Bandsaw Blade Tension help??

Howdy,
I need some help with a bandsaw I just purchased. I needed a small bandsaw for some hobby work I do and bought the 10" Craftsman bandsaw. Problem is that the instructions don't tell you how to tension the blade. I don't know how hard to turn the adjustment knob. Does anyone know how to adjust the blades on these bandsaws? (BTW, sears technical help wasn't any help at all.) Also, the harder I tighten the tension knob, the more temperamental the blade tracking becomes. I even broke one blade because it tracked fine when I spun it by hand, but came off the wheel when I turned it on. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. George H.
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George H. wrote:

See if this helps any; read it all before starting:
1. Loosen the tension lock knob (1/4 of a turn counter-clockwise). Turn the tension adjusting knob clockwise until blade has proper tension. To check blade tension, push thumb against side of blade between lower wheels. Blade should move only slightly with moderate pressure. Be careful not to overtension blade. Retighten tension lock knob.
2. If too much blade tension has been applied, blades may tend to break more easily and blade life will be shorter.
If too little blade tension has been applied, blade may not track easily, may slip on wheels, or will move too easily when checking tension.
3. Turn the upper wheel by hand clockwise a few turns and notice if the blade remains in the approximate center of the tires.
NOTE: Tension lock knob must be tightened before moving blade.
If the blade moves away from the center of the tires while you are turning the wheels, the blade is not TRACKING properly.
TRACKING THE BLADE
1. Loosen the Tension Lock Knob (1/4 of a turn counter-clockwise) and turn the tracking adjustment set screw slightly with the hex wrench. (Turning the set screw moves the tension wheel back and forth.)
2. If the blade moves toward the front of the band saw:
Turn the tracking adjustment screw clockwise about 1/4 of a turn, as though you were tightening it.
If the blade moves toward the back of the band saw:
Turn the tracking adjustment screw counter clockwise about 1/4 of a turn as though you were loosening it.
Turn the screw just enough to cause the blade to run in the approximate center of all tires.
3. After adjusting, tighten tension knob and turn upper wheel by hand clockwise a few turns and notice if the blade remains in the approximate center of the tires, Readjust if necessary, until blade is tracking properly.
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OK...thanks, I'll give that a try. I guess I'm just not sure how tight is too tight when tensioning the blade - there's no indicator on my saw. Also, the tracking adjustment is real quirky...turn it a little and the blade pops off the top wheel.
I'll play with it a little more tonight.
George H.
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George H. wrote:

Here's one technique that works with some saws/blades. May or may not work with yours:
Get it moderately tight and tracking properly. Make sure the blade guides are away from the blade and nothing is touching it. Turn the saw on. Reduce the blade tension until it starts "flapping" or vibrating from side to side where it goes through the table. Tighten it back up until the flapping stops, then go a bit more. Reset the blade guides, and you're good to go.
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

OK, I'll give that a try. So if it's flapping or vibrating side-to-side, then it's definitely too loose. That's good to know. Thanks, George H.
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On Thu, 07 Dec 2006 07:48:10 -0800, George H. wrote:

Rule of thumb is that it's "right" if you can push the exposed part of the blade 1/4" with your thumb without straining yourself.
That saw is probably not very stiff--tension it too hard and you may be twisting the frame, hence the tracking problems.
--
--John
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An old method of guaging the tension on a band saw blade is to strum the blade as you increase the tension. The tension is correct when the strumming produces the first 'musical' note.
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The first musical note..... would that be "A"?
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Have you Read The Manual?
Is this a "new" saw to you? Under Warranty? Take it back to Sears?

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You do not want to hear this but here goes any way. You probably want a much better band saw. I am not knocking Craftsman, I used one for many years and finally upgraded earlier this year. I stepped up to a 18" Rikon and that was not good enough and returned it 2 weeks later. About 8 months ago I upgraded to a Laguna. Tracking and tension problems are a distant memory. I only have to make a slight adjustment to the top wheel when changing from a 1" to 1/4" blade and blade tension absolutely does not affect tracking at all.
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George H. wrote:

Good article to be found in FWW #173
<URL:http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/ToolGuide/ToolGuidePDF.aspx?id $093>
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