Table Saw Belt Tension

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 11-23-2008 01:11 AM 12293 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4855 days

11-23-2008 01:11 AM

I’m thrilled to have my new Ridgid TS3660 set up. I got a factory reconditioned model from CPO (brand new by all appearances) for $409 with free shipping. After using an $89 Ryobi for the past four years, using this thing is like trading up from a Yugo to a Cadillac.

I do have a question that the manual was unclear on: The motor hangs on a pivot so it can move as the blade is raised and lowered. I assume this is the case for most contractor saws. I’m also assuming that the motor is supposed to be positioned so that its own weight, hanging from the pivot point, keeps the tension on the belt.

Is that all there is, or am I missing something? As I said, the manual, while pretty good for the most part, was a little weak on this point.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

26 replies so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4334 days

#1 posted 11-23-2008 01:18 AM

I can tell you that my jointer is the same way the weight of the motor makes the belt tension but if I don’t use it for a while I take the weight off so I don’t have tension on my bearings

View ChuckV's profile


3268 posts in 4164 days

#2 posted 11-23-2008 01:23 AM

Congratulations on the new saw. That is how my table saw tensions the belt. It is a wonderful design. I recently set up a band saw, and trying to get the tension correct inside that tiny cabinet was a chore. I ended up using a jack from my truck to adjust and support the motor while I tightened the bolts. That worked very well.

- Chuck

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Dusty56's profile


11856 posts in 4324 days

#3 posted 11-23-2008 01:32 AM

My friend owns a DELTA and says his motor hangs there to keep the belt tight as well…He has stepped up to one of those red sectional link belts with the machined pulley kits and it seemed to be a wonderful improvement to him . Enough so that he also bought a belt for his drill press which runs much smoother as well : ) Congrats on the new toy , Charlie !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View amos's profile


47 posts in 4149 days

#4 posted 11-23-2008 01:52 AM

Hi Charlie..One of my table saws is like yours..the weight of the motor will give you all the tension you should need..also I have found that a couple of sprays of belt dressing every now and then will keep your belt from add to the life of your belt…enjoy your new saw…your buddy Amos

-- amos

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 4344 days

#5 posted 11-23-2008 02:03 AM

I used to have a Can contractor saw before my PM66 and the link belts that Dusty mentioned are a very worthwhile (and fairly cheap) add-on. There seemed to be an increase in power just from the better belt grip. Cuts tast used to almost stall in thicker wood weren’t quite so bogged down after the switch. It’s still a contractor saw though, so a thin-kerf blade is also probably a good buy.

-- Use the fence Luke

View Bob42's profile


457 posts in 4427 days

#6 posted 11-23-2008 02:08 AM

I have an old Delta and that”s how it works, it creates tension on the belt. I just broke the belt and do have a spare but, I am going to try the sectional belt. I forgot the name of it. But I hear they work well.

Keep in mind to have an extra belt.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 4550 days

#7 posted 11-23-2008 02:22 AM

Congrats on the new saw. My Delta contractor saw works the same way – just gravity. I would highly recommend the link belt. It cuts the vibration from the machine in at least half. If you do install the link belt be sure to check it after a short period as they do settle in the links as you use it. I had to remove 2 links after about 2 weeks of use. Enjoy.

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4407 days

#8 posted 11-23-2008 02:42 AM

Yes Charlie… that’s how it works. Time to make yourself some zero clearance inserts and get to work. Show us what that saw can do!


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4855 days

#9 posted 11-23-2008 02:57 AM

Thanks for the replies, Guys. I’ve read good stuff about those link belts, so that is on my upgrade list. Tom, zero clearance inserts are #1 on my list for cutting those small box parts.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4402 days

#10 posted 11-23-2008 03:11 AM

Enjoy your new saw Charlie. I think you’ll feel safer too.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4522 days

#11 posted 11-23-2008 03:28 AM

Does anyone know the difference between the TS3660 and the TS3650?
Charlie I have the TS3650 and it’s a great saw?

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4855 days

#12 posted 11-23-2008 05:09 AM

John, I did some research on that and could not find any significant differences. A number of people claimed they were virtually identical, and Ridgid doesn’t note any changes or improvements on the 3660 either.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View douglbe's profile


372 posts in 4597 days

#13 posted 11-23-2008 05:34 AM

Congratulations on your selection of saws, I also have the TS3660 and I do not regret it. I know you will be more than pleased.

-- Doug, Reed City, Michigan

View Boardman's profile


157 posts in 4398 days

#14 posted 11-23-2008 02:52 PM

From my 3650 assembly manual:

Place your hand around the belt halfway between the two
pulleys and squeeze the belt until the two sides of the belt
touch. The motor should move freely as you squeeze the
belt. If the motor does not move freely, the motor must
be repositioned.

To reposition the motor, loosen the hex nuts on the
mounting brace and either push the motor in or pull it
out as needed. Check at maximum elevation also.
NOTE: Do not attempt to tighten the pivot screw as it
must move freely in the slot as the blade is raised or

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4855 days

#15 posted 11-23-2008 04:04 PM

Yep, that is what the manual says. But what I was not sure of was if the motor’s weight should hang against the belt, or if the motor should be adjusted so that its normal position is resting against the back of the pivot slots. Either way, you could still move the motor by squeezing the belt together.

Thanks to all who helped cleart it up for me. I love this saw already!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

showing 1 through 15 of 26 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics