Recommendations for bandsaw tuneup


Folks, I haven't turned on my band saw in over 10 years, but recently am re-organizing my shop and wanted to get your advice regarding the band saw. I have an "Ohio Forge" (the taiwanese/chinese brand that home depot sold ~15 years ago) band saw with the riser insert. It has been sadly neglected, as my shop has been so disorganized that I couldn't even get to it, but I hope to put some lockable casters on it and fix it up. The last blade that I had on it was ~3/4" and I used it for sawing lumber. Does anyone have a suggestion regarding an average all-around blade that I should purchase for this band saw? I'm thinking that perhaps a 1/4" or 3"8" blade would work for most of the tasks that a band saw does. Also, I'm not really sure about the length of the blade. I believe the label on the saw says something ~ 92", but that was without the riser block. Does anyone know the length that I should purchase, perhaps 106"? This weekend I hope to blow the sawdust out, clean it off, use some steelwool and was on the table, and fire it up. Any thoughts on what else can be done to tune up this old saw?
Thanks again for your advice on getting this saw back in commission, Richard
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The Bandsaw Book by Lonnie Bird or Mastering Your Bandsaw by Mark Duginski. Both excellent and complete sources of information for bandsaw operation and tuning.
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I've got dozens. But the first thing you should do is call Iturra Designs and their their free (and incredible) catalog on bandsaw upgrades
1-888-722-7078
Off the top of my head shims for table shims for coplanar wheels wheel brush zero clearance inserts (2 for $5) guides/bearings Tension release aids fences circular jigs Every time I look at the catalog, I see something else that I HAVE to add. It's very addicting.
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Thanks, guys. I have already called Iturra, and am waiting for their catalog. In the mean time, do you have any suggestions on tune up, or what a good all-purpose blade might be suggested? thanks again, Richard
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if it's a 14" BS, the riser kit should change the blade size from 92" to 105"...
Get a couple of different blades, but a 3/8" with about 8 or 10 teeth per inch is a good general use blade.. YMWV Mac https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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Richard wrote:

My favorite all around band saw blade is a 3/8" 6 TPI. I keep a few others around, but rarely mount them.
I've had great results with plain old $11 Olsen blades, Cool Blocks, and Duginske's book.
My only real "upgrade" is a link belt. I don't consider the Cool Blocks optional. Someone bought me a Kreg fence as a thank-you, which is really nice, but my jointed piece of hardwood clamped to the table functioned as well.
Barry
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I'd recommend a 3/8", 4-6TPI. What I'd recommend even more, though, is ordering one of the books mentioned above and then calling Timberwolf (suffolkmachinery.com, (800)-234-7297) and talking to one of their helpful operators about what kind of blade they recommend, and then ordering that from them. You'll need to know the length of your old blade, though - if the saw says 92", and it's a 6" riser block, it should be 104" for the blade. One of the things you'll read in your new bandsaw book is that a 3/4" blade is probably too thick for a 14" bandsaw - I've seen it done, but the book will probably recommend 1/2" max for most use. Also, if the saw has been sitting for 15 years with tension on the blade, you'll probably need new springs, new tires, and some work to make the wheels co-planar. But get a book and read all about it for yourself. Good luck and have fun with your "new" bandsaw, Andy
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Well folks, I pulled out the old band saw tonight and blew it out. I have just a few issues, and I thought I'd mention them here in the event that you all have some suggestions. By the way, I haven't had the blade under tension. I released the tension right after I stopped using it, so I do hope that my spring is still good.
I have a thin line of wood resin in the middle of the tires. More on the lower tire, but some on the upper tire as well. Does anyone have any suggestion of a wood pitch solvent that wouldn't hurt the tires? The tires do look pretty good, although I did see some what looks like crazing, but the rubber is solid. I don't want to clean them off with anything that will hurt the rubber. While we're at it, does anyone have a suggestion of what I might treat the rubber with to make it more pliable?
The upper and lower bearings (behind the blade, on which the blade pushes) look like they have some resin, and I did oil them a little, but the bottom bearing feels pretty rough. Any source for bearing replacements? or perhaps I could take them off and let them soak in something which might loosen them up a bit.
I fired it up (after having removed the blade) and the motor spun right up and the lower wheel turned nicely.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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I clean my tires with warm water and a tooth brush... once in a while, pine sap builds up and I use a little "Awesome" general cleaner to break it down and them use warm water on a rag... I don't know if it really helps the performance, but I clean the tires whenever I change a blade... just seems wrong, somehow, putting a nice clean blade on dirty tires.. *g*
Mac https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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Richard wrote:

ohio forgery was a pretty low end brand, so the spring may not have been much to start with. if you find that you have trouble with flutter or keeping a blade tracking even with a fresh tune up on the saw, the spring may be too soft.

simple green or citrasolv. if the rubber is already degraded it's probably just a matter of time till they come apart on you anyway. if there isn't a lot of pitch I'd leave well enough alone.

sounds like they are showing their age. I'd run them until they start throwing chunks and/or running loose, then I'd replace them with neoprene ones. don't put armorall on them.

look in the yellow pages for a belt and bearing supplier near you. take the bearing in and show it to the guy at the counter.

first soak them in a cleaning solvent like mineral spirits. then soak them in oil. do not run them under load or at high speed without lubricant.

sounds like you are on your way to a running band saw.

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Barry, do you know off hand the part number for the Olsen blade? I downloaded an Olsen catalog, and they have a bunch of different blade materials, widths, sizes, etc. Thanks in advance!
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Well, folks, I scrounged around the garage and found a 1/5" blade that I had folded up ~ 15 years ago, and after cleaning the tires with soap, water, and a stainless steel brush, proceeded to place the blade on the tires. I have a question, regarding tracking. When I have the blade centered in the top wheel, it rides ~1/4-3/8" frp, the front edge of the bottom wheel. Is that acceptable, or should I remove the bottom wheel and put some sort of washer or shim before I put the bottom wheel back on? I soaked my upper and lower bearings in mineral spirits last night, and tonight have them soaking in slick 50. One of the bearings turned out very nicely, and the other one spins freely, but not quite as freely as the other bearing.
Thanks so much in advance for your help, suggestions and advice, Richard
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Richard wrote:

Which one? I have a few.
Barry
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I am now certain that I will need to shim out the upper bandsaw wheel, as I did put that 1/4" blade on this morning and gave it a whirl. The blade is running ~1/4-3/8" from the front of the wheel, on both upper and lower wheels, and rubs agains the front wheel guard if I have the front wheel guard tightened all the way. That is with the tracking adjustment screwed all the way in. Can I just take off the top wheel and place a washer or two behind it?
Thanks in advance, Richard
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Call up Iturra Designs (1-888-722-7078) and ask for their free catalog. You can order the shims for the wheels while you are at it. Or you can wait until you get the catalog, and buy the other dozen items you also need, and save some shipping costs. example: Wheel Brush table shims Zero Clearance Inserts cool blocks T-9 Boeingshield Lube Stick Bearings Spring
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thats shat I did on my delta..... used a coupla fender washers. As I recall, I may have had to thin on edown on the belt sander to get it right....
-_JD

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Go to library and get FWW Mar/Apr 04 - blade test Nov/Dec 05 - tips
by Michael Fortune
I have the Lonnie Bird book, and I read much of the Duginski book. Both are fine, but I got a lot more out of the Nov/Dec 05 3-4 page article. Michael was at the Denver WWW show -- very no nonsense, practical kinda guy.
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