My bandsaw has developed considerable vibration so I set out to mitigate it.
Took off blade, covers, etc. to check if the wheels were coplanar. They
are. Balanced? Yep, very well AAMOF.
That pretty much leave the belts so I ordered somr link belt even though the
exiating ones have very little set. The motor is mounted in a way that
makes it easy to use longer or shorter belts, within reason, so my question
is this: am I better off vibration wise in using a long or short belt?
Until excessively short I don't think it'll make any real difference.
I'm not sold much on the belt and vibration theory; even if they sit for
a while lightweight B cross-section belts don't take long at all to warm
up and work out any "set". Sorta' like only nylon-cord bias ply tires
in the winter starting out in the morning.
I'd be looking at possibly getting some kink in a blade or weld location
hardening, tires getting flattened or perhaps bunching (that is, not
evenly distributed around the wheel so slight variations in thickness)
or the like.
What's the characterics of the vibration can be informative as well...
Similar belts at Woodcraft, Rockler, etc.
Belts that sit a long time will take a "set" and the motor pulley is
usually the smallest one. If you take off the belt and let it rest on
the table and you see the memory of a small pulley curve it will
affect the operation for a good five or ten minutes until the belt
warms up and then things will quiet down.
If the motor pulley and the driven pulley are not in a perfectly
straight line it also will affect the operations. It will eventually
cause the motor pulley to have excessive wear on one side and you can
tell by looking at the motor pulley with the belt off.
Also, if everything looks straight and the belt is tight like on your
old auto engines it will cause excessive wear, again on the motor
pulley, and will wear a grove in it. With the belt off run your
fingernail up either side. If you feel a ridge on either side, or
both, you will get belt slapping and vibration as it goes in and out
of that grove.
Any wear on the motor pulley is reason to replace it, it shortens the
life of belts and causes the problems mentioned above.
New pulley? Get a new belt. If the pulleys are rated or sized for an
A, B, or C belt always buy for the pulley style.
Small motor pulleys under 3.5 inches should be a toothed belt or
better yet, one like the one linked to above. It reduces wear and tear
on the pulley and the vibration it can create, as well a reduce the
amperage on the motor draw. Always have about 1/2, to 1 inch
deflection on the belt when tightened according to manf specs.
Checking the motor actual amperage against the nameplate rating will
tell you if your are too tight, drawing more amperage than it is rated
for, or too loose. Loose belts can also squeal and the saw will
seemingly stall if the belts are not tight enough.
The belt shown about and linked to, is highly recommended in most all
cases, especially for table saws. It will cost you less to operate,
will run quieter, and reduce vibration even with new pulleys. Follow
the instructions to the "T" about readjusting after an hour or two of
operation and you will not be disappointed. Save the excess links in
case your belt ever comes apart to replace the broken link. Although I
never have had to do so. And yes, I can vouch for less vibration and
smooth running. (Making sure the motor mounts are all tight and the
pulley system is "co planar")
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