impression of the saw bogging down when actually the belt is just slipping.

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    One link out and it cuts like new. The motor is still nearly at the farthest position from the blade so I may take another link out later. Thanks. – Chris Nelson May 2 '18 at 17:29
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Good idea to check the belt....best may be to buy a new one.

Also make sure that the fence is 100% parallel with the blade. If it is off it can cause the ripped piece to bind between the fence and the blade and cause the problem that you are seeing. If not parallel the fence and/or blade+motor will need adjustment.

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