Why Is My Table Saw Stopping in Wood?

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It is very frustrating to a woodworker when a table saw stops in wood. Such an interruption can delay work. Well, any machinery has its downtimes; a table saw is no different. Stopping in wood is one of the problems that woodworkers encounter with table saws.

Why Is My Table Saw Stopping in Wood?

Table saws have anywhere from 1-3 belts that deliver power to the arbor, which turns the saw blade. When a table stop stops in the wood, the belt is usually slipping. The slipping could be occurring between the pulleys and shafts that connect to the arbor and motor or between the belt and pulleys, and it usually needs replacing

The shaft/pulley connections should only be an issue if there are no keyways to house a retaining key on the pulleys or shafts.

A pulley is held stationary on its shafts by a setscrew when a keyway is not present. The screws could loosen and cause the pulley to slip, causing the table saw to stop in wood.

Wood about to be cut using a table saw

Here are some additional reasons a table saw might stop in wood

  • Bad drive belts
  • Loose saw blade
  • Worn out nuts and washers
  • Wrong motor power
  • Low belt tension
  • Solidified grease
  • Wrong stock
  • Loose nuts on motor shaft

1. Bad Drive Belts

Over time, drive belts dry out and lose pliability. There are chances this is where slipping may be occurring.

2. Loose Saw Blade

The saw blade will loosen if the blade adjustment nut is not properly tightened. A loose saw blade will slip when the table saw is running, causing it to stop mid-cut.

3. Worn Out Nuts and Washers

The saw blade is held in place by the arbor with the help of nuts and washers. The nuts and washers wear out after running for a long time, thus loosening their grip on the saw blade. A loose blade wobbles and can cause a table saw to stop in wood.

4. Wrong Motor Power

A table saw can stop in wood if you don’t have the right power to the motor. If you plug the motor into a circuit with fewer volts than it is wired for, the motor will start up with less speed then stall out as soon as you put a cutting load.

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Close up of a table saw blade guard

5. Low Belt Tension

Some table saws rely entirely on the motor weight to provide belt tension. Vibrations while the table saw runs might be created by low belt tension. This results in rugged cuts or the table saw stopping mid-cut.

6. Solidified Grease

Motor gear grease usually solidifies if it is not changed regularly. Solidified grease will make the table saw to run slowly and eventually stop in wood, especially during heavy cutting.

7. Wrong Size of Stock

If you are forcing bigger material on the table saw than it can handle, the saw blade will stop.

8. Loose Nuts on Motor Shaft

This causes the blade to spin freely because it is connected to the shaft. It will, however, have no power because it is not firmly attached to the motor. The table saw will stop as soon as you load it with wood.

How to Fix a Table Saw From Stopping in Wood

There are a few different ways to fix a table saw that is stopping in wood as you cut.

  • Use a segmented link belt in place of an old one.
  • Use the right power on the motor.
  • Proper blade placement and alignment
  • Replace worn out parts in the motor arbor.
  • Regularly change the motor gear grease.
Person explaining why his table saw stopped cutting his wood

Why Does My Table Saw Keep Cutting Out?

The overload can trip due to a bad drive motor or bushes that are worn out. This can also happen if the motor is overheated due to the use of a long or a lightweight extension cord.

Why Is My Table Saw Burning Wood?

A table saw will burn wood if it has a dirty blade, a wrong blade, or push stock too slowly. Over time, there is a buildup of resin and pitch on the blade as it cuts through wood. This causes burn marks on lumber. A dull blade also builds up excess heat between the saw blade and the saw.

How Does a SawStop Saw Work?

A saw stop uses electric signals from one’s fingers. The saw blade picks the signals and stops the brake cartridge underneath. The cartridge springs upwards and stops the saw.

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A table saw is unmatched when it comes to doing smooth and clean cuts of wood. Regularly maintaining it with proper usage will ensure the table saw serves you for a long time. Quickly address any issues that may arise, like the table saw stopping in wood, and it will prove to be a worthy companion.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.