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Thread: Table saw to dryer outlet troubles/Please help!!

  1. #1
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    Table saw to dryer outlet troubles/Please help!!

    Hi everyone.
    I have my new Steel City table saw that I got about a week ago.
    I have been getting the pieces I need to adapt it to use my dryer outlet (2 tapered slanted slots and one L shaped) so I can power it up with the proper voltage.
    I bought some 10/3 Romex and a 6 foot dryer cord at Lowes.
    I spent most of today cutting/splicing wires and making my own extension cord. I double checked everything and plugged it in. Flipped the switch and.......nothing. Does not turn the saw on.
    I have been doing some more research and it looks as if the center lug is not a ground but a neutral. I am not sure if this has something to do with this or not. Our house was build in 95.
    I do not have the funds to have an electrician come out and give me info or wire a proper 220 outlet.
    So at this point I thought I had it right but have no power to the saw. I will also add I do not have a multimeter to see if voltage is at switch.
    I thought for sure I had it right but could there be something I am overlooking?
    I am trying to educate myself as best I can and want to make sure this extension cord is done correctly and will work properly.
    Geez at this point I might even be willing to pay someone to build one of these and send it to me.
    Please anyone who has this same scenario please let me know if you can help.

    Thanks,
    Craig
    We put the "k" in "kwality."

    The above picture is not me!!

  2. #2
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    A lightbulb in a socket with a couple wires will work as a multimeter for this job, but I suggest that you invest the couple dollars for the junk multimeters available today.

    The bent leg in the middle of the dryer plug, which normally is the center wire of the three, and is the safety ground, and goes to the frame of the 240 volt saw, or a green terminal.

    There is no neutral in the 240 volt circuit. Although not technically correct, think of it as +120 and -120, so if you measure from one to the other, the difference is the 240 volts you are looking for.

    If you use the lightbulb trick, it should light normally connected from each "leg" to the safety ground, and if you briefly connect the lightbulb between the legs it will be very bright (if you just do it for an instant, the bulb will probably survive the 240 volts).

    If you don't have that light combo, and the dryer works normally, the problem is in your cord.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  3. #3
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    Charlie, as usual covered it well, but what this thread really needs, so we can help you more is a couple of pictures, take some pics of all the various parts, and tell us what is what, and we will get that saw working for you in no time
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Ok. Heres the pics. Hopefully this is sufficient to get her up and runnin.

    switch. white and black positive. green grounded to back of plate.


    switch/110v cable assy


    dryer cord



    saw literature on voltage change


    dryer cord info




    10/3 romex cable



    On the Romex cable I used only 3 of the 4 wires. 2 for hot and the bare one for ground.

    Hopefully this will help decipher things. Thanks guys.
    We put the "k" in "kwality."

    The above picture is not me!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Johnson View Post

    On the Romex cable I used only 3 of the 4 wires. 2 for hot and the bare one for ground.
    Charlie, Stu,

    Could this be a hint at the problem? Maybe there's no connected return?

    Craig, I know very little about electricity, but I did manage to run a subpanel to my shop, and if I can do it, so can you. Often I have to stare at it for a long time, and then suddenly I'll see my mistake. It's not complicated, you just have to get it exactly right! I mean, there're only like 4 or 5 variables in the equation, right?

    Sometimes it works if I talk myself through it, as in "Ok, this one goes here, and this one goes there..." Feels silly, but it works.

    Oh, and do you have a good book? That helps a lot!

    Thanks,

    Bill


    PS. if you can't tell, you shouldn't take electrical advice from a doofus like me! Listen to Charlie and Stu!

  6. #6
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    I do know this is probably something really simple. As you say there cant be that many variables that can keep it from not working.
    And I do talk myself through it.
    The only thing I think I should recheck besides the extension cord issue is the voltage conversion at the motor. That is straightforward as well but just to double check.
    We put the "k" in "kwality."

    The above picture is not me!!

  7. #7
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    Craig,

    You make no mention of changing the wiring on the motor junction box from 110 to 230 volt operation. On the dual voltage capable table saws, the motor is generally pre-wired for 110. Remove the junction box (located on the motor) cover and first verify that the motor is indeed dual voltage and then rewire for 230 per the diagram that should be on the cover. Your manual should have instructions for all of this.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    Craig,

    You make no mention of changing the wiring on the motor junction box from 110 to 230 volt operation. On the dual voltage capable table saws, the motor is generally pre-wired for 110. Remove the junction box (located on the motor) cover and first verify that the motor is indeed dual voltage and then rewire for 230 per the diagram that should be on the cover. Your manual should have instructions for all of this.
    I did that too but forgot to mention it.....
    We put the "k" in "kwality."

    The above picture is not me!!

  9. #9
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    First, when it comes to electrical, you are always, and I mean ALWAYS better off double, or triple checking stuff before you plug stuff in. My whole family are electrician, both grandfathers, my father (he was also an electrical inspector for the province for 30 years) numerous uncles, my older brother, and numerous cousins, even so, I've seen them wire something wrong, and let the factory packed smoke out, it happens, so asking dumb questions, when it comes to electrical make perfect sense. Besides, there are no dumb questions, only dumb mistakes (usually occurring after the dumb question was NOT asked.........DAMHIKT )

    Check the motor wiring, that was my first question, it is very easy to get one wire wrong on a motor an it will NOT spin.

    Now looking at your "Romex" cable, I'm confused

    As I understand things you have a dryer plug in your workshop area, and you are just plugging your TS into said plug? I guess that is incorrect

    OK, are you wiring in a new plug that starts at your dryer plug and goes to your work area?

    If that is the case, then I understand the Romex cable.

    Your existing dryer receptacle is a 3 wire set up? I guess you are in an older home then, as the new setup requires a 4-prong receptacle, they don't allow the neutral to be the ground anymore.

    OK, what Charlie said earlier, is still spot on.

    On your dryer cord you have three wires

    right, left, and center.

    Right one to the black wire

    Left one to the white wire

    Center one to the green wire

    Make sure you use the correct crimp on connectors, and a bit of shrink wrap over the crimped part is a nice safety feature, but not mandatory.

    On your old dryer receptacle you should have three wires as well, just like the cord.

    I found these on the web........

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	breakerbox.gif 
Views:	11 
Size:	21.7 KB 
ID:	25937 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	dryerplugwiring.gif 
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Size:	17.1 KB 
ID:	25936
    I hope that explains a bit more about what is happening here, with the three wires compared to 4 wires.

    ARRRGH

    I've been interrupted about 6 times while trying to write this, sorry, but I've not got to run, so don't take anything I've written here as gospel

    What you can take to the bank is what Charlie wrote, he is exactly right on his wiring explanation.

    I'd check that motor wiring, could be the problem.

    Sorry, got to run
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    First, when it comes to electrical, you are always, and I mean ALWAYS better off double, or triple checking stuff before you plug stuff in. My whole family are electrician, both grandfathers, my father (he was also an electrical inspector for the province for 30 years) numerous uncles, my older brother, and numerous cousins, even so, I've seen them wire something wrong, and let the factory packed smoke out, it happens, so asking dumb questions, when it comes to electrical make perfect sense. Besides, there are no dumb questions, only dumb mistakes (usually occurring after the dumb question was NOT asked.........DAMHIKT )

    Check the motor wiring, that was my first question, it is very easy to get one wire wrong on a motor an it will NOT spin.
    I just did that...ok per the instructions on the cover on the motor.

    Now looking at your "Romex" cable, I'm confused

    As I understand things you have a dryer plug in your workshop area, and you are just plugging your TS into said plug? I guess that is incorrect
    The outlet is for the dryer. I will be unplugging the dryer to use the saw.

    OK, are you wiring in a new plug that starts at your dryer plug and goes to your work area?
    I simply want to use the dryer outlet for the saw. Hence the new 3 prong dryer cord to plug into dryer outlet.

    If that is the case, then I understand the Romex cable.

    Your existing dryer receptacle is a 3 wire set up? I guess you are in an older home then, as the new setup requires a 4-prong receptacle, they don't allow the neutral to be the ground anymore.
    Yes our house was built in 95.

    OK, what Charlie said earlier, is still spot on.

    On your dryer cord you have three wires

    right, left, and center.

    Right one to the black wire

    Left one to the white wire

    Center one to the green wire

    Make sure you use the correct crimp on connectors, and a bit of shrink wrap over the crimped part is a nice safety feature, but not mandatory.
    I used yellow crimp style butt connectors with heat shrink tubing (looked nice when done).

    On your old dryer receptacle you should have three wires as well, just like the cord.

    I found these on the web........

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	breakerbox.gif 
Views:	11 
Size:	21.7 KB 
ID:	25937 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	dryerplugwiring.gif 
Views:	13 
Size:	17.1 KB 
ID:	25936
    I hope that explains a bit more about what is happening here, with the three wires compared to 4 wires.

    ARRRGH

    I've been interrupted about 6 times while trying to write this, sorry, but I've not got to run, so don't take anything I've written here as gospel

    What you can take to the bank is what Charlie wrote, he is exactly right on his wiring explanation.

    I'd check that motor wiring, could be the problem.

    Sorry, got to run
    One thing I am confused on, from what I understand the center wire on the dryer outlet is NOT a ground...or is it? Should I be treating this like a ground wire?
    We put the "k" in "kwality."

    The above picture is not me!!

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