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Bandsaw Wheel Alignment

by JWV4
posted 01-24-2017 01:27 PM


36 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7241 posts in 2494 days


#1 posted 01-24-2017 01:48 PM

It makes no difference where the blade rides on the lower wheel, as long as it’s not falling off that is. Ignore it. And you should be able to loosen the riser block to tweek the upper frame a bit to try and get the blade running perpendicular to the table.

Here is the obligatory band saw tune up video… watch it… do it… make sawdust:
Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass

Cheers,
Brad

PS: A 3/4” blade on a 14” saw with a riser is really pushing it past it’s limits. Be careful.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5180 posts in 4255 days


#2 posted 01-24-2017 01:51 PM

First, a 3/4” blade on a 14” BS is too big. Regardless of specs, the max I run on my 14” is 1/2”, and that blade will do all I will ever ask of it.
Have you watched the obligatory Alex Snodgrass vid on setting up the bandsaw? If not, Google it or look up on YouTube. It will get ya goin’ in the right direction.
Bill

-- [email protected]

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2252 posts in 2741 days


#3 posted 01-24-2017 02:41 PM

+1 to both replies, I must add though,I once bought a 5/8” blade for my 14” bandsaw and it was just as good as the 1/2” as far as tracking and using it goes. the 5/8” was mainly used for rough cutting hard wood or slicing , but didn’t see a huge advantage over a 1/2” blade.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3209 days


#4 posted 01-24-2017 02:42 PM

Check this thread about alignment:
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/151722

And FWIW, I always run a 3/4in. 2-3tpi TW blade on my 14in. Rikon BS. I mainly use it for resawing 8/4 and 12/4 lumber.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View JWV4's profile

JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#5 posted 01-24-2017 05:44 PM

Ok, so maybe 3/4 isn’t the best size, but for cutting logs and resawing, I like it. This is the first I’ve heard of 3/4 being too big for a 14 inch. I’ve read other places where people use them all the time, and there seems to be a boatload of reviews for 3/4 inch blades, most of them positive, working on 14 inch bandsaws with riser blocks.

As for the blade alignment, I will try to adjust the frame. But the bottom wheel alignment really doesn’t matter? Could the bottom wheel alignment be why the blade isn’t perfectly vertical?

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#6 posted 01-24-2017 06:55 PM


It makes no difference where the blade rides on the lower wheel, as long as it s not falling off that is. Ignore it. And you should be able to loosen the riser block to tweek the upper frame a bit to try and get the blade running perpendicular to the table.

Here is the obligatory band saw tune up video… watch it… do it… make sawdust:
Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass

Cheers,
Brad

PS: A 3/4” blade on a 14” saw with a riser is really pushing it past it s limits. Be careful.

- MrUnix


YES!
I’m a relative noob so I’ll keep it brief but I just tuned my bandsaw and it’s magic using Alex Snodgrass and the responses I got from this thread http://lumberjocks.com/topics/199610.

Maybe for general use the 3/4” on a 14” saw may be ok, but even if you’re not veneering the part about the double load on the saw I think still applies.http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/resawing-with-a-bandsaw-slicing-wood-2.aspx

In principle, the wider the bandsaw blade, the higher its beam strength and the better it can maintain straightness. Wider, however, isn’t necessarily better. Almost all US woodcutting bandsaw blades over 1/2” wide are .035” thick, thicker than the Wood Slicer’s total kerf width. 3/4” blades are set far more coarsely as well, so the DOUBLED LOAD on your saw and their rough cuts make wider blades a distinct step backward.

The 3/4” blade just seems to ask too much of my 14” saw. She is fat, dumb and very happy cutting and resawing with a 1/2” blade. 5/8” works but 1/2” is the sweet spot for mine regardless of the stock.

As Brad said, as far as the issue of the blade being up against the guides check the VERTICAL (left to right as you face the saw) alignment of the upper and lower wheels (nuts). Even if your riser kit has alignment pins that could be off. As others have said, position on the lower wheel doesn’t matter. Get the blade gullet in the center of upper wheel.

The only thing lowly me has to differ with Alex is about there being no such thing as drift. Drift has to do with the blade, not the saw. Without adjusting for it there is no way for me to dial it in. Alex kind of blows right through that by just saying there is no such thing, without really saying why. Maybe someone above my pay grade can address this.

The other thing I realized then read after the fact is that adjusting for drift is NOT the final step in alignment especially when resawing. Adjust for drift, make practice cuts then bump the fence to dial it in. THEN Bob’s your uncle. If it’s accurate enough to cut 2’ long 1/16” veneer then IMO it’s accurate for general use.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View JWV4's profile

JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#7 posted 01-24-2017 10:18 PM

So if my problem is the blade is not vertical when looking at it from the front of the Saw (teeth pointing to the left) and it rubs on the guide wheel (back of the guide, not sure on terminology) as I lift the guide up, I should adjust the top wheel in toward the frame and the bottom wheel out away from the frame?

How exactly do I make the bottom wheel come out further and the front wheel move toward the frame?

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#8 posted 01-25-2017 12:28 AM


So if my problem is the blade is not vertical when looking at it from the front of the Saw (teeth pointing to the left) and it rubs on the guide wheel (back of the guide, not sure on terminology) as I lift the guide up, I should adjust the top wheel in toward the frame and the bottom wheel out away from the frame?

How exactly do I make the bottom wheel come out further and the front wheel move toward the frame?

- JWV4


I mean looking at the blade. Teeth towards you. Shift the riser left or right to get the blade perpendicular to the table like Brad said above. You could use a plumb bob hung from the center of the nut on the top wheel to the center of the bottom wheel.

You see that my Grizzly riser isn’t an exact match for my Harbor Freight saw.

Hang a line from the center of the top wheel to the bottom wheel

Then the table adjustment can be made after that.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#9 posted 01-25-2017 01:24 AM

.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View JWV4's profile

JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#10 posted 01-25-2017 02:09 AM

I’m not sure if we are on the same page. The guide blocks (those two graphite blocks) are not the issue, they are aligned perfectly and the blade does not press against them when I adjust the guide assembly. What I am saying is that the blade is not perpendicular to the table while looking at the side of the blade. If you look at it from the teeth, it is perfectly perpendicular. When I slide the guide assembly up to allow me to cut larger pieces, the blade gets tight against the small wheel at the back of the guide assembly.

Thank you,

John

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Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#11 posted 01-25-2017 04:33 AM

Oh. Sorry. So, if you put a square against the back or front of the blade you r saying it’s not square? Then maybe try twisting the two halves? Then I’m thinking that as long as the top and bottom aren’t twisted in relation to each other then the longer bar must be slightly cocked inward when you raise the bar. That means the guides must be further forward also. If everything else is fine I don’t think readjusting the roller and position of the guides is the end of the world or better yet just shim the bar a little?

But the blade should be perpendicular front to back I think. It almost has to be. Are you sure the table is perpendicular? Is there any other reference you can use other than the table? This is something I’ve never seen addressed before.

Like I said, I’m a newbie so you might need to wait for someone else to respond.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#12 posted 01-25-2017 11:55 AM

Andy, yes, thats correct, front and back of blade not perpendicular to table. Pretty sure the table is at 0 degrees, and I can see that the blade is not parallel to the guide bar.

I think maybe putting a shim on the axle of the rear wheel would work? I think if I were able to center the blade on both the bottom it might help. The blade rubs the guide wheel more the further I move the guide up.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#13 posted 01-25-2017 04:40 PM

Ok. Starting from the beginning…..assuming all was well before adding the riser…..

If the blade is centered on the top wheel but the teeth are hanging of the front of the bottom wheel then bump the riser and top half back towards the rear of the saw. Maybe the blade is so far forward on the bottom wheel that the crown of the lower wheel is keeping the blade forward and upper crown is pulling the blade towards the rear. A misalignment that large may cause the blade to tilt back,towards,the rear of,the saw.

No, I would definitely not start adding shims to the wheels. By “rear wheel” do you mean bottom wheel?

Adding the riser block in a perfect world should simply raise your entire setup by six inches vertically. If all worked well before you might start from scratch and remove the riser and start over.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#14 posted 01-25-2017 04:43 PM

Ok. Starting from the beginning…..assuming all was well before adding the riser…..

If the blade is centered on the top wheel but the teeth are hanging off the front of the bottom wheel then bump the riser and top half back towards the rear of the saw. Maybe the blade is so far forward on the bottom wheel that the crown of the lower wheel is keeping the blade forwar d and upper crown is pulling the blade towards the rear. A misalignment that large may cause the blade to tilt back,towards,the rear of,the saw. Is that a 3/4” blade. How tightly is it tensioned?

No, I would definitely not start adding shims to the wheels. By “rear wheel” do you mean bottom wheel?

Adding the riser block in a perfect world should simply raise your entire setup by six inches vertically. If all worked well before you might start from scratch and remove the riser and start over.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3087 posts in 2468 days


#15 posted 01-25-2017 05:16 PM

I put the riser on my JWBS 14 and had no problems with alignment. Did you clean all the paint off the mounting surfaces on the riser. The paint is very thick and will not compress evenly when you tighten the bolt up. Clean that paint off then watch the tuneup video by Snodgrass and you should be good to go.

I ran a 3/4” blade for resaw for a little while then went back to the 1/2”. I just didn’t feel the 3/4” was any better.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5881 posts in 3108 days


#16 posted 01-25-2017 05:34 PM

Poor alignment on the Jet bandsaws is a common issue. My 14” Jet (no riser block) needs to have the blade guides readjusted if you raise or lower the blade more than a couple inches. My thrust bearings stay in alignment, but my cool blocks do not. Short of re-welding the spine of the saw, I’m not sure that sort of issue can be fixed. I tried metal shim stock where the upper spine attaches to the base of the saw. Every change created a new problem, and never seemed to fix the issue.

The reason most 14” bandsaws can’t handle a 3/4” wide blade is the guide blocks. The guide blocks (or guide bearings on some models) should be set just behind the gullet of the blade. On mine, that rationale limits me to a 1/2” blade.

Good luck with it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View JWV4's profile

JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#17 posted 01-25-2017 10:24 PM

So I looked at my saw a lot today. I think I figured out the problem. The riser block must not be perfectly flat against the saw because I can see that even when I line up the blade in the middle of the top and bottom wheel, the guide isn’t quite right.

Someone mentioned cleaning off the paint on the saw and on the riser block surfaces, any other suggestions on how to fix my problem?

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#18 posted 01-26-2017 05:14 PM

That certainly is worth a try, but I would think that paint on the riser thick enough to throw off the alignment of the top and bottom half of the saw would be pretty obvious. Best of luck. I’d be curious to find out what you found the problem to be.

Andy

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#19 posted 01-26-2017 05:20 PM

That certainly is worth a try, but I would think that paint thick enough to throw off the alignment of the top and bottom half of the saw would be pretty obvious. Best of luck. I’d be curious to find out what you found the problem to be.

Andy

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#20 posted 01-27-2017 01:35 AM

I tried adjusting my Saw more today. I ended shimming the side of the riser block about 1/8 of an inch. That did the trick. I hate to have to keep shims in there – the riser block was just opened out of the box a month a ago.

Maybe warranty for the riser block? It shouldn’t be that far off.

View Pmh30097's profile

Pmh30097

16 posts in 1630 days


#21 posted 01-27-2017 02:05 AM

Forgive me for asking a dumb question: Are the top and bottom faces of the riser block parallel? I’m assuming they are supposed to be…. And could a machine shop true them up if they weren’t? I have to admit that I don’t own a bandsaw (or riser block kit, for that matter), but it will likely be my next acquisition and I’m trying to get up the learning curve as quickly as possible.

M.

View JWV4's profile

JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#22 posted 01-27-2017 02:11 AM

I would say that yes, they should be parallel. But I would want a second opinion from a person more knowledge that me.

I might be able to true up the faces, but I’d rather not have to spend more money at a machine shop on a brand new $100 item.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#23 posted 01-27-2017 02:44 AM

John,
Glad you got it to work, but I’m still skeptical. If you put that riser block on the table you mean to tell me that one side is 1/8” off from the opposite side? That is HUGE! Jet’s quality control manufactured and shipped a riser block that far off? That would mean that the casting was off and there would be hundreds of them out there and there is nothing on the net regarding defective riser block kits for Jet saws made by anyone. Is it a Jet block? Even the Chinese knockoffs are square (and I doubt Jet makes them anyway). If that’s the case, send it back.

Andy

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#24 posted 01-27-2017 03:30 AM

Well, I’m not sure if the block is off square that much – but it needed that much shimming to get it square. Not sure what the issue is, I doubt it is off square that much. Any ideas on why it needed that much shimming even if it was square?

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Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#25 posted 01-27-2017 03:40 AM

Sorry. That’s above my pay grade.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2236 posts in 3239 days


#26 posted 01-27-2017 03:53 AM

I’m running a Powermatic fourteen, so it’s just a variation of yours (a few tweeks here, a few there). I installed riser block and before and after, the wheels were not co-planer, and ran fine. As others point out, focus on the top.

And I’m a second, third, fourth or whatever on the blade width thing. Your tension spring couldn’t take advantage of how tight the 3/4” could be pulled. It’s too big for that reason and because you can’t line the gullet on the center of the wheel. The most I’ve ever run is, like others, a half inch 3 TPI blade. I use it to cut 12” wet sycamore and 12” dry walnut just fine.

I have run a 5/8” blade, but the halves are doing fine, so why fix it?

Back to the gullet thing – Timberwolf tells you to run the gullet at the center. When I do that, and if I keep the blade sharp, I get no drift, so can use my stock fence.

View JWV4's profile

JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#27 posted 01-27-2017 11:14 PM

I set up the bandsaw as I would use it, and I measured how much the blade varies in distance from the idle wheel on the guide (that touches the side of the blade opposite the teeth, the back of the black). I set the guide block idle wheel when I set the guide for a 12 inch cut. Then I moved it all the way to the table. The blade moved 7/32 of an inch away from the idle wheel, so that’s how off it is: 7/32 of an inch.

I am fine adjusting the blade every time I adjust the height, but I’m just wondering what could possibly be causing this. I tried the saw without the riser block today, and it had the same problem. The riser block is not the problem.

Any more help would be greatly appreciated.

Andy – in an earlier post you said to “bump the riser block back. How would I do this since the pins fit snuggly in the holes and I cannot adjust them.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5881 posts in 3108 days


#28 posted 01-28-2017 12:14 AM

It’s the guide assembly that holds the blade guard, guide blocks etc. If it doesn’t get welded to the saw so that it’s perfectly perpendicular to the table, it will change as you move the guide assembly up or down.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#29 posted 01-28-2017 01:53 AM


I am fine adjusting the blade every time I adjust the height, but I m just wondering what could possibly be causing this. I tried the saw without the riser block today, and it had the same problem. The riser block is not the problem.

Andy – in an earlier post you said to “bump the riser block back. How would I do this since the pins fit snuggly in the holes and I cannot adjust them.

- JWV4

Not sure why are you adjusting the blade and not the idler wheels. Put the gullet in the center of the upper wheel. If that puts the teeth off the front of the lower tire then twist the top half of the saw back a little.

Remove the pins. I have none in mine as it was a Grizzly and I have a Harbor Freight. Sheer, cut, pull with vise-grips depending on how they are installed. But why mess with them unless the teeth are still hanging off the front of the bottom tire.

Seems like since it is like that without the riser and has been it seems that the additional 6” just made you notice a slight misalignment that you always had. If you can get all of the other Snodgrass stuff done and the saw runs and cuts good…....why not leave it alone and just use it?


It s the guide assembly that holds the blade guard, guide blocks etc. If it doesn t get welded to the saw so that it s perfectly perpendicular to the table, it will change as you move the guide assembly up or down.

- pintodeluxe

I think the solution to your problem is that you need to ignore it. Just re-adjust the blocks and idler wheels when you raise the riser. It’s just part of the process I think. On mine I have to move my blocks as they don’t line up when I raise them but not the wheel. If you’re going from a 3/4” thick board to a 2” board there is no issue. But If you’re going from a 2” board to a 12” board then you are setting up the saw for something entirely different and that requires more adjustment than just lifting the bar. IMHO.

One last thought. The lower wheel isn’t too far forward, forcing the blade forward is it?

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#30 posted 01-28-2017 02:02 AM

I put a long straightedge on both on both of the wheels and it touched the top and bottom of both the wheels, so the two wheels are lined up.

I think you are right though, I will just adjust the guide post as need be. Eventually I might remove the pins, but I could also just file the holes in the riser block open more so I can still use the pins from the top half of the Saw and just slide the top half over in the larger pin holes in the riser block while still using the pins. Confusing sentence, I know, and it probably only makes sense in my head…

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#31 posted 01-28-2017 02:26 AM


I put a long straightedge on both on both of the wheels and it touched the top and bottom of both the wheels, so the two wheels are lined up.

I think you are right though, I will just adjust the guide post as need be. Eventually I might remove the pins, but I could also just file the holes in the riser block open more so I can still use the pins from the top half of the Saw and just slide the top half over in the larger pin holes in the riser block while still using the pins. Confusing sentence, I know, and it probably only makes sense in my head…

- JWV4

I edited my comment above. I’m talking about the idler wheels behind the blocks. Yes that makes sense and is a much better idea than my kamikaze approach. Regardless of the straight edge are the idler wheels the same distance from the back of the blade when the blade is on and running.? We know your blade has a tilt so them being the same distance from a straight edge isn’t important. Are you adjusting the blade position and tension with the table off so you can see the lower guides and idler wheel? If they are adjusted to a straight edge then one of them has to be way off since your blade tilts.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#32 posted 01-28-2017 02:56 AM

See, I think it has to do with the fact that my wheels (the actual big wheels, not the idler wheels) are coplanar, parallel to each other, every possible kind of alignment, the blade is not vertical in relation to the guide post because it is in the middle of the top wheel but on the front of the bottom wheel. I think that is what is causing the misalignment. If I could find a way to center the blade on both the top and bottom, I think I would be golden.

Edited-to-add: I just went out into my garage workshop and need to amend something I said. When the blades are in the same position on both the wheels, the amount of error in the blade from full guide height to on the table is probably reduced from 7/32 of an inch to only 3/32 of an inch.

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1794 posts in 899 days


#33 posted 01-28-2017 07:24 PM

Cool, but the gullet needs to ride in the center of the top wheel. That is most important. Good luck.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7241 posts in 2494 days


#34 posted 01-28-2017 07:52 PM

Just thought I would mention that your saw does not have ‘idler wheels’. Those are thrust bearings. Just saying.

As for the guide post being parallel to the blade… if it isn’t, then you either need to shim the upper frame casting, or shim the guide post. Adding a riser block makes the misalignment even more pronounced and injects additional flex in the upper casting.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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JWV4

19 posts in 835 days


#35 posted 01-28-2017 08:06 PM

Brad,

Thank you for the clarification.

How would I go about shimming the guide post?

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5881 posts in 3108 days


#36 posted 02-02-2017 02:37 AM

On the Jet it is welded, so you can’t really shim the guide post.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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