Powermatic 141 bandsaw refurbish #4: Reassembly

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Blog entry by splintergroup posted 06-13-2016 06:23 PM 5309 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Some electrical work Part 4 of Powermatic 141 bandsaw refurbish series Part 5: Saw setup »

The saw cabinet is sitting on the mobile base that came with the saw and I have re-bolted the heavy cast iron frame to the base.

First item is to get the motor V-belt drive aligned and tightened down. This means working on the floor and turning wrenches in fractional increments while getting into contorted positions (joy!). I’ll get this done first and get it over with.

Lower spindle

What I need first is a place for the upper pulley. This means I get to put the new bearings onto the lower wheel shaft and assemble this unit.

Fortunately all the press fitting was fairly easy, just some gentle tapping with a wood block. I do have a 50-ton press as a backup, but given how it likes to leak hydraulic fluid I’m glad not to have needed it!

The lower spindle unit assembled with new bearings:

Outer snap rings keep the bearings from moving inwards on the shaft and the drive pulley and lower wheel keep them from moving outwards. I’ll use a feeler gauge to set the correct clearances.

Lower spindle installed on saw frame:

The upper belt drive pulley has a key to lock it to the spindle shaft. The set screw is far to the rear of the pulley hub an this key needs to be set as far in as it will go so the set screw will make contact. Note the recessed key in this picture:

Next up is the lower blade wheel, installed with a new urethane tire (details further down). Both pulleys slid onto the shaft with ease (light tapping with a rawhide mallet).

Upper spindle

Similar concept to the lower spindle, a deep socket is used to position the bearing onto the shaft and the upper spindle assembly is installed into the blade tracking tilt mechanism. The adjustment screws on this unit are tightened to remove all slop but still allow for easy tilting (gravity alone will cause it to tip).

Upper wheel mounting

The sliding bracket for blade tension adjustment is installed onto the frame. You can see the difference between the original color and ‘John Deere Green’ that was used for the repaint.

Upper spindle assembly is installed on the sliding bracket, wheel bearing grease keeps moving parts moving

The tension shaft with tension scale and spring is installed next.

Finally the top wheel with new tire is slipped onto the spindle shaft, clearance set, and then locked down.

At this time I checked that the wheels were close to being coplanar by using a long straight edge. What do you know, they are perfect!

Bandsaw tires

I decided to use urethane tires since they are purported to last a long time and don’t require gluing to the wheel. Reports of not needing to crown the tire are also intriguing (my wheels are 1” wide and dead flat).

These are made by Sulpher Grove tool and I purchased them through for $29 (w/free shipping). Funny thing about Amazon, they have maybe a half dozen listings for these tires from different vendors at all about the same price. There is one vendor however that has them listed for $132. Looking at his other ‘offerings’ shows such bargains as a 3M 5-sheet assortment of sanding paper for $37 and a 4 ounce spool of solder for $43. Must make most of his sales to some government entity….

Many people say to soak the tires in hot water to soften them up and them stretch them over the wheels. I was able to stretch them on directly without added heat, no big deal!

Table and trunion plus guide bar

Basically just bolt-ons. I left the table trunion bolts slightly loose for later adjustments.

This pretty much sums up my Saturday. I’ll easily finish this weekend making this refurbish a 3-weekend project.
Next chapter will cover the saw setup and final tweaks

4 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4579 days

#1 posted 06-13-2016 07:35 PM

Wonderful restoration job. I’m really impressed with the quality of this venerable machine, especially when I compare it to my Chinese Woodcraft bandsaw with its pot metal blade guides, etc. I love it because of it’s power, 2hp, and it’s capacity, ’’18”, but even though it has performed well over the last 6 years, I would still love to have the kind of quality that your powermatic has. You will have a really great machine that should last you a lifetime and give you dead accurate cuts.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View splintergroup's profile


5864 posts in 2467 days

#2 posted 06-13-2016 09:12 PM

Thanks Mike!

It kind of reminds me of a 1960’s era car. A bit lacking on technology, but tending to be over-built and ooh-so-curvy!

View Illbmack's profile


1 post in 875 days

#3 posted 05-31-2019 05:34 AM

The upper spindle assembly? Do you have the information on the bearings you used and the retaining clips? I have a 1973 Powermatic 141 and it seems that the bearings were replaced before I became the owner and the float around. I need to fix this because the blades keep getting spit off the wheels. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

View splintergroup's profile


5864 posts in 2467 days

#4 posted 05-31-2019 02:13 PM

Hey Mack,

the bearings (and other parts) are listed at the end of the next part in this series.
They carry the part number

6203 2NSENR (upper spindle)

6203s are common, but the key to finding them are the postfix characters “2NSENR”.

Prices are all over the board, usually depending on who made them. The source for the actual part I used is here

Another apparently compatible Nachi part is here

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