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bandsaw tracking and tensioning

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Noho12C

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Hello,

I received about a month ago an Axminster AC2606 bandsaw. Im struggling to get the blade centered. When I put the blade in, I center it on the top wheel. Then, when tensioning it, the blade moves forward (which is fine), so I correct it using the tracking knob.

However, when I feel enough tension has been applied, the blade is at the very front of the wheel, and the tracking knob is fully turned (no more room to screw it further).

Has any of you got this issue ? is there a way to correct that ? (like using shims, or put a longer screw on the tracking knob).
Or am I just doing it wrong ? :roll:
 

CHJ

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Why are you trying to centre the blade on the wheel as a priority.
As long as the blade width is still located on the wheel and cutting true the actual position it takes on the wheel peripheries is in my experience immaterial.

Whenever I replace a blade I turn it by hand and check that its running on the wheels, apply tension, adjust tracking if necessary to set it up at right angles to the table surface, check that it's still on the wheels, (it always is) the actual position, front, back or centre is immaterial to me, set the blade support guides and go.

Are you saying the blade is so far forward it is coming off the wheel?
 

Noho12C

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The issue is that the blade is so far in the front that I can't set correctly the guides. The ones on the back of the saw blade are nearly one centimeter from the blade back, and cannot get them closer due to the blade guard... And that's for an 1/2 inch blade, so it will be worse for a narrower one.
The blade doesn't come off though

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CHJ

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Some images of Blade on wheels and Blade guide assembly would help.

Is this a new machine or previously owned?
Can't see how a blade can be that far forward of the rear guide location.
 

twodoctors

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If the blade is "bouncing" from front to back (or vice versa) with the tracking knob, then you have too much tension. So my question would be how did you decide whether there is enough tension in the first place?

There are many videos on how to set up bandsaw... Alex Snodgrass is probably the most popular one.

What I do (and it works for me) is set the blade so the teeth in the middle of the wheel. Put enough tension so that the blade won't slip. Turn the saw on and increase the tension until the blade stops "vibrating". Then check the tracking again. If it keeps "bouncing" then there is too much tension. Finally set the guides.

There are other methods of setting up bandsaw...
 

sunnybob

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It sounds like you are over tightening the blade.

Start off with the blade teeth just forwards of centre on the wheel rim with the blade slack and barely staying on and the tracking adjuster central in its movement.

Tighten the blade untill you can only just twist the blade a quarter turn with your fingers, just above the table height.
Spin the wheels by hand to see if the blade stays in place. If not, move the adjuster.

Start the machine and watch the blade from the normal position you would cutting from. The blade should "flutter" side to side. VERY slowly, adjust the tension knob untill the blade stops fluttering and looks like it isnt moving.
Open the box and check where the blade is on the wheel. It should be almost the same place as you started.
If not, make a final adjustment of the tracking knob.

The most watched video on bandsaws is this one,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU&t=6s

If you really cant get it to work, call axminster. they have a superb after sales service.
 

Steve Maskery

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It really doesn't matter where the blade rides. What does matter is that it cuts Due North, parallel with both the mitre slots and the fence. If it's doing that you are good to go.
 

Noho12C

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Thanks for your inputs. I sent an email to Axminster, let's see what they say.

I will try to take some pics tonight of the guides, might explain better my concern.

Also, being my first band saw, I might be overtensioning it. It just doesn't feel that tensioned.

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RogerS

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twodoctors":2x7d3chq said:
.....
There are many videos on how to set up bandsaw... Alex Snodgrass is probably the most popular one.
....
No, it isn't. Why do folk insist on mentioning this bloke when our very own Steve Maskery - who has contributed considerably to the forum over the years - has his own ? And better IMO
 

Noho12C

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One thing about tensioning :

When resawing 4 inch deep material, the blade (4 tpi) is screaming quite a lot. I thought the reason to be under tensioning. Could over tensioning be the reason ? ( Blade is square to the table)

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CHJ

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Noho12C":2mgufbx0 said:
One thing about tensioning :

When resawing 4 inch deep material, the blade (4 tpi) is screaming quite a lot. I thought the reason to be under tensioning. Could over tensioning be the reason ? ( Blade is square to the table)
That machine should not notice it's cutting 4 inch stock, let alone make excessive noise. Sounds more like guides not positioned correctly and squealing, maybe you are applying too much pressure to the stock and not letting the blade cut at its own pace.

Regarding tension if it achieves the criteria quoted by Steve then it's sufficient, no point in applying extra tension.

Steve Maskery":2mgufbx0 said:
It really doesn't matter where the blade rides. What does matter is that it cuts Due North, parallel with both the mitre slots and the fence. If it's doing that you are good to go.
 

AES

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+1 for the Steve Maskery DVDs on band saws ("Workshop Essentials").

As someone who'd barely even seen a band saw before, I found those few quid spent on Steve's DVDs one of the best few quid I have spent on wood working. I now approach mine with confidence having set it all up as per Steve's excellent DVDs.

Usual disclaimers.
 

MikeG.

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Steve Maskery":1yel98i0 said:
...... What does matter is that it cuts ......parallel with both the mitre slots...........
You're going to have to help me with this one, Steve. For a start, I don't know anyone who ever uses a mitre square on their bandsaw, and secondly, one of the principles of setting up a bandsaw fence to a new blade is to allow for running out. In other words, you set the fence to align with the direction of cut, not vice versa...........don't you? Given that this running out happens, how do you expect to end up running parallel to your mitre slots, unless you pivot the whole table? Pivoting the table around the blade isn't an option on any bandsaw I am familiar with.
 

Steve Maskery

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MikeG.":3gb0vy83 said:
Steve Maskery":3gb0vy83 said:
...... What does matter is that it cuts ......parallel with both the mitre slots...........
You're going to have to help me with this one, Steve. For a start, I don't know anyone who ever uses a mitre square on their bandsaw, and secondly, one of the principles of setting up a bandsaw fence to a new blade is to allow for running out. In other words, you set the fence to align with the direction of cut, not vice versa...........don't you?
Er, No, Mike, I don't.
It's true that many people do that, but in my view it is a very second-rate fix.
Many people do use a mitre fence for cross-cutting on their bandsaw, especially folk whose main machine is only a bandsaw and who generally cut small parts. Toy-makers, for example.
If the fence is skewed to compensate for drift, then crosscuts will not be square and the blade will be forced out of its alignment.
Rather than compensate for drift, it is better to eliminate drift, which is what the tracking knob is for. That way, not only are rip cuts straight, but cuts using the miter slots (mitre fence or jigs) are straight, too.

MikeG.":3gb0vy83 said:
Given that this running out happens, how do you expect to end up running parallel to your mitre slots, unless you pivot the whole table? Pivoting the table around the blade isn't an option on any bandsaw I am familiar with.
I get it running parallel by tracking.

I can't pivot my table either (well, a tad maybe on the trunnions, but it would be a devil of a job to do). Some bandsaws in the US have the table on a post, and you can swivel it easily, but I've never seem them like that over here.

One well-known bandsaw tutorial has the presenter stop halfway through the test cut while he alters the table, because, despite his expert setup, the saw is not actually cutting true! Of course he does not draw attention to the embarrassment, but it is there for all the world to see.

I've never yet found a bandsaw that cannot be set to run true, you just have to do the right things in the right order.
 

MikeG.

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Steve Maskery":kds07296 said:
.........Rather than compensate for drift, it is better to eliminate drift, which is what the tracking knob is for.........
If only I had one of those.......
 

MikeG.

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Well, not a knob, no. It's a bolt, requiring a spanner. The thing is, it tracks perfectly, and the wheels are co-planar. I check this regularly. The blade still drifts, and that drift alters as the blade wears.
 

Steve Maskery

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I don't understand Mike. How can it track perfectly if it is still drifting? In my book it is only tracking perfectly when the drift has been eliminated.
 

MikeG.

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By tracking perfectly I mean that the blade is stable in location on the wheels and doesn't move in relation to the table or guides. As any adjustment of the tracking "knob" would mean moving the wheels out of (let's invent a word) co-planarity, it's going to take a lot to convince me that tracking issues are related to drift.
 

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