New Contractors saw vibrates - how much vibration is acceptable???

I just purchased a new contractors saw and I think it vibrates too much. I don't want to spell out the brand yet (for people using search engines) but let's just say that it's green, cost $649, was recommended by Fine Woodworking as a best buy, and comes from Taiwan via the "Great White North". Something like vibration is hard to quantify so I'll describe it in terms of the nickel test. My father has a 40-year-old Delta Rockwell contractor style saw that does not vibrate at all. The nickel will stand up forever. It has a standard V-belt, not a powertwist link belt. The saw I'm replacing is a $100 Delta benchtop saw which also passes the nickel test but is not nearly as smooth as it's grandfather. Those two saws form my basis for comparison.
When I first turned on my new saw, not only did the nickel fall down immediately, it started moving around the table slightly. I could see the vibration in the table and especially in the motor. After wearing in the belt and making some tweaks to perfect the pulley alignment, the vibrations reduced somewhat but they still seem excessive to me. I stand three nickels on the table and when I turn on the saw, one falls down immediately, one usually falls down after 3-5 seconds, and the third falls down after 10-15 seconds. I can no longer see the vibrations in the table but can feel them, and I can see the motor vibrating slightly. Is the in the range of normal for a new contractors saw or does this saw have a problem?
I aligned the pulleys using a straight edge as described in the manual. I've run the motor with the belt off and it is smooth. The blade spins smoothly as well. I tried two other v-belts that I picked up at automotive stores. I've ordered (but have not recieved) a 3/8 powertwist link belt for it because I couldn't find one locally. However, if this saw has some kind of problem, I want to return it or exchange it, not mask the problem with a link belt.
Thanks, Scott
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Does the belt vibrate when the saw is running? If so you probably have found your problem. If the motor and blade spin smoothly with out the belt, you nave narrowed it down. Take a close look at your pullys also. Do the wobble?
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Leon wrote:

The belt vibrated a lot when I first turned on the saw but it has quieted down quite a bit. It doesnt seem to be vibrating any more than the motor is. I would guess that the motor is oscillating about 1/32 of an inch. This gets passed to the table as a from-to-back type of vibration that is more noticeable when I place my hand on the front edge of the saw versus the top of the table. Nickels placed parallel to the saw blade stand up longer than nickels placed perpendicular to the blade. The pulleys are fine.
I made one cross cut and it cut fine but how much vibration is acceptable in a contractors saw? Given that the belt is so long and the pulleys so small, I suspect that will always be a little vibration but how much is too much? Should a nickel stand up indefinitely on a contractors saw? Is there some other way to quantify this?
Thanks, Scott
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On Sun, 07 Mar 2004 12:36:23 -0500, Scott Duncan

Install the link belt and hang tube sand over the legs if you have to. The legs of a contractor's saw aren't as solid as the body of a cabinet saw.
I think you may be making a mountain out of a molehill. Go make something! <G>
Barry
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If the motor vibrates with out the belt on the saw I would try removing the pulley from the motor and see if the vibration disappears. The pulley may be out of ballance. There are better pulyes out there and usually sold with link belts.
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hey, you spent a modest amount of money on a saw, and modest performance is what you will receive. Does it cut wood ok? is it aligned? does it have enough power to cut through your thickest, hardest wood? is the fence accurate, or do you have to measure every cut with a tape measure?
I wouldn't worry about a vibration that is low enough to allow one of your nickels to stand up for a quarter minute. If you want to hear a sad story of vibration look up my complaints about my previous Delta band saw in Google archives. Now THAT was a mover and shaker!
dave
Scott Duncan wrote:

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Bay Area Dave wrote:

It's a nice powerfull saw with a great fence but I'm having a hard time believing that they all vibrate this much out of the box.

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Link belts help dampen motor oscillations, too. You want the saw to be steady enough, in my opinion, that a carelessly neglected measuring device, left on the table at startup, won't dance toward the spinning blade as you try to tell yourself not to reach....

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I think alink bet is worth a try. I was using my dad's delta contractor saw and it make me uncomfortable because of the vibration...
I'm used to a cabinet saw, but this just seemed wrong.... A link belt cleared up the problem.
I suppose you could bug the vendor for a new belt, but maybe they just have crappy belts.
Even if a link belt did NOTHING to solve your problem, you could either use it on another tool or save it for when a belt goes bad.
-s

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