I need some help with a bandsaw I just purchased. I needed a small
bandsaw for some hobby work I do and bought the 10" Craftsman bandsaw.
Problem is that the instructions don't tell you how to tension the
blade. I don't know how hard to turn the adjustment knob. Does anyone
know how to adjust the blades on these bandsaws? (BTW, sears technical
help wasn't any help at all.)
Also, the harder I tighten the tension knob, the more temperamental the
blade tracking becomes. I even broke one blade because it tracked fine
when I spun it by hand, but came off the wheel when I turned it on.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
See if this helps any; read it all before starting:
1. Loosen the tension lock knob (1/4 of a turn counter-clockwise). Turn
the tension adjusting knob clockwise until blade has proper tension. To
check blade tension, push thumb against side of blade between lower wheels.
Blade should move only slightly with moderate pressure. Be careful not to
overtension blade. Retighten tension lock knob.
2. If too much blade tension has been applied, blades may tend to break
more easily and blade life will be shorter.
If too little blade tension has been applied, blade may not track easily,
may slip on wheels, or will move too easily when checking tension.
3. Turn the upper wheel by hand clockwise a few turns and notice if the
blade remains in the approximate center of the tires.
NOTE: Tension lock knob must be tightened before moving blade.
If the blade moves away from the center of the tires while you are turning
the wheels, the blade is not TRACKING properly.
TRACKING THE BLADE
1. Loosen the Tension Lock Knob (1/4 of a turn counter-clockwise) and turn
the tracking adjustment set screw slightly with the hex wrench. (Turning the
set screw moves the tension wheel back and forth.)
2. If the blade moves toward the front of the band saw:
Turn the tracking adjustment screw clockwise about 1/4 of a turn, as though
you were tightening it.
If the blade moves toward the back of the band saw:
Turn the tracking adjustment screw counter clockwise about 1/4 of a turn as
though you were loosening it.
Turn the screw just enough to cause the blade to run in the approximate
center of all tires.
3. After adjusting, tighten tension knob and turn upper wheel by hand
clockwise a few turns and notice if the blade remains in the approximate
center of the tires, Readjust if necessary, until blade is tracking
OK...thanks, I'll give that a try. I guess I'm just not sure how tight
is too tight when tensioning the blade - there's no indicator on my
saw. Also, the tracking adjustment is real quirky...turn it a little
and the blade pops off the top wheel.
I'll play with it a little more tonight.
Here's one technique that works with some saws/blades. May or may not
work with yours:
Get it moderately tight and tracking properly. Make sure the blade
guides are away from the blade and nothing is touching it. Turn the saw
on. Reduce the blade tension until it starts "flapping" or vibrating
from side to side where it goes through the table. Tighten it back up
until the flapping stops, then go a bit more. Reset the blade guides,
and you're good to go.
On Thu, 07 Dec 2006 07:48:10 -0800, George H. wrote:
Rule of thumb is that it's "right" if you can push the exposed part of the
blade 1/4" with your thumb without straining yourself.
That saw is probably not very stiff--tension it too hard and you may be
twisting the frame, hence the tracking problems.
You do not want to hear this but here goes any way. You probably want a
much better band saw.
I am not knocking Craftsman, I used one for many years and finally upgraded
earlier this year. I stepped up to a 18" Rikon and that was not good enough
and returned it 2 weeks later.
About 8 months ago I upgraded to a Laguna. Tracking and tension problems
are a distant memory. I only have to make a slight adjustment to the top
wheel when changing from a 1" to 1/4" blade and blade tension absolutely
does not affect tracking at all.
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