I've just put my used Powermatic 64 Artisan's Saw together. When the belt is attached to the motor, it makes a sound that seems like something is unbalanced. When the motor spins freely without the belt attached, the sound goes away.

I have uploaded a video to youtube demonstrating both of these sounds: https://youtu.be/55UqASDmyec

Is the sound that the saw makes under load of the belt (note: there is no blade in the saw yet) normal, or is there something I need to look into? If so, what?

  • Very useful to add the Youtube video. As the others said, it shouldn't be making that noise. Good luck diagnosing the problem.
    – bowlturner
    Jun 1, 2015 at 13:19
  • 1
    BTW, I found a download page for Powermatic table saw manuals. Unfortunately, they seem to have a model 65, but not 64.
    – Doresoom
    Jun 1, 2015 at 14:04

5 Answers 5


It shouldn't be making that sound. The first unloaded run is how the saw should sound, even when it's loaded.

Have you inspected the belt for flaws? The frequency of the "rattle" seems a little high for a single nick, but if there are a few in a row, I could see that being the problem.

My other thought is that you've got a bad bearing somewhere. My first guess would be the saw arbor, since it's not rotating when the belt is off. Rotate it by hand and feel for roughness or excessive play.

If it's not the arbor bearings, it may actually be a motor bearing. Unloaded, the rolling elements may trace a different path on the bearing races. When the cantilever load of the belt is applied, it may slightly change how the rolling elements circle the race and come into contact with a spalled portion of the race.

  • Looking at this belt, I surely need a new one. It has some nicks and gouges. I confirmed the source of the rattle is at the motor. I also confirmed that the belt is probably too loose, as it easily deflects nearly 1" with low to medium effort pressure from my finger.
    – Jeremy
    May 31, 2015 at 20:26
  • The saw arbor seems to be fine, it rotates very smoothly and I cannot find any play in it.
    – Jeremy
    May 31, 2015 at 20:26

I replaced the belt, which was worn and nicked, with a new V-drive belt from Grizzly.

That helped a lot, but there was still a clacking sound coming from the motor. I found that I had not installed the pulley wheel correctly. Specifically, the key was too far forward which prevented the set screw from clamping down on it.

I have posted an "after" video on youtube to demonstrate the way a table saw should sound!


  • Looks like you found the source of the problem. Sounds much better!
    – Doresoom
    Jun 6, 2015 at 20:06
  • Much better; that's how a table saw is supposed to sound.
    – rob
    Jun 6, 2015 at 21:29

Is the sound that the saw makes under load of the belt...normal

No. You should figure out what's causing the noise.

If so, what?

One way to identify the problem is to use an old mechanic's trick. With the machine running, place the tip of a metal rod or very long screwdriver against the part that you suspect of making the noise, and place your ear against the other end. Sound travels along the screwdriver shaft, so by placing the tip of the screwdriver against different parts of the machine you can determine where the sound is coming from. Again, it should be a very long screwdriver because you don't want your head anywhere near the moving parts.

  • 1
    Put your thumb on the other end, and your ear against your thumb. Better control... May 31, 2015 at 22:18
  • 2
    Or use a length of rubber hose as a stethoscope. Either way, be extremely careful when working around operating machinery, especially malfunctioning machinery.
    – keshlam
    Jun 1, 2015 at 1:48

My table saw makes the same sound.

Also, the set screw on the upper pully is constantly loosening, to the point I finally tapped the upper pully shaft about an eighth inch . . .

I realize NOW the number one reason for this rattling noise and the vibration has got to be the fact that the two pullys are not perfectly aligned AND my v-grooved belt is anywhere from .25 to .5 too long.

My saw is an antique mounted on a homemade iron-frame - the motor sits underneath on a .75 wood 'shelf'.

I realize - when I loosen and move the motor back & tighten it down in order to get the belt tighter, I am also causing slight misalignment between the lower motor pully & the upper pully!

If those two pullies are not lined up, and I think exactly lined up, the belt is going to rattle and vibrate something awful and ultimately damage the saw.


Guess what!....

After tinkering with the top pulley - I realized it was wore out. Went down to Tractor Supply and found the identical 2.5 pulley/ .5. bore - about 10 bux.

My table saw is working like brand new.

The old pulley bore was so worn out it had a about a 16th gap on the shaft. This is why irattled & vibrated and the pulley often kept working off the shaft during operation.

duh. Sometimes the easiest fixes really are the best ...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.