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Hi Steve - The 3650 is rated at 1.5hp, 13 amps. It should indeed be possible to push closer to 2hp if the physical size fits...I wouldn't push the envelope any farther than that though.
With that said, proper alignment and good blade selection can make a huge difference in the overall performance of the saw, and you should be able to cut close to full blade height without serious bogging. The motor on the 3650 benefits from a good 3/32" thin kerf blade....they're 25% thinner than a full kerf blade, and are simply easier for the motor to spin. When cutting thick materials, you should be using a good 24T FTG rip blade like the Freud LU87, Infinity 010-124, CMT 202.024.10, DeWalt DW7124PT, etc.
I have grown quite attached to my Forrest blades with the stabilizer, however, it seems that I'm going to have to give one of the thin kerf blades a trial run. The Forrest blades are thick, heavy and expensive. But, they are worth it IMO because they cut so true.
If I upgrade to a 2HP motor, do you think the tha extra 1/2 HP will be noticeably significant? If that 2HP is the max I can go and there is no appreciable difference, I'll wait until I can get the 3HP Uni. Thanks for the feedback.
In reality, I suppose I secretly think that if one is truly seeking excellence in woodworking, you won't be a black belt until you own a Unisaw. I do like my Ridgid table saw, I've has it for 12 years, and I can't afford 3K for the Unisaw, but somehow I feel like it's really the end game. Anybody else feel that way?
If the replacement motor is the same frame size and features, you should be able to put any HP of motor that is made in that frame on as a replacement, also you would need to keep the same root RPM.
the 1 1/2 HP motor is about as large one can normally run a 15 amp circuit with tripping the breaker on 120 volts, (and maintain power with and extension cord), and since this is a contractors/home owners saw keeping in the range of the normal house wiring most likely the limit on the HP of the motor,
If you go larger one most likely will have to wire the saw to use 220/240 volts,
your drive belt may have more slippage if one put a 3 or 5 hp motor on.
under most conditions I really doubt if you up the motor from the 1 1/2 to a 2 hp the difference would be justifiable, IMO, UP it to a 3 hp yes,
If you do go motor shopping look at the amp draw at XXX volts, more than the "maximum" HP rating,
there are many motors and gimmicks in marketing, (take air compressors and vacuum cleaners for example) and check there HP ratings and the amp draw, and there is no way that the motors realistic are producing the hp there claiming.
as stated above I would try blades before motor,
Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
attributed to Samuel Johnson
PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.
I have a r4512 with the stock motor converted to 240v I use a forrest ww2 40 tooth thin kerf and have no problem cutting anything so far. So I would keep your money to buy more wood and keep the blades sharp.