Bandsaw blade tracking

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I'm getting very frustrated trying to get smaller blades to stay on the tires. I have a jet 14" closed stand. It just sits unless I'm resawing. I've spent most of my day trying to get a 3/16" blade to stay on. I've read the manual and Duginsky's book. Maybe it's me but it's not working. I just want to make my wife a heart shaped bandsaw box. Thanks, Darrell
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I have felt your frustration. I have two bandsaws myself. An 18" and a 12". The 18 is easier because I use larger blades on it. Right now I have a 1/16" blade on my 12". It can be a pain to track. If you have read the books, then you know the routine but it takes a fine hand to do it.
I make sure my wheels are parallel. I made a jig to do this on my 12". I put the blade on under moderate tension and spin the top wheel by hand. If the blade begins moving toward the edge, I tilt the top wheel one way or the other until the blade movement stops. I usually have to do this a few times and then I have it. Then I finish tensioning the blade and double check to make sure the blade still tracks well. I make sure it runs well under hand pressure before turning the saw on.
I cut all kinds of things with this very small blade without trouble.
Good luck!
Rob

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One other thing I use that seems to help with small blades is a Carter Bandsaw Stabilizer.
It replaces the upper guides and eliminates the need for lower guides. It is an amazing product.
Check it out.
Rob

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It can be done. I replaced the metal guides with some made from hardwood and positioned the wood guides gently up against the blade. I've used the wood guide blocks with the smallest blade available for my Delta 14" BS with no problems. IMHO, with small blades, the metal guides aren't much help in holding the blade. Howard Ruttan has done some study of wood guides for the banksaw: http://www.inthewoodshop.org/methods/wwc03n.shtml
Larry
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Darrell wrote:

Are the tires in good shape? Are the wheels coplaner? I set the tracking with all the guides away from the blade and just enough tension to hold the blade in place. . Turn the wheels by hand while adjusting the knob on back until it is riding right on top. After it is tracking, add some tension. Once the tension is set I bring the guides into place.
Also possible you have a blade that is crap.
You may do better by just starting everything over step by step. Good luck with your project. Ed
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Bandsaw new, blade - timberwolf. Thanks, Darrell

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I have a Jet closed base and I run a 3/16" with noproblems. Wheels MUST be aligned and blade has to run in the middle of the tires. Maybe it is just "barely" out of line? Wouldn't take much with that small a blade to throw it off.
On Sun, 8 Feb 2004 15:13:00 -0600, "Darrell"

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I also have had this frustration. The tension alignment of the top wheel is very delicate. Just a 1/8" turn in or out can move the blade off center. If you get it tracking good don't mess with the tension anymore and don't untension it when not in use. You will then have to start all over to keep it in place. If the wheels are aligned right which they may not be, so check them with a good square. With patience you will get it to run nice.
Tim

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While you've read the book, have you checked to see if your wheels are aligned to one another?
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Jim Polaski wrote:

When ever are the wheel aligned with each other?
UA100
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When you do the initial tension-off check. Though that's really to match hubs in the same plane.

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Realize that co-planar with no tension on the blade does NOT mean that it will actually be co-planar when it is tensioned. Check for co-planar with the blade appropriately tensioned
John
On Mon, 9 Feb 2004 06:32:27 -0500, "George"

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George wrote:

Got an explanation for why my saw tracks perfectly despite the wheels not being co-planar?
UA100
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Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while?
Seriously, if you can be, consider that the stress on the bearings will be greater if the hubs are not in the same plane. The process by which the blade tracks does, as you have observed, involve compensating for the crown on the tire and the differential friction by tilting the rim. Hub remains in the same place, if you do point geometry.
Imagine it would be absolutely critical on a non-crowned wheel.

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George wrote:

I can and I am.

You'll have to get out the chalk for this one and es'plain it with the wee small werds onna count of the bearings on any given band saw with any given blade will never be in/on the same plane given the changing of the blade or the tension applied to the band.

Sooooooo, you agree that co-planar is a myth?

A non-crowned wheel would be something from a late 70's vintage Delta 14" band saw, right?
UA100
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brought forth from the murky depths:

No, it's a basic config prior to fine tuning for tracking which should lessen bearing wear. If the wheels weren't vertically aligned, both the wheels would have to be canted more to obtain both vertical alignment of the blade and proper tracking on the wheels. That, in turn, would probably tend to stress the bearings a bit more.

You just happen to have one, eh? <g>
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Larry Jaques wrote:

See, this is where I think the train comes off the track. Since neither of us, and no one else I know, is an injineer I'm thinking the force exerted down to the bearings is the same no matter if the wheels are perfectly plumb to the world or slightly tipped.

No, I wouldn't have a banded machine that didn't track. Though during the late 70's there was a Delta (pre-mentioned but snipped) in a shop I worked in. It was at best a brand new boat anchor.
UA100
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Well, I am not a *mechanical* engineer, but, in the fine tradition of usenet, will offer an opinion anyway.
If the wheels are canted, the pressure on the bearings is going to be uneven; it will be trying to bow its spindle. There will be very little pressure on one side of the bearing and greater then average pressure on the other side. This should cause premature, uneven, wearing.
That being said, bandsaws get abused a lot and the bearings don't seem to wear out very quickly in any case, so it is probably a lot of fuss about nothing. Better to use a tool then worry about wearing it out, or spend hours and hours trying to make it last just a little longer, especially when bearings aren't that expensive anyway.
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On Wed, 11 Feb 2004 15:36:38 GMT, Paul Kierstead

it seems to me like the bearing wear/ coplanar issue is one of these things that in theory are real but the closer you get to alignment the smaller the factor, and once you get in the range where the saw will run at all has long since dived in towards zero....

<G>
there's no outboard bearing, so that's gonna happen anyhow as soon as you tension the band.
'sides, the spindle cants with the wheel. the force of the band under tension is *almost* straight into the spindle/bearings no matter what.

or hard to get to, or very high speed or for that matter usually run continuously.
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Last chance to out-think the other couples.
The blade, in a perfect world, tracks at the top of the crown. Thus, as the preferred situation, the crowns on the lower and upper should be in line to track the perfect blade. This loads the bearings in their preferred direction.
If the world isn't perfect, you will have to tilt the upper wheel to force the blade toward the crown. If you start at co-planar, you can compensate for the worst blade with the built-in adjustment. If you start out otherwise, you may exceed compensation and still not achieve tracking. Moreover, if you are forced to track too far forward or aft because of non coplanarity(?) you may exceed the adjustment on your thrust or guide bearings.
Oh yes, the load on your bearings will be shifted more from the center of the race, resulting in greater wear....
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