Ask WWGOA: Cure Bandsaw Blade Movement

Question:

I just put a new band saw blade (3/8″) on my saw. As I was trying to adjust the side bearings, I noticed that the blade moved in and out [in the direction of the cut] by about 1/4″. By the time I finished adjusting the bearings, the deviation was still about 1/4″. Is this a bad blade?

I’ve decided to leave it on the saw, under tension, for a few days and see if it straightens out.

I’ve never seen anything like this. What’s happening (it is a name brand blade – Olson, All Pro)? Has it been in the box, with 4 or 5 loops, too long?

Submitted by Dondz


Answer:

Make sure the blade is resting on your band saw wheels in the right spot. A 3/8″ blade should be bridging the crown of the band saw tires, which means centering blade on the upper wheel. Do this using the tracking adjustment on the back of the saw.

With the saw unplugged, spin the upper wheel by hand and watch what the band saw blade is doing. Make certain it’s remaining where it should be on the wheel. Once the tracking is correctly set the front of the blade should remain in a straight line from the upper to lower wheel, not pulse back and forth.

If the band saw blade is remaining centered on the top wheel but it looks like the front of the band saw blade is pulsing forward, you could have a crooked weld on the blade that’s causing the problem.

Thank you for your question.

George

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    Discussion
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    8 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Cure Bandsaw Blade Movement”
      • WWGOA Team
        WWGOA Team

        Install the bandsaw blade have it tensioned just slightly. Leave the guides wide open on top and bottom. Rotate the blade to ensure that everything is tracking properly. Then turn on the saw, and you’ll notice that the blade flutters a bit. From there, tighten it slowly until the blade stops fluttering and just runs smoothly. That should be the appropriate tension point for most blades. Stop the saw, then check the deflection of the blade. With moderate pressure on a properly tensioned blade, the blade should deflect only 1/4″ or so.

        Reply
    1. retiredtom
      retiredtom

      I have a difficult time with the bandsaw blades becoming worn after a very few cuts. My machine is a Jet 10″ I bought new 2-years ago from Rockler. I found my blade guard & rack to be bent & Jet sent me new ones without question. I have been very careful about my set-up & alignment. Should I buy a carbide blade ($ouch$)? HELP!

      Reply
      • WWGOA Team
        WWGOA Team

        It is hard to determine what is happening here. I’d suggest trying it for a bit with the new blade guard and rack. I woudn’t suggest trying to solve this with carbide unless you are using a wood with a high silica content such as teak that is notoriously hard on typical steel. Look at the manual and be sure that you are setting the guides up properly. If you are using metal guides, I’d switch to some form of cool block guide.
        I would also suggest trying a premium bandsaw blade if you are not already using one, such as a Timberwolf. This can made a big difference in cut quality and durability.(ZD:3248)

        Reply
    2. Mary
      Mary

      I have only one wheel that I can adjust, that is the top one (Rikon 10-423). I have a 3/16 inch blade on but can not get it to stay in the center. By hand I can spin the wheel and the blade stays in the placement I put the blade. As I plug it in the blade moves toward the back of the wheel. So I attempt to adjust it by turning the top wheel either clockwise and counter-clockwise Which moves the blade either to the back front. So if the blade moves to the back, Does that mean that the blade is not tilted enough to the door or to the back of the unit. What does it mean ,if the blade is tilted to the back turn the tension clockwise or counterclockwise if the blade is to close too the

      Reply
      • Customer Service
        Customer Service

        Hi Mary,

        It is difficult to assess what the problem might be, or the best approach to solving it. I would suggest contacting Rikon’s customer service at (877) 884-5167.

        -Paul
        Woodworkers Guild of America

        Reply