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Axminster EX21 - lower arm noise (video)

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AES

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A comment plus a couple of questions if I may?

Comment:
Hard to tell because the background "noise" was so low on the film, but to me it sounds pretty much the same as my EX 21 (I think)! Hence the following questions:

1. Was the blade tensioned throughout the filming (i.e. the white plastic lever facing away from you)? If YES, then you MAY have a small problem, BUT PLEASE NOTE: (a) on mine when the blade is NOT tensioned (white lever towards me) I get about the same amount of side-to-side play you show on the film; b) BUT when the blade is tensioned (white lever away from me) I get NIL side-to-side play on those bottom bearings. But also note, as said above, when running I THINK my machine makes about the same amount of noise as your machine. Anyway:

2. With the blade not tensioned (white lever away from you) have you ever lubricated those bearings? (My Manual says that "once in a while" you should undo the locknuts, remove the (roller) bearings, pivot bolts and spacers and washers, then smear a SMALL amount of grease on the bearings, spacers, and the holes in the arms where the pivot bolts & bearings go. But DO check your own Manual please because my machine came direct from Excalibur and is not the Axminster version - there MAY be some small differences between our two machines;

3. The amount of side-to-side movement on the bottom arms of your machine LOOKS like it MAYBE a little more than on mine. So assuming the lubrication is OK, you could try tightening up those locknuts on the pivot bolts a little - if exactly like my machine you cannot over-tighten those nuts and jam the arms solid because the spacers are EXACTLY the correct length to stop over-tightening and therefore jamming the arms solid.

4. Do you get the same amount of side-to-side play on the top arm bearings? All the same points above about lubrication and over-tightening apply to the top arms also.

HTH
 

kstano83

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Sorry for not giving more informations. The side to side movement only happens, when the blade is not tensioned. In the video, I first tried to move the arms, but I could´t, because the blade was tensioned. Then I released the tension (you can hear that in the video) so the side to side play is visible, then tensioned the blade again to start the saw. I pressed the switch at 0:17 but the noise that worries me starts exactly at 0:18.
It´s MUCH louder from under the table than from the above and I´m suspicious that it´s the very bottom roller (I hope I´m naming it correctly). I lubricate the saw everytime I clean it. Maybe once in a month. Though I don´t use grease. I just use brake cleaned spray to clean it and then spray it with thin lube. I have taken apart and cleaned the top arm bearings several times, but I´m not sure about the bottom ones. Oh well....
 

kstano83

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Would you please tell me to what that thing is and what it looks like? I have no clue :)
EDIT: oh, got it. nope, I have that guard removed.
 

AES

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I don't have a finger guard on the lower arm on my machine (it's an "original" Excalibur machine). I suspect that like the NVR switch (which I also don't have), that lower guard is only on the Axi versions (perhaps to meet UK H&S, etc, regs).

With the blade not tensioned, it is, IMO, entirely normal that there should be some side-to-side movement. IMO, what's important is that there is NIL (or virtually NIL) movement when the blade is tensioned. Again that's only IMO, but seems to me perfectly logical (my Manual doesn't say a word about that). Does the Manual for the Axi machine say anything about that?

Re lubrication, in my Manual (pages 17 to 19 inc.) it says that the blade tension lever should be lubricated every 10 to 15 running hours. The "recommended" grease is "white grease" ("petroleum jelly") - or in English, the product is called Vaseline and is available in just about any chemist shop or supermarket. BTW, they also recommend having a spare Blade Tensioning Lever as a stand by spare.

The lubrication of the Upper and Lower Arm pivot bolts, spacers, bearings, and washers is described in my Manual only as "occasional" (which I read as being only "just now and then" - if that's any help)! Again the recommended lubricant for that is "a small blob of white grease", and although my Manual doesn't say so, I've used Vaseline. I think that I've only done that on 2 or perhaps 3 occasions that since the machine was new, nearly 5 years ago now.

I would GUES (just a guess mind) that using any sort of oil is perhaps not such a good idea it is liquid and will act as a "sticky magnet" for saw dust. I would also GUESS that perhaps you're lubricating too frequently, AND that by using oil on the "outside" of the arms only, without disassembling the complete pivots system, that you MAY be adding to the problem ("sticky dust magnet" again). But once more, that's just my guess.

When making that original film I guess that the microphone on the camera was pretty close to those lower arms, Yes? So with the "great big table" directly above the microphone, I guess that would be very likely to amplify whatever noise is already there even more.

I short, IF you have very little to NO side-to-side movement of the arms when the blade is tensioned, then I GUESS you don't really have a problem - and that guess is backed up by listening to your film, when the noise I hear has little or no difference in volume or tone to my own machine.

As said, IF you consider the side-to-side motion too large with the blade in tension, you could try tightening the pivot bolt lock nuts, as per my previous post above.

Lastly, if you're still not happy I would suggest a phone call to Axminster. IME they are very helpful.

HTH - and don't worry, IMO you have a very well engineered machine there.
 

kstano83

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Sorry for the delay. I´ve been busy cutting for Christmas craft shows. The noise went down a bit after I cleaned both top and bottom arm bearings. I may try to change them for new ones to see if it helps anything.
 

AES

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Ok, but unless you've used your machine a helluva lot I very much doubt the bearings are gone - if I remember rightly they're either ball or needle roller bearings (I forget which off hand), but as said, I doubt very much that they're worn.

How much noise is there with the blade fully tensioned? I believe that that is the critical point.
 

kstano83

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Honestly, I also have doubts :) there is as much noise as in the video I posted above. It was with the blade fully tensioned. I can´t really say if there is any increase in vibration.
 

kstano83

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That noise is gone. The saw now runs sulently like a new one. Weird is that I have done nothing to fix it. I hope it wont come back :D
 

AES

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Well, I'm sure we're all pleased the noise is gone, and hope it doesn't come back, thanks for telling us.

BUT "intermittent" faults (things that come and go for no apparent reason) are always very difficult to fix. Are you sure you haven't changed anything at all - even just a different blade, or blade tension? We'll just have to hope it doesn't come back.
 
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