If you guys have seen my previous article about the design of the table saw arbor, you'll know that I put quite a bit of an effort into designing the arbor to be made as a new part. But when we got a quote from the machine shop to custom make a brand new shaft, it was going to be about $600.00! This only made me wish that I had a lathe myself, but ultimately, it was cheaper to just have them machine down the one end from 3/4" to 5/8".
The Modified Arbor
In this first picture above, you'll see the modified arbor, plus some of the other parts that I was going to be putting on. As you can see, there's an electrical box there with a new switch (the old one was in a place that I didn't like) and there's some new big discs, as well as some saw stabilizer spacers and other random spacers.
Close-up of the Machined Shaft
Above, is a close-up picture of the machined shaft. They did a really good job; they put new flats on it because they had been rounded off, and on the other end, you can see the new threads on the bearing nut area (see below).
I installed the shaft by using my torch to heat up the whole cast iron assembly with a rosebud tip, swirled it around, and heated up the whole housing. I kept the whole shaft in the freezer inside of a plastic bag with a desiccant packet in it so that it wouldn't get moist from all of the moisture in the freezer. Once the shaft was very cold and the housing was really hot, I was able to slip that baby right in there, and it almost immediately seated correctly! I tried to move it once, but that resulted in me burning my hand because I thought I could adjust it while the thing was actually burning hot (ouch!)
Above, you can see a few views of the installed arbor.
Below, you can see that I've attached a new bearing nut, the little clip that holds it, as well as the snap ring. It went in very well!
Then I put the motor back in:
And re-attached the V-belt:
Moving the Switch
Once the shaft was installed, and in order to finish up this kind of restoration project, I moved the electrical box and the motor wiring from the left side of the table saw to the right side. The left side was a pain, because if I was cutting a long piece of wood, I would have to reach under the wood and hit the start button, and it was hard to find because it's such a little button. Even if I wanted to stop it after the piece of wood was cut across, it was in such an awkward place, that it was hard to find the off button.
Below you can see the new on-off switch, installed to the right of the blade. Now, when I'm ready to make my cut, I can simply hit the start button with my right hand, leaving my left hand free to make a clean cut! It's also really easy now to hit the new stop button, and it looks a little bit neater.
To finish up, I put in a new Diablo universal rip/cross cut blade. This is a thicker version, but I think I may get the thin kerf model with a higher tooth count. I thought I was being sensible by getting a thicker, sort of "heavy duty," multi-use blade but I think the blade's ripping clearance slots (which can be seen below) cause more tear-out that I'd like. Although it's a beautiful, very fast cut, I think a thinner blade with more teeth and slower ripping, would be better for general use.
Glad to Have a Saw Again
I also got a set of dado blades for the 5/8" shaft, which is enjoyable to use. It's been a pain to use a single blade, and multiple passes, to make a dado cut. All in all, there were some compromises made: it would have been nice to have a brand new shaft, with new bearings so that the blade would run super true. They really just don't make table saws like these old cast iron behemoths anymore. They're just so solid that once you adjust everything and dial it in, it cuts like butter! Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the end result of this project. Stay tuned for more woodworking projects to come!