My birthday is coming. My usual gift to me is some sort of tool
that I need but haven't bought yet. I am thinking of a bandsaw tension
The Iturra folks have one for $150. All others are way above that.
So... what should I buy? Or do I really need one?
"Do I need" and "should I buy" are at their core personal questions
that only you can ask. But for myself, the answer would be that I
don't need that nearly as much as other things that $15 can buy.
I built the one described in FWW at
(subscription required for the pdf)
Basically, when you are measuring the tension of the blade, you are
measuring how much it has been stretched. The idea of this is that two
pieces of wood are clamped to the blade, with the pieces touching each
other and the clamp points 6" (or 8" or 12", some fixed distance)
apart on the blade, The blade is then tightened and the distance
between the pieces is measured with a feeler gauge (or a dial
indicator if you prefer--but I think that is false or useless
The neat thing about these gauges is that they measure the stretch of
the blade, which is directly proportional to the tension. The built-in
indicator measures the compression of the spring, which is
proportional to the FORCE on the blade. That's why you have the scale
that varies by width (implicitly assuming all blades are the same
thickness). This scale converts from the read force to tension (PSI),
I find I use my gauge about every 6 months to recalibrate the spring
gauge built into the saw. With on small wood scrap cut in two, two
finish nails, and two claims that are not dedicated. And my $150 goes
elsewhere (maybe to Iturra for other of their fine products)
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
I vote for not needed. You can build the version that uses feeler
gauges, use the "gut feel" method, or pluck it and use the pitch of the
blade. (See "http://www.cgallery.com/jpthien/tg.htm " for a fancy
version of this.)
No idea what you need, or want. Or whether it's a 'should'.
It's a birthday, and the way I consider that, is to think about what
someone dear to me might buy. I almost never get something that I truly
need, but I often get something that I want, or something the gifter
thinks I might want.
If you're treating yourself, I think it's the time to go for what
tickles your fancy. And that doesn't need analysis. You just feel it.
Thanks to all that replied.
1) I already have a Fine Woodworking on-line account. Best $14 I spend
2) I searched for home-made gauges and found a couple more. There was
person who just used calibers. Opened the jaws to 5 inches. Zeroed the
dial, clamped the jaws to the blade and tightened until he got to .003
on the dial.
Seems to work, cheap (I own one) and easy to build (unlike the other
one in FWW).
Again, thanks all. I'm going to use my birthday money on something
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