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Bandsaw problem, help!

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Ives

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Just trying out my new (used) bandsaw. It has 3 wheels inside, and I notice that on the top wheel, the blade is slipping back, and rubbing against the metal frame, and stopping. I tried looser and tighter tensioning and it always happens, within seconds.

Also, there are 2 tensioning knobs? One on top and one at the back? One seems to tighten the top wheel back and one upwards?

Help!
 

Fiddler

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One knob (the one on top probably) will be the tensioner. The other knob will be to adjust the tracking of the blade. Adjust the tension with the knob that makes the top wheel go up and down. Turn the wheel by hand and watch where the blade runs, adjust the other knob until the blade runs in the centre of the wheel.

Have you tried downloading a manual from the web?
 

Ives

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Thanks. I got it to not slide off the wheel now.

But there's still this problem of it not cutting straight! It only cuts curves, and when I wiggle the blade, it's turns side to side really easily. Even when I have a board there to put my cutting wood against, the blade just desperately and only cuts in a curve to the left! I found some little screws around the blade and adjusted them with the allen key, and got these little plastic things closer to the blade to hold it better maybe, and that didn't work. It won't even cut straight for a split second, ONLY in a curve. What the heck??

I'll try and find a manual, but it's an old saw from the 90's.
 

Fiddler

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Are you using a new blade or the old one that was on originally? The blade needs to be in good condition and tensioned correctly (that's where the manual comes in handy). The top and bottom guides need to be set correctly and the guide at the back of the blade, both top and bottom need to be set correctly to stop the blade being pushed back. It also helps if the blade is the correct type for the job, no use trying to resaw a hardwood log with a 24 tpi blade. Do not push too hard against the blade to make it cut, let the blade do the work.

Even after all things being correct, some saw/blade combinations tend to drift a little. You can compensate for this by doing a test cut then cutting freehand or setting the fence to the angle.
 

Fiddler

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Someone once told me that tensioning the blade is very much like tensioning the head on a banjo: tighten it up until it breaks, then back it off 1/4 turn! #-o :roll: :lol:
 

Ives

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Thanks. I have to admit it's the old blade! It does cut well so I thought it was okay. But since it cuts in a curve, it must be dull. I'll just have to be patient and wait for my new blades to come!

The scroll saw was so straightforward, there are so many things to adjust on this, I'm not even sure what you're talking about, I guess I need the manual, but how do I find one? I just did a google search and didn't find one.

Thank you again for your help!
 

Fiddler

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You could start by making a bandsaw box; the old blade may help you with the curves if you take advantage of the bias!

What make & model bandsaw did you get Ives?
 

Steve Maskery

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Ives
I think there is another thread at the mo covering the same ground.
You need the right blade for the job and the machine needs to be set up properly. There are lots of things that can go wrong, BUT if you do the setup in the right way, in the right order, it really is very straightforward to get the saw cutting straight and true. There is a lot of good material help out there, and not just mine!
Steve
 

andersonec

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Personally I would invest in Steve's video, not only does it tell you how to set the thing up but there is a mine of other information included plus if you have any problems he is just a PM away.

Andy
 

AnselmFraser

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Sell this band saw and buy a new one ! none of our 2nd hand bandsaws have been any good , we reckon that you can buy any other machine 2nd hand apart from a bandsaw , it needs perfect balance for the blade to run perfectly and only then will you get a good cut , for this to be possible it needs to be new .There is a reason why so many people sell their bandsaws 2nd hand...
Good Luck ,
Anselm .
 

brianhabby

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Fiddler":2o35ar65 said:
Someone once told me that tensioning the blade is very much like tensioning the head on a banjo: tighten it up until it breaks, then back it off 1/4 turn! #-o :roll: :lol:
Then you've got no blade to cut with :roll:

regards

Brian
 

brianhabby

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Fiddler":khj5lb4b said:
Someone once told me that tensioning the blade is very much like tensioning the head on a banjo: tighten it up until it breaks, then back it off 1/4 turn! #-o :roll: :lol:
Then you've got no blade to cut with :roll:

regards

Brian
 

dickm

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AnselmFraser":6wuhap5g said:
Sell this band saw and buy a new one ! none of our 2nd hand bandsaws have been any good , we reckon that you can buy any other machine 2nd hand apart from a bandsaw , it needs perfect balance for the blade to run perfectly and only then will you get a good cut , for this to be possible it needs to be new .There is a reason why so many people sell their bandsaws 2nd hand...
Good Luck ,
Anselm .
In the nicest possible terms, Bull***t.
Wouldn't be surprised if there were as many supremely satisfied owners of secondhand Startrites on this forum as there are satisfied owners of new glossy ones of all sorts!
 

Steve Maskery

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I don't usually like contradicting people, but that really is twaddle. A bandsaw is a very simple machine and provided things like bearings and drive belts are OK, and nothing is bent or broken, there is absolutely no reason why a second-hand machine shouldn't run as well as a new one.
As has been pointed out, a second-hand startrite will out-perform most new bandsaws.
It needs setting up right, that's all.
S
 

Ives

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Phew, I was really scared for a moment after reading I should sell this! I only got it on Friday!

It's a Black and Decker DN339.

And now I'm really scared you're all going to tell me this is a bad one!
 

Eric The Viking

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There is a setup process to go through, in the right order.

It may not be in the manual, because that makes the reasonable assumption the machine came from the factory, where it will have had some setup done. Yours, being 3-wheel, is marginally more complicated than a two wheel one, but as has been said, unless it's either got very worn parts or is damaged, it should cut well.

0. Take the blade off and throw it away. Order TWO* new ones from Ian at Tuffsaws (go with his recommendation for the work you intend doing).

1. Check the condition of wheels, tyres and bearings, and that the frame is straight and things are in-line at right-angles to the direction in which the cut is made (it may not be in the other plane, as the machine should be tensioned, and smaller bandsaws (mine, for example!) bend noticeably when brought up to working tension with big blades. If it has roller-bearing blade guides, don't worry about them unless there is evident damage - it's not a car engine and the bearings don't do much work unless it's been abused or used hard for a long time.

2. Get the wheels parallel and in alignment in the vertical plane. This will take longer with a three-wheeler, as you have three sets of tests/adjustments, rather than one, but all you should need is a straightedge and some accurately cut blocks to stand it off past the frame. This is probably the worst bit of the process, and shouldn't be hurried.

3. Load up one of your new blades. Do the tensioning and tracking, until it's running nicely.

4. At that point, check the table is square to the blade (i.e. when it's tensioned-up).

5. Repeat the tracking, to correct for drift, if necessary.

I've deliberately skipped detail, as you really need to watch Steve's bandsaw DVDs - it's understanding why various adjustments matter and how they affect the cut that's important.

Final thought: three wheel saws send the blades through tighter radii than two-wheel ones, obviously. It's done to give more throat space (can cut off longer pieces), but it may shorten the life of the saw blades (more bending = early fracture), and probably means they can't carry as much tension as bigger saws.

So it will work for small stuff, and cutting fancy curves with small blades (like a fretsaw), but will be challenged if asked to rip-saw down thick stock. That doesn't mean it's not useful, just that it has limitations. Everything does.

FWIW, Mine is a small 'hobby saw', is third-hand, has had a hard life and still cuts really well.

Cheers.

E.

*you will inevitably break a blade in the middle of doing something. If you have a spare it's merely embarrassing, if you don't it's a showstopper.
 

MickCheese

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brianhabby":g36yddh9 said:
Fiddler":g36yddh9 said:
Someone once told me that tensioning the blade is very much like tensioning the head on a banjo: tighten it up until it breaks, then back it off 1/4 turn! #-o :roll: :lol:
Then you've got no blade to cut with :roll:

regards

Brian
I think the comment was 'tongue in cheek'.

But does serve as a lesson, I have found you do need to tension more than you think at first.

As for no good used bandsaws. All band saws are 'used' as soon as we get them home so I think that is rubbish, or are they designed only to work for the original purchaser? :D

Mick
 
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