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N4400 bandsaw cutting issue

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Prizen

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newly delivered N4400.
Standard guides here, no ceramic. I have tried to cut a 4” laminate of oak (1”) and birch ply (3”) but it really struggles. It’s with the as delivered blade installed, but can this blade be actually that bad? It is sharp to the touch and I have only cut 5ft linear of 1/2” ply as the very first cuts prior to this 4” block. The saw really struggles, sparks occasionally and it is nigh on impossible to make a turn

Any thoughts? The blade? If it’s poor quality then I expect it to blunt quickly but at least work satisfactorily for the first number of feet!

Otherwise the blade guides are set to be almost touching the blade
 

custard

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I use an N4400. It should absolutely eat that 4" laminate.

When you say "really struggles" what exactly do you mean? Is the motor bogging down? Is the fence not aligned, so the cut wanders off-line and ends up pinching the workpiece? Did you try free hand curve cuts in the ply and "nibble" your way around a tight corner? If so the blade can get ruined pretty quickly.
 

Ttrees

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Hello
Firstly I question what width blade you are using, as you mention sparks from the thrust guide.
These saws have flat tires and best to setup with a wide blade first, as the tension makes a huge difference to where the blade will be tracking on the wheels, and flat tires means the teeth should be overhanging off the edge with a wide blade.

It is possible that the set could be damaged on the blade, as if the blade is not tensioned and the tracking was setup for the blade to work out of the factory when tensioned...

Say someone somewhere else gave it the once over, being more fimiliar with crowned tires... they haven't tensioned the blade correctly, gave the wheels a turn by hand, and thought they had to back off the thrust as the blade was rubbing/ jamming against it,
Say they weren't expecting the blade to dive towards the thrust guides with the blade half tensioned, and the side rollers were set close!...

Then the set of the teeth got compressed and the blade needs resetting.

As for using a narrower band for "curve cutting" and depending on how narrow a blade, I would aim to try and keep an eye on things and try and take into account wear from the set on a slightly wider blade.
On a really narrow blade, I would like to see where Custard suggests.
On my ACM saw with one tire needing replacment , very narrow blades only like to run on center.

Tom
 
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Doug B

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Is the thrust bearing moving freely? A few years ago I used to regularly use a N4400 it was a very good saw but the flat thrust bearing was pants, if it was unable to spin it would create sparks as the blade rode against it.
I’m surprised you’re finding the saw is struggling, I would definitely try a new blade on the saw it’s usually the cause & the most obvious thing to try first.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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newly delivered N4400.
Standard guides here, no ceramic. I have tried to cut a 4” laminate of oak (1”) and birch ply (3”) but it really struggles. It’s with the as delivered blade installed, but can this blade be actually that bad? It is sharp to the touch and I have only cut 5ft linear of 1/2” ply as the very first cuts prior to this 4” block. The saw really struggles, sparks occasionally and it is nigh on impossible to make a turn

Any thoughts? The blade? If it’s poor quality then I expect it to blunt quickly but at least work satisfactorily for the first number of feet!

Otherwise the blade guides are set to be almost touching the blade
I have a N4400.

My assumption would be that you need MUCH more tension on the blade. The lack of tension translates into the blade not gripping the wheel and the power is not being transferred. Plus the blade wanders, and the cut is poor. Sparks are probably coming off the guides as the blades touches it.

Note that the blade tension meter is just a guide to tension. Add more until you see minimal deflection.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Peter Sefton

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All the comments above sound like good advice, the Felder blade I had supplied with my N4400 was of reasonable quality and 20-25mm wide from memory, this would not be good for cutting tight curves and would not last very long in plywood or laminated solid if a UF glue has been used. I suggest getting a new blade, set it up and test in clean timber, get an M42 steel if you plan on cutting a lot of ply.

If you are new to using the bandsaw it may be worth getting a setup DVD, a few are available for the price of a new blade. Your issues are very common and my bandsaw DVD is the our best seller for the reasons above.

Hope you get it working as it should.

Cheers Peter
 

Blister

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Sounds like a combination of setup and blade choice , The wider the blade the harder it is to turn and say cut out a bown blank , You can also get a set in the blade if you do cut bowl blanks , This will then not cut straight lines , Also the blades are different for ripping and cross cutting , So you need several blades for different jobs , No different to hand saws and table saws , Have fun
 

Prizen

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Thanks all, will look at it again tonight.

Peter, I have your planer thicknesser dvds and the other bandsaw dvd, but not the BS setup. Purchase on the way I think
 

johnnyb

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save your money in case you need a new blade. OK back off all the guides so there's nothing touching the blade. open the door and look at the vee belt that goes from the motor to the lower wheel. check its tension. I would even slacken off the bolts on the motor and re tension anyway as these things can stretch. then carefully spin the one wheel by a spoke. Notice anything odd?
rack the blade tension up a bit and try again. Next lubricate all the guides. the guides are not the best...I know this because mine has had an aftermarket replacement! check they are all spinning and feel lubed. Next bring them all in close to the blade but not touching. Once again spin a wheel to check its free running. make any final adjustments and spin again by hand. if everything is OK hit the start and try a cut.
 

Prizen

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What a terribly frustrating experience. I have made sure tension is correct, thrust bearing just a tad backed off, similar to side bearings. Upper guide assembly is down as close as possible to the workpiece while maintaining clearance.. Very poor curve cutting with the delivered 10mm blade. It just seems to want to twist all the time.

So, I replaced the blade with a 3/8" M42. A little better this time around. I am wondering if there is something wrong or would an upgrade to the ceramic guides improve things..
 

Prizen

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thanks Peter, I have followed steps in your dvd. There must be something i am doing incorrectly.
 

Ttrees

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Apart from the usual info you would find on most videos
like making sure your TPI matches the stock height, and matching the blade width
with the radius you are cutting..
and making sure if you are cutting wet timber that you want a wider kerf blade...(and keeping the blade and tires clean)

Then a few more things might be worth mentioning.
From my machine, I get the impression that a thicker gauge blade runs better with a flat tired machine.
(on wider blades this is definitely the case for my machine, I cant speak for someone with new flat tires)
Another thing I might suggest is looking for some videos of similar machines (Italian) rather than ones with crowned tires

Sam Blasco from Minimax has some demonstrations that you might gain some
insight from,
Bearing in mind that the tension gauge might actually be honest on that heavy duty Centauro/minimax saw.
(That thing is likely adjustable anyways, if the same as ACM)
as I have set mine up to be somewhere accurate for a 3/4" blade..well thats between 20 and 25mm now that I use a thicker gauge blade, I must adjust that) :)
I just listen for the right sound.

Tom
 
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Prizen

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Thanks again to all for the support. One last query - on the upper guides, there are two wing nuts for adjusting the thrust bearing, and the other for sliding the entire upper guide assembly. However, on the lower guide assembly, there is only one wing nut that brings the entire assembly fwd/aft. No separate adjustment for the thrust bearing. Is this normal?
 

Ttrees

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If its the same as the GL series like 456 then there should be adjustment, might be just a grub screw for clearance issues
 

Prizen

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I did see a bolt, however I cannot see myself adjusting this for various blade sizes.

@Peter Sefton - why do you prefer the standard bearing guides over ceramic? I have a sense that the four lateral contact points with the ceramic setup might resist blade twisting more than a bearing either side?
 

Ttrees

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I'd say you get used to it, you might be able to swap the shaft around to make it easier to get at.
If you can't get used to that, then the ceramic may be more faffing than you want to do.
A wider gauge blade might have a wider set compared to a more flimsy thin gauge blade, I don't cut curves with my machine, so have little to go on here.
 
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