If your tablesaw screeches like nails on a chalkboard whenever you adjust the blade, it’s a clear sign that the gears under your saw are due for lubrication. The original lubricant has either hardened or worn off, so now you’re hearing the bare steel of the worm gears scrape the bare cast iron of the tilting trunnion and raising gear. You’re unlikely to wear out the gears this way, so it’s not a cause for alarm, but the noise will continue to get worse.
The best fix is to lubricate the gears with lithium grease, the same stuff they use at the factory. An alternative is powdered graphite, available at a hardware store or a locksmith’s shop. One advantage of powdered graphite is that it won’t attract dust and chips the way grease does. Clean the gears with a small brass brush or an old toothbrush and WD-40, which helps soften the grease. Apply a thin layer of new grease to the teeth of the raising gear and the trunnion. Turn the handles a few cranks to transfer the grease to the worm gears and enjoy the sound of silence.
Popularwoodworking.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated websites.