Band Saw or Table Saw for 4hp motor?

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Forum topic by SusanS posted 09-26-2016 01:40 PM 873 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SusanS's profile


15 posts in 1850 days

09-26-2016 01:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw bandsaw

Hi, i am a newbie, and I recently made an impulse buy on a great deal. An old man was going out of business on his machine shop, and I bought from him a 4 hp compressor motor that was in brand new condition for $65. The motor has the following specs:

Hertz 60, phase 1, rpm 3450, volts 230, thermally protected, type – continuous, amps 15, maker- Gould Century

When I got home, I read on an old online post from someone who put on a 5hp motor on his table saw and said that it made “the top sag,” whatever that means, due to the weight of the motor. I have a 1984 Craftsman table saw with a cast iron top and 1hp motor, and i recently bought some white oak and ash wood to soon make my workbench. The wood is 7 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Btw, it kind of irks me that, with this 10” table saw, the maximum thickness it can cut is only 2-1/2”. I assumed all 10” saws would cut deeper than that when I bought it, duh on my behalf. Last night, I weighed the 2 motors. The 1hp motor weighed 24.5 lbs, and the 4hp motor weighed 37 lbs. Now, with this table saw, the motor hangs off the back where it would turn should I need to cut at an angle (I predict that I will just keep it at 90 degrees over 95% of the time). I noticed the 4hp motor has a pulley on it where it looks like it was made for two belts. I was going to install a link belt on the table saw. Would I have to put on two link belts? I saw 5hp cabinet saws advertised as having a triple belt system. I assume the extra belts are due to either the extra power or weight of the 5hp motor.

Is this 4hp motor too heavy for this contractor saw? Or, should I just install this motor onto my band saw?

My 14” band saw has a 6” pulley on it where, if I install a 1-1/2” pulley on the motor, it will have a proper sfpm of 3160. I used this calculator to figure it out:
Please forgive anything stupid I may have said or done. As I said, I am a newbie, and I am eager to learn to from experienced woodworkers :-)
Your feedback is appreciated.

-- Susan in San Francisco

7 replies so far

View JayT's profile


6427 posts in 3371 days

#1 posted 09-26-2016 02:09 PM

First off, welcome to LJ.

Personally, I wouldn’t install that motor on either of your saws.

For the table saw, that style of saw is designed and built around the original motor providing belt tension. Putting a heavier motor on will cause all kinds of issues with the belt and through that, pull to hard on the arbor and the rest of the undercarriage of the saw. The 5HP saws you reference are built much heavier all around to support the power and weight of that motor.

Likewise, the bandsaw was designed and build around a certain weight and power of motor. Even taking the weight out as a factor, adding a much more powerful motor could cause excess stress on parts that aren’t designed for it and that could have disastrous consequences.

I know it’s not the answer you wanted, but it’s generally best to let the engineers do the design and specs for machinery and not deviate too much from the original design.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View HokieKen's profile


18424 posts in 2298 days

#2 posted 09-26-2016 03:27 PM

JayT is right^. Particularly about the table saw. The added weight of the motor will put too much stress on the arbor and trunions. Might be okay on your BS if the motor is not mounted directly to the housing but, it’s also wayyyy overkill for a 14” bandsaw. My advice would be to tuck that motor away until you have a use for it. Or, if you’re not happy with your current TS, keep an eye out for a cabinet saw that is missing the motor.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View MrUnix's profile


8685 posts in 3359 days

#3 posted 09-26-2016 04:06 PM

Too big for your table saw, and too fast for your band saw. A 1.5” pulley on a 4hp motor is way too small..


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View SusanS's profile


15 posts in 1850 days

#4 posted 09-26-2016 05:39 PM

Thanks everyone. This is exactly why I joined Lumberjocks – so I can get some experienced, common sense advice. I will debate on whether to sell the motor for a little profit, or to buy a cabinet style unisaw that could handle the motor.

-- Susan in San Francisco

View Rentvent's profile


151 posts in 2009 days

#5 posted 09-26-2016 05:55 PM

You could use it on a hotrod dust collector.

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 2062 days

#6 posted 09-26-2016 06:55 PM

Buying a cabinet saw just to use a motor is a little backwards, keep the motor, you will be glad you have it one day.

View MrUnix's profile


8685 posts in 3359 days

#7 posted 09-26-2016 09:33 PM

I will debate on whether to sell the motor for a little profit, or to buy a cabinet style unisaw that could handle the motor.
- SusanS

Won’t work on a Unisaw either – unless you can weld on the mounts (or know someone who can). Other saws might be able to use it though, depending on what frame that motor has (and rotation, and shaft size, and…)..


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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