Unisaw Belt Upgrade


Hello,
Back when I had a contractor saw, I replaced its belt with one of those link style belts. It greatly improved the smoothness of the tool and (at least to me) was worth doing. I was wondering if the same can be done to the Unisaw, which has 3 (what seem to be) smaller belts. I was told by a clerk at a woodworking store that this was not possible to do on a Unisaw.
TIA
-Mike
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Hi Mike,
Why would you want to do this to a Unisaw? My Unisaw runs perfectly smooth without changing the belts.
Curtis
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Hey, thanks for the response. In Arizona, rubber items tend to dry out and crack sooner than later. I guess I'm just wondering what my options are -- if upgrading would make the already smooth running saw even smoother!
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Mike Pio wrote:

Not apprciably, and assuming it's not outside in the direct sunlight, the belts will last quite some time--I'm in SW KS, which isn't <quite> as intense as AZ, but only those items in sun or in completely unregulated temperature environments age significantly faster.
BTW, the three belts are a matched set and will take and maintain equal tension between the three far better than will the linked belts which will invariably have slightly different lengths...
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If the belts are drying out you can apply some belt dressing. The Unisaw has 3 matched belts. How can you possibly get 3 of those link belts to match up?
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Are the Unisaw's belts matched in size or material lot? Both? How are they matched?
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"Mike Pio" wrote in message

Unless Unisaw's have really gotten shitty the last few years, it is not necessary at all ... it's one of the reasons you buy one. ;)
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Last update: 5/14/05
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It can be done and many have done it. More than anything I believe is that it helps resolve the loud jolt heard on most cabinet saws when the saw is started.
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Which I hate. I have a 4 month old Unisaw and it makes that loud jolt about every 14 starts out of 15. I check the play in the blade raising mechinism and I have no play. I loosend up the belts a little. Still get the loud bang. It's really annoying. I was thinking of some day trying some link belts. Used them and use them on many pieces equipment with good results. But then I see all the neg post about using them on a 3 belt cabinet saw. What to do, what to do?????
Darrell
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I think it is a general train of thought that the link belts would be hard to adjust when used in 3's. I personally have not tried it yet but those that have used the link belts on their cabinet saws have not indicated any difficulty in adjustment. With just about any belt an adjustment will be needed after they have run and have stretched a bit. I suspect that after running the link belts for a while that they will all end up being the same length. When my saw was new I contacted Jet about the loud jolt when starting. Basically they indicated after replacing the motor with no improvement that with 220 volts the motor normally has no lack of voltage and or voltage drop and starts instantly as opposed to having to wind up with 110 volt. The 3 non slipping belts transfer this energy instantly and you hear it. As the belts wear a bit and loosen this condition seems to subside some what. I think the looseness of the 3 link belts may in part slip slightly and in part absorbe the vibration and instant transfer of energy.
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On Mon, 11 Jul 2005 22:52:53 -0500, "Darrell Dorsey"

What to do, what to do?????

If it is any consolation all of them (ten inch tilting arbor cabinet saws) do it these days. particularly single phase 220V. The motors have a very high starting torque and you are transferring that through all the cast iron into that nice resonant cabinet.
Why not every time. Believe it has to do with the stopping orientation of the armature to the field. Phase angle I believe the EE's call it. There are spots where it starts softer.
You can fool with the capacitor size but if you get the hard start out you will impact the performance negatively.
No one wants to pay for an electronic soft start circuitry.
So relax. It will still last several lifetimes.
Frank
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Oh, I'm not worried about the saw. I just hate that bang everytime.
Darrell

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Don't know why you would want to do that.
The only thing that link belts bring to the party is the ability to resist taking a set. A high quality v belt (or a set of three) will run just as smoothly or actually more smoothly as long as they have not been sitting up too long and have taken a set. And after they have run for a while they loose the set.
Save your money, dress your belts.
wrote:

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Frank Boettcher wrote:
> Save your money, dress your belts.
Frank,
How do you dress your belts? Do you have a favored technique? What is the longest you have gone between turning your saw on and seeing the set in the belts? Do you run it regularily just to avoid a set?
Jonathan Sidhu
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On Tue, 12 Jul 2005 18:51:49 GMT, Jonathan Sidhu

With an automotive belt dressing, although I'm not sure what good it does. Original poster commented that belts tended to dry out and crack in his environment. The belt dressing would prevent, or at least postpone, that.
Do you have a favored technique?
Spray some on the belts and turn on the saw
What is

I've never seen it in my Unisaw. Has always run smooth as glass. Keep in mind the factory belts are very high quality. I used to get it on my contractor saw in the winter if it sat for a few days, however, as mentioned it smoothed out as it was run. It would only be evident on initial start up and Kind of like old bias ply tires used to get a flat spot if they sat too long. they would round back up when they heated up.
Do you run it regularily just to avoid a set?
No, Sometimes I run the saw every day. Some times I go weeks at a time without turning it on. It is not bothersome nor wil it do any harm.
Frank

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Probably nothing. GM indicated in a service bulliten to only use belt dressing to determine the source of a squeel or knocking sound made by belts when they need to be replaced. When you have several belts spinning and belt dressing makes the noise go away, you have found the belt that needs to be replaced.
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Here is a google thread on that very subject. http://tinyurl.com/abokb
-- ******** Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com
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Mike Pio wrote:

FWIW, I just finished refurbishing my 1948 Unisaw, and bought a matched set of three conventional belts at the Delta store here in town. They rebuild Unisaws all the time and they said to save my money... its not needed. Mine has the old repulsion 1HP bullet motor so there is no snap when you turn it on. The thing runs smoother and quieter than my old Craftsman. And so far, between the WWII and the new belts, it's like using a meat slicer.
Mike
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<snip>

We'd prefer that you find another analogy. Please.
Congrats on the old Unisaw.
Patriarch
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