I'm an admitted beginner and just purchased the "ultimate"
band saw and am overall pleased --got through the tensioning issues
reported here. But I have one disappointment---the upper bearing
support rod is not anywhere near parallel to the blade when the saw is
set up. If I move the post from 12in above the table to close to the
table the post moves away from the blade as much as 0.080in. This
means everytime I change the thickness of the wood being cut more than
an inch or two I have to readjust the upper bearings. Instructions
say the upper support bearing should be .016 in from the back of the
blade---The rod is straight as an arrow.
I have been in touch with Grizzly--they are friendly and want to
help--sent me new upper housing--same result.
I have determined that when the blade is tensioned the upper housing
twists---this affects coplanarity of the wheels and the guidepost for
the bearings. The wheels can be adjusted but the there is no
adjustment for the post to compensate. If they had built in an
adjustment or the ability to shim this could be corrected.
Of course if I tension a 3/4in blade and then a 1/4in blade I bet the
coplanarity of the wheels will change too cause the housing will flex
or twist more or less depending on tension. This flex starts with
very minimal tension--I don't believe I'm over tensioning the blade.
Has any other owner experienced this? Just tension a blade and move
the tension lever up and down and you can see the guidepost move!
Grizzly claims they have never heard of this and solution is to
readjust the bearings every time the post is moved-which I find a real
pain with the blade guard in place--do others find they need to do
this? Since I'm a beginner maybe I'm finding this a disappointment
when all the experienced people are just adjusting the guides
Can some of the experienced B. Saw users set me straight--is having to
adjust the bearings when moving the guidepost up and down a normal
expected adjustment--am I expecting too much? I don't want to return
the saw---everything else seems fine.
Thanks for your help
Tim in Wisconsin
you shouldn't have to readjust the bearings. Guess you'll have to live
with it, since you don't want to return it. :)
I've had a Delta 14" and I currently have a Powermatic and neither one
needs any adjustment when raising or lowering the guides (over 6")
Thanks Dave---as a beginner I thought I might have higher expectations
than I should---but based on your experience my expectations are real
but not met!!!!!
I'm just amazed that all the reviews that I read were very
positive---so I bought it---only one comment I remember from about 6m
ago talking about poor castings.----so there must be alot of
woodworkers living with this "problem" if it is a problem---for me it
is a problem---I buy tools that I expect to make woodworking fast and
accurate----this will increase the set up time having to adjust the
bearings every time
Your experience is consistant with my friend's that has a Delta. No
I will think three times before buying Grizzly in the future!
Glad I read this - I was about a day away from ordering the riser kit for
the G0555 but will probably take a pass. I'm curious though, prior to the
riser kit, did you notice the bearing getting further away from the back of
the blade. I've not noticed this in mine but am thinking it may be a
problem if I move the range from 6" to 12".
Yes indeed I noticed the problem before I installed the riser---after
installing the riser the problem doubled---which makes sense if you
think abou the geometry---the bearing support rod is not parallel due
to flex of the upper housing---increasing the distance 2 fold will
increase the error by 2x. If you already are living with the flex and
have to readjust the thrust bearing with a six inch rise---what the
heck---go ahead and order the riser---you will just have to adjust
when you go into the 12in range.
I think everyone that has this saw will experience the flex and have
to adjust the bearings. I think it will also affect the coplanarity
of the wheels---but I think that can be adjusted out with the wheel
tilt knob---just that there is no adjustment for the bearing support
I told Grizzly cust support that they should not bother boring the
hole in the casting for the rod---just should cut if flat and make an
aluminum housing that holds the rod that can be shimmed or tilted with
sloted holes. They just noted it in the database.
So beware anyone buying this tool---the upper housing flexes---a
quality tool may not!!!!!!! Next time I'll buy Delta or Jet
I have had this saw for a few months and mainly used it for resawing.
Worked great with timberwolf 1/2" blade on hard maple from 5 to11" tall. I
put a 1/4" blade in today as prep for some work tomorrow; so my following
comment is based on the 1/4" blade. I just now went into the shop and ran
the guide all the way up and adjusted the back bearing to just touch the
back of the blade. I then ran the guide down to about 1" above the table.
I had about 1/32" clearance. This would probably be more with a wider blade
and the required higher tension. Same "problem" that you noticed.
I am not sure that Jet or Delta would be any different as the frames are all
cast at about the same weight and cross section. I do not have access to
others for comparison. There "may" be some correction adjustment build into
other brands; I do not know if it is or not. However; I don't see enough
movement to be a problem for me. I use a 1/2" blade for resaw (6-12") and
did not have a problem with use. I use a 1/4" blade for cutting thinner
materials which only requires good alignment over a 2-3" range which this
saw has. I did cut some tenons with the resaw blade (guide at about 1"
above the table) with no problems but normally changing to the "proper"
blade for the cuts made will reduce the adjustment needed, for that blade,
to 2-3 inches.
In short, the problem appears to exist but I don't see any ill effects in
actual use of the machine. It will be interesting to see if Jet and Delta
owners have the same problem.
In 12 inches .080 is pretty good on a $375 machine. How are you setting the
.016 between the blade and bearing? Most use a folded dollar bill or do it
by eye. You say you have to do it every time you change the thickness of
the wood. If it moves .080 in 12", it would be .040 in 6", .020 in three
inches, .010 in 1 1/2" that most times you will encounter. Suck little
change will not be noticed.
If I move my post an inch, I don't check the bearing at all, but to move it
12 inches, it would be a good idea to take a peek and make an adjustment if
needed. Any time I set up to resaw, I check all the settings and adjust
them if needed. Trying to slice a very thin piece of wood takes more
precision than cutting some dowels to length. Checking setup is just good
I never checked as I'm tensioning the blade, but I will. Could you be
putting on too much tension?
Probably. Use the saw and see just how big a deal it is in real every day
Alan observed 1/32 from top to bottom when a 1/4 blade is
tensioned---thats about .031"---a lot less than I observed but I have
a 3/8 blade tensioned and as Ed points out the wider the blade the
more tension required and therefore the more flexing the housing will
undergo. I don't believe I'm over tensioning---it doesn't seem that
tight at all. I used the technique described in the Bandsaw
Handbook--plucking the blade and listening to max the pitch. Grizzly's
suggestion of loosening until it flutters didn't work for me at
all---never could get it to flutter no matter how loose I got it.
Any other suggestions from more experienced people would be
appreciated as far as knowing when it's properly tensioned. The scale
is useless especially when the riser is installed.
The measurements I'm quoting were measured with a feeler gauge of
known thickness. I just tension the blade, move the rod all the way
up (12in off the table), adjust the thrust bearing to just barely
touch the back edge of the blade and then run the bearing support rod
down to within an inch of the table and measure the gap with a feeler
gauge. It's between .080 and .087in. which is a little less than
3/32in. Much more than I expected.
I discovered this cause Grizzly makes a big deal about setting that
bearing at .016 from the back of the blade---(I know they say fold a
dollar bill to get that) and I used a feeling gauge. Well it wasn't
long after going to the effort to get that exact that I discovered
there's no bother -- it changes raising and lowering the rod far more
than the gap I set.
Glad to hear others don't find this that unusual especially from a
$375 saw. Makes me feel a little better and I think Ed's comment at
the end is exactly what I'll do--use it and see how big a deal it is
in everyday use---I'll set the bearings up at about 2 in off the
table---so if I cut 3/4in material or up to 3 in material I won't be
off enough to have to readjust---most of the material I'll be cutting
will be less than 3 or 4in at least for now until I get into cutting
things for turning on my lathe.
Thanks everyone---maybe we'll hear from some Jet and Delta owners to
see if they experience upper housing flex. I'm just curious, but I'll
be satisfied with the Grizzly for now.
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