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Band saw motor belt

2324 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  woodbutcherbynight
I have a Jet 14" band saw and it's a workhorse. I've had it about 8 years or so now and this is really the first problem I've had with it. Before now all I've had to do was replace the starter switch and that was within the first six months I had it, so I can say I've gotten my money's worth out of the saw. Today the motor belt came off the pulley. I know how to fix it but I'm curious as to how it happened.

I was re-sawing a piece of walnut and there was a huge bang and the machine stopped. The belt does not look damaged at all, there are no cracks or even frayed edges on the belt. Any idea why the belt came off the pulley? If the belt only comes off once every 8 years that's not bad-- but if I can find out why it came off this time - perhaps I can prevent it from happening again. Is this just something that happens for no particular reason or is there something I need to check?

Thanks in advance.

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The first (and most obvious) thing I would look for is either loose motor mounts or loose pulleys. Seems to me that either one could have created enough slack for the belt to jump off?
+1 on the loose belt. It may have just stretched over time and during the resaw, if the wood got pinched, the motor continued to run- it would have caused the belt to bulge up and over the pulley.
Check to see if both pulleys are secure, Betsy. Those little allen head set screws, especially the coarse thread ones, can loosen up.

If that is the case, check to be sure the pulley fits on the shaft nicely. It shouldn't wobble or rattle. If it's loose, it must be discarded and replaced.

The only other thing I can imagine that would throw the belt if the pulleys are intact would be an object getting in there between the belt and a pulley causing the belt to stretch and pop off.


I had the same thought as Lee. Maybe a chunk of the wood you were sawing dropped in there and got between the belt and pulley. BANG! Instant belt jump.

Oh, and while you're examining the pulleys, make sure one hasn't slipped outward on the shaft. If the pulleys aren't lined up, that might cause belt jump also.
Automotive lighting Automotive tire Bicycle part Fender Wheel

I put link belts on my bandsaw and it made a huge difference
in performance.

Solid advice above.


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Like the guys said / check if pulleys are loose (may have climbed over) or may be
not in line -use straight edge (tighten with grubscrew or may need to replace)
Check if belt is worn on the inside - may also be a reason for climbing/jumping out under stress
Check if belt tight enough - sheck like on car - some 6mm play when you pinch it in the middle
- if it's too loose, you'll hear it, if it's too tight, the motor may get hot and bearings wear out.
-My first thought was actually that something (piece of wood) came under the belt and it
climbed out - like the guys said
Looks like Jennyzinger wants to meet a good lookin man! I'm married so maybe or of you single guys can help her out!
Just my luck some honey boo boo wanna be highjacks my thread! Jeez-there's no escaping low morals.

Back to the issue at hand. I think you are right that a piece of wood probably got between the belt. The pulleys are in alignment and the belt is in good shape. I simply loosened the mounting bolts a bit, slipped the belt back on and retightened the bolts, checked my alignment again and plugged it in. IT WORKS!

I do think if this happens again, I'll change to the link belts. I did take the opportunity to check the full belt inside and out and it's in remarkable shape for being so old. It's not even got any "rotten" spots. Lucky me.

Thanks for all the tips one and all.
Do you run your belts on your car for 8 years?. That might be your problem.
I do think if this happens again, I'll change to the link belts.

Be aware that the link belts are very prone to stretch. If you want low-stretch, go Kevlar.

I recently put a link belt on my old Craftsman table saw and my God what a difference!! Runs way way smoother with the link belt. So, I picked up a couple more for my old 10 Atlas TS, which uses 2 belts. I bought the belts at Harbor Freight for $24.99 ea. (five footers) and can not attest to the longevity, just the smoother performance. As far as adjustment after wearing in time, a link can be added or removed in just a couple of minutes.
Have same bandsaw, belt was loose after 10 years never bothered to check. Yeah I know lazy what can I say?

jennyzinger sorry babe, already married a REAL Ukrainian woman got all I can handle..

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