New Bandsaw, Some NewBee Questions

The good news is that I picked up a 14" Shop Fox Bandsaw, model W1706 with a 6" riser block installed and a they threw in several blades, mostly 3/4" resaw blades. The bad news is that there are a couple of issues with the saw, First, the wheels are not co-planer, so I have picked up a couple of washers from the hardware store and will try and fix that Monday evening by placing them behing the upper wheel that is about 3/32 back from the lower wheel ( It had no spacers, they must have moved them to the top) It seems that the riser block fortunately did not put a twist into the upper wheel, so that should bring them back into allignment. Second, there are four set screw that are accessable from the back of the upper wheel housing on the tension spring housing. The two outside ones were very loose, and the two inside ones were missing, however there were two spares in the cabinet. Unfortunately one of the two inside ones is stripped. I believe that they are tapped in to the triangular bracket that holds the upper axle. So, do I need both installed? or will one be OK? should they be loose or snugged down? do I need to replace that axle bracket? Should I call Shop Fox on this one? Does Ittura (sp?) have a better replacement?
I will probably have more questions later when I get more in to using the saw once I can get it tuned up. With the out-of-plane wheels, the blade is jumping around quite a bit and the cuts are not smooth. I know, I know, Tune First, Cut Second, But this saw looks like so much FUN!
Mike
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Goose wrote:

For your second question, you need a manual on the saw.
For the first question, you need the manual.
I know its redundant, but as an old technician, until you read the manual you are guessing.
You could call ShopFox and see what kind of help you can get. Hopefully, you will get what I got when I called WMH Group (Jet, Powermatic, etc). It seems their technical department is staffed by "old guys." Literally, the man I talked to is retired and works at WMH three days a week. Helpful - he almost reset the bar on being helpful.
Deb
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I love getting "old guys", (well older than me anyway) when I phone for service calls or shop in person at places like Lee Valley Tools. They know what you're talking about, they've got the experience and they *want* to help you. They're usually not there just to make a living, they're there to feel useful and they are almost every time.
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Was your saw a floor model? Maybe a return?
In addition to what others have advised, I'd secure that tension housing before messing with wheel alignment.. I'd try cleaning up or re-tapping the striped hole and having all set screws or bolts tight.. I'm not familiar with your saw, but on most, that block can effect wheel position and sometimes is part of the tracking adjustment.. YMWV

mac
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"Goose" wrote

Whoa there! Before you go screwing with the saw to make it "co-planar", how does the saw cut?
Fix ALL your other issues first and then do some test cuts with the saw set up the best you can. It could well be that "co-planar" is a non issue with this saw, so save "fixing" it as a last resort, after you've done all the other tweaks.
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First a couple of answers:
I bought the saw used from a guy who was "cutting timbers" with 3/4" blades. I do not believe that accuracy was important to him, and he was only slightly familiar with the saw. Otherwise he would have noticed the missing screws that he said were "extras"
The manual does not reference the upper wheel axel holder/tilt bracket, other than to say, "this tilts the wheel"
The manual states to remove shims behind the lower wheel for making the wheels co-planar. There are no shims behind the lower wheel. There are shims behind the upper wheel that is still behind the lower wheel. I have washers and will get that straightened out tonight, hopefully.
I would try to re-tap the threads, but it is a blind hole, and my taps would only make the set screw looser.
How does the saw cut? Well it rips through wood like a hot knife through butter, but the edge is lousy, it looks like a ripple on the edge of the wood that would take a good bit of sanding to smooth out.
I am planning on calling Shop Fox soon to see what they think.
Mike
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Called Shop Fox and got a rather helpful and knowledgeable guy. The outside set of set screws are used to "lock" the hinge pins in place so that the axel tilt bracket is stable. The inside allens and locknuts are used for fine adjustments of the wheel up/down/left/right however some people run their saws without them installed, but that is not reccomended. He also said that the wheels can be out of co-plane up to 1/8", and that the upper wheel tilt could be used to track the blade. According to Mark Duginske's book, they should be close to perfect. Who should you believe? The last thing that he suggested was to verify that the blade was not warped, that could be causing the issue with the lousy cuts. Unfortunately ShopFox does not sell parts direct, you have to go through a dealer. Does anyone know of an online dealer that has parts?
Thanks
Mike
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Goose wrote: ...

The proof is in the running--if the blade tracks, all a bit of being out of plane does is tilt the blade _slightly_ off 90 from front to rear--rarely, if ever an issue. An eighth-inch over the distance from the top of the upper to the bottom of the lower wheel translates into a quite small angle and that angle by the thickness of a workpiece will be quite small. Unless you're trying to cut large tenons or such all the way to the shoulder, that difference probably isn't at all worth worrying about.
As in another post before on some worry over a TS arbor, use it for a while and see if it's a problem before spending too much time. If there's room for another shim on the upper axle, add it, but it's not likely there will be that much play to add a full eighth anyway, so the fix could entail some significant machining or other tricks.

... What parts are you looking for? If there is an issue in quality of cut, look to the type and quality of the blade first, and Shop Fox isn't known for that.
Not being able to see just what you think is good or bad, it may be you're simply expecting something that isn't what you're going to get anyway--any bandsaw isn't going to cut like a high-$$ glue-joint ripping blade on a well-tuned TS.
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dpb wrote: ...

...
For example, say a 3" workpiece and 28" vertical blade length and the "allowed" 1/8" offset.
That would be 3/28*(1/3) --> 0.013" --> < 1/64" from vertical on the cut. Not often would that be a problem in a bandsaw cut ime.
hth for perspective...
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"Goose" wrote\

Does your blade track well on both wheels despite the apparent lack of co-planarity?
Have you tried a 1/2" blade, instead of the 3/4"?
I can almost guarantee you that your saw, stock off the floor, does NOT have the ability to properly tension a 3/4" blade.

Eventually, only what works for you and the particular tool, not necessarily what you read.
IME, and many seasoned woodworkers will agree, Duginske's book is a good starting point for the band saw owner, but his co-planar holy grail just doesn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny with every single tool out there. If you got it and it works, fine ... but a number of band saws seem to be slightly out and work fine also. That's the reason why I jumped in with the counter advice, and not because I don't think it's a good ideal to shoot for if it helps your machine do what you need it to do.
Get Iturra's catalog ... there is a lot of good _practical_ information in there that will help you get the best out of the Delta 14", and the myriad copies thereof, for that is basically what the Jets/Grizzle(Shop Fox) are in essence. They also have the proper shims for the wheels, that may be better "washers".

Call Iturra: 888-722-7078 ... they should have what you need. Be sure to consider getting their spring replacement as part of your upgrade ... well worth the price if you're going to doing any re-sawing with that riser.
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wrote:

Mark.
Your contact could very well be correct in that the tracking adjustment could compensate for the wheels being out of plane by 1/8" or so. But that is a "compensation for a non-optimum condition". Better to have the wheels co-planar and not need the compensation. But, since it will work either way, it's your decision as to whether you want to go to the effort to align the wheels.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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wrote:

That's why they make bottoming taps. Drill out the stripped threads with the proper tap drill for the next larger size screw and, depending on the depth of the hole, start with a tapered or plug tap and finish with a bottoming tap. Replace the current screw with the next larger size or install a threaded insert and use the existing screw.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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"Assuming" that the shims are put in from the side, not washer type, I'm thinking that after the "extra" screws fell out and the assembly loosened, the shims vibrated out..
I think I'd put everything back together as well as possible, put a new blade on it, in a size that you'll use, (most folks don't need a 3/4" blade and it just works your saw harder), then adjust the tension and tracking as best that you can.. Pay attention to the adjusting if the blade guides and rear bearings... Check the weld of the new blade before cutting with it.. I fold up a paper towel and run it back and forth over the weld to see if it snags.. If it has any high spots or whatever, I go over it with a pocket whetstone..
When you think everything is set up as best you can, turn the saw on, preferably without any other noise in the shop like dust collectors and stuff, and listen to the blade run, especially when the weld runs through the top and bottom guides..
If it sounds ok, I figure that it's as good as I can get it... If it clicks, the weld needs work..
Finally, take a scrap of something like plywood or hardboard, draw a line on it and try the (free hand) cut.. If the cut stays straight without wandering and seems clean, you probably have it set up the best it's gonna be... YMWV
mac
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