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Thread: Troubles replacing arbor bearings 1979 Powermatic 66

  1. #1
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    Troubles replacing arbor bearings 1979 Powermatic 66

    I've finally started refurbishing an old table saw I picked up a few years ago. New arbor bearings are on the way but I'm having some problems pulling the current ones off the arbor and also have a few questions. I'll just number these to keep the post semi organized:

    1. The woodruff key is stuck. I've applied PB Blaster a half dozen times a day for the past 4 days. I've also tried a blow torch (and cool) 5-6 times; even left it overnight in a freezer. I've tried pulling it out with different styles of pliers, tapping it out with flat head screw drivers, and leveraging it with a metal bar while gripping it with pliers. There's not enough material showing to drill a hole through it (wire and pull). The only movement its made comes from tapping one end with a small hammer which raises the opposite end, and disproves my belief in invisible welds. I've gone back and forth with this to see if it will grow looser but so far it has not.

    2. Removing the old arbor bearings I've already tapped them a few times with a hammer and they are not moving down the shaft toward the key. Suggestions are welcome.

    3. Bearing Spacer. It seemed odd to me that the spacer between the two bearings just flops around loosely with an internal diameter much larger than the arbor shaft. I referenced the parts manual I had and noticed the diagram showed an "inner bearing spacer". My actual arbor is sitting on top of that diagram. But I also found a second parts manual that appears to be from the 1980s (see image of that manual) that shows a "wavy washer" and "retainer ring" in lieu of an inner bearing spacer. It doesn't look like I have either of those on my arbor shaft. Let me add that I don't know the history of these bearings. The one on the blade side of the spacer is toast (before I torched the key) and so I am somewhat concerned about the loose spacer.




    IMG_2864.jpgIMG_2856.jpgScreen Shot 2020-06-03 at 12.41.55 PM.png
    Last edited by Patrick Curry; 06-03-2020 at 1:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Do you have access to a good air chisel? That's what we use on the farm for stubborn bearings, races and keys. If that doesn't work, try heating it again and then hit it with the air chisel. Make sure that the arbor is secured before trying any of this. If that fails, I'd say machine shop time.
    SWE

  3. #3
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    Woodruff key use small punch to push one end down. Probably best to push on end nearest end of shaft. You may need to use a nail ground flat to continue to punch it below flush so the other end rotates up and out. You will be punching almost parallel to the shaft axis by the end.
    Bill D.

  4. #4
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    Bearing spacer looks like part #54 to me. It keeps the outer races spaced apart. I agree normally I would see a smaller one to keep the inner races apart. using less material but inner diameter must be good. With the bigger one the inner diameter does not matter as long as it is big enough to not touch the rotating inner race. The outer diameter is also not critical as long as it fits in the bore. It does not rotate so no need for any thing special. A piece of water pipe would be fine as long as the ends are parallel and the outer diameter fits in the hole.
    Bill D.

  5. #5
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    Steve, I haven't used an air chisel before. I do have a decent size air compressor and a Harbor Freight in my zip code that likely sells affordable Chinese chisels.
    Thanks for the suggestion

  6. #6
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    Buy a bearing splitter for one inch and smaller. Actually I think they only make them 2 inch and smaller. Then use a hydraulic press or the forcing bolts to remove the bearings one at a time. A bearing splitter should last a lifetime. even a harbor Freight one should be plenty good for most hoemowners.
    I bought used OTC made in Amercia ones from Ebay. No more cost then the Horrible fright ones. Watch out the knife edges are not bent or broken. My stand up hydralic press lives in the woodshed with fire wood stacked on and in it. I dig it off about once a year as needed. PVC pipe and couplings can often be strong enough to support the bearing splitter while pressing on or off.
    Bill D.

    https://www.otctools.com/products/bearing-splitter-1

  7. #7
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    Bill, that sounds like a winner. I'll give it a try and report back. Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Buy a bearing splitter for one inch and smaller. Actually I think they only make them 2 inch and smaller. Then use a hydraulic press or the forcing bolts to remove the bearings one at a time. A bearing splitter should last a lifetime. even a harbor Freight one should be plenty good for most hoemowners.
    I bought used OTC made in Amercia ones from Ebay. No more cost then the Horrible fright ones. Watch out the knife edges are not bent or broken. My stand up hydralic press lives in the woodshed with fire wood stacked on and in it. I dig it off about once a year as needed. PVC pipe and couplings can often be strong enough to support the bearing splitter while pressing on or off.
    Bill D.

    https://www.otctools.com/products/bearing-splitter-1
    That's a new tool to me. I was already thinking about ways to push them off the shaft with equal pressure and a splitter is just what I need.
    BUT...still trying to get that darn key out. I've been working one end with a nail like you suggested but I haven't gotten it below the surface yet. Hit it with the torch again before taking a break (I think the torch just helps me)

  9. #9
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    I'd skip the splitter and just get a bearing puller. Harbor Freight or maybe a local auto parts store will lend/rent one. Put the center screw of the puller in the center hole of the shaft and pull both bearings off at the same time.

    Be sure to clean up the shaft after you get the key out. But be careful not to change the O.D. of the shaft where you clean it or the sheave won't fit properly.
    Confidence: The feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation

  10. #10
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    two big crowbars or two crowbars may be enough to get the bearings off but the key has to come first. I would look at the slot carefully. It is probably hammered and dented. A air chisel may just make it worse, faster. I agree that a bearing puller will work if there is enough room to get the jaws under. It will damage the bearing in doing so. Problem will be to find one with small enough fingers to reach in and long enough to handle the shaft. The bearing splitter may be able to get to the inner race and save the bearing.
    Bill D

  11. #11
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    May or may not be cheap, but it's sure is faster. No affiliation, just a source. Search ebay Powermatic 66 saw arbor and scroll.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Powermatic-...pe!27046!US!-1
    Last edited by Tony Joyce; 06-03-2020 at 6:59 PM.
    "Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.” Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

    Woodworking since 1972

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Curry View Post
    I've finally started refurbishing an old table saw I picked up a few years ago. New arbor bearings are on the way but I'm having some problems pulling the current ones off the arbor and also have a few questions. I'll just number these to keep the post semi organized:

    1. The woodruff key is stuck. I've applied PB Blaster a half dozen times a day for the past 4 days. I've also tried a blow torch (and cool) 5-6 times; even left it overnight in a freezer. I've tried pulling it out with different styles of pliers, tapping it out with flat head screw drivers, and leveraging it with a metal bar while gripping it with pliers. There's not enough material showing to drill a hole through it (wire and pull). The only movement its made comes from tapping one end with a small hammer which raises the opposite end, and disproves my belief in invisible welds. I've gone back and forth with this to see if it will grow looser but so far it has not.
    Re the key, hit the _shaft_ (not the key) with a torch, rub an ice cube on the key, then yank on the key with a slide hammer. It should pop right out.

  13. #13
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    Please do not use a hammer or crowbars in any way trying to remove the bearings. Get the proper tool, a bearing puller. My HF ones are crap, stripped the threads on 2 of the 3. Get quality older ones like OTC (or newer ones). If you’re doing it yourself, do it right.

    Regarding the key, try striking it with a hammer on the high end, with the arbor shaft firmly supported.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Joyce View Post
    May or may not be cheap, but it's sure is faster. No affiliation, just a source. Search ebay Powermatic 66 saw arbor and scroll.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Powermatic-...pe!27046!US!-1
    I had that in my basket this week!
    Probably would have pulled the trigger had I missed that it's only threaded on one end. Not sure what years that one fits but mine has threads and nuts on each end.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Curry View Post
    I had that in my basket this week!
    Probably would have pulled the trigger had I missed that it's only threaded on one end. Not sure what years that one fits but mine has threads and nuts on each end.

    Interesting, what color is it(the saw)? I'm no expert, but I've never seen one like that. What purpose do the threads serve? The pulley is keyed and pretty sure has one or two setscrews.
    "Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.” Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

    Woodworking since 1972

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