Bandsaw query: adjusting pulley alignment AND belt tension?


I was setting up my new Jet 14" bandsaw, and aligning the pulleys was a PITA! The Duginski book says this only takes a few minutes. I'd like to know how. The entire motor mount was angled when I got the saw, and the pulleys were not parallel, let alone aligned.
I placed the belt over the two pulleys, and the weight of the motor pulled the far end down, changing the parallelism. I have to (a) hold the motor mount level with 2 hands, (b) use the third hand to apply tension to the motor, (c) assure the pulleys were parallel with my fourth hand, and (d) tighten the 4 bolts with my free hand. Not really, but that's why I was cussing.
Anyhow - I finally figured out how to do it. But am I missing something? I there an easier way? This is what I did.
1) Loosen the motor mounts (and remove the belt if necessary). 2) Lower the motor to the bottom of the adjustment slots. 3) Make sure the pulleys are parallel using the bottom position of the slot as reference. 4) Raise the motor up and place the belt around the motor pulley and lower wheel pulley. This changed the parallelism, as I mentioned. 5) I placed a hydraulic bottle jack under the motor, under the far side - away from the pulley. 6) I inserted a 3-foot-long 2x2 above the motor, to the far side of the cabinet. 7) I pulled the board down, levering the motor into a level position without bending anything fragile on the motor. 8) With my other hand, I used a square along the motor mount to make sure the motor was level (perpendicular to the frame). 9) I held the board in place with my first hand, and tightened the bolts with my free hand. 10) After letting go, I checked the parallelism and belt tension. If wrong, I repeated until it was right.
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Some of us just hang it on the pulleys and tap 'em into line before tightening, but otherwise, it's still a goat rope with one individual.

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It took me a 3 foot lever and a lot of weight to get the motor in line. I tried a tap where the motor mount hits the frame, and it didn't budge. (Certainly didn't want to tap the motor shaft). I'm not sure how you were able to tension the belt (1/2 inch deflection) with a simple tap. It might be because I have a new belt, and a heavier motor (1 1/2HP) in my JWBS-14DX.
Now if I could only find a motor with the pulley in the motor's center of gravity, it would have been much easier. :-)
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Bruce I saw a guy at Rockler do it (after I struggled the same way you did) and here is what he did. The motor is basically placed correctly when shipped. Tilt the top half of the saw down, attach the belt, and lift back into position, then bolt the top half in place. Make your adjustments using the wheel alignment knob on the back, check for coplaner, and go. Watched him do it, smacked my hand to my head, and said "Duh!" My experience was similar to yours since I was doing it alone. I used a stick balanced on my should to leverage the tension while supporting the motor with a block of wood whilst trying to fit my big hands in the TINY space to manuver the bolts . . . you get the idea. Sure know how I will do it next time! However, I am terribly pleased with the bandsaw, and acheived perfect coplaner wheels easily after the belt was mounted. Robert
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (omit numerals to reach me)

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Robert) writes:

My motor was cocked at a 15 degree angle. And of course I had to loosen it to place the belt on. So the angle of the motor mount changed when the belt was put on. And the weight of the motor made the belt mis-align again.

I don't follow.

??? The lower wheel doesn't have an alignment knob. I haven't even gotten to the blade and upper wheel yet. The only adjustment I see is the 4 bolts for the motor, and the set screws in the two pulleys (one on motor, one on lower wheel).
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I doubt that I can explain it correctly, but here goes:
I got from my Dad a "Pulley Alignment tool" which worked out great for my bandsaw. he made it from metal in the factory he worked at back in the 60's for use on metal working machines.
Imagine the following. 1. two pieces of wood, shaped like small versions of the top of a crutch but can fit the groove of your pulley but not long enough to touch the belts. Curved and then shaped with a round over router bit. Bottom (the part away from pulley) could be flat. 2. Now to the two pulley crutch tops, fix a 1/4 inch water pipe cap. For those with Fostner bits or Brad Point bits, make a recess for the pipe cap which needs to be flat bottom hole big enough for the copper pipe cap. Otherwise, drill a hole and use a round head screw. 3. use a thick wall 1/4 inch copper pipe. cut in two. Make it easy on your self and cut it so it will be easy to get a wrench to the nuts in step 6. Aside: length of pipe to fit your needs. may have to cut pipe two or three times. 4. use a threaded rod with nuts and washers between the nuts and copper pipe. 5. threaded rod goes between the two copper pieces of pipe. 6. Use wrench on nuts and threaded rod to force the pulleys apart. 7. Don't over torque the nuts. 8. Align motor, and tighten the bolts. and then remove the pulley stretcher.
Sorry if I am not clear.
Graybeard Phil

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Ah-h sorry typo
that should have been 1/2 inch water pipe
Graybeard Phil

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Thanks! This is a keeper...
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Hi Bruce
I got the same band saw in a 4 speed model, I wanted the 4 speed for the metal sawing setup that I made
The way the motor was bolted on the saw is not to handy for aligning etc.
So I have changed the setup on my band saw in a simple way so that there is no problem to change speeds or tightening the v belts anymore
Bolted a 3/4" piece of plywood to the frame and bolted a old door hinge to the motor and to 2 slots in the plywood and 2 bolds and a wedge under the other side to adjust for belt tightness
I needed the slots for belt tightening between the jack shaft and saw motor for the metal sawing setup, the band saw motor is just a shaft with a pulley when sawing metal and the other motor does the metal sawing, they (the slots in the plywood) are not needed for the normal band saw setup
I made 3 pictures and put them on my web side if you or anyone else wants to make an easy change to their band saw have a look
http://homepage.mac.com/l.vanderloo/PhotoAlbum22.html
Have fun and take care Leo Van Der Loo
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Thanks, Leo. If I add the 4-speed option at a later date, I'll consider your idea!
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Anyway you can post or send a pic? I'm having a hard time imagining some of this....
H.

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Ken Moon Webberville, TX
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