Bandsaw blade tracking problem

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Mark Karacsonyi

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Is it a new saw with the factory supplied blade, I remember reading somewhere, or maybe on YouTube, an element of tracking can be related to this?
 

Richard_C

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I have an Axminster, similar size to the OPs machine, and did struggle with this for a while. I suspect one of the differences between a hobbyists Bandsaw and a trade one is how well the tracking and tensioning work which will in part be affected by the rigidity of the frame.

I found that you couldn't adjust the tracking and then the tension just once, the second changes the first. Its iterative: get tracking right, put a bit of tension on, fine adjust tracking, tension, repeat until you finally get up to the tracking and tension you want.

The other thing is position on wheel. As others have said, gullet close to or just in front of centre helps a lot, so a wide blade appears to be too far back but not to worry, the instructions say to centre the blade, but they don't say which bit of blade. The other plus is that you can change the blade width with minimal or no need to fore and aft adjust the side blade guides just the rear one.

And yes, a brand new blade needs tweaking after a few minutes but my experience is that it all settles down then and stays set until you change it.

After a bit you can do it quickly and without hard-thinking.
 

Inspector

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I imagine you won't be able to run most modern saws with the doors open unless you modify them.

I suppose you are correct but at this point I don't know if door interlock switches are mandatory here even now. I'll have to take a walk through the local tool supplier's showroom and see. What they should have though would be a window in the upper blade guard so you could watch where the blade was tracking to make the adjustments.

Pete
 

ivan

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One point no one has mentioned so far is the weld quality; not is it well stuck together, but is it stuck straight? Test the join with a ruler. Particularly with a small saw, a slight lack of straightness can cause all sorts of tracking problems.
Generally speaking coplanar crowned wheels track stable. If all else fails and the tyres can be slipped off, you can try crowning, if yours are flat, with a few layers of pvc isulation tape wound round the wheel. Blades will run approx centred on crowned wheels if they are coplanar. The crown lifts the teeth off the ruber. If both wheels are crowned, but the top one is not exactly over the lower wheel (coplanar) the blade can attempt to centre on either wheel at random (guides retracted) which is not helpful. This problem can usually be cured by the addition of washers behind one wheel or the other.

Sometimes only one wheel comes crowned, which doesn't seem like a good idea. Flat tyred wheels should have the blade running with the teeth off the edge; this suits wider blades, but not narrow! Crowned wheels are thus probably best for smaller bandsaws, and try to set the middle of the blade backing (the solid steel between the root of the gullet and the back of the blade) on top of the crown.

With luck you'll have a little window to view the position of the blade on the top wheel with the doors closed, so you can tweek the setting whils the saw is running, with the guides all backed off.
 

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