3/4" blade on 14" Powermatic Bandsaw

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You MIGHT have a problem with the vertical blade guard if you move the wheels too far. I'd leave the wheels alone if it were me...
Dave
Brian Mahaney wrote:

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yeah, but, he's already moved the problem part (lower guide)
dave
alexy wrote:

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Brian Mahaney says...

There are some simple adjustments to setting the thrust bearings. Like David said, there is another adjustment where the guide and thrust bearing assembly bolts to the frame. Running your saw in a bind the way you did was extremely unwise and dangerous, not to mention murder on your nice new saw (Wanna trade?). The damaged bearing should be flipped or changed. Don't use the damaged face anymore. Your saw won't perform well or safely if it isn't adjusted with care. The thrust bearings should be adjusted to where they just barely don't move when the machine is on, but will as soon as you start cutting a piece of wood and the blade moves a fraction of an inch (1/64 is the rule of thumb) and braces against them. Guide blocks should be adjusted similarly close, as close as possible without touching when the blade is moving, and behind the kerf of the blade. When I change blades, I move everything way out of the way, install the blade, tension it and then turn the saw on for a few seconds so that the blade finds its equilibrium. Then you can do the adjustments, turn on the saw and check to see if your adjustments need any tweaking. If you are lucky, your adjustments will keep, but you should keep checking them as long as you are using the saw, because if your saw is anything like mine, the blade will drift for a variety of reasons, including sawdust building up on the wheels. These should be thoroughly cleaned before using the saw. It may all sound like too much trouble, but that's the price of using a band saw. Your saw should run a 3/4" blade with ease, but most people stop at 1/2" or 5/8" for 14" saws. A 1/2" Timberwolf blade resaws perfectly adequately for my purposes. You should get the Duginske book. It will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about band saws.
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On Mon, 6 Jun 2005 19:13:57 -0500, Hax Planx wrote:

No it wasn't unwise or dangerous. It was not in a bind. The blade moved easily and was close to the center of the wheel. There was pressure on the thrust bearing, but it was no more than what would be encountered while pushing a board through. The slight damage to the surface of the bearing extended all the way around the bearing indicating that the bearing was turning. However, it was turning slower than the blade causing the blade to scratch the shiny surface. As it turns out, the bearing was rubbing against the assembly housing slightly. Apparently, the design does not include a stop other than the bearing hitting the housing.
The damaged bearing should be flipped

I will flip the bearing.
Don't use the damaged face anymore. Your saw won't perform

Duginske's book is on my list. I don't have a problem with tweaking a band saw. As you said, it's the nature of the beast. At this price point, I would have liked to see a little bit better quality control or design, whatever the problem was. Honestly, I like the saw, but other than the extra gadgets (light, chip blower), I don't see the price justification. The saw had no better fit or finish than my Grizzly table saw, or my Geetech jointer. There were chips in the paint right out of the box (this didn't bother me in the least); there was some overspray and some under spray of certain areas (no big deal to me). Although I can say it is slightly better than other equipment I have seen, it's just not enough from the quality perspective. Again, I guess the light and chip blower are what makes it cost more. I received a free mobile base with it. That was an incentive to me also.
Thanks for the advice, Brian
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Brian Mahaney says...

I guess it sounded worse than it was. I suppose if it was way out of line and binding against the thrust bearing, the blade would have walked off the wheels in a few revolutions.

Glad to hear you're not the impatient type. I'm still thinking there should be a solution to your problem. Another thing to look at is where the blade is riding on the wheels. Duginske devotes a lot of time to this, and you can manipulate it. One thing I do is check that the wheels are coplanar when I change blades. I just use a 48" tool guide/ruler/straight edge and adjust the tilt accordingly with the blade tensioned (of course). But if you need extra room for your 3/4" blade, you may be able to use the tilt to force the blade toward the outside of the wheels. As far as price justification, I didn't see the price justification of the Taiwanese Deltas and Jets over my HF either at first, but I do now. These all seem to come from the same factory and many parts are interchangeable. Riser blocks are the most common example. But there are other differences like the how many spokes are on the wheels, what they are made of, tire quality, hinges on the wheel covers just to name a few. Your Powermatic is nicely hotrodded out of the box. Compared to the Grizzly, you can expect vastly superior wheels and tires, a bigger and better motor, probably a better motor mounting design with easier adjustment, probably better guides, bearings, belts and pulleys. The light and blower are luxuries and add significantly to the cost. Is it worth twice as much as the Grizzly 14" Ultimate? I dunno. My HF saw does the job for me. I put on Cool Blocks and a link belt and I resaw and cut curves without problems so far. If anything goes kaput, I can just order replacements/upgrades from Grizzly, but eventually I may up spending as much or more than I saved.
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