Presenting my “new to me” Grizzly Table Saw. I had a table saw before this one. Not a very good saw, a chinese no-name special that was given to me. It worked, not well, but I did a lot of projects with it. Recently the motor in it seized up, and I determined it was time to look for a “new” one.
I didn’t actually want a new one, I’d rather spend the time and money on buying and old one made when tools were still made with quality. So the search began, obviously on Craigslist. I setup an alert to email me when a new table saw was listed. In the mean time I figured I’d see if the seized motor could be fixed.
It only took a few minutes to remove the motor out of the old saw, and then the problem was obvious. The end bearing on the motor effectively disintegrated and seized. Lots of broken metal under the bearing cover. The bearing was easily removed from the shaft, and fortunately was a common size. Quick search on Amazon and I had two new ones on the way for under $7.
Getting the new bearing on the shaft wasn’t difficult, but it actually took a while to get the motor remounted inside as it was difficult to get all the screws lined up and started with the way I had to twist my hands in around the mount. About 40 minutes and the motor was installed and it was ready for a test. Yup, it works fine.
A couple days later I got notification of a listing of Table for $100 about 30 minutes away. It was a Grizzly, manufactured in 1987 and from the pictures it looked like it was in decent shape, just some surface rust and a jury rigged power switch. Nothing that I figured I couldn’t fix provided parts were still available.
Looking around on Grizzly’s website, it looked like most parts, if needed, could still be acquired. I contacted the seller and told them I’d really like to buy it, and I could be up on saturday morning when they opened. Then I promptly got severe ill friday night, to the point I was up all night long being sick. No chance of making it out saturday morning. I was able to contact the seller and explain the situation and reschedule the pickup for monday afternoon.
Monday afternoon rolls around and #1 son and I head up to get it. It’s exactly as I expected, surface rust, some loose wiring, but it appeared complete except for the miter gauge. Paid the seller and we took it off the base and loaded it into the van. It’s 240lbs of good American cast iron and steel, the only plastic on it are the crank handles. Finally a saw that’s worth it to have in the shop.
The next day I started working on it. First I disassembled the rip fence rails and the table wings. Whenever I buy one of these old tools I like to go over every bolt just to make sure nothing is loose and it’s a good thing I did with this one. The rip fence rails were loose, and they were missing two bolts. The bolts holding the table to the frame were also loose. I also removed the wiring from it with the intent of wiring it properly with an appropriate switch for the tool.
To make it easier to move around until I could get mounted on a mobile tool stand, I removed the motor and the motor bracket. I cut down my tool stand that the old saw sat on to give a snug fit on this one and bolted it to the corner brackets of the stand. With the weight of the saw and the feet down, it doesn’t have any lateral movement and stands firm.
With the saw on the stand, now it was time to clean. I had done some research before I bought the saw on how to clean the surface, and the recommendation was Fluid Film. Spray down the surface with Fluid Film and then scrub it with ScotchBrite. I alternated between using Fluid Film and White Vinegar with a scrubbing between each. After a few hours, I had a very clean surface, it doesn’t look new, but it looks far better than it was.
To clean the miter gauge slots I sprayed Fluid Film in them and then used a piece of ScotchBrite and a stick to scrub. They are far smoother than they were, now I just need to find a replacement Miter Gauge.
Putting it all back together took a couple of hours, just to make sure everything was aligned and tight. I ordered a new Switch from Amazon, one that it better than a simple light switch in a electrical box screwed to the side of the saw. I also ordered the bolts that were missing from the rip fence rails from Grizzly, only $1/each for the bolts and spacers.
The new switch fit well, except the pre-drilled holes needed to be lengthened just a bit to fit the new cover. Wiring it was simple enough. I used the crimp type connectors, but I didn’t crimp them, I soldered them on. I also picked up a new belt, as I had no idea on the age of the belt that came with it, and it looked rather dry and cracked. Once wired, I measured the speed of the motor with no load, which was around 3600rpm. Then I measured the speed of the blade around 4100rpm.
The saw is far more quiet than my chinese saw I’m getting rid of. I ran some plywood through it just as a test and it cuts smooth and easy. I wouldn’t see any reason I shouldn’t easily get 30 or more years of service out of this saw. The motor is the original motor from 1987 and it’s still smooth and quiet. A worthwhile investment for a total of $142 after the Fluid Film, Switch and Belt.