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Thread: Table saw motor upgrade

  1. #1

    Table saw motor upgrade

    Hello, I am trying to help out my father in law who is a home builder and avid woodworker. He has a Rigid table saw that is around 12 years old. It is set up for 120v and has a direct drive motor though I am not sure of the HP. I believe the rpms are around 3400. His complaint is that it lacks power when ripping anything of any size. He is getting ready to run a bunch of Red Oak and is thinking about buying another saw. Is there anything that he can do to improve the performance of the saw he has? Will changing it over to 240v help. He is under the impression that he needs more rpms but from what I am reading that will reduce torque and possibly make it rip worse. Any Ideas and advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    A clean sharp blade with the right type and number of teeth will help. If the saw is underpowered, a thinner kerf blade will help all else being equal.

  3. #3
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    I'm not aware of any direct drive saw that is 240V capable. In any case, that would only help if you were running it with a very long extension cord. The real answer is a more capable saw, but the real world answer may just be a sharp, thin kerf dedicated ripping blade. Fewer tooth count will be better.

  4. #4
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    I agree with the advise above.
    Get a new thin blade esp if the one on the saw is 12 years old.
    Aj

  5. #5
    Thanks everyone, the blade has been changed several times over the years so it seems like a new saw may be in order. I just wanted to see if there was anything else we could do first. Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    For a low power saw, a 9" blade will help.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a laxative and sleeping pill, on the same night

  7. #7
    If it will give you the depth of rip needed, try a Diablo 24 tooth framing blade on his saw.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myk Rian View Post
    For a low power saw, a 9" blade will help.
    I disagree. To cut through a given thickness of wood requires the same power whether the blade is 9" or 10". Slowing down the feed rate will help, but at the risk of burning and, well, taking longer to make the cut.

  9. #9
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    A smaller blade will cut slower. Unless the speed is increased. I switch between a 10 and 12 inch blade the 10 cuts slower unless I change the motor pulley to the bigger one. I have three different size pulleys I can use.
    Aj

  10. #10
    I am a hobby woodworker and, like many, started with a direct-drive jobsite saw. I don't know if you are using one of these small jobsite/benchtop style saws or a slightly larger "contractor" style saw that happens to use a direct drive motor with no belts...either way simply increasing the RPM is not the answer. This is a typical rotation speed of most tablesaws...what is needed is a saw/motor with more horsepower, or in other words more "oomph!" A larger motor may rotate at the same speed but can provide a lot more torque so it does not get bogged down as easily. I suppose theoretically one could upgrade the motor to one that produces more torque - perhaps upgrading the universal motor to an induction motor - however this would probably cost more than the saw is worth and you're limited by the size of the saw to smaller motors. The most horsepower you can get out of a typical 110V induction motor is around 1-3/4 horsepower. I recently upgraded the motor on my cabinet saw from 110V - 1-3/4hp to 220V-3hp and it is way stronger now.

    In any case, a motor upgrade like that is probably not a realistic option in your case. A thin kerf saw blade might be a good option - a standard kerf saw blade has teeth 1/8" wide. Look for a blade with narrower teeth. These blades have thinner plates as well, and can vibrate a little more but that's simply a tradeoff to make it easier for an underpowered saw to get through hardwood. He can also take multiple thin passes to get through thicker stock.

    I agree with the recommendation to upgrade to a larger saw, if that is possible.

  11. #11
    Yes, a new saw +1.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    If it will give you the depth of rip needed, try a Diablo 24 tooth framing blade on his saw.
    That would be something cheap to try. I've used a 7.25" blade on a 3 hp saw cutting small pieces. It worked out well.

  13. #13
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    Another option would be to use a 7.25" thin kerf circular saw blade. They are available in almost paper (well, cardboard) thin widths. There would still be about 2" of cut capacity.

  14. #14
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    The way the rigid saws I have seen are made, you can't just swap out a different size motor. I took a free one completely apart last year hoping to replace a bad bearing, which I happened to have a replacement for. Unfortunately, the contractor who threw the saw out ran it until the bearing spun in the housing. A new housing end wasn't available, and my effort to wrap a bearing in plastic and fill around it with epoxy didn't work.

  15. #15
    As others have stated motor upgrades are not an option for your saw. Thin kerf 24 tooth blades are available from Freud and other manufacturers that may help. If the saw is connected by an extension cord, you may not be getting full voltage to the saw. I would suggest a 12 ga or at least 14 ga extension cord no more than 15 feet in length. Check the voltage at the outlet where he has it plugged in. You also need to check what he is attempting to rip. Construction grade lumber often tends to pinch the blade which would appear to be a loss of power. You can insert wood door shims behind the blade in the cut to reduce the pinching action.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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