Startrite 352 bandsaw advice please

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Hi, there seem to be a few owners out there from looking at various threads, so I’m hoping I can get some help to get my bandsaw running nicely, and learn how to use it properly .it’s my first bandsaw. if anyone could look kindly on me please as a newbie to this.
I’ve bought a selection of blades from an excellent chap called Ian at Tuffsaw. I went with his recommendation for my projects, which are mainly big stuff. Garden projects mostly, pergola, benches, car port, sheds,
nothing too precision.
I’ve Spent yesterday removing the old blade, and getting the guides flattened on emery I stuck to the table. It’s just the right height too to get a good purchase on it. Ended up using a bolt through two to hold them in alignment.
I had to replace the lower ( short ) rear guide stop, via machine spares … only £48 gulp.
So my first question is, why can’t this be adjusted fore and aft kind of ? Does it just sit in the right place .. I imagined you’d be able to bring it closer or further away from the back edge of the blade ?
Next up, I notice there’s two positions for the belt and I’m wondering which is best for woodworking.
Any tips for blade fitting/alignment/tension , would be very welcome too.
Cheers.
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David ( Gloucester)
 

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Fitzroy

All the gear...
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Morning, £48 ouch! Larger pully setting for wood as you want the faster speed. The Lower thrust rod should be adjustable, but has less movement space than the upper. The thrust rod has a carbide wear tip, but you can trim a bit of the back end to shorten it. The thrust rods are another expensive replacement for original parts but i bought a length of 10mm solid carbide rod from eBay for £20 that i cut (with a grinder disk) the lower and upper rods from.

There are lots of set up videos which you should go and watch, search for Steve Maskery (formally of this parish) on youtube, or Alex Snodgrass. Steve does an excellent set of videos on getting the most from your bandsaw which are well worth the money.

My personal set up approach is below (warning I'm no expert but it works for me)
- De-tension and remove old blade.
- Check tyres are clear of debris/build-up
- Back off blade guides and guide rods
- Install new blade and pretension
- Adjust tracking to bring the blade to correct position (there is lots of debate on best position) I aim to have the teeth of the blade just ahead of the mid point on the tyre
- Adjust tension to final setting, turn the wheels a good few times to ensure the blade is settled in its final position, adjust any tracking as required.
- Check that the table slots are parallel to the blade, adjust the table as required (I've struggled with this as the amount of adjustment is limited)
- Check the blade is perpendicular to the table and adjust the 0° table stop if required
- Set the upper thrust rod to be a hair behind the blade so it is not touching when the blade is unloaded
- Set the lower thrust rod similarly
- Set the upper blade guides to be fractionally off the blade (see Deema's post on bandsaw guides to learn their purpose), and front edge of guides just behind the gullet of the blade, when loaded.
- Set the lower blade guides similarly.
- run up the machine, recycle on above if blade rubs etc.

One thing I've definitely noticed is that once I've used a blade for cutting curves it's straight cutting performance deteriorates. So I tend to keep blade for when I want to be cutting accurate straights.

Fitz.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Gloucester
Morning, £48 ouch! Larger pully setting for wood as you want the faster speed. The Lower thrust rod should be adjustable, but has less movement space than the upper. The thrust rod has a carbide wear tip, but you can trim a bit of the back end to shorten it. The thrust rods are another expensive replacement for original parts but i bought a length of 10mm solid carbide rod from eBay for £20 that i cut (with a grinder disk) the lower and upper rods from.

There are lots of set up videos which you should go and watch, search for Steve Maskery (formally of this parish) on youtube, or Alex Snodgrass. Steve does an excellent set of videos on getting the most from your bandsaw which are well worth the money.

My personal set up approach is below (warning I'm no expert but it works for me)
- De-tension and remove old blade.
- Check tyres are clear of debris/build-up
- Back off blade guides and guide rods
- Install new blade and pretension
- Adjust tracking to bring the blade to correct position (there is lots of debate on best position) I aim to have the teeth of the blade just ahead of the mid point on the tyre
- Adjust tension to final setting, turn the wheels a good few times to ensure the blade is settled in its final position, adjust any tracking as required.
- Check that the table slots are parallel to the blade, adjust the table as required (I've struggled with this as the amount of adjustment is limited)
- Check the blade is perpendicular to the table and adjust the 0° table stop if required
- Set the upper thrust rod to be a hair behind the blade so it is not touching when the blade is unloaded
- Set the lower thrust rod similarly
- Set the upper blade guides to be fractionally off the blade (see Deema's post on bandsaw guides to learn their purpose), and front edge of guides just behind the gullet of the blade, when loaded.
- Set the lower blade guides similarly.
- run up the machine, recycle on above if blade rubs etc.

One thing I've definitely noticed is that once I've used a blade for cutting curves it's straight cutting performance deteriorates. So I tend to keep blade for when I want to be cutting accurate straights.

Fitz.
Awesome stuff, just what I needed ! I’ll check out those people you mention. When you say slots ensuring the mitre slot is in line I’m guessing
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
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Morning, £48 ouch! Larger pully setting for wood as you want the faster speed.
Or lower speed for longer blade life. Depends what you are doing but I hardly ever used the faster speed. I'm a bit of a skinflint!
If the tyres are gunged up it helps to take the wheels off and soak/wash them in hot soapy water. It helps get the chippings out of the rubber.
It is possible to get the upper and lower guide holding brackets and/or the thrust rods, swapped by mistake - they are different size (fore and aft) and can end up difficult to adjust. The lower ones are shorter. I hadn't noticed this for many years until they day came when I got them swapped over!
The side guides are all identical and you can even out wear by swapping/turning them around
 
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Keith 66

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I had a later 352 which had the steel block guides & thrust rod, though adequate i found them noisy & screechy & didnt like them. I made a set of decent guide holders which had a ball race thrust wheel & Coolblocks on the sides, not sure if these are still available but they are a plastic fibre composite that is very low friction, far superior & quieter than the steel guides.
 
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