Topic-icon What do you use to remove the lower sheave spring

11 years 4 months ago #3023 by Ray

The lower sheave on my old Shopsmith (Total Shop) is sticking badly. No amount of lubrication is seeming to free it up.

I obviously need to remove the sheave and clean the shaft, etc. Looking at that spring, however, there is no way I am going to attempt to remove that circlip without a bomb-proof suit and helmet! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Even if I attempted that, I am ABSOLUTELY SURE it is not possible to compress the spring back by hand to re-install the clip.

Has anybody performed this task? It there any type of spring compressor that you were able to put together to use for this? :cry: :cry:


Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

11 years 4 months ago #3028 by Ron Roberts


I once helped a guy here in Tucson with a similar problem. He had called SS as his was not changing speeds at times and didn't seem to reach full speed. They advise a belt replacement and he wasn't comfortable doing it so I went to help.

The new belt didn't solve the problem and the person we talked to at SS was stumped and suggested we call Battel's Hardware in CA for advice. So we did. I've posted about this procedure they recommended before somewhere on this site but here it is again anyway.

The guy we talked with at Battel's suspected it was sticking and advised us to remove the cover and, with the machine running, adjust the speed to confirm the sheave was indeed sticking. It was. In fact it wasn't moving at all and appeared to have siezed.

We then turned it off and unplugged it. They advised us remove the belt and to spray the shaft with WD-40 so as to really flush the shaft with it taking care not to get it on the motor or in the motor housing. We also were advised to try and move the sheave manually in order to "break" it loose and begin the process of getting it to slide freely. We protected the motor with an old towel and also put towels over the way and bench tubes and newspapers on the floor to catch the WD-40. Following this we dried the spring, sheaves and shaft as best we could and blew the rest out with compressed air.

We then plugged it in and tried again to change speeds and found some improvement. Battel's recommended we repeat the process, several times if necessary, until the sheave moved smoothly on the shaft when changing speeds. If I remember I think it took 2 or 3 applications of the WD-40 flushing. Anyway, eventually it was moving smoothly. We then cleaned it by wiping off all the WD-40 using small rags to get in between the spring. Battel's emphasized paying particular attention to getting the WD-40 wiped off.

They then advised lubrication as recommened in the manual and the problem was solved. The idea was to fix it without having to take it apart. WD-40 being a solvent and one readily availalble was used to dislodge whatever buildup was on the shaft that was preventing the sheave from moving. It helps if you are able to get the sheaves to open as far as possible, that way more of the shaft is exposed.

Anyway, this is what we did and as far as I know he's still using his Mark V with no problems. His was a later model, a 510, that he'd had for a about 10 years. He says he never lubricated it anywhere so that's probably what caused it to eventually stick. Hope this helps. I'll dig around for that previous post I mentioned to see if I left anything out.

Remember to keep your hands away from the belts, etc. when you have the cover off and its running. Also be sure to take the towels, rags, whatever off the motor and out of the housing before you plug it in and turn it on.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

11 years 4 months ago #3029 by Ray

Thank you so much, Ron!!

That sounds like it will save A LOT of headache!

I only tried "extra" lube, not a flushing application with sovent.

Your explanation was very clear.

I will try to "flush" it tomorrow the the WD-40 and see what happens. It sounds like it should do the trick, as I have some very minimal movement also.

Again, THANK YOU!! :D :D

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

11 years 4 months ago #3031 by Ron Roberts


Another thing I just remembered is that I think I recall a Traveling Academy instructor one time describing how to make a "spring compressor" by simply drilling the appropriately sized hold in a board that will span the sheave and provide more leverage. I remember him saying that getting that spring and all back on was no mean feat.

I also remember that we used a couple of 1x2's when we tried to dislodge the sheave. I think I got behind it and sort of hugged the headstock while putting pressure on the sheave by pulling the 1x2 toward me. Something like that anyway. Hope that makes sense.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

11 years 4 months ago #3032 by Ron Roberts


I don't think I left anything out in my description of the procedure we used.

Another thing I remembered is the All In One Wood Tools site at: .

They have a number of service articles on the Mark V and the one dealing with replacing the motor spring is the second one on the list. Of course the same procedure could be used just to remove and reinstall the spring as well. It describes the board I was describing earlier. Here's the direct URL to that article list:

Just copy and paste it into your browser. Let us know how you fare with this problem.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

11 years 4 months ago #3035 by AZ IRONWOOD

R. Cristoforo's book Power Tool WoodWorking for Everyone {I believe} shows the spring compression board. Or else it's in the S/SA owner's manual. I've not tried that method myself. I use two other methods, and both work. Just be absolutely sure you utilize a full face shield, or a 1/4" lexan/plexiglas safety shield. The spring/ washer can REALLY richochet around the shop; and can be a pain to locate, since it travels so fast, you only hear where it strikes. If at all possible, run the speed control to highest RPM setting so as to reduce the tension on the spring. Disconnect the power cable, don't trust only the power switch. I find having the headstock in the horizontal [non-drillpress] position best for me.
Method 1: With a long shank common screwdriver inserted through the openings, normally covered over by the belt guard, [angled from the speed control knob to the motor shafts end] you'll be able to leverage the washer/spring towards the motor itself. You'll note that you'll need to have help, or devise a way to hold the screwdriver in place. Remove the retaining clip [preferably with the proper tool, or another common screwdriver blade inserted into the clips gap; with just enough rearward force, parallel to the shaft, the clip is fairly easy to remove. Just don't slip.
Method 2: The spring can be compressed, by hand, without too much difficulty [provided you don't have to maintain pressure for too long a time]. This method requires a 1 pair of 6" or 8" NeedleNosed ViseGrip Pliers. At the end of the motor shaft, adjust the pliers to enable locking at a goodly amount of pressure. Once you've tensioned the pliers, remove them. With the sides of the jaws of the pliers positioned at right angle to the motor shaft, [not tensioned] and closed enough, to allow pressing the washer/spring, towards the motor [about an inch or so] , then lock the pliers onto the motor shaft. Remove the clip, prepare to take the pressure of the spring. Ease off the tension of the ViseGrip, and slowly allow the spring to expand. Reverse the process, once you've cleaned/lubed the shaft, etc..

Double check that the sheave has a lubrication hole, if not [as the clones, usually don't] drill a small hole; in-line with the keyway. I suggest just forward of the closely wound spring coils, to allow access to the lube hole, without having to move the spring. To apply oil, I use an old veterinarian type hypodermic syringe, wy/blunted needle. It works extremely well.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.301 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum