Contractor Saw Refurbishing #2: Remove the knob then polish the top. (Not the other way around! It's a family site, people!)

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Blog entry by slaphitter posted 10-02-2007 04:47 AM 1209 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Good news: I got it home. Bad news: Now I have to do something with it! Part 2 of Contractor Saw Refurbishing series Part 3: Bolts, Wings, Wheels and Fences »

OK, down to business. First, a couple of measurements so I can find some replacement parts.

First, the handwheels. One is missing entirely. The other is plastic, and beginning to disintegrate. I am going to replace both with proper metal handwheels.

The handwheel is 5” across, and the hub is 1-1/8” across. The bore is 3/8”. The locknut appears to be 5/16” – definitely larger than 1/4, but smaller than 3/8”.

On the back of the hub, you can see that a “T” slot cuts across the bore. There is a pin through the crankshaft that seats into this slot. I am not a Certified Handwheel Expert. Is this a normal configuration? Should it be easy to find metal handwheels with this T slot?

The original insert, and the shopmade zero clearance insert, are 13-3/8” x 3-3/4. This size appears to be readily available specifically for Jet tablesaws, so this is a no-brainer to get one that is machined from low-friction material and equipped with leveling screws, rather than make one in the shop.

I have made the executive decision that this project will return the saw to excellent working condition, not necessarily showroom hot-rod show-tool condition (are there showroom hot-rod tool shows?). Accordingly, unless I find something that is actually damaged, I do not plan to disassemble the guts of the saw. I just want to get the crud removed that is bogging down the works, and get it lubricated. Cosmetics will be secondary.

I found this DuPont teflon “dry” lubricant at Lowes. It goes on wet, so the solvent helps it to penetrate similar to WD-40, But then the lubricant dries, leaving behind the teflon and some kind of wax. Seems like a reasonable thing to try on the mechanicals (not the top – I’m sure this stuff has some silicone in it, which I don’t want on my wood).

Mission accomplished. I certainly didn’t remove all of that caked on resin/sawdust from Episode I, but I got it out of the worm gears , sprockets and tracks that guide the lift and tilt mechnisms. I used a beat-up old chisel that I use only for scraping half-dried glue squeeze-out from projects. Perfect tool both for chipping the gunk off flat surfaces, but also picking it out from between the teeth on each sprocket. Then a generous lubrication of all contact surfaces in there, carefully avoiding the belt channel on the pulley wheels.

Amazing what 30 minutes of work will do. It’s like a new saw already. The lift and tilt just glide back and forth with minimal effort. Beautiful and silky. And you can feel the stops hit metal-to-metal, not metal-to-gunk.

Now for the top. Again. I’m not aiming for a mirror. It will never stay that way. I just want it clean and smooth. First, I gave it a scrubbing with Noxon and paper towels. That removed all of the rust-colored deposits, leaving black marks where they had been. Then I got out my random-orbit sander with 120 grit. Spent about 10 minutes carefully – but lightly – scrubbing the entire surface.



I need to get more sandpaper disks. Tomorrow I plan to hit it with 80 grit, then back to 120 and finish with 180. That, with a couple coats of paste wax, ought to have the top in the best shape it’s seen in a decade or more.

Finally, I removed the belt. I’m going to replace with a link belt. The motor pulley cover is a cracked mess, and makes an awful racket when the saw is on. I hate to remove it, but it’s hardly protecting anything in its current condition. Will have to see about finding a replacement.

I don’t want to start re-installing the fence and wings until I have the mobile base. That should be here in the next week or so. No sense adding weight until the body is already on the wheels.

4 comments so far

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4554 days

#1 posted 10-02-2007 05:14 AM

Good enough to make some sawdust with! Grand job.

Keep it up and show us something down the road that was made off it.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4574 days

#2 posted 10-02-2007 05:16 AM

Looks great. Have you tried the abrasive blocks they sell at the big box stores. I’ve had good luck with them.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4877 days

#3 posted 10-02-2007 05:22 AM

Great change. Nice job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4574 days

#4 posted 10-02-2007 05:23 AM

LOL. BTW, your title is quiet funny….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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