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Startrite 352 bandsaw

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Bodger7

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Hi
I have a very elderly Startrite 352 bandsaw and I am struggling with it. I have tried using it today to cut blanks from some green Ash but it constantly jams. I notice that whenever I start a cut the blade tracks to the left as I look at it. I watched a video by Alex Snodgrass and I have probably not got the blade properly centred so will look at that when I next play with it. Any other suggestions as to why the blade is not cutting straight would be welcomed. (The unevenness of the chunks of ash probably doesn't help.)
Is it possible to download a copy of the 352 manual from the internet? I searched this forum and found 2 references to web sites but these appear to have closed down now. If not can anyone tell me where I might find any lubrication points as I can't see any?
Thanks.
 

Ttrees

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Have you scraped the pitch off of the tires and blade, and checked your blade set is ok on some other timber?
 

CHJ

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What blade are you using, is it new and sharp?

If you primarily want to cut round blanks from logs (green or dry) you would find it beneficial to use one with a wide kerf (extra set on the teeth) this gives more clearance to the rear of the blade and makes following the curve easier and clearing of the debris.

Assuming you have a sharp blade and it runs true with the table, (at 90deg. fore and aft and parallel with the table guide slots) the main cause of a wandering blade is applying too much pressure and not allowing the blade to cut at its own pace and clear the sawdust from the kerf.
 

Paul Hannaby

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Check the blade is set to track correctly on the wheels.
Check the guides are all correctly adjusted for the blade.
Check there is no build up of shavings, resin, dust etc. on the blade - if there is, clean it all off.
If with all the above correct the blade still doesn't cut straight, replace the blade.
If that doesn't fix it, check the wheel alignment.
 

Lons

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What the others said Bodger, make sure it's tensioned adequately as well. I'd suggest a new decent blade from somewhere like Tuffsaws if you want the bandsaw to operate at its' best. Mine is still excellent.

If you pm me with your email address I can send you a copy of the manual but it isn't up to much tbh, is useful as a parts list though.
 

misterfish

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Have a look at

http://www.drosera.f2s.com/Startrite_352(dual_speed).pdf

you need to type this address manually into your browser address bar as the software here ignores the " ).pdf"

but these two should work directly
and http://www.drosera.f2s.com/Startrite_352_manual.pdf
and http://www.drosera.f2s.com/Startrite_price_list.pdf

which are the stuff I've posted to my old web space.

I recently changed my ISP and my web space will disappear soon so I suggest you download them.

Hope this is of help

Jeff
 

Jacob

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Sounds like a blunt blade.
Also necessary to set the stops and guides spot on. You don't need a manual for this (I seem to remember is was just a single sheet of paper with my new machine all those years ago):
Get a new blade running fairly centrally (not critical), tensioned up to medium, then set all the guides and the back stop to be very close but just clear of the sides/back of the blade.
It's possible you have a more basic fault, but unlikely as these are very simple machines.
n.b. bandsaws can be a disappointment - they simply do not cut as straight and cleanly as a table saw but they have other strengths.
 

Dalboy

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I will not repeat what has been said but if you use a blade to constantly cut circles in the same direction you will find that the set is changed.
Also is the blade small enough for the diameter that you want to cut as a 1/4" blade will cut a much smaller radius than a 5/8" blade
 

Bodger7

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Thank you all for your replies.
Ttrees - I am afraid that I do not understand what is meant by "Have you scraped the pitch off of the tires and blade?". By "pitch" do you mean a tarry substance or does pitch mean a setting of some kind? The tyres on the machine appear to be flat but from information about other bandsaws I expected them to be slightly domed.
Jeff - thanks for the manual link and I have now downloaded it.
CHJ, Paul, Lons and others - I will get a new blade and start from scratch with the set up. I previously changed the guide blocks for bearings so will replace the blocks and hope that that might help.
I seem to produce a few sparks from the contact between the blade and the rear guide. Is that usual or does that indicate some problem with the set up?
 

Lons

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Hi bodger
If the bearing guides are properly set up they will be good, I've kept the original blocks only because I'm happy they work for me.
It is normal that you can get sparks off the rear guide assuming it's the original rod but you need to check that. The original had TCT tip on the end which stops the blade wearing grooves into the guide but they come off so if grooves in the end of the rod then it's gone. Not the cause of the blade tracking sideways though.
If you're having to push hard through the cut then you'll get more sparks and really indicates a blunt or badly set blade.
Replacement rear guides are expensive imo so what I did was stick TCT tips on the ends with JB Weld which seem to last a long time.
 

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worn thumbs

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One point I haven't seen mentioned is whether the initial cutting involved using a fence.I have lost count of the number of people who imagine that using a fence on a bandsaw guarantees a parallel cut.Much more reliable to mark a straight line and cut to it -obviously while using a sharp blade.
 

CHJ

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worn thumbs":t39rsseq said:
One point I haven't seen mentioned is whether the initial cutting involved using a fence.I have lost count of the number of people who imagine that using a fence on a bandsaw guarantees a parallel cut.Much more reliable to mark a straight line and cut to it -obviously while using a sharp blade.
Agreed, but if you can get the blade tracking correctly and lined up with the table it should cut parallel with the fence, another myth is that you need a wide blade to achieve it as well. If the surface finish is not super critical then a sharp wide set narrow blade not influenced by its own kerf and dust debris is quite capable of parallel cut with out the use of offset or single point fences.
DSCN3627-1024.jpg
 

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Lazurus

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If the blade has been used to cut a few blanks they can form a bias, as all the above start afresh with a new blade, the sparks indicate it is rubbing hard on the rear guide, try rounding the back of the blade with a small diamond file - I do this on all mine now, and I keep a separate blade for cutting blanks as opposed to ripping etc.
 

Bodger7

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Acting on the advice given, I fitted a new blade, made sure that the blade was tracking correctly on the wheels and reset the blade guides with the table off. The difference in performance is amazing; it is like having a new saw. I have been able to cut blanks quickly and accurately. Thanks for all the advice.
 

Lons

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Well done Bodger, that saw will last you a lifetime, simplicity is its' secret.
 
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