How Can I Dampen Vibration on My Powermatic Saw?
Issue: Issue 311
Posted Date: 10/9/2012
I have a refurbished Powermatic 10-inch table saw on an open stand. The saw is belt drive and vibrates when running. The arbor is smooth running, as is the motor. I think the problem is with the belt "galloping." Tension on the belt is just from the motor weight. Shimming the motor to prevent play helps some, but the saw still vibrates. Can you suggest a solution? - Steve Peterson
Chris Marshall: If your saw has conventional pulleys, buy a link belt to replace the standard drive belt. It works wonders to remedy the exact problem you're having! Ironic as this may seem, I put one on a Powermatic contractor's saw years ago, and it took care of the "galloping" problem immediately. It was the best investment I ever made for that saw.
Tim Inman: I have two thoughts to share: I'd explore the effects of setting a spring tensioner on the motor. Keeping a constant pull on the belt tension will help prevent the harmonic vibrations you're experiencing. Something as simple as a screen door spring hooked up to pull against the motor would work for a test. It might even be the final solution! The best suggestion, though, would be to replace that old V-belt with a new "link" type. These belts are a little more expensive, but they eliminate the "wobbles" caused by old hard V-belts that are "out of round."