Squeaky Unisaw


Does your Unisaw squeak? Mine does, er, ah, did.
I've had a special edition Delta Unisaw for about 10 years.....nice saw, really nice saw.
However, in the last year, it has developed a squeak when lowering the blade. While lowering, the squeak initially occurred when the blade was almost all the way down.....and then it now begins when the blade is halfway down.
I vacuumed out the saw, blew it out with compressed air, and oiled it in ever conceivable place with graphite, silicone spray, wax, and even some 3-in-1 oil. The squeak was still there. I removed the table (that's one heavy sucker) and did further cleaning, blowing, and lubricating.....still squeaking. Then I finally located the source of the squeak.
Bottom line (and it may sound as if I'm crazy): The squeak occurs when the set-screw of the lowering wheel that holds the key in place is tightened. If I loosen this set-screw, the squeak is nearly gone. My only conclusion is that this set-screw is somehow deforming the shaft and causing it to squeak as the shaft rotates. This seemed reasonable to me since the squeak was synchronous with the position of the lowering wheel....that is, it squeaked when the handle on the lowering wheel was always at the 4:00 position for instance.
Has anyone else experienced this type of squeak?
--

Mark



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yea - I have the same squeak - never really bothered me tho :)

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"Rob V" wrote in message

Mine seems to squeak only when it needs cleaning (obviously not the case with the OP), but I'm definitely familiar with the sound also.
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Mine too. But I figure I/we are in good company... Norm's squeaks as well. Or at least used to a few years back when I was paying any attention.
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Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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My Delta contractors saw doesn't squeak and never did. Wanna trade?? :)
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http://home.triad.rr.com/brianmelissa/woodworking_frames.htm
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Yep, my limited edition (rolls eyes) Unisaw does it too (mine's also about 10 years old, made with the heavy chrome hand wheels, not long before Delta started thinking they needed to cut costs), but I think you may be misdiagnosing the source of the problem. If you look at the rear end of the shaft that raises/lowers the blade, you'll see there's a collar on the shaft, fixed with a set screw, and that collar rides right up against the face of the rear trunnion assembly. I believe that's where the squeak is coming from. Compressed air probably wouldn't get any dust out of there, and it may simply be the metal-on-metal contact that's doing it. Or, with my saw I've always had the impression that it's actually the minute vibration (vibration isn't the right word, I can't think of it, but I think ya know what I mean) of the collar contacting the trunnion, and the vibration resonating in the shaft.
I think if you were to loosen that collar and put a dab o' lube on the back side of it, the squeak would disappear. Then again, you coulda done like me and not worried about it. :)
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Mike
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On Wed, 26 Oct 2005 22:54:04 -0500, "Mike Fairleigh"
(mine's also about

???? That limited edition had chrome handwheels that were normally painted black. Handwheels were heavy cast zinc. Current handwheels are painted Cast iron with a better handle and pin. Both cost about the same although the chrome plating was an expensive adder.
The Unisaw Design did not change for the worse from the point of that limited edition. The perception that Delta tried to cut cost is certainly true in the chase to the far east for many products, however the Unisaw was spared that fate during that time frame. But in the future, who knows. Buy now.
but I think you may be

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I don't recall ever seeing a Unisaw that had these same hand wheels in black. They have an entirely different profile than any other wheels I've seen on any generation or model of Unisaw. Not that it matters either way, but I do like these.

Better? I think not. I wouldn't trade the handles for those on any other model. YMMV.

Sorry, but I think extension wings that seem almost to be sharpened at the corners, and blow molded motor covers, constitute changes for the worse - at least where the tradition of the brand's quality are concerned. Note, I'm a huge Delta fan and have a shop full of it, but I'm no Kool-Aid drinker.
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Mike
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On Thu, 27 Oct 2005 12:40:28 -0500, "Mike Fairleigh"

Trust me they were. Nothing wrong with that. The chrome was part of the changes made for that particular limited edition. The same wheel was painted for non limited edition units of that time frame.

Eye of the beholder. Glad you like them. I've got both, give slight preference to the new ones on the X5 units that have machined steel handles on the cast iron wheels. Don't look as nice but I think they feel better. and the lock knobs are more ergonomically friendly that those triangles that used to show up all over the place. The evolution was round knurled to Delta triangles, to the current two blade unit. Actually,I always liked the round ones the best.

When the extension wings were changed to the sharp corner they were increased in size by two inches, from 8" to 10". I would say that was an improvement. The squaring of the corners was to make a clean fit to the extension table rather than having a radius gap. The wings became universal in that they would fit on either side and you could add multiple wings to either side if you so chose because they were milled on both sides rather than leaving the cast draft on the outboard side. I would call that better.
The double wall blow molded cover was part of a cabinet change that increased the factories ability to get statistically improved blade alignment (hard to explain, it's complicated) to the slots. certainly better. but the real benefit came with the dust collection improvements from the motor cover and the cabinet dust chute changes. Dust collection is currently better than any past Unisaw series.
Not trying to pick a fight, you have a fine saw that will last through multiple generations and if B & D doesn't mess it up you will be able to get parts for it for multiple generations. I'm bothered when generalities hit the group about the saws not being as good as they were. You're messing with my legacy. I'm retired now but, I ran the factory that made your's and made the current through summer of 04.
by the way, my ten year old saw squeaks too on elevation crank (down, not up) and I don't know what causes it.
As I have no current affiliation all opinions are mine and mine alone and I do not represent Delta or their past or present parent corporations.
Enjoy your saw for a long time.
Frank
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Thank you Frank, you did a fine job on my saw.
BTW, can you tell me any stories or anecdotes about #99-L-50648 as she passed down the line?
;)
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Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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On Thu, 27 Oct 2005 15:46:09 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC

A saw made during the Christmas season! Always good, most folks in a great mood. Lots of stress, though. Y2K coming up waiting for the gremlins to come out and get us (as you know, never happened). Consolidation with Porter Cable imminent. That gremlin did get us. Biesemeyer behind, not enough fences to go with the saws.
I can tell you it was a good one, or it would have never been put on the truck. I hope you enjoy your saw for a long time too.
Frank

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I'll give you that one, Frank. The triangles look nice but aren't too hand-friendly. I'd probably prefer round ones as well if I had them. I don't dislike the triangles enough to replace them, though.

I have a radiused wing on the left and a square wing on the right to mate cleanly with the extension table. I see no improvement in having a square wing on the left side, waiting for someone to impale himself on it, for the sake of 2 additional inches that are rarely used. How many people bolt additional (more than one per side) cast iron wings onto their saws? As I see it this was nothing more than a cost cutting move on Delta's part.

'Course, I was never much fer yer books & stuff, but I'd be interested in hearing the explanation of how a plastic motor cover influences blade alignment.

Not sure how it could be better than mine. I have the rectangular-to-5" Delta fitting on my saw, and it gets just about everything. I never have any reason to clean it out.

I'm not trying to pick a fight either, but I think you're looking at things from the perspective of a plant manager, while I'm looking at them from the perspective of a user and someone who holds the Unisaw and Delta brand history in high regard (I'm not saying you don't, as I suspect you do as well).

I've cited very specific reasons why I think cost cutting has taken its toll on the brand. As to Delta tools other than the Unisaw, I think it takes even less effort to find examples of cost cutting and how it has effected tool quality.

Then I have a very high degree of respect for you, and gratitude for doing your part to continue the Unisaw legacy. And I realize design changes aren't the responsibility of the plant manager. As far as your legacy, my comments are based on the fact that I don't want the Unisaw to eventually succomb to the same fate as so many other once-highly regarded tools - under-engineered parts, poor quality control, elimination of "unnecessary" parts (radiused wings), etc. By the way, my entire cast iron top had to be replaced when new because it was so badly warped. My Unifence rail had to be replaced 4 times before they finally sent one that was straight.

I definitely will.
--
Mike
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On Sat, 29 Oct 2005 23:39:16 -0500, "Mike Fairleigh"
... snip

Not to answer for Frank, but read the statement carefully, "... molded cover was a part of a cabinet change ..." I suspect that the engineering changes for the cabinet may have been initiated with one objective to improve blade alignment. In the process of the re-design, other changes, some of which were cost saving measures were also incorporated, the blow molded cover probably being one of those, thus, it became "part of a cabinet change that improved blade alignment". Like you, I see no way by which the use of a less rigid piece could in any way improve blade alignment. Scratch that, the only way I can see such a change making a difference would imply things about the remainder of the cabinet design that would imply some extreme "value engineering" not in line with the perception of this particular piece of equipment and its order in the perceived quality of build food chain.
That said, if they improved the mounting of the cover vs. the 1995 model that I have which is a real pain when used with the 52" table, there may be some added value there.

After I added that to my saw, I've had little difficulty with dust collection either.

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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On Sat, 29 Oct 2005 23:39:16 -0500, "Mike Fairleigh"

Actually cost more. More material, more machining. The concession to cost, if you want to call it that, was to make it universal so that there would only have to be one cast pattern to maintain and one manufacturing process to set up. Also made inventory control much more effective. but the net cost was still more.And I think everyone has ten inch wings now.

Read again, has to do with the cabinet changes. The motor cover was redesigned because of the larger opening created by the cabinet changes. Simply put the changes in the cabinet resulted in a statistical improvement to the plane of the top plate which is a critical dimension to holding blade alignment (blade alignment is set during assembly as close to zero as possible at 90 degrees and then has a tolerance to 45 degrees). Many factors control it. The plane of the top plate is a critical one and because your are dealing with formed and welded metal, achieving tolerance range improvements is difficult. To measureably improve the final tolerance was a breakthrough. And many like the new motor cover. I do. But I had nothing against the old one. Just after ways to make the machine better.

I know yours works very well, however in the spirit of continuous improvement, anything can be better. turning the chute 90 degrees parallel to the blade rotation, cantilevering the chute wings and providing a collector port as standard equipment were anticipated to be better and it tested better.

Keep in mind, I'm also a user, and a fairly particular one. And you're right I think it is still the best brand possible, particularly in the industrial line.

Thank you and actually, they were. The domestic factory used to be more or less independent and had the ability to make improvements to the product. The improvements mentioned above, the improvements to the 14" band saw with quick blade release and adjustment, more HP, angle draft settings, improved dust collection, etc. and many other product improvements were factory led iniatives.
It has been my experience that when you have dedicated people who both make the product and use the product, responsible for improving the product, the best and most functional design and quality improvements come out. That's what I had. And it was them, not me. I was just their cheerleader.
As far as your legacy, my

Me too
By the way, my entire cast iron top had to be

Sorry to hear that. The tables got checked for flatness four times during the process. sampled at reciept, individually at rough mill, final grind, and final assembly. In my entire career with many random observations I've never observed a step being skipped. And I made it a point to quietly observe. Guide rails sent directly to the distribution center, don't know what the procedure was there. My apologies for your troubles. Hope you were treated fairly and quickly in the recovery.

Best of luck to you
Frank
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Frank Boettcher (in snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com) said:
| It has been my experience that when you have dedicated people who | both make the product and use the product, responsible for | improving the product, the best and most functional design and | quality improvements come out. That's what I had. And it was them, | not me. I was just their cheerleader.
Thanks. Methinks you did it well. My Unisaw was bought new in 1975 and has seen a fair amount of use. It's weathered blizzards and floods better than the buildings that've housed it - and it's still going strong. I've never owned (or used) any other table saw, so I stay mum when people start off comparing different brands and models.
There's a bit of pocking around the bottom of the base from the floods of '93 - and last year I finally did replace the aging, brittle power cord. The saw never did have a motor cover but I've never particularly missed having one.
I replaced the original (tubular) rails with longer, then replaced the longer rails and original fence with a long-railed Incra fence. It seems to work well but I keep the originals polished and oiled "just in case". The Uniguard won't cohabit with the Incra rails so it hangs on the shop wall, also "just in case".
No squeaks, rattles, or groans. Works just like it did on its first day: push the green button and it makes a soft lispy hissing sound. Cuts clean and true every time - still.
You did well. All of you.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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wrote:

Motor covers are a good idea,their inclusion as standard equipment primarily driven by OSHA and UL.

Hey, save that jetlock fence, those long rails, and the special mounting spacers and machine screws. There are some contractors in Texas who love those things and you would probably be able to sell them any time you wanted to.

We all thank you.
Frank
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Mike,
Thanx for your feedback. The squeak is definitely in and around that collar you mentioned.....I figured that out when I had the saw apart. I removed the collar, blew the area clean, cleaned the collar, lubricated it, and re-installed it. It doesn't squeak as long as I don't tighten the set-screw securing the key that keeps that "chrome" handle/wheel fixed to the shaft. I don't seem to see any set-screw for the collar on my saw....there are two long screws at the 3:00 and 9:00 positions that hold the collar around the shaft. By the way, the function of this collar is to lock the blade and keep it from being able to move up or down....that part works well.
My solution is to not tighten that set-screw for the chrome wheel too much, tolerate the very minor squeak that still exists, and continue to make sawdust!
What is interesting is the number of people who responded with similar squeaks. Even the salesman from whom I purchased the Unisaw said he had a squeak on his Unisaw....and he was going to go home and see if it is similar to my squeak. I haven't heard back from him yet.
Mark

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Mark Stiegel wrote:

turn up the stereo.
dave
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