Record Power BS300E unable to set tracking

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broadsman

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Hi all. I'm new to this site and found it looking for solutions to this problem. I'm very impressed at how helpful the contributors are!

I agree with many contributors that, in the past, Record Power machines have been let down by inferior materials and flawed engineering / manufacturing. The BS300E is a shining example, a great value-for-money package 'value engineered' down to a price. Being an engineer myself, I see many of the faults would have cost very little or nothing to design out. Add to that the dismissive attitude of the manufacturer after-sales team and I'm left with a rather bad taste, not just on this machine it has to be said. For instance, the blade tension lead screw thread stripped. This is a common fault and the part is clearly not fit for purpose. It would have cost a few pence to fit one which was.

My latest gripe is I can't use it any more because I can't adjust the tracking sufficiently. I suspect the root cause is attempting to fit a 3/4 blade, which the manual says is OK. I couldn't get it to track and eventually gave up. Since then , I've found it increasingly difficult to set up even a 1/2" blade, until yesterday when that also proved impossible. The attached photo screams at me that the wheel carrier has distorted, which would explain a lot! Can anyone offer a view on that?
20220122_090348392_iOS.jpg
 
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Spectric

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I see many of the faults would have cost very little or nothing to design out
Yet they carry them into the final product, so many products could be greatly improved with just minor changes in design and with a decent blade fitted.

My BS400 states it can run an inch blade but I find 3/4 is max so maybe on a 300 your limit could be 1/2 or 5/8 due to it's ability to tension, especially if the tensioning thread is sub standard. As for tracking I have taken Mr Snod grasses method and with a straight edge across both wheels they are in plane.

Yes I can relate to the dismissive attitude of the manufacturer after-sales team, you may have more luck going through one of their distributors.
 

broadsman

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Yet they carry them into the final product, so many products could be greatly improved with just minor changes in design and with a decent blade fitted.

My BS400 states it can run an inch blade but I find 3/4 is max so maybe on a 300 your limit could be 1/2 or 5/8 due to it's ability to tension, especially if the tensioning thread is sub standard. As for tracking I have taken Mr Snod grasses method and with a straight edge across both wheels they are in plane.

Yes I can relate to the dismissive attitude of the manufacturer after-sales team, you may have more luck going through one of their distributors.
Many thanks for your quick response! Can you comment on whether that wheel carrier is distorted?
 

Spectric

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Can you comment on whether that wheel carrier is distorted?
Not easy from a distance but both wheels can be adjusted for tracking purposes, normally the bottom one is factory set and you adjust the top one to track the blade. The tracking basically tilts the top wheel in the vertical plane, and if you look at the bottom carrier you will see it has four set screws that can adjust the bearing, the top works on the same but has an adjustment knob. Having watched the snodgrass video I have my wheels co planar and do not adjust tracking there after but others do track to get the blade running on a certain part of the wheel, my blade runs with the gullet just forward of centre.
 

Gordon Tarling

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Looks to me that the plate holding the shaft is somewhat distorted, possibly due to the tension being set too high at some time in the past. Contact Record Power and see if they have a replacement available.

G.
 

RichardG

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From my experience I've always found Record Power to be very helpful and have sent replacement parts out without question or charge, even when I lost a piece of a stand, which was obviously my fault. My experience also suggests that they continue to make small tweaks to machines. I had a BS300E and one of the guide castings had twisted, the replacement they sent was an improved design.

Anyway back to your question, from memory, that pressed steel wheel carrier is bent, the wheel should come out at 90 degrees. I've since sold the bandsaw so can't check unfortunately.

For info, I found that it's worth releasing the tracking lock nut before adjusting the tension otherwise it adds additional load to the tension screw, which can strip. The tension screw also needs to be kept lubricated with a high pressure grease.

Edit: Forgot to say that there's no way it will tension a 3/4 blade properly, I found 5/8 was a much better choice but only if it was one of the thinner style ones from Tuffsaws. A well tensioned smaller blade will cut much straighter that a poorly tensioned wider blade. All manufacturers seem to over spec. their machines...
 

chaoticbob

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Hi and welcome to the forum broadsman. I have the 350S and the wheel carrier looks very similar to yours. The wheel runs parallel to the carrier. Tracking is adjusted by a screw which tilts the carrier plus wheel relative to the plane of the machine's frame.
It does look like you've distorted the carrier - quite severely on looking at my machine :( I agree that your attempt to use a 3/4" blade is probably the root of the problem, and the failure of the tensioning screw thread fits in with that hypothesis. It's not your fault of course - if Record say it should run a 3/4" blade, then it should, and at the proper tension. My 350 specs also give 3/4 as the maximum , but I could never get the blade tight enough to cut true without fearing that something would give way. Where you go from here I don't know though!
Bob.
 

RichardG

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Where you go from here I don't know though!
Bob.
A call to record power and order a spare part. You could straighten the current one and reinforce with some weld / fillets but I'd get a price first or even see if the'll send out a free one.
 

broadsman

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Hi and welcome to the forum broadsman. I have the 350S and the wheel carrier looks very similar to yours. The wheel runs parallel to the carrier. Tracking is adjusted by a screw which tilts the carrier plus wheel relative to the plane of the machine's frame.
It does look like you've distorted the carrier - quite severely on looking at my machine :( I agree that your attempt to use a 3/4" blade is probably the root of the problem, and the failure of the tensioning screw thread fits in with that hypothesis. It's not your fault of course - if Record say it should run a 3/4" blade, then it should, and at the proper tension. My 350 specs also give 3/4 as the maximum , but I could never get the blade tight enough to cut true without fearing that something would give way. Where you go from here I don't know though!
Bob.
Many thanks Bob. You've answered my question! My expectation would be the wheel should be parallel to the carrier. I've tried hard to get that answer out of RP and, while they have been attentive and tried, sending the assembly to them to inspect seems more than a little unnecessary with what I believe is such an obvious failure. It's also not reassuring when I'm told a 3/4 blade is probably pushing the machine too far. I'm going to bend it back and weld a gusset on the side of the spindle which goes to the spot where the tracking screw is, which will transfer almost all the tracking load off the plate. Not the first time I've had to make modifications to make it work again. Ironically, I'm seriously considering upgrading to a Sabre 350, as it seems to address all the frustrations I have with this one AND I'm fed up with having to continually work ON rather than WITH it.
Many thanks again
 

broadsman

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Hi all.
Hi and welcome to the forum broadsman. I have the 350S and the wheel carrier looks very similar to yours. The wheel runs parallel to the carrier. Tracking is adjusted by a screw which tilts the carrier plus wheel relative to the plane of the machine's frame.
It does look like you've distorted the carrier - quite severely on looking at my machine :( I agree that your attempt to use a 3/4" blade is probably the root of the problem, and the failure of the tensioning screw thread fits in with that hypothesis. It's not your fault of course - if Record say it should run a 3/4" blade, then it should, and at the proper tension. My 350 specs also give 3/4 as the maximum , but I could never get the blade tight enough to cut true without fearing that something would give way. Where you go from here I don't know though!
Bob.
Hi Bob. Thought you would like to know the outcome. When I tried to bend the wheel plate back into shape with a long pipe, I braced myself for a big heave... and found out the plate had all the stiffness of a sheet of plasticine! I braced behind it (tracking screw side - no room on the other) with a 40x5 strip of brass (that's all I had which was wide enough), with the spindle bolted through it and bolted through the spare hole at the bottom. I replaced the awful tracking screw with a stainless one, Loctiting a stainless dome nut on the end to give a rather smoother operation. I replaced the equally awful tracking knob with a much larger aluminium one.

While I was at it, I replaced the tensioning screw with a stainless one and the again awful tensioning knob with a 100mm crank handle. Took a bit of engineering jiggery-pokery to hang it all together, but the result is nothing short of transformational!

I'll see how it goes but this has addressed most of my frustrations with this machine. All being well, I'll upgrade to Axminster's guide set and maybe quit moaning about the machine!

IF anyone would like to know where I got the bits, it was here; Berger Home . They have an amazing range of all sorts of useful stuff you never knew you needed, at sensible prices. Great service too.
 

broadsman

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Maybe not the best solution, stainless can suffer galling or cold welding issues, worse with finer threads and high loads so you may need some anti galling paste on those threads.
Many thanks for the advice - really appreciated. I'm hoping my Materials Technology recall (from 48 years ago!) is accurate in that what I call 'picking up' happens with materials of the same or very similar microscopic surface finish. I'm current having to re-work a moving assembly on my yacht, with both surfaces being stainless.
I have to admit I didn't specifically check these, because I don't know what materials the lead nuts are. The screws are covered in copper slip and seem to be working fine, extremely low friction in fact.
I used stainless because that's what I had. If I have problems, and now I know how to engineer it, it really won't be a problem to get something different.

Many thanks again
 

Spectric

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Hi

Yes stainless is not the all round wonder material, it can cause real issues with Galling and galvanic corrosion, seen a few instances where stainless fasteners have been used in holding aluminium together and eventually they end up with big hole around the fastener, best way would have been to use nylon top hat washers to keep the two materials apart. Another good one is when someone hooks up a boat with a metal hull to a 230 volt mains supply at a mooring that hs been done incorrectly.
 

chaoticbob

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Hi all.

Hi Bob. Thought you would like to know the outcome. When I tried to bend the wheel plate back into shape with a long pipe, I braced myself for a big heave... and found out the plate had all the stiffness of a sheet of plasticine! I braced behind it (tracking screw side - no room on the other) with a 40x5 strip of brass (that's all I had which was wide enough), with the spindle bolted through it and bolted through the spare hole at the bottom. I replaced the awful tracking screw with a stainless one, Loctiting a stainless dome nut on the end to give a rather smoother operation. I replaced the equally awful tracking knob with a much larger aluminium one.

While I was at it, I replaced the tensioning screw with a stainless one and the again awful tensioning knob with a 100mm crank handle. Took a bit of engineering jiggery-pokery to hang it all together, but the result is nothing short of transformational!

I'll see how it goes but this has addressed most of my frustrations with this machine. All being well, I'll upgrade to Axminster's guide set and maybe quit moaning about the machine!

IF anyone would like to know where I got the bits, it was here; Berger Home . They have an amazing range of all sorts of useful stuff you never knew you needed, at sensible prices. Great service too.

Good to hear how you sorted it out, though a bit worrying about the plasticine plate! Having had a look at the 300E on Record's site it seems to share quite a few components with the 350S so it's a problem I might run into as well.

The tensioning screw on the 350 looks like it has a 12 x 2 mm square profile thread, which seems a reasonable choice. Is it the same on the 300?

I too had planned to upgrade the guides, which look to be the same on both machines, but after many many experiments and frustrations I have the thing cutting true with the originals, nasty as they are. So that project is on the back burner now.

Thanks for the link to Berger - lots of useful engineering bits and pieces there.
Bob.
 

broadsman

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The tensioning screw on the 350 looks like it has a 12 x 2 mm square profile thread, which seems a reasonable choice. Is it the same on the 300?
Sadly not. I'm sure there wouldn't have been a problem if it was. It's a box standard M8x1.25 thread on a rather soft material. Defo not fit for purpose, found several posts here where it had failed. The upside is the nut is obviously much harder, the thread is fine.
Last night I cut a 2x100mm oak veneer, with a 1/2" x 3TPI blade, straight as a die! For the first time I used the 'flutter' method for tensioning.
Like you, I may save my dubloons towards something more useful, like a new folding propeller for the yacht (the current one is hopeless!)

Colin
 

chaoticbob

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Sadly not. I'm sure there wouldn't have been a problem if it was. It's a box standard M8x1.25 thread on a rather soft material. Defo not fit for purpose, found several posts here where it had failed. The upside is the nut is obviously much harder, the thread is fine.
Last night I cut a 2x100mm oak veneer, with a 1/2" x 3TPI blade, straight as a die! For the first time I used the 'flutter' method for tensioning.
Like you, I may save my dubloons towards something more useful, like a new folding propeller for the yacht (the current one is hopeless!)

Colin
OK, thanks for your reply - reassuring (from my point of view at least!) Hard to know what RP's thinking was - both machines apparently designed to tension a 3/4 blade, but the 350 has a screw with over twice the core strength of that on the 300 and a stronger thread profile. Hmm. And properly designed screw/nut unions should fail by fracture of the screw rather than thread failure (ISO 898-2: Mechanical properties of fasteners made of carbon steel and alloy steel– Part 2). Sorry, that's a bit nerdy! Clearly not fit for purpose as you said.
Anyhow, glad you've got a working machine now.
Bob.
 

broadsman

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OK, thanks for your reply - reassuring (from my point of view at least!) Hard to know what RP's thinking was - both machines apparently designed to tension a 3/4 blade, but the 350 has a screw with over twice the core strength of that on the 300 and a stronger thread profile. Hmm. And properly designed screw/nut unions should fail by fracture of the screw rather than thread failure (ISO 898-2: Mechanical properties of fasteners made of carbon steel and alloy steel– Part 2). Sorry, that's a bit nerdy! Clearly not fit for purpose as you said.
Anyhow, glad you've got a working machine now.
Bob.

Post script

Having used the machine a bit now, it's sop much better for the mods. They cost very little but did take quite a bit of time and creativity.

I think I've identified the root cause of the failure in the first place. I was being lazy and using the tension indicator on the machine. Having adopted the flutter method, it's very clear the machine indicator is way out and dramatically over-tensioning. The attached pic is with a 1/2" blade fitted, tensioned using the flutter method and cutting perfectly. The indicator is set to between 1/8 and 1/4" blade!
20220202_115722242_iOS.jpg
 

RichardG

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There should be a pointer/indicator coming out of that slot, which if I remember correctly, was soft metal and could be easily bent to "calibrate" the tension. Part 15 on the Parts List Diagram. You're doing it the right way though, get to know what looks and feels right rather than rely on the indicator. I've got used to just pushing the blade with my finger between the wheels at the rear to gauge the tension. Never underestimate the accuracy of an index finger!!
 
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