Photos by author
Worn Table Saw Arbor Fix, $2 Fix
I’ve used my table saw hard for the past 35 years. Its arbor (the shaft where the blade mounts) is now worn badly due to changing saw blades as often as I have, and that concerns me. It looks like there aren’t enough threads for the arbor nut to grab any more. The last thing I want is for the blade to come loose while I’m sawing. I imagine a saw blade zinging through my shop like a Frisbee, and that would not be pretty! I’ve been monitoring the cumulative wear for the past few years, and I anticipated and dreaded the day when I would need to replace the table saw’s arbor. Last time I checked the cost of a new arbor was $125, add in the time and work to change the arbor, and it becomes a major undertaking. So there I am one day recently standing in front of my table saw and looking at the arbor shaft, and I realize all I need to do is shift the locking nut leftwards on to the seldom-used section of threads; and if I can do that, then I solve the problem for another 35 years. That should be good enough!
This close up shows the severely worn center section of threads. The left section of threads is almost pristine since they’ve had only minor use, and the right side threads have never had any use since that’s where the saw bade and outer flange mount. It’s those threads just a little to the left of the arbor flange that concern me. That’s where the table saw arbor nut lives.
I made a quick trip to my local hardware store and found this two dollar 5/8″ x 1/2″ long shaft collar, which matches the diameter of the table saw arbor. I removed and discarded the collar’s setscrew, placed the collar between the outer flange and the locking nut, and then tightened the nut. All is good again! I’ve moved the arbor nut’s threading point 1/2″ to the left. Simple.
Another option I found on eBay is a Mini Bike/Go Kart axel bushing. I bought one that is 1/4″ long. Now I can alternate using either the 1/2″ long shaft collar or the 1/4″ long bushing, and that will extend the life of my table saw’s arbor longer yet. To find the axel bushing, search eBay for “5/8” ID Steel Axle Bushing.