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Bandsaw setup issue

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Zeddedhed

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Some years ago I bought a Record BS400 bandsaw at the D&M toolshow.

Originally I managed to get it quite well set-up and was managing to re-saw some fairly thick stock quite successfully. However for various reasons it didn't get much use for the last couple of years, being mainly relegated to firewood prep duties, doing a fine job of keeping the workshop stove chuffing away.

I'm now trying to get it properly setup again and press it back into use for some resaw work and I've discovered that the side guides, both above and below the table are almost impossible to setup correctly.

The guides themselves are discs of some kind of black material, about the size of an old ten pence piece, and they obviously rotate freely. They also wobble - a lot.

If I set them to be barely touching the blade, and give the wheels a spin by hand all is well, but as soon as I fire up the machine the additional vibrations cause the wobble in the discs to allow them to come into contact with the moving blade.

It should be said that they are NOT rubbing the blade. It's more like a tinkling as the blade either brushes the top or bottom edge of the wheels, both above and below the table.

Does anyone else here have any experience setting up wobbly disc like bandsaw guides?
 

Myfordman

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No decently designed guide system is going to wobble as it will not be able to function as a guide.
Changing the guide system for hardwood blocks that intially touch the blade but soon wear a little to give a working clearance is one way.
The other that I use as an engineer are ballrace guides set a hairs breadth away from the blade.
Remember that the guides are there to reinforce the blades natural position NOT to make it deviate from its natural, non-cutting path.
Set the blade true to the table and fence first, then bring in the guides as additional support.
 

Glynne

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I have a BS350 and suffer the same problem. Not sure if there is an easy solution as for me it’s a design issue.
I needed to replace one which was damaged when my machine arrived but that had a “wobble” as you describe.
Not sure about the 400 but for the 350 you can alter it so as the guides from the newer Sabre will fit - these guides are orientated so as the circumference make contact with the blade of need be. The downside is that you have to permanently remove the blade guard. Record as a company don’t recommend this but I had a long chat with their rep at a show who explained how this could be done and also how the Sabre fence could be used as well.
I resaw but not for very thin wood, only to get usable “planks” from slabs. I find I can’t set the saw up to use the fence for this so I use either a resaw post or do it by eye and then thicknesss the timber to size.
If you do find a solution, please let me know but my Record is certainly more sensitive to blades dulling than my previous cheap Chinese saw.
 

Myfordman

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Check that you get top and bottom sets when you buy. Nothing wrong with ball races guides. Most professional saws use them.
 

Zeddedhed

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Myfordman":3i9irz50 said:
Check that you get top and bottom sets when you buy. Nothing wrong with ball races guides. Most professional saws use them.
They only supply the top set. I spoke with the guy who apparently used to be an engineer for Startrite and he told me that they found that the biggest improvement came from the top guides being replaced. They used to make a lower set but found it had hardly any (if any) effect on performance so he stopped making them. I'm going to his workshop next week as he's only 30 mins or so from me so I'll have a look and see if they look worth the investment.
 

Myfordman

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I don't disagree that changing the top set would make the biggest difference but for deep resawing I'd want maximum lower support too. I have a startrite 18-s-1 three wheeler not the model that you have.
 

Glynne

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Going back to the Record guides, I just went and had a look at a spare guide I have.
Pretty straight forward assembly, guide wheel, brass bush and locking screw and washer.
IMG_0490.jpg

As the ones on my BS350, it wobbles.
However when I took it apart, I noticed that the cylindrical shaft extended above the brass bush which meant that there was play even when the screw was tightened down. Worse again, the top of the cylinder wasn't flat meaning that there would be uneven play.
So I've both flattened the top of the cylinder and reduced the depth so that it sits within the bush meaning that when its tigthened down there is much reduced play.
IMG_0502.jpg

I haven't looked at the actual ones on my saw at the moment but it might reduce if not cure some of your wobble?
 

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Zeddedhed

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The guides on mine are slightly different I think. I'll have another look later but I haven't seen the whole cylinder/bushing and screw arrangement. It could well be that I'm tired, hot and grumpy and not looking hard enough.

I'm beginning to wonder though if the guides fluttering lightly on the blade is really that big an issue. It would seem that I have other problems that need addressing with the saw.

No matter what I do I cannot prevent the blade from wandering off to my right. This happens with or without using fence. It also happens on 9mm MDF, 25mm softwood, 10mm Oak - pretty much whatever I choose to cut. I've got a brand new Tuffsaws Monster Death Ripper (or whatever it's called) 1 inch blade, tensioned to the max. I've tried the blade in the centre of the wheel, teeth to the front, hanging off the back. Slow feed, medium feed, fast feed - you get the picture.

I've squared the blade to the table using a digital protractor and have got it to within .3 of a degree (Best I can do due to the table adjustment getting sticky at this point - it's either 90.3 degrees or 87 degrees - can't get it back by that pesky 0.3)

Any other ideas anyone?
 

lurker

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If that machine is the one I think it is, anything above half inch blade is going to be trouble.

Look at the advice on tuffsaws website.
If you are still unsure send Ian an e mail.
 

Glynne

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The max width for the blade on my BS350 is 3/4 inch and I struggle to tension it so it tracks properly - so it might be the same with yours? The fact that the cut always goes off in the same direction seems to imply a single issue so have you tried a narrower blade?
The max I now use is 5/8” for resawing and 1/2” for general work as I’ve read (I think somewhere on Tuffsaws site) that most bandsaws will struggle to tension the widest blade the machine will take. I’m guessing that like most Record bandsaw owners, you totally ignore the tension gauge which is useless.
 

Zeddedhed

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Glynne, I do indeed ignore the tension guide.
I have read the blurb on the Tuffsaws site regarding blade width etc, however I found my old post that expressed my delight on using my first ever Tuffsaws blade here tuffsaws-bandsaw-blades-speechless-t92604.html and it seems I was using a 1 inch blade for the cuts shown in that post. To be exact it was a Supertuff Sabrecut 3tpi Extra Set. Having looked on the site it would see that they no longer produce the Sabrecut blades in 1 inch thickness.

Methinks I need to call Ian and seek his Gandalf-Like blade wisdom.

It could well be that the 3tpi Extra Set bit was making all the difference. The one I'm using now is the Supertuff Premium 1.3tpi 1 inch Ripper - an evil looking thing.
 

mr rusty

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Hmm. I have a bog standard record 350 that I use with a tufsaw 3/4 blade and standard record guides. I have no issues whatsoever. I can easily skinny a 2-3mm slice off a 150mm plank. Never tried anything deeper. I also have had no issues when switching to smaller blade sizes. Is it possible that the blade is not running true centre on the crown of the wheels and relying on the guides to try and pull it straight?
 

sunnybob

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Just remember that whatever guides you use, they must be behind the teeth when the blade is under load!
A couple seconds running time with the teeth being squeezed by the guides and the blade is dead.

With the machine turned OFF at the wall, after tensioning the blade push it as far back as you can and the guides must still be behind the teeth.
 

lurker

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sunnybob":3icff6ta said:
Just remember that whatever guides you use, they must be behind the teeth when the blade is under load!
A couple seconds running time with the teeth being squeezed by the guides and the blade is dead.

With the machine turned OFF at the wall, after tensioning the blade push it as far back as you can and the guides must still be behind the teeth.
This is why, IMHO, wood guides are superior.
 

sunnybob

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i would agree in general, but if you have wood that is touching the blade you get a lot of heat generated from friction, which added to the heat from cutting the wood could degrade the blade life.

my local woodyard has a bandsaw thats almost 10ft tall and i would guess 24 inch wheels. it runs a 1 1/2" blade through a chunk of wood as a bearing, just as if they had cut a slot with the blade, then turned the wood round and fed the blade backwards into the slot, but they have a pot of light oil with a paintbrush and often coat the blade as its running, just to reduce friction from the wood guide.
To me, thats self defeating.
Yes steel bearings take skill and time to set up, but I believe the result is superior to wood.
 

Steve Maskery

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Blade "guides" are really a bit of a misnomer. They don't really guide the blades at all, though they do stabilise things a bit, bit, I suppose.

In a perfect world, you would be able to cut a straight line, nice and true, with no guides at all, just by setting the tracking properly. But the world is not perfect, and guides do help to stabilise the blade when we put it under sideways pressure, such as when cutting curves.

All sorts of things can act as a good guide: bearings, brass rod (brass on steel is a good low-friction combo), very hard wood (e.g lignum vitae) soaked in paraffin, Tufnol (AKA Cool Blocks). All do a good job.

But I've never heard of any of them wobbling.

S
 

Spectric

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Hi there

I had similar issues when I got the 400 model, it just liked to cut curves and whatever I did failed to make it produce a straight cut and yes the guides do wobble just like the whole adjustable guide support. Fitted a tuff blade and it just cut great with no issues, the blade has a thinner gauge and so requires less tension. Did look at fitting the sabre guides but could not justify the cost. The one thing I have done is modify the blade guards to make adjustment easier which also increases accuracy. In my opinion it has not made it less safe but the manufacturers are forced to go to extreme lengths and we are just lucky the HSE still allow teeth on the blade!
 

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