I've seen the instructions for tensioning a Timberwolf blade that
involves the visual observation of flutter. Well, I'm not that good
at that. In fact, I'd be hardpressed to say I ever see any. So, I'm
thinking about a gauge to directly read the amount of tension. What
woud the value be if I used a gauge?
I guess I didn't phrase that completely right, did I?
To say I don't see flutter wouldn't be entirely true, it's sort of a
matter of the saw doesn't look like it makes the kind of motion the
instructions talk about. That is, the blade always seems to have a
bit of motion to it, it's never completely still moving from one wheel
to the next.
So I'm thinking a gauge would sort of short circuit the issue. A
direct reading on a dial would seem to take any guesswork out of it.
Are there many in the group that use a gauge, or have you all mastered
the intricacies of observing subtle motions in the blade?
don't run a dial indicator against your bandsaw blade while it's
running. you'll kill the indicator.
the correct way to use an indicator to measure blade tension is with a
tension gauge, which uses an indicator to measure stretch.
On mine, I can easily see 1/8" or more of flutter until it's properly
tensioned, so I'd say anything 1/8" or more would be excessive. If you're
thinking of using a dial indicator, I think it'd be taking a beating in this
role. Can you just put a light-colored background behind the blade on the
side opposite the guides and watch for any side-to-side motion? If you're
not getting any flutter, at any tension setting, you're the second luckiest
Seems to me there is more to this than meets the eye .
A certain tension level may well be prescribed by the blade manufacturer
based on the material used in the blade and the blade configuration [ie
1/2"or 1/4" etc blades ] .this may well be ok for the blade but play hell
with bandsaw wheel bearings or even the neck attachment ....mjh
You mean, what tension setting is required by a TW blade? Might vary
depending on blade size - call Suffolk Saw and ask them for the proper psi.
FWIW - the flutter test confounds me too. I can see the flutter drop off -
but (to my eye) it never goes away. I always see some flutter. My 1/4" TW
blade seems to have a narrow window - if I turn the crank slightly - the
flutter gets worse quickly.
Greetings and Salutations.
On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 11:33:33 -0600, Lazarus Long
A gauge is a good way to get consistant values, however, it
does take a bit of time to work with.
I would suggest doing it this way....Tighten the blade just
enough to start putting tension on it. Turn the saw on. Start
tightening the blade slowly. As you increase tension on it, the long
section on the BACK of the saw should go through cycles of running
smoothly and vibrating back and forth a bit. It will be noticable.
Simply choose a tension setting close to the suggested one for your
blade that minimizes the vibration.
Note that you will not get any useful reading on the front
loop of the blade (that goes through the guides). It is too well
supported to vibrate.
Alternatively, you can use sound. Open the top door on the
saw, and, with it off (and unplugged if you want to be REALLY
careful), start adding tension. use a fingernail to pluck the
blade every so often. As you tighten the blade, you will hear
the pitch go up. At some point, the sound will probably flatten
out...that is TOO far...so loosen it up a bit. With some experience,
you will find a pitch that provides the smoothest, easiest cutting.
That pitch, by the by, will be different for each width of blade...
However, if you set the blade to the tension that produces that pitch
every time, you will get consistant cutting results.
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