Tool gloat: UNISAW! #2: Parts arrive early.

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Blog entry by ic3ss posted 04-07-2011 05:57 AM 5350 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Take it apart, clean it up, put parts on order Part 2 of Tool gloat: UNISAW! series Part 3: I have the POWER!!! »

So I had a new power switch on order from Grizzly, and it came in yesterday so I was able to mount it on the original box, but I have to stop there with it because the box mounts to the table and the table is off the saw for now. I basically have to re-do all the electrical on this saw. A previous owner replaced a broken switch with a 20 amp light switch. It worked, but it just didn’t sit well with me. The wire insulation was starting to get brittle at the motor, and it had an old style 20 amp plug on the end, the kind with the two horizontal spades. There’s no way I was about to re-use that so I tossed it all. I was at Lowes yesterday pricing cable and stuff, and I decided I want a 20ft long cord to allow my Uni to sit about anywhere in the garage. I also have an electrician friend coming over this Sunday to help me put in a new 30amp breaker and run conductors to a new 220vac plug we’ll put in the wall above my bench, conveniently right next to the panel. This little operation I estimate will cost about $100 including buying the 20ft long 10/3 cable I need to run to the saw switch. I also need a few feet to run from the switch to the motor.

So the switch sits on the bench until Sunday.

Today however, my new arbor bearings came in a day early. I had all the parts laid out on the bench, so I put the arbor shaft in the freezer, then put the first bearing on after it was good and frozen. Not sure if the temp treatment really helped at all, I still had to use my bearing puller to get it back on. Oh well, it was worth a shot. I looked at the arobr when I cut the old v-belts off and it seemed to turn fine with a little grinding noise, but it felt smooth. I’m really glad I decided to change them because when I got the old ones out last week they felt terrible turning them in my hand. They were noisy and very rough. Now the new bearings are on, it just turns so smooth and quiet now. With the arbor back together, and sitting on the elevation shaft, I turned my attention to the drive belts. After reading much about the segmented link belts I decided they were worth a try. I must say, they are spendy, and for a Unisaw I needed 75 inches worth.

Now I’ve read a lot of stuff out there where people swear up and down that you can’t use these belts in a multi-belt configuration. In all the places I’ve read this, not one person has been able to give a reasonable explanation of why not. So far I’m only hearing people say “Well that’s just what I’ve heard”. It doesn’t make any sense to me, the belts don’t touch anything but the pulleys, they don’t touch each other. I say BS!!

Anyway, enough of my rant. I counted the length and I needed 35 links on each belt and that will make the motor sit right in the middle of it’s movement range. After it runs for a while, I’ll check it again, adjust the motor or maybe remove a link from each belt if needed.

Well, that’s all I had time for today. I start my work week tomorrow so nothing else until Sunday.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

8 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5064 days

#1 posted 04-07-2011 03:35 PM

The only reason I could think of that you wouldn’t ant to use these (since you said they don’t touch), would be if you ended up with each belt taking an uneven amount of tension because each belt isn’t the exact same size. I don’t know if that is true, it’s just a guess as to a “potential” problem.

I’m enjoying this blog a lot. I hope you keep gong with it. I can’t contribute any knowledge, but I’m enjoying the learning process. I hope to pick up an old unisaw someday myself.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5009 days

#2 posted 04-07-2011 03:40 PM

Why did you did not use the Regular Delta Black Belts. Other than that it will be a great Unisaw.

View ic3ss's profile


404 posts in 4113 days

#3 posted 04-07-2011 04:16 PM

The belts I took off were branded Delta, but were old and cracking. I just cut them off and noticed they were firmly formed to the shape of the pulleys. I did some reading about replacement belts, that’s how I came across these. It just seemed like a good idea to go with the linked belts as they say that they don’t take a set from the pulleys. I found after taking the belts out of packaging that they did in fact have a memory. In my #1 post in this blog, the belts are shown on my bench and you can see the bends are firmly formed. However, after linking the belts to length and the ends together, I turned the belt inside-out so the narrow face is on the inside, and it was now almost a perfect circle of 25 inches in circumfrence. The idea behind these belts is that they don’t take a set, and that prevents the belt from “slapping” the pulleys as it goes around, thus reducing vibration.

That’s the idea, I’ll let you know how it goes. But first I need to get my saw running.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 4029 days

#4 posted 04-07-2011 04:30 PM

I was confused at first by the multi-belt but now I see each has its own ring on the pulley. I can’t think of any good reason why it wouldn’t work just fine, assuming all the belts are exactly the same length (which you’ve confirmed already). I’m really pumped about this restore.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Grandpa's profile


3264 posts in 4012 days

#5 posted 04-07-2011 06:49 PM

When you have a double sheave and use 2 belts (or 3 or more) they always recommend buying belts in matched sets. They are bought in matched sets of 2 or matched sets of 3 etc. They are supposed to be the same length etc. I have watched them run and one usually looks slack but this is what they taught us in the USAF. Always replace both belts and use matched sets. They cost more too. Can you reuse your link belts on another tool and get a matched set for this saw?

View ic3ss's profile


404 posts in 4113 days

#6 posted 04-07-2011 08:24 PM

I know about matching the belts, I’ve seen exactly what you’re talking about one belt carrying the load while another is slack. This seems pretty uniform. I tightened the motor last night and all three belts feel pretty much the same tension. Close enough that I can’t tell the difference with my hand anyway. I guess in theory one could have an issue with this link belt if there is varying dimension in the links, multiply the error 35 times and I suppose you could end up with wildly different sizes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

At the risk of sounding like a commercial, I think I forgot to mention this product by name, its Power Link Twist Belt made by Fenner Drives.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View AmandasHusband's profile


58 posts in 4029 days

#7 posted 04-07-2011 09:34 PM

I just bought a Grizzly 1023SL from a guy on craigslist. The saw had been sitting for a while and the belts are stiff to the position it sat in. So I’m going to have to replace them.

I thought about going the link belt route, but didn’t know if there is a benefit considering vibration is non existant anyway.

I did a little research about replacing them with a link belt and all I really found was:
- You need all three to be the same length
- Link belts reduce vibration
- Link belts won’t last as long as other belts.

I don’t kow.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this series. This saw is a beaut! Thanks for posting all of this.

-- In this world there's two kinds of people my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

View ic3ss's profile


404 posts in 4113 days

#8 posted 04-08-2011 05:54 AM

I haven’t heard that link belts don’t last as long as other belts. The only thing about belt life is that it’s the opposite. One guy said they outlasted his solid v-belts. I dunno.

I would say that if vibration is not an issue with your saw, there’s probably no big reason to spend the extra money on link belts.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

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