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First post bandsaw advice

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Plodmore

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Hi all. Got a titan bandsaw for my birthday. Sorted the fence and have a "notes to self" on various checks to do before cutting (mainly due to it not being precision kit). Online advice was that the supplied blade was not good and to swap out the blade asap. I bought a 62" x 1/4" 14tpi (as its the closest size to the titan blade) from the bandsaw shop. I was expecting a fine cut with reasonably smooth finish. Got cuts that were visibly thicker and less smooth than the supplied 8tpi. I have a scroll saw and am used to letting the blade do the work so I don't think speed is the issue. Thoughts/advice please.

Current thought from me is find better blade supplier but 62" appears hard to find.

Andrew
 

Plodmore

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Thanks will check them out. As a general query are some makes "fatter" than others?
 

Steve Maskery

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14 TPI is a pretty fine blade. What material are you cutting and how thick is it? Are you crosscutting or ripping? This matters.
 

Plodmore

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A bit of scrap 12mm dressed pine. Testing cross, rip and curves to get a feel for the machine.
 

Alexam

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Hope you have a s much fun as I have over the past few years with a bandsaw. The following info which I have put together may be helpful. BANDSAW TUNING - UNPLUGED
BEFORE TUNING - ensure that the bandsaw is set up on a level plane and bolted, or clamped down to prevent movement. If this is a modern or used machine, ensure that it is cleaned completely and that all moving parts are free and not blocked or stiffened by a build up of sawdust etc.
Check that the condition of both upper and lower wheel tyres and that both are in good order. Should a tyre need replacement, then replace the pair and not just one tyre.
CO-PLANER - this is a term meaning that with the blade attached at normal tension and with no contact by the guides or thrust bearing on the blade, both wheels are in line with a straight edge when stationary or turned by hand. If wheels are not in line, adjustments can be made by inserting a washer or shim behind the lower wheel if required to bring it into line.
In reality, wheels are more likely not to be in co-planer, as manufacturers often set up their machinery to run efficiently and allow for a slight offset to allow for various width blades. Co-planer is not an essential point as correct tuning will show and if your bandsaw wheels are not in line, you should not treat this as so desperately important.
When tuning your machine, a major factor is the top wheel adjustment that will allow the tilting of the top wheel so that the blade can position/seat itself in the correct place on the tyre.
TIRE - BLADE POSITION. One of the most important factors of tuning is getting this right. The adjustment for tilting the top wheel will move the blade towards the front or the back of the tyre. If guides and trust bearings are near the blade during initial tuning, you can damage the blade teeth.
Turning the wheels by hand helps, but once the motor has started, the blade position can change, so be aware not to close in the guides and bearings until after the blade seating has been carried out.
BLADES - Blade tension varies with different width blades. Adjust the tension until the blade can be moved to the side by gently pressing your finger on it whilst stationary. Movement should be about 1/16" - 1/8".
Some bandsaws will have a guide or gauge for tension settings of different width blades, but these are only an approximate 'guide' and cannot be relied upon for complete accuracy.
GUIDES & THRUST BEARINGS - Often upper and lower guides and thrust bearings are fitted, although there are other devices for maintaining the blade position, whilst allowing the blade to move more freely than with guides and thrust bearings.
However, you should check the condition of the guides and thrust bearings above and below the table. They should all be clean and able to move as required if touched by the blade when running or if turned the wheels by hand.
Some guided have blocks of various composition, or bearing guides either side of the blade and depending on condition, may need replacing. Consider the composition of the blocks, or bearings, as other types may be available and may improve the overall tuning of the bandsaw.
Guides should be set just short of touching the blade when it is moving. Manually turning the wheels whenever an adjustment is made is an essential part of tuning your bandsaw.
Similarly with the upper and lower thrust bearing, at the back of the blade, these should be set so that they do not rotate when the blade moves, unless under pressure from cutting.
TURNING ON - CONNECTING POWER - After making the above adjustments, switch on very briefly and switch off again, Check to see that the blade is not hitting the guides when running, before operating the machine at full stretch.
AFTER INITIAL BLADE TUNING - Once the above has been checked, it is time to check that the cut of timber is square. Test this by making a light, shallow cut on a block of wood, then turning the wood over 180 degrees and check that the blade fits the first cut accurately. If it does not, then the table is not square to the blade and needs adjustment. Use an engineer's square to check alignment of the blade in vertical n horizontal planes.
SAW TABLE - Ensure that this is clean and can be moved easily when required. Make sure that the blade does not make contact with any part of the table or insert when running. If a fence is fitted, ensure that it moves freely and is secure when in use and check this with the engineers square.
CHANGING CUT HEIGHT AND BLADES - Each time the height level for cutting thin or thicker stock takes place, or the blade is changed, the guides and bearings will need to be checked.
If a wide or narrow blade has been set up correctly and then a change in blade size will require the guide and bearing settings to be changed. Start the tuning process again if changing blades.
 

Plodmore

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Thanks. Quick supplementary query. The wheels have a track for the tyres and the tyres are not centred. Given the tyre is cambered I am currently centering the blade gullet on the tyre not the wheel. Correct?
 
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