Bandsaw tension gauge

My birthday is coming. My usual gift to me is some sort of tool that I need but haven't bought yet. I am thinking of a bandsaw tension gauge.
The Iturra folks have one for $150. All others are way above that.
So... what should I buy? Or do I really need one?
MJ
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"Do I need" and "should I buy" are at their core personal questions that only you can ask. But for myself, the answer would be that I don't need that nearly as much as other things that $15 can buy.
I built the one described in FWW at http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesPDF.aspx?id'02 (subscription required for the pdf)
Basically, when you are measuring the tension of the blade, you are measuring how much it has been stretched. The idea of this is that two pieces of wood are clamped to the blade, with the pieces touching each other and the clamp points 6" (or 8" or 12", some fixed distance) apart on the blade, The blade is then tightened and the distance between the pieces is measured with a feeler gauge (or a dial indicator if you prefer--but I think that is false or useless precision.)
The neat thing about these gauges is that they measure the stretch of the blade, which is directly proportional to the tension. The built-in indicator measures the compression of the spring, which is proportional to the FORCE on the blade. That's why you have the scale that varies by width (implicitly assuming all blades are the same thickness). This scale converts from the read force to tension (PSI),
I find I use my gauge about every 6 months to recalibrate the spring gauge built into the saw. With on small wood scrap cut in two, two finish nails, and two claims that are not dedicated. And my $150 goes elsewhere (maybe to Iturra for other of their fine products)
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I vote for not needed. You can build the version that uses feeler gauges, use the "gut feel" method, or pluck it and use the pitch of the blade. (See "http://www.cgallery.com/jpthien/tg.htm " for a fancy version of this.)
Chris
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On Thu, 13 Aug 2009 12:22:29 -0600, Chris Friesen wrote:

I'm an advocate of the "twang" method. When it stops sounding dull and starts sounding like a note it's tensioned enough.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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wrote:

I'd echo everyone else except I'd add Happy Birthday! If you don't have access to the fww article referenced above, buy yourself an electronic subscription for your bday
cheers
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No idea what you need, or want. Or whether it's a 'should'.
It's a birthday, and the way I consider that, is to think about what someone dear to me might buy. I almost never get something that I truly need, but I often get something that I want, or something the gifter thinks I might want.
If you're treating yourself, I think it's the time to go for what tickles your fancy. And that doesn't need analysis. You just feel it.
Tanus
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Thanks to all that replied.
1) I already have a Fine Woodworking on-line account. Best $14 I spend all year.
2) I searched for home-made gauges and found a couple more. There was one person who just used calibers. Opened the jaws to 5 inches. Zeroed the dial, clamped the jaws to the blade and tightened until he got to .003 on the dial. Seems to work, cheap (I own one) and easy to build (unlike the other one in FWW).
Again, thanks all. I'm going to use my birthday money on something else then.
MJ
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Go for gold, Get a Laguna HD series band saw, it has the tension gauge built in. And those saws will make you look at a band saw in an entirely different way. ;~)
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I used to use one at work that would cut a strait line (no kerf deflection) in 7 inch thick titanium. After that, every other bandsaw seems kind of wimpy.
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Exactly, but wait till you se one cut through 7 inches of "Diamond".
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On Thu, 13 Aug 2009 10:13:22 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

You don't need one. Keep plucking the blade just until the sound is clear. A bandsaw upgrade might include cool blocks, new blades, wheel base, or gooseneck lamp.
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