Bandsaw bottom wheel aligment - success.

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Richard_C

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There will be many people on this forum who know all about bottom wheel adjustment but there will be others (like me until yesterday) who have had no need to think about it. This post is for them.

Last evening while I was waiting for polish to dry on a bowl I thought I would quickly change my bandsaw blade. 10 minute job. 2 hours later, grrrr. Utter failure. If the bandsaw hadn't been bolted to a stand making it too heavy to lift, it might have been flung from the window. grrr extra grrr.

I've noticed that the blade is always well forward on the bottom wheel, but that doesn't matter too much according to various guidance - set up instructions for my Axminster AC1950 don't say much about bottom wheel. This time I was fitting a tuffsaw 1/4 in M42 blade which needs a bit more tension, but as I tensioned/tracked it and ran it (by hand) it dropped forwards off the tyre on the bottom wheel, and the back of the blade sat - just - on the edge of the wheel itself. Bother - must be tension/M42 so I fitted a normal 1/4 inch blade which I have used before so should be good to go. Seemed better, ran it briefly, made one cut and it did the same - dropped forward off the bottom tyre with much noise and grumbling.

Having eliminated everything else - cleaning, blade, tracking, tension, guides, tyre scraping for crud using my expired bus pass - I came to the conclusion that it must be the bottom wheel alignment. I put a straight edge across the open cabinet and measured to the wheel rim in a few places and it all seemed fine, but I found these useful simple and pragmatic instructions (for Rikon, but they all look the same) and followed them.


This morning, I took my time, got it all carefully set up, blade gullett just forward of the centre line of the lower wheel, fitted the M42 with the tension it needs, carefully tracked and tensioned progressively and it now runs perfectly, better than ever. My only observation is that the instructions say start with a half turn, in the end I backed it off almost quarter - it's very sensitive to small adjustments. Main thing - it worked.

So why, if you shouldn't need to worry abut the bottom wheel, did this happen? I reckon it was never quite right 'out of the factory' - it is quieter and smoother now than it has ever been - but ran OK. As soon as I started the adjustment I found that all the adjuster locknuts were loose, which might have allowed the adjuster bolts to move a bit over time. Loose because of vibration or (as it was all 4 more likely) never tightened in the first place? Who knows, but I will check them at every blade change from now on.
 
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cerro

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I have a charnwood W750 and my problem is the belts it will only run on one setting it throws the belts off on any other setting.
 

OldGreyDog

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A good find, and thanks for posting. Stands to reason I suppose that the bottom wheel also needs setting up, perhaps being the most critical of the two. I’ll be checking mine this week…
 

MorrisWoodman12

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Very informative. Thanks @Richard_C . I was given a DeWalt bandsaw without a motor. It had burnt out and thrown away so no fittings or pulleys. 😰. I've managed to remotor it and it now runs fine - well good enough for my needs. I have not touched the blade/pulley adjustments: as I said it runs well. However I noticed the bottom wheel is canted over and leans forward at the top such that the blade is forward on one wheel and back on t'other. I've left it for the moment: if it ain't broke don't fix it. But I'll remember 'your' instructions when I change the blade.
Martin
 

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