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Tune a Tablesaw For High Performance

Are tablesaw tune-up kits really worth the money? We replaced the belt and pulley on our tablesaw for an extended test. Here are the results.

Woodworking catalogs offer tablesaw tune-up kits with a link belt and new pulleys. We wondered whether these items and changes make a difference, and whether they are worth the money and effort. To find out, we got a kit and installed it on a Delta contractor-style tablesaw. The rationale behind the product makes sense: Machined pulleys are better balanced, so they run more smoothly than stamped ones. A link belt eliminates the problem of belt set - that's what happens when an ordinary belt sits for an extended period and forms humps matching the shape of the pulleys. When you turn on the saw, the humps in the running belt bounce over the pulleys and create vibration.

To see whether the products work, we removed the old stamped pulleys on the saw arbor and motor and replaced them with the machined and balanced pulleys. We used a straightedge to make certain the edges of the pulleys aligned with each other before tightening them. It was easy to add or remove links from the drive belt so it matched the length of the old V-belt. After replacing the belt guard, we switched on the saw and managed to balance a 1.35mm-thick dime on edge on the table while spinning a 3/4" stacked dado blade. Even months after the upgrade, the saw still purrs along. For our money, these upgrades proved worthwhile. (Cost: about $50 postage paid from In-Line Industries. Call 800-533-6709 or visit in-lineindustries.com).


 

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Comments (6)
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bob_julie1 wrote:

I too replaced my old belt with a typical Harbor Freight Link Belt and it runs like a top, No Vibration at all!

10/2/2014 11:23:54 AM Report Abuse
kpanterm1 wrote:

I've been using the link belt on a 32 year old Craftsman contractor saw (made by Delta) for a long time. The cast pulleys work just fine. I had to replace a couple because they wore out. The vibration is zero even after years of use.

3/9/2012 09:32:15 PM Report Abuse
racup9913086693 wrote:

I bought one of those link belt kits for my table saw. After I installed it my table saw vibrates more now than it did before. I checked the pulleys and they are fine. I determined the belt was at fault so I switched to the old V belt, Vibration is minimal. So gentlemen link belts are not all the same. I believe a good V belt may work just as well with cast pulleys.

3/9/2012 07:23:03 AM Report Abuse
anthony.peters wrote:

I changed all the belts I had in the shop with link belts, Wow. The 3 speed band saw bounced all over the shop prior to this, now just as smooth as a babies........Drill press the same...I'm happy with link belts, you bet

3/8/2012 08:26:25 PM Report Abuse
almbldr wrote:

I replaced the v-belt with a link belt, a much better result of lower vibration. I also changed the pulleys and belt with In-Lines performance kit. Decreased vibration two fold. I also increased performance on the saw using In-Lines "Contractor Saw PALS" to align the blade. Only 20.00 and postage and made alignment much easier. NO Im not a salesman or owner of In-Line, just a satisfied customer and professional educator in the Trades.

3/8/2012 03:56:49 PM Report Abuse
3-j wrote:

Suggest you do not replace a stamped pulley without comparing it to a cast pulley. Quite often, the OEM stamped pulley will serve just as well. It did for me!

3/8/2012 01:55:08 PM Report Abuse

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