So you have a Bandsaw, now the trick is to learn all it can do. Wait, one of the most important things is set-up and tune up. Today we are going to review the initial blade set up.
Step 1 — Adjust the Tracking
Start by backing off the upper and lower blade guides. Raise the upper blade guide to the height you are going to use it most of the time. With the upper door open slowly rotate the wheel watching where the blade is tracking on the upper wheel. If the blade is not centered on the wheel, slowly adjust the wheel tilt on the upper wheel while turning the upper wheel and watch the tracking until you get it in the center of the upper wheel.
Step 2– Adjust the blade tension.
This is assuming you are using a standard carbon or bi-metal band saw blade.
This is the part that brings more discussion than anything else. Start with using the blade tension guide and adjust your blade to this mark and next tighten it a little more while plucking the blade like a guitar string. A lower sound like a bass sound indicates a blade that is too loose. What you want is a high pitched sound for a properly tensioned blade. Regardless if you are resawing or cutting a 1/4″ thick piece a blade that is improperly tensioned will create tracking problems or a Resaw cut that is not straight. For those using a 14″ Bandsaw, Carter makes a tension spring known as the Cobra Coil that is made from a stronger steel that makes it easier to get the proper tension for resawing.
Many of the 14″ bandsaws use a tensioning spring with a weaker tensile strength.
Step 3– Adjust your blade guides.
Start with bringing the guides forward so that when cutting pressure is placed on the blade the gullet (the gullet is the valley portion of the blade between the tips of the teeth) Is even with the front edge of the blade guide. The gullet should never be behind the leading edge of the guides on the side of the blade. Now bring the side blade guides in so that it is within the thickness of a piece of paper to the side of the blade without moving or deflecting the blade. Don’t forget the lower blade guide.
Step 4– Adjust your table to 90 degrees to the blade. Set it, wait and double check the table angle.
Step 5– Select the correct band saw blade.
Don’t try to Resaw with a 6 tooth blade and Don’t try to use a 3 tooth blade for cutting 1/2″ material.
Now you are ready to cut and make some sawdust.
Don’t forget a push stick to keep your fingers out of the danger zone. If a blade breaks or comes off you never know where it will go.
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