I inherited a Sears Radial arm saw from my father who had passed away.
It looks like a great saw the only problem is that it wont start. I
have checked the plugs and power is going to the saw even to the
switch. But from that point nothing happens no sound, no motion,
nothing. Does anyone have any idea how much it would cost to fix it?
Or what I can do to test it myself and fix it. Thanks
Look on the motor housing for a red "motor overload" button. If it's
out, push it in and try the saw again. If it's in (or pushing it in
doesn't help) then the motor is blown. You can check with Sears for a
replacement (they might just surprise you). Or, you can call around to
local motor shops to see how much a rewind would cost. If you have an
ohm meter you can check the windings yourself. If you don't know what
I'm talking about then you should avoid any and all attempts at self
The other option is to retrofit the saw to use a motor with a standard
frame. I did this on a Sears RAS when I repurposed it as a drum sander
(Performax). This is definitely a time intensive, costly task which
will require some engineering knowledge. Not for the weekend warrior
on his first adventure.
Home of the TS-Aligner
Ir it could be something as simple as a defective power switch.
Also, for many years Sears used a little yellow plastic key that slides
into the power switch--is that present and in its proper place? Without
it, the switch will not work.
It could be many thing other than a blown motor. If your car doesn't start
do you assume you need a new motor. :)
It could be the outlet it is plugged into, the powercord, the switch, the
I fail to see how you can declare a blown motor after the man claims
that he has power to the saw even to the switch but after that nothing.
Would seem to me that power is not getting thru the switch for some
reason, That is my opinion without and engineering knowledge.
Sorry O D, I glossed over a number of things which were already ruled
out in my mind. I read the original poster's message to mean that
power was getting through the switch but the motor was still not
turning. Looking at it again, I see how his words leave room for only
checking the input side of the switch. Perhaps I assumed too much and
the original poster didn't think to make sure that power was getting
through the switch. Good catch. I also thought about the starting
cap. If it were open (or not switched in), then the motor would hum
and vibrate but not start. The original poster said it was making no
sound. There's not much more than the windings to go bad here - it's a
pretty simple setup.
Home of the TS-Aligner
O D wrote:
On 5 Jul 2006 11:51:33 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
If so, then the advice given by someone about the red thermal overload
switch is good--try that first. If that doesn't do it, then suspect
the switch, particularly since you have power to it (which assumes you
actually tested for voltage at the switch).
The motor is an induction motor which means it has a capacitor
somewhere on it. Check that. Also there should be a centrifugal switch
that opens after the motor starts and disengages the capacitor. Those
switches are notorious for getting sawdust in them and refusing to
close again rendering the motor unable to start the next time. Try
blowing it out.
Yes, Sears has used lockout keys in their switches, but they haven't
always been a yellow key in a red toggle. My RAS has a separate metal
key (just like for a warded lock) next to the switch, which is on the
motor assembly just above the handle (c. 1972 saw). Doesn't mean it's
not the culprit, just that you may need to look for something other
than the yellow key others have mentioned.
Replacing the motor is probably not feasible for a number of reasons.
#1 is that Emerson Tool (which made many of Sears' tools for years)
recalled their RASs (see http://www.radialarmsawrecall.com ) and in the
case of certain qualified models, would send a retrofit blade guard
and new table (which doesn't help you a bit if yours qualfies, but
keep reading). If your model doesn't qualify, then they'll send you
$100 if you'll send the motor from your saw to them. That's it. You
get $100. I said all that to indicate that there is a possiblity that
you can't get a replacement motor from Sears.
Another reason is that the motor is in a completely proprietary mount
and it would be difficult to adapt a standard NEMA mount to it.
Moreover, the cost of a motor could be more than the saw is worth if
If nothing mentioned in this thread works for you, your last resort
may be to have a motor shop take a look at it, which means you have to
make a decision as to how much time, effort, and money you're willing
to throw at this. And you're going to have to come to terms
emotionally with some of the choices.
Under the circumstances (and failing to fix it) I'd be inclined to put
an ad in the paper to sell it as is for $150, then take that money and
some more and buy one of the modern sliding compound miter saws which
will do 80% of what that RAS will do, and in less space. It won't have
quite the cross cut capacity and it won't rip, but in many respects is
a better choice, particularly in getting in and staying in alignment.
Wed, Jul 5, 2006, 11:51am (EDT-3) email@example.com doth sayeth:
<snip>. I have checked the plugs <snip>
Maybe it's out of gas.
Politician \Pol`i*ti"cian\, n. Latin for career criminal
You said you had power "to the switch": How about "From the
switch?" Does the switch actually work?
Motor reset button?
Fuse hidden away somewhere?
Power AT the leads going into the motor? They're usually
accessible under a power plate.
If power is going into the motor and there is no reset, then
the motor is likely the culprit. Centrifugal switch, dirt in
contacts, etc. Probably not capacitors since you said it's
WAS it knwon to be running originally?
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