Craftsman Table Saw eating bearings type 6202Z

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I know the opinion of the "wreck" on Craftsman products but the wife bought me one of those Craftsman tablesaws with the router extension wing for father's day about 3 years ago for a good price. With a Vega replacement fence, a router fence based on Norm's Deluxe Router station and an 890 PC router bolted on it with a link belt driving a Forest Woodworker II, it cuts like a dream.
Now the problem:
After about 4 mos. of regular use I started getting noise from the arbor bearings and returned it for a new one - same model. Another 4 mos., same story except I opted for in-home service. The serviceman took one listen and said "yep, bad bearings". He ordered new arbor bearings, arbor housing and a new arbor to be sent directly to me and told me to call him back if I needed him to install the parts. Long story short - I have a complete set of bearing pullers and changed them out myself and reinstalled the assembly - piece of cake. The only problem is I have to keep repeating this process. The last time I ordered bearings from Sears, they were USA made but that didn't make any difference neither did the China made bearings I bought local.
Now the saw is 3 years old and Sears has decided to raise the price of the bearings to almost $35 a piece!
Does anyone know of a brand/supplier of a high quality 6202Z 15mm id, 1 3/8 od shielded bearing that can stand the loads of a typical table saw? I don't mind spending the money if I never have to replace them again but this 4-8 month life cycle is getting ridiculous.
..Joe L
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Joe -
I know diddly about that saw and have no idea where to get the bearings but it just seems to me that the repeated bearing failure is indicative of a more serious problem than 'bad' bearings. I'd suspect some sort of alignment defect myself.
Good luck -
Vic
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wrote:

That is easy to say but I have aligned the saw with a dial indicator, have "Pals" on it to get within .002" on the Vega aftermarket fence and keep it clean and lubricated with high quality lubrication that I also use on my high tech mountain bike. Also, I have two arbor/bearing/arbor assemblys that I rotate between when one goes bad.
I picked up some high quality USA bearings from a close-by bearing supplier this afternoon and am going to try them when this set get too noisey to tolerate and see if that helps. Also, I setup my Harbor Freight dado blade with all the chippers and ran about 30 feet of full width dados/grooves through it just now and it didn't get worse. But it still chatters on shutdown, even with no blade on it.
I'm stumped, this isn't rocket science.
..Joe L
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A bike wheel with a nine foot circumference traveling at 30 miles an hour turns at roughly 300 RPM. A table saw arbor turns at about ten times that rate. I have seen bearings fail from too little lubricant, too much lubricant (causes overheating), and the wrong kind of lubricant.
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I don't know when the last time was I saw a 34" tall bicycle wheel. I have seen much larger like 60-72" tall on those old time high wheelers or the more traditional 700c23 which is about 26" tall. My bicycle would be doing about 375 rpms at 30 miles per hour. Is my math wrong?
snipped-for-privacy@control-tech.com wrote:

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but
I think he was referring to a misalignment of the bearings. However, you said you had a new arbor, bearings, and housing, which should eliminate that source. Is it possible these bearings just aren't strong enough to do the job? Seems like repeated replacements of all the critical parts, if the bearings are still failing, then they aren't up to the job.
--
Nahmie
Those on the cutting edge bleed a lot.
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On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 20:54:23 -0500, "Norman D. Crow"

No doubt Norman. That's why I want to stick the highest quality bearing I can find in it. But in the end, they just might be sized too small to handle the loads of the dado set I use which is the 42 outer tooth outer, 6 inner chipper tooth Harbor Freight model 44566-4VGA set which is the same as the Avenger set sold by Woodcraft I believe. It's a fantastic dado set for $29 on sale but it's a lot of steel to spin. Even so, I get great cuts and no vibration even with it fully loaded.
..Joe L
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wrote:

You may want to check into sealed bearings. A couple bucks more but should last longer in woodworking. Part # 6202LLB I believe. -- John, in Minnesota
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Is your saw one with a motor that hangs out the back on a pivot, like a contractors saw? I had a friend that kept tightening the bolt that goes through the curved slot in the motor mount and then he would raise the blade, putting enormous stress on the belt and motor bearings and arbor bearings. He ended up ruining the arbor pully and bearings until I told him to just snug up the bolt just enough to keep the motor from jumping.
You might try taking the seal off one side of the bearing and putting in a little more grease. But the real problem is that is a pretty small bearing for a 10" table saw arbor. I think you are already using sealed bearings, they probably have a black plastic 'washer' covering the bearings. If they have a metal 'washer' cover, they are shielded, and you should replace them with sealed. There are precision bearing out there, but I don't know if in this size. Call a good bearing house, forget Sears and thier $35.00 bearings, good American bearings shouldn't be over $10-15 each.
John, in MN wrote:

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Maybe I have been doing it wrong. I just let the motor hang there under its own weight. Seems to work fine; it that not correct?
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snipped-for-privacy@attglobal.net wrote:

I think you are right, mostly likely cause it high tension of the belt. Tighten up that little bolt and it will snap off when you change saw height or blade angle. It is suppose to slip and it's purpose is to reduce vibration.
The saw I have was my dads and has had lots of wood run through it. The motor was rebuilt about 1960. No bearing changes and is still smooth.
If it isn't belt tension, then the shaft is bent or something doesn't allow the the bearing to be in alignment. It is highly unlikely that bearing quality has any bearing on the problem.
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I missed that in his post. I agree, sealed bearings would be better than shielded bearings. He should be able to get them most anywhere for less than $10 each. Also his I believe his bearings would be 15 mm x 35 mm. Grainger 6L024, $8.39 each. Greg
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On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 23:16:56 +0000, Joe wrote:

McMaster-Carr www.McMaster-Carr.com is another good place for bearings. ABEC-1 sealed bearings should be around $10 per pair for the 6202 series.
Don't forget you have two separate pulleys that need to be in alignment. Once you have the blade dialed in, you have to go back and make sure that the motor is still lined up with the other pully. The bearings in this application are not very tolerant of side loads, so even a small amount of misalignment will kill them pretty quickly. I'd take a look at the pully alignment with a straight edge, or a small level. If the pulleys are not lined up slide the motor arround to get it in line.
Tony
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On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 03:26:37 GMT, Anthony VanCampen

I found some Fafnir American made bearings locally this afternoon for $6.70 a piece and the salesman assured me they were top quality and should hold up well. The model number is 202PP and is sealed and self lubricated just liked every other bearing I've put in the saw.
I always line up the pulleys with a straight edge and make sure to set the motor tension so that when the blade is fully up, the motor still has 1/2" to 1" left of travel. I've never had the link belt slip though and could back off the tension some if that would help as long as the motor doesn't start bouncing.
Another gentleman mention heat buildup. In trying to troubleshoot the problem before I've ran the saw continuously for about ten minutes without a blade, shut it down, and felt the arbor assembly and it was not warm at all. I know that heat=friction=heat - a lesson learned from running high rpm, high power RC model airplane engines over the years.
In my research I have also found that this bearing number is used in quite a few lawn mowers! Talk about a load - swinging a 22" blade at 2-3000 rpm with wet grass clippings attacking the seals.
BTW, Harbor Freight sells a puller set of 4 sizes of 3-jaw pullers that work great for changing arbor bearings (don't use any impact methods when installing/removing bearings). The model number is 40965-5VGA and runs around 20 bucks depending on sales.
Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'm still listening.
..Joe L
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All this means is that the arbor doesn't get very hot when it is running with no load. When the motor is really loaded down (i.e. developing rated power), it will be 60C hotter than ambient. You would definitely consider that hot, but the arbor bearings should be much much cooler. Jim
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Joe, How are you installing the new bearings. When ball bearings are installed in a housing you CANNOT PUSH ON THE INNER RACE or the hardened balls will put permanent dents in the outer race which will cause the bearing to fail prematurely fail. When the bearings are installed into the housing you may only press on the outer race. Also, is there a spacer between the inner races of both bearings (I'm assuming there are two to support the arbor)? It is possible the spacer is a little too short causing you to preload the inner races of both bearings which can cause them to fail if the loading is excessive? I don't think your dado head should be an issue unless something you are putting on the arbor is out of balance or the head is too large a diameter for the saw. Delta recommends only a 6" dado head be used on their Unisaws to prevent bearing wear. Belt tightness shouldn't be an issue either unless it is extremely excessive. Look at the belt tension of components on a car engine. There is enormous, constant stress on the bearings, they run in a very hot situation, at high RPM's and yet remain serviceable for years. Hope this helps,
Bob

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<snip>

Really?
Patriarch
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wrote:

Good point Bob and a fact that I am familiar with. Check out that Harbor Freight bearing puller set I am using to install the bearings. I make sure the pressure is even and lubricate the arbor housing and outer/inner bearing surfaces with high quality teflon grease I use on my mountain bike bearings before pressing them into place. I also heat the arbor housing to give a bit more clearance to the outer race of the bearings when I press them in - a trick I learned from working with my high performance model airplane engines.

Not quite sure if I follow you here Bob. My procedure when installing the bearings is to fully seat the bearing nearest to the arbor threads on the arbor, then pull it into the arbor assembly by the outer race of the installed bearing. That should cause no loading on that bearing. I then pull the other bearing from the pulley position on the arbor by grabbing the outer race and flush it with the pully side of the arbor assembly. That could load the inner race of the pully side bearing but that one never goes bad. I have also tried using a round piece of hardboard with a 5/8" hole drilled in it on the outer pulley side of the bearing to put equal pressure on the inner and outer races and that did a real good job of seating it with I would assume equal alignment of the races..

That is pretty significant if a Unisaw can only swing a 6" dado then I need to reconsider that 8" hunk of metal I'm trying to spin.
..Joe L
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Joe, Normally there is some kind of spacer between the inner races of two housed ball bearings. The arbor shaft spans the distance between the two inner races. If there was no spacer you could tighten the retaining nut for the arbor (opposite blade end) so tight the inner races will be preloaded to the point of early failure. If after the installation of new bearings the arbor does not spin freely something is wrong.
Bob

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wrote:

Now I understand you. In this case, the bearings are just pressed on the arbor shaft to the point where opposite of the blade end, you snap on an O-ring to secure the assembly. The only resistance I fell after installing them is the thick grease used in the sealed bearings.
Thanks for the suggestion!
..Joe L
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