Blade tension

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This may be a stupid question but how or what is the proper way to determine the correct blade tension on a bandsaw? I think my last blade broke due to it being too tight, but not certain. I want to make sure I don't do it again.
Thanks
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On 9/8/2012 9:21 PM, Meanie wrote:

See: http://www.finewoodworking.com/pages/w00013.asp
You can make a DIY version. Something on my 'to make' list.
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On the other hand, Michael Fortune, also in Fine Woodworking, suggests with a 1/2" blade, set the tension to the mark for 3/8" using your your saw's tension gauge. In other words, less tension than Lonnie Bird recommends is OK if your saw is otherwise set up correctly and you feed the work through slow enough that the blade can clear out the sawdust.
You probably need to be a paid online subscriber to view this: http://www.finewoodworking.com/ToolGuide/ToolGuideArticle.aspx?id4055
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On 9/8/2012 10:44 PM, Jim Weisgram wrote:

Thanks for posting that! I do think he exaggerated a little at 5:15. Not sure he is going to be able to discern 1 thou gap btw the blade and guide bushing by eye.
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"GarageWoodworks" wrote in message wrote:

Thanks for posting that! I do think he exaggerated a little at 5:15. Not sure he is going to be able to discern 1 thou gap btw the blade and guide bushing by eye. =============================================================================Depends what he does for a living. I can.
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There's always feeler gauges.
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I've seen suggestions (Either in Bird or Duginske's book) for using dollar bills or other pieces such pieces of paper. I can't seem to remove the "gauge" without messing up the adjustment.
I set the side blocks by setting them to touch the blade and then back off a hair. It might be farther than the gauges would have set, but it works for me.
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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Puckdropper wrote:

I have roller blocks on my Delta, and set them so they just barely turn when there's no pressure other than tension on the blade.
--
"I'll do the stupid thing first and then you shy people follow..." - Frank Zappa

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On 10 Sep 2012 19:41:56 GMT, Puckdropper

Michael Fortune suggests cigarette paper rather than dollar bills. That may be splitting hairs as well.
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Cigarette paper is close to 0.001" thick. Standard printing paper is ~ 0.002" thick, and a dollar bill is a bit thicker. Not exactly calibration standards, but machinists used to use cigarette paper to check cutter clearance. You crank the cutter down/in until you can feel it catch between the tool and the work, and that gets your zero plenty close enough for most work.
Doug White
Doug White
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On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 18:46:22 -0700, Jim Weisgram

Might be cheaper too. :)
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On 9/11/2012 8:46 PM, Jim Weisgram wrote:

Absolutely splitting hairs, Minimax and Laguna will tell you that you can run their saws with out the side guides.
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On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 21:59:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (Syamu Mamilla M3) wrote:

Sorry, but you have to specify if that's a messaging test or a blade tension test.
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(Syamu Mamilla M3)

Must be a blade tension test. Mine occasionally makes that noise as the blade passes the zero clearance insert. :-)
Puckdropper
--
Make it to fit, don't make it fit.

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Syamu Mamilla M3 wrote:

The "tetst" failed.
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On 9/8/2012 9:23 PM, GarageWoodworks wrote:

In 2007, GarageWoodworks wrote:
Pete,
Do you think it would be particularly difficult to make the tension gauge in the picasaweb site? Seems like a nice project.
I was looking for ideas for a DIY band saw blade tensioner today and came across this one:
http://picasaweb.google.com/vogeldp/BandSawTensionGauge
I think I am going to try and make it. It looks like the lower part of the device pivots on a bar and the movement is measured by the dial indicator. It looks like the bar would have to be exactly in the center to be accurate.?. According to a FWW article I read, 5" of blade will stretch 0.001" for every 6,000 lbs of tension (over a 5" length of blade). For those with a FWW account here is the article: http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/Workshop/WorkshopPDF.aspx?id '02. I don't like the one detailed in the article (I prefer a dial indicator over feeler gauges).
Has anyone tried to make one of these before? Or have you made a better one??
Thanks...
-- www.garagewoodworks.com
You may want to look at this version of Bird's commercial gauge.
Jim
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On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 04:00:10 -0600, Jim Artherholt wrote

I used this method for my Minimax and with 12" of blade exposed, I used a dial indicator that measured down to 0.00001". With this resolution I could get a clear reading of tension, then marked my saws tension scale (which was reading wayyyy low). I really doubt a standard 0.001 dial gauge set at 5" will provide much accuracy. But.....
I've come to realize that being super accurate is way overrated and once you have a blade tensioned properly as a reference, you can do it from now on using the 'pluck test' or deflection tests with perfectly acceptable results. -Bruce

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On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 08:35:11 -0600, Bruce wrote:

Agreed - that's what I do. "Twang" is good, "plunk" is bad - but if the blade hits high C it's too tight :-).
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Does that mean I need a blade tensioner AND a tuning fork? ; )
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It just means that you have to become familiar with your band saw enough to know when it's not tracking properly and the blade tension needs some maintenance.
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