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While building my cabinets for my kitchen remodel it became apparent I needed to stop fighting my table saw’s pulleys and belt and upgrade them. What do I mean by this? For years I had dealt with the aluminum pulleys working loose causing a rattle and vibration.
How does something like this happen? Simple – as the v-belt runs around the pulleys it creates heat. Aluminum expands and contracts because of this heat. When it expands the set screw can work itself out a little bit or slide on the shafts. Eventually, you end up with the pulley falling off or rattling which causes the entire saw to vibrate.
How does someone go about solving this problem? Reduce the heat being generated by a link belt maybe? That may reduce the frequency but still generates some heat. How about completely replacing the aluminum pulleys with steel pulleys and a link belt? Bingo! That is what I ended up doing with my table saw which resulted in quite a bit a difference.
First things first I ordered a Grizzly T21992 Power Twist V-Belt and two Gates AK25 Light Duty pulleys – one for the motor and one for the arbor. Next patiently wait for them to arrive except I couldn’t due to the kitchen remodel timelines so I just kept fighting the factory equipment.
Once arriving I pulled the old pulleys off – the one on the motor required some convincing it wanted to be removed – I used penetrating oil for this.
I had to file down the shaft key for the key way because was a little too snug to fit in the slot ground in on the pulleys. Once that was done I slid the pulleys on, tapped the key in and set the link belt size to the appropriate length following the directions provided with it.
Boy was I amazed the difference both in the sound and smoothness of the cutting. I really wish I had made this upgrade prior to almost finishing my cabinets because I could have saved a lot of time tightening down the set screws over and over again while ripping Maple and Plywood. My cuts also would have been much cleaner too without all the vibration.
Below you will find a video on the process I went about doing it. I hope you find it useful and it improves your woodworking level.
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