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Problems with my BT3K

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  • Problems with my BT3K

    Lately I've been noticing a vibration of the table and more noise than usual when I turn the saw on. When I'm ripping a board I can feel an up-and-down vibration in the wood as it exits the saw. I've checked the fence alignment, no problem there. The blade is within .004 of true. It's a WW2.

    I've taken the two sides off and had a look at the shims. None look as if they're coming loose. But when I grasp the motor there's some slight up and down play, and I can feel the movement in the guide holder and shims. Not much, mind you, I can just about get a .005 feeler gauge in between the front shim and the guide. It feels as if the movement is at the top of the front shim and the bottom of the rear. I don't know if this play is normal and if not whether the movement could be the cause of the vibration. I've had the saw for over ten years, with little trouble up 'till now. Any ideas?


    TIA, Vince

  • #2
    Have you tried another blade just to make sure?
    Also, if you eyeball the non-motor side of the shim structure you'll see tiny openings with small allen head inserts in them - one of the allen wrenches that came with the saw fits these. They push on the back of the shims to adjust the clearance/slop. A little blue Loctite helps keep them from vibrating free after a while.

    With the saw unplugged and the blade removed, grab the arbor and see if it moves independently of the rest of the saw. If so, the bearings (inside the parts that move on the shims) might be wearing out. They're generic/standard bearings and fairly easy to buy & replace... and cost only a few bucks. Any machine shop, NAPA, McMaster-Carr, Fastenall, or higher-end auto parts store should be able to get replacements. Just match the numbers faintly etched into the outer edges of the bearing.

    mpc

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mpc View Post
      Have you tried another blade just to make sure?
      Also, if you eyeball the non-motor side of the shim structure you'll see tiny openings with small allen head inserts in them - one of the allen wrenches that came with the saw fits these. They push on the back of the shims to adjust the clearance/slop. A little blue Loctite helps keep them from vibrating free after a while.

      With the saw unplugged and the blade removed, grab the arbor and see if it moves independently of the rest of the saw. If so, the bearings (inside the parts that move on the shims) might be wearing out. They're generic/standard bearings and fairly easy to buy & replace... and cost only a few bucks. Any machine shop, NAPA, McMaster-Carr, Fastenall, or higher-end auto parts store should be able to get replacements. Just match the numbers faintly etched into the outer edges of the bearing.

      mpc
      I'll try tightening the allen screws. I think the upper front and lower rear are allowing play. I have new shims on order and may put them in when they arrive. The rear guide has a bright worn shiny stripe in the center of it; perhaps that means one of the allen screws was too tight, maybe the top one. In any case it suggests that the shim is distorted.

      There's no play in the arbor, and no horizontal play in the motor.

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      • #4
        Update

        The two allen screws at the top front and bottom back were loose. I backed them out, put a bit of blue Loctite on them and screwed them back in. I found that the only reliable test of when they were at the proper position was when the mechanism went up and down easily, but there was no vertical play in the motor.

        We shall see how it works. I've ordered a new WW II to install and test the saw. It should be here tomorrow.

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        • #5
          Success! It passed the Nickel test.

          The allen screws didn't hold with the first application of Loctite, so I backed them out, cleaned them up, and put them back in with another spot of Loctite on the threads. This time they held. The most difficult problem I had was realigning Lee Styron's riving knife. Over the years it got slightly bent and was interfering with the wood as the wood exited the saw. I actually removed the black powder coat to gain a few thousandths of an inch, and then carefully bent it back into alignment.

          After putting everything back together the saw passed the nickel test! Meaning that I was able to balance a nickel on edge on the table, start the saw, then stop it, and the nickel didn't fall over.

          Thanks mpc for your help.

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