Worn Table Saw Arbor Fix

Photos by author

Worn Table Saw Arbor Fix, $2 Fix

fixed

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!

worn–arbor

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.

fixed–close–up

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.

shaft–collar

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.

Discussion
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18 Responses to “Worn Table Saw Arbor Fix”
  1. jchap44

    Since this appears to move your saw blade outboard by the thickness of your collar, you then have make up some new throat plates, yes? Also, I’m wondering if that small collar stabilizes the blade well enough compared to the flange that has a much larger diameter. Is it safe? Do you notice any wobble in the blade during use?

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      Hi, jchap44!

      The blade and flange remain in the same position. The additional spacer goes between the flange and the nut as shown in the first and third photos. Therefore no modifications are necessary to the throat plate, and the flange continues to stabilize the blade just as before.

      Reply
  2. John C

    Not a bad fix, provided the saw isn’t European spec with a short arbor shaft to prevent us using dado cutters. I would have been tempted to leave the lock screw in the collar as a fail safe. I can’t help wondering if a second nut, or a deeper nut with more threads, would have achieved the same thing?

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      Hi, John!

      Yes, it is possible that the approaches you describe could have addressed this problem as well.

      Reply
    • Bob Davies

      It would seem to me that unless you use dado sets a lot that just the extra width of the extra cutters would do the same thing that the spacer does, i.e. move the arbor nut toward the outside threads.

      Reply
  3. John Barlow

    Not only does it change the position of the arbor nut, but it also reduces the time necessary to screw the nut on as far, which is a bonus in the close quarters of most table saws.

    Reply
  4. George

    I have a similar problem but mine is only noticible with my stacked dado. My bottoms are showing ridges even with a $300 dado set. I was wondering if a machine shop could build up the arbor and recut the threads. My arbor is no longer available.

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team

      It might be possible to have a machine shop do this but I’d be cautious about doing so because of the stress that the arbor is under during operation. If you know of a reputable machine shop they should be able to give you sound guidance as to whether such a repair would be advisable. Short of that I’d suggest looking for third party parts that might be available for your saw.

      Reply
  5. George

    Great information throughout,it’s good to have guys like your good self, around to help us guys that have less experience, and to give us good safety advice also, Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Leigh Walrath

      I have a circa 1995 Jet 10″ contractor saw with worn threads to the end. I’ve tried both a new nut and an axle bushing but the arbor nut will not tighten down anywhere along the thread. Unfortunately, Jet no longer makes a replacement arbor for this model. Has anyone tried Loctite thread restorer or some other thread restoring compound? A machinist is several hours away and I doubt they’ll have a reverse thread die. Thanks

      Reply
      • WWGOA Team

        I would not try to fix this using a thread restoring compound. There’s just too much stress on this to make it safe. Instead, I would thoroughly research this for third party parts online. That saw was a popular one, and some third party parts supplier must have an arbor that would work for it

        Reply
  6. jim rubin

    Less bulk if a washer or two were placed on the right side of the blade ,pushing it over to some “fresh threads” jim

    Reply
  7. Rex Hapgood

    There has been no mention of the condition of the nut. Threads wear on both the arbor and the nut. The nut may be heat treated to harden it to a higher Rockwell number but it should be looking at carefully, so your sense of security isn’t a false sense of security. With regard to the arbor being repaired, this should be no problem for a good machine shop. Once the shaft has been built up to the correct diameter, machined and threaded it can be restored to its correct hardness with the proper heat treatment process.

    Reply
    • Rex Hapgood

      The nuts I have seen used in this application have a lower profile than regular nuts, approximately 1/2 the usual thickness. The wear I was referring to is wear on the nuts internal threads.

      Reply