My 1997 Delta Unisaw 36-815 Refurbishing #5: Re-Assembly Complete with New Bearings / Belts

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Blog entry by Holbs posted 01-25-2016 07:22 AM 2500 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: New bearings & belts arrived today Part 5 of My 1997 Delta Unisaw 36-815 Refurbishing series Part 6: Assembling rails and fence parts »

End result this Sunday evening: success. Everything fits, no parts or screws or washers left over. I screwed up assembly about 7x’s from stupid stuff:
1.) thought the belts had to go on the inside of the arbor pulley
2.) had yoke on backwards
3.) forgot yoke “key”.
4.) had the yoke 1”shaft on but was off 180 degrees since mounting holes are off center.
I am now a professional at take the arbor out (still have yet to do an arbor run out test) and how to take the guts out rather swiftly since I did it so many times. I know every washer, roll pin, nut, bolt on this thing :)
Fired it up and it purrs. Slight vibration so do not think it would pass the nickel test (gotta find out if can correct anything or that’s just the way it is). The 3 new belts, 2×6203 bearings for the arbor, 1×6203 and 1×6205 for the motor shaft work 100%. No more squeaks or friction when I turn the blade height or blade tilting handles like before.
Oooops…belts do NOT go on the inside but rather the outside. More arbor practice!

Everything cleaned off with brushes, WD-40, some light grease here and there.


Trying to remember and figure out how the guts go back in. Drop, turn, rotate, slide forward, and seat. Oh.. maybe the other way around. Grr…

All done (mostly). This picture taken during test run.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

10 comments so far

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3810 days

#1 posted 01-25-2016 01:54 PM

Spiffy clean

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View splintergroup's profile


4645 posts in 2228 days

#2 posted 01-25-2016 03:06 PM

Re-assembly, when you know it’s all down hill from here 8^)

Now is the time when you get to dial in the setup exactly. It’ll stay that way for a lifetime.

Aside from the usual fence, miter, blade alignments, the other two I found critical are
1. Get the 90 deg. and 45 deg. stops set exactly. This saves so much wasted time when changing from bevels to straight cuts.

2. When the blade is tilted, the center of rotation should be right at the table top surface. You might need to shim up the table a tad. This comes in handy for a number of cuts, as well as preserving the usefulness of the fence measurement tape when doing bevels.

There are a gazillion other things to check if you are being paranoid, but seeing that ‘new’ saw looking so pristine, I just couldn’t resist breaking out all the dial indicators and going for it!

View Holbs's profile


2376 posts in 3035 days

#3 posted 01-25-2016 03:20 PM

Yep splinter… this week I will be looking into dialing it all in 100% through various methods. This thing is a beast compared to my dinky Bosch 4100. Like a Ford 350 pickup truck undercarriage as compare to a bumper car.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2492 days

#4 posted 01-25-2016 03:34 PM

I made some of the same mistakes as well bud. By the end of it, I knew how to pull it apart in minutes.

Awesome stuff man. cabinet saws are solid.

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

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3696 days

#5 posted 01-26-2016 01:00 AM

You remain my hero! Your skills/courage to tackle these projects is to be admired. I can relate to the redos: if there’s a way to do it wrong, I’ll do it! Enjoy that great saw, you earned it.

Edit: was the slight vibration before or after you reinstalled the top?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Holbs's profile


2376 posts in 3035 days

#6 posted 01-26-2016 02:32 AM

I think it was MrUnix or TheFridge who posted on my jointer or planer refurbish that pretty soon, I’ll have machines all over the garage at some stage of refurbishing. Makes me wonder… maybe can make a couple extra $$$ picking up wasted rusted near-death machines and rehabbing them. My 8” GeeTech jointer was $50 after all (could sell it for $500+ I bet) and my 15” Jet Planer was $100 (could sell maybe for $1000 or so). I certainly see tons of beaten up 6” jointers on Craigslist. But at same time, I see same jointers labeled as “like new” (but never mind the rusted tables).

GF.. I did not even plug in the saw when I got it home. Didn’t even know if the motor was functional or not. I went on “faith” :) I think with the addition of the cast iron table top and rails, it might dampen the vibration a little bit. It’s not alot of vibration. Certainly better than my Bosch 4100 vibration. I’ll know this coming week. Gotta research how to set up the top (this did not come with any shims) and align the blade and all that. no work on saw tonite (burnt out a little bit). Just got home from grocery shopping. I am just going to consume large quantities of Frosted Flakes and call it a night.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3696 days

#7 posted 01-26-2016 03:43 AM

I too was thinking that big cast top would damp a lot of the vibrations out. If I eat Frosted Flakes will my mechanical abilities improve?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3696 days

#8 posted 01-26-2016 04:04 AM Got your next project picked out yet? This looks right up your alley :)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Holbs's profile


2376 posts in 3035 days

#9 posted 01-26-2016 04:06 AM

hmmm… sawmill. hmmm… one day!

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View runswithscissors's profile


3128 posts in 3031 days

#10 posted 02-14-2016 06:17 AM

I am just completing a partial rebuild of my Unisaw (not sure of year—will have to call Delta, I guess). It started with the motor suddenly going dead just before making a cut. Hoped it was the switch (easiest to replace), but after a new magnetic switch, no dice. So out came the motor, and off to the motor shop. But they were closed, and assuming they might be at lunch, went over to Grizzly (yeah, I live about 15 minutes from their Bellingham showroom), and they told me the motor shop was virtually done for (I assume the owners wanted to retire). So the Griz tech checked it out for me, and right away found a wire from the capacitor was broken, and couldn’t be fixed without disassembling the motor, at $70 per hour shop time. And of course it would need bearings as well as capacitors, and pretty soon I’m halfway to a new Grizzly motor (3 hp, 13.5 amps, and with the Delta type motor mount).

Having gone this far, I decided it was time to replace arbor bearings too. Of course I struggled with this, being loathe to remove the table unless absolutely necessary. And then I hit on the idea of tilting the whole machine, so I blocked it up about 4 inches on the motor side. Made it much easier to work in there. Used a bearing puller to remove the bearing, but had to drill new pivot holes in the fingers to get sufficient reach with the puller. (One thing always leads to another, inevitably, as we all know). Got new bearings at Applied Technologies (only $15), and employed my infrequently-used-but-much-appreciated hydraulic press to fit the new bearing.

Got the new motor in, and test fired it, but it was clear that the new belts were too long. Or rather, that the motor mount on the Grizzly motor didn’t have a long enough slot to allow proper adjustment. So off with the motor again, over to the welder, and weld on a bracket extension to allow a longer slot. And that went very well, except for the usual frustration of 30 minutes of setup time to do 15 seconds of welding.

Oh, one more thing: The Delta drive pulley has a 3/4” bore, but the Grizzly motor has a 7/8” shaft. I realize I should have taken the pulley to a machine shop and had it done right, but instead decided to try counterboring it. Lacking a 7/8” bit, I tried a step drill (Harbor Freight special) that happened to have that maximum diameter. An advantage of this is that 2 steps down is the 3/4” step, so that made a kind of lead drill to keep things centered. After boring in from both sides, I then cleaned it up with the oscillating spindle sander, because as you know, these things never go perfectly. And then, of course, I had to file a new key slot because the original one was nearly drilled out of existence.

So far, all seems good, but I’ll know for sure after the new belts have time to seat themselves and get over their brand-new stiffness. Grizzly does have the 3 groove pulley with a 7/8” bore, but they cost close to $45, and they were out of stock in any case.

Anyhow, it may be worthwhile for anyone facing this chore to consider tilting he whole saw to make access much easier. And that’s my tip for the day.

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

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