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Bandsaw motor failing

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Kaylee Frye

Registered Member
Oct 28, 2016
Hey all,

I am using this old horizontal bandsaw I fixed up a year ago, and I put it through some long work hours on a recent project. After about 4 hours of consistent cutting with no breaks, the motor sort of just hummed and wouldn't spin. Upon inspecting, we realized that whoever initially installed this machine, the motor was incorrectly wired. So I took the time to rewire it for a 120 V wall outlet. But still no change in the motor's behavior. It spins when there's no resistance on it, but when you reattach the v-belt even sort of loosely, the motor cant seem to get the spin started. I know very little about motors and electronics so any insight is helpful. We thought maybe the wheel on the bandsaw was too stiff or something to move, but it does seem to turn ok by hand.. Any ideas on how to trouble shoot this?
Also, if you do know a thing or two about motors, where did you start learning about them?

Thank you!



H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Feb 1, 2015
If you can spin the motor by hand and it runs, check the capacitor and/or the centrifugal switch. The capacitor is in the can in the lower right hand of the second photo. The switch should be behind the wiring in the last photo.


H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Apr 30, 2015
Hi Kaylee, RJ is correct, start capacitors die after long usage. Centrifugal switches sometimes wear out.
Best place to learn about motors is right here :cool 2:
Mark S.

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Jul 2, 2014
Kaylee, if you do not think you are up to working on the motor, simply take it to a motor shop and have them test it. They will usually do that for free and give you a repair estimate, quick and while you wait. Changing out a bad capacitor or repairing a centrifugal start switch are not difficult jobs. They will also tell you if there are other problems, like bearings going bad. At least you will know right away what your problem(s) is/are and what your options are. The few motor shop guys I have dealt directly with have all been good people, easy to deal with, quick with results, and not trying to pay for their kid's education off just my motor. YMMV.
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