I've recently acquired a Wadkin C6 bandsaw.
Is there a rule of thumb for tensioning a bandsaw blade? This is giving me
some problems; I tend to err on the soft side but don't want to winch it up
to hard and start snapping blades. Length of blade is 177 inches.
At present I'm using the blade which came with the machine which is three
Whilst writing. The two cast iron wheels (23" dia) have rubber, perhaps
polyurethane, tyres which are showing signs of wear.
The tyres seem to be available but at 50 something quid per. This seems
exorbitant to me.
Any ideas for a DIY solution?
I was thinking of removing the existing and glueing strip material onto the
I don't know if the tyres should have a slightly domed centre, existing
certainly have not.
Mine is a Bursgreen 20" BZB.
The wheels should be crowned.
Tension adjustment is via a handwheel and scale. The scale needs to be
set for the width of blade you are using.
I am scrapping a metal cutting bandsaw which (I think) has 20" wheels in
fair order. I have no idea if they would fit the Wadkin and may be too
narrow anyway. Wheels can be serviced but I have no experience of
Nice. My bandsaw is a little one (Axminster 350, 14" wheels) - it's
one of those machines where you don't realise how useful they are
until you have one, then you wish you had a bigger one. There's no
substitute for wheel diameter: 18" is where the good ones start, 23"
should be excellent.
Best accessory for a bandsaw is a big rack of blades.
Second best accessory is a copy of Mark Duginske's "Bandsaw
Handbook". This tells you which blades you need on your rack. It also
tells you how to tune and tension the blade.
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
You need a local bandsaw blade shop - most big cities, else mail
order. This means rolls of blade and a welding machine - Duginske
explains tooth shapes and pitches. Buy several and swap them per job -
it's worth it
I guess you're going to be resawing at some point. This is time for a
real resaw blade because (I'm jealous) you have the machine to tension
it. 3/4" or 1" wide and maybe 3tpi.
Wadkin manual is here:
Tuning is important (vital), but a good frame like a Wadkin should
need this once per move/installation and no more. Weaker frames need
upgrade springs and careful tensioning - too little is too little
tension, but too much disturbs the tracking. A two foot wheel could
be either flat wheels or crowned - go with whatever the original
Blade guides on a Wadkin are bearings and pretty good - nice for wide
resaw blades. For a narrow blade for scroll work, take the bearings
off and fit some Cool Blocks instead (bearings will destroy a narrow
blade if they slip). Or else chunks of hard maple.
Tensioning is less critical the bigger machine you have. On a two-
footer, just wind the bastard tight until it screams and it will still
take it. Mine bends like a Liberal back bencher under a three line
whip, so excess tensiuon screws with tracking and tuning. It's best
(if you're obsessive) to tension to a given strain (length elongation)
rather than a specific stress (tensile force per area). This is mostly
because it's easy (but pointless) to measure tension, OK to measure
strain, but hard to measure stress. You can rig up a "clamps and
measured gap" widget that's as good as anything expensive with a dial
gauge. Otherwise just tighten to a mid-piano note for tension and
luxuriate that your big bandsaw makes this a non-critical adjustment.
Go to www.ukworkshop.co.uk and use the forums there to get all the
information you will need on bandsaws. Find Steve Maskery in those
Forums and also on www.workshopessentials.com - get his DVD's Workshop
Essntials 4 and 5 for bandsaw use and setting up. Absolutely
excellent. There is also a very good blade supplier whose name I
can't now remember on that site who does blades by post no more
expensive than from a local supplier.
You really are a lucky chappie to get such a bandsaw and yet know
nothing about them. Andy is right about the tuning note - I reckon A
below middle C. But do find out how to set the whole machine up, or
you will do more damage to it. And yes it will cost you to get the
wheels re-tyred, and bodging it will just waste the machine.
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