bandsaw blade tension value

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?
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On Mon, 01 Mar 2004 11:33:33 -0600, Lazarus Long

accurately tensioned blades?
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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?
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On Tue, 02 Mar 2004 00:45:49 GMT, Lazarus Long

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.
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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 man alive!
Kevin

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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

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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.
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wrote:

Thanks. Guess I'll call Suffolk and get their input.
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Please post what they tell you. BTW: Iturra designs had a very reasonably priced gauge in their catalog.
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    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.     Dave Mundt
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