There are some simple adjustments to setting the thrust bearings. Like
David said, there is another adjustment where the guide and thrust
bearing assembly bolts to the frame. Running your saw in a bind the way
you did was extremely unwise and dangerous, not to mention murder on
your nice new saw (Wanna trade?). The damaged bearing should be flipped
or changed. Don't use the damaged face anymore. Your saw won't perform
well or safely if it isn't adjusted with care. The thrust bearings
should be adjusted to where they just barely don't move when the machine
is on, but will as soon as you start cutting a piece of wood and the
blade moves a fraction of an inch (1/64 is the rule of thumb) and braces
against them. Guide blocks should be adjusted similarly close, as close
as possible without touching when the blade is moving, and behind the
kerf of the blade. When I change blades, I move everything way out of
the way, install the blade, tension it and then turn the saw on for a
few seconds so that the blade finds its equilibrium. Then you can do
the adjustments, turn on the saw and check to see if your adjustments
need any tweaking. If you are lucky, your adjustments will keep, but
you should keep checking them as long as you are using the saw, because
if your saw is anything like mine, the blade will drift for a variety of
reasons, including sawdust building up on the wheels. These should be
thoroughly cleaned before using the saw. It may all sound like too much
trouble, but that's the price of using a band saw. Your saw should run
a 3/4" blade with ease, but most people stop at 1/2" or 5/8" for 14"
saws. A 1/2" Timberwolf blade resaws perfectly adequately for my
purposes. You should get the Duginske book. It will tell you more than
you ever wanted to know about band saws.
On Mon, 6 Jun 2005 19:13:57 -0500, Hax Planx wrote:
No it wasn't unwise or dangerous. It was not in a bind. The blade moved
easily and was close to the center of the wheel. There was pressure on the
thrust bearing, but it was no more than what would be encountered while
pushing a board through. The slight damage to the surface of the bearing
extended all the way around the bearing indicating that the bearing was
turning. However, it was turning slower than the blade causing the blade
to scratch the shiny surface. As it turns out, the bearing was rubbing
against the assembly housing slightly. Apparently, the design does not
include a stop other than the bearing hitting the housing.
The damaged bearing should be flipped
I will flip the bearing.
Don't use the damaged face anymore. Your saw won't perform
Duginske's book is on my list. I don't have a problem with tweaking a band
saw. As you said, it's the nature of the beast. At this price point, I
would have liked to see a little bit better quality control or design,
whatever the problem was. Honestly, I like the saw, but other than the
extra gadgets (light, chip blower), I don't see the price justification.
The saw had no better fit or finish than my Grizzly table saw, or my
Geetech jointer. There were chips in the paint right out of the box (this
didn't bother me in the least); there was some overspray and some under
spray of certain areas (no big deal to me). Although I can say it is
slightly better than other equipment I have seen, it's just not enough from
the quality perspective. Again, I guess the light and chip blower are what
makes it cost more. I received a free mobile base with it. That was an
incentive to me also.
Thanks for the advice,
I guess it sounded worse than it was. I suppose if it was way out of
line and binding against the thrust bearing, the blade would have walked
off the wheels in a few revolutions.
Glad to hear you're not the impatient type. I'm still thinking there
should be a solution to your problem. Another thing to look at is where
the blade is riding on the wheels. Duginske devotes a lot of time to
this, and you can manipulate it. One thing I do is check that the
wheels are coplanar when I change blades. I just use a 48" tool
guide/ruler/straight edge and adjust the tilt accordingly with the blade
tensioned (of course). But if you need extra room for your 3/4" blade,
you may be able to use the tilt to force the blade toward the outside of
the wheels. As far as price justification, I didn't see the price
justification of the Taiwanese Deltas and Jets over my HF either at
first, but I do now. These all seem to come from the same factory and
many parts are interchangeable. Riser blocks are the most common
example. But there are other differences like the how many spokes are
on the wheels, what they are made of, tire quality, hinges on the wheel
covers just to name a few. Your Powermatic is nicely hotrodded out of
the box. Compared to the Grizzly, you can expect vastly superior wheels
and tires, a bigger and better motor, probably a better motor mounting
design with easier adjustment, probably better guides, bearings, belts
and pulleys. The light and blower are luxuries and add significantly to
the cost. Is it worth twice as much as the Grizzly 14" Ultimate? I
dunno. My HF saw does the job for me. I put on Cool Blocks and a link
belt and I resaw and cut curves without problems so far. If anything
goes kaput, I can just order replacements/upgrades from Grizzly, but
eventually I may up spending as much or more than I saved.
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