Fools for Tools #2: This Sexy Walker Turner Bandsaw just wont track! HELP!

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Blog entry by palaswood posted 08-29-2014 06:24 PM 5501 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Band Saw that was Meant to Be (Walker Turner 14") Part 2 of Fools for Tools series no next part

OK I know you guys know a thing or two about vintage, cast iron band saws.

If you read the previous entry, I bought this saw for a song but after trying for a week or so to get the blade to track, I gave up and its been collecting dust ever since.

That in itself is a travesty! I mean just Look at this beaut!

I dont have any pics of the wheels, but I’ll get some up tonight if i remember.

My issue is this: Lower wheel is about 3/16ths further out than the upper wheel, ie not co-planar.

The upper wheel cannot be adjusted (aside from tracking/tension of course), but i can’t seem to find out how to adjust the lower wheel! I put a washer on the inside of the upper wheel to bring it out the required distance, but it wouldnt turn after tightening the screw, so scratch that.

I’ve removed all the set screws on the lower axle and unscrewed the cap nut on the wheel (other side). But it wont budge.

Here is pic I found online (not my saw) with the wheel removed. I can’t get this far, as I cant get the wheel off and dont want to strip or break anything, any tips?

I would like to clean it all, and reassemble it then go from there.

Also would buying urethane tires help? or crowning the current tires (which seem in good shape) even though the wheels arent coplaner to begin with?

Ive been trying with both a 3/8ths blade and a 1/2” resaw woodslicer blade. No luck with either, although the 1/2” comes off quicker while hand turning to check tracking…

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

9 comments so far

View English's profile


692 posts in 2642 days

#1 posted 08-29-2014 07:38 PM

Have you tried a gear puller? Should be able pull it off with one. Then polish the shaft and the wheel hub and see if it will go on in line with upper wheel.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2714 days

#2 posted 08-29-2014 08:27 PM Please don’t tear your saw apart to get it coplanar, watch the video.

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2916 days

#3 posted 08-29-2014 09:24 PM

Thanks freddy ive watched this video before, and in theory its great, but this is not a new saw like the one in the video, its 70 years old if its a day. Also the tires are more flat than crowned.

I dont want to take it apart! Believe me. I suppose I need to consider crowning the tires, and they need to come off to do that right?

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Planeman40's profile


1554 posts in 3926 days

#4 posted 08-29-2014 09:44 PM

For what its worth, I have that very same Walker-Turner bandsaw and love it! Its a wonderful saw and I just want to encourage you to stick with it until you get it right. Also, when setting up the guides, FIRST let the saw blade settle to where it wants to run best, THEN bring the guides up to the blade. Don’t do the opposite or you will forever be trying to get the blade and the guides to cooperate.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Don W's profile

Don W

20121 posts in 3732 days

#5 posted 08-29-2014 10:06 PM

Keep in mind what you said, its 70 years old if its a day, and I’d bet half a 6 pack that wheel hasn’t been off that spindle since it was put together. Pulley puller if it will work. If you don’t have one, buy one. They are inexpensive. If not don’t be afraid to get mad, just put a piece of solid wood (oak, locust or the like) between the hammer and the spindle. Have you soaked it with blaster?

My second thought is this. The wheels should be coplanar, and 3/16” is a quit a bit, but if they are in alignment, (in other word perfectly vertical, just offset) they will still work, just with narrower blades and no crown. Not ideal, but a start.

I love Walker Turner anything. Once you get her up and going, she’ll give back the love!!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View RPhillips's profile


1323 posts in 3001 days

#6 posted 08-30-2014 10:56 AM

If you have access to some Kroil oil, give that a shot on the wheel to help free it up. Best penetrating oil I’ve ever used. We use it at Oil Refineries to loosen stuff up.

Then swing by Harbor Freight and get a pulley puller, you will still probably need it.

I would also have to think that the tires need to be replaced too. I seen some nice Polyurethane ones somewhere on the net, and they had them for quite a few machines. A quick Google search should do it.

Then get those wheels co-planer and you should be set.

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View Don W's profile

Don W

20121 posts in 3732 days

#7 posted 08-30-2014 11:46 AM

I’m not sure if you have seen this

There are some helpful links to WT stuff.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26475 posts in 4270 days

#8 posted 08-31-2014 06:57 AM

First with the blade off, put a straight edge on the lower wheel and use the tracking adjustment on the upper wheel to adjust it to align to the straight edge off the lower wheel. If it the lower wheel is out 3/16” from the upper wheel , the top wheel needs to be adjusted out. If that upper wheel won’t adjust for tracking ( back and forth with the adjusting screw) that will have to be fixed first.. It sounds like the tracking adjustment is not happening.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 2916 days

#9 posted 09-01-2014 02:13 PM

thanks for your tips and encouragement all. Don ive read that many times and reviewed the resources, Thanks.

Jim the upper wheel tracking knob will adjust the wheel and its almost too sensitive. When lined up via straight edge with lower wheel so that the upper wheel is vertical and not slanted, its a good 3/16ths further in. A shim locked it up so it wouldnt turn if tightened at all. Ill give it another go today

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

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