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I found a nice looking (and running) 2004 Jet JWBS-14DX 14-in Bandsaw on Craigslist for $425. It did not have a blade on it but the motor ran great and aside from a rusty table it was in great shape.

I got it home and put a brand new blade on it only to find that I cannot for the life of me get the tension on the blade tight at all. When I turn the tension knob I see the gauge reach the correct mark however the top tire does not move at all and I can hold the blade with my hand while spinning the top tire and it wont move. If I adjust the tracking knob to tilt as far back as it will, the blade will have tension but the tracking is then off of course. It's as if the blade it too small but I got the correct size according to the manual.

I am relatively new to working on power tools however I feel comfortable taking them apart and replacing parts. I am assuming that the problem with this saw is the tension spring but I do not know how to test that theory without just replacing it all together.

Here are a few pics that may help point me in the right direction:

Video of the time tire at full tension, should it have this much play? It does not wobble at all when spinning:

I have been working on this thing for 5 hours with no luck! I'm sure it a user issue so any advice is appreciated. I am going to go start working on the table rust now =)

Thanks
 

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Check your upper wheel tilt/tension bracket (where the shaft for the wheel attaches to the bracket).. you may discover it is either broken or bent.. common problem as those are a weak point on those saws. Also, ignoring the marks on the tension adjustment, can you get it to tension at all? If you can, then the spring may be worn out or broken.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: The marks on the tension adjuster is just a ballpark reference.. don't consider it accurate as it rarely is. Do a google search for Alex Snodgrass and his band saw clinic.. watch it and follow his recommendations.
 

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Then wobble is probably ok. It just means there is no tension on the saw. As Brad said, the mechanism may be broken to tension the saw. I ordered jet parts to fix my old buffalo saw. It was pretty easy and not too expensive.
 

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I agree with above. The tension/tilt bracket is probably developed a crack that widens as you tension it up, causing it to not perform as needed.
These parts can be bought from a number of suppliers, and probably will cost you less than $50. Almost for sure that is what is the problem.
Look for a crack in the casting of the upper tension/tilt bracket that the upper wheel rides on.
 

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Contact Louis Iturra and be will get you straightened up. He sells both Jet and Delta parts. The Jet tilting arm sucks to get out because they use blind pins. He sells the whole assembly. Iturra has no webpage but you can call him. The tilting arm is a known weak spot in these handsaws. Iturra does sell a machined version that is a huge improvement over the pot metal flimsy tilting arm that comes stock. I can get you his number. I think he's in Florida. With any order you get his catalog which is awesome.
 

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Take the top wheel off, then you can see if the piece broke at the hinge. If it broke at the hinge it will not tighten the blade. Also another thing to check is if you bought the correct length blade.
 

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The hinge behind the top wheel looks like a little pot metal triangle. Sometimes it is cracked. Other times it is bent. On my Delta it was slightly bent and would hang up on the metal wheel cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for all of the replies. I have broken the saw down and the tilt / tension bracket is not broken or cracked. The shaft for the upper tire is perfectly straight as well.

I did notice a few things:
1. My saw is actually a WBS-14X NOT a WBS-14DX which however I don't believe this matters since it came with the manual for the WBS-14DX.
2. I may be missing some parts. Pins specifically. I do not see parts 85,86 and 87 when I look at the tension bracket but I guess they could be recessed?
3. There seems to be 2 places where pins go that have no pins in them. The pins appear to "lock" the Sliding Bracket towards the top of the saw however I do not see how they would fix my problem. You can see what I am talking about if you look at the last image of this album:
I plan on calling Jet today to make sure I am using the correct manual for my saw (they do not have one listed for the WBS-14X). And i'll give Louis Iturra a call as well. Keep the ideas coming and thanks again.
 

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It looks like the tension adjuster is up as high as it will go. I think your blade is the wrong size. A 14" bandsaw should use a 93 1/2" blade standard and if it has a 6" riser it should take a 105 1/2" blade.
Items 85,86,87 are what your upper wheel are mounted on so they must be there the wheel is in place.
Measure your blade, in your pictures the wheel is as high as it will go and the adjuster looks like it is as high as it can go also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It looks like the tension adjuster is up as high as it will go. I think your blade is the wrong size. A 14" bandsaw should use a 93 1/2" blade standard and if it has a 6" riser it should take a 105 1/2" blade.
Items 85,86,87 are what your upper wheel are mounted on so they must be there the wheel is in place.
Measure your blade, in your pictures the wheel is as high as it will go and the adjuster looks like it is as high as it can go also.

- johnstoneb
Thanks for the reply. I bought a brand new 93.5" blade from woodcraft yesterday so unless the manual is wrong then the blade size should be correct. I'll measure it this eventing just to make sure. I do not have the 6" riser on this saw yet.
 

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I watched your video. What I could not tell from it is if the upper and lower wheels had the rubber like bands on them. They are called tires.These bands grab the blade when the tension is set. If the blade and bare metal wheel are making contact you will need to buy the bands. the missing bands will also cause the blade to appear to long. These bands are almost 1/8" thick.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I watched your video. What I could not tell from it is if the upper and lower wheels had the rubber like bands on them. They are called tires.These bands grab the blade when the tension is set. If the blade and bare metal wheel are making contact you will need to buy the bands. the missing bands will also cause the blade to appear to long. These bands are almost 1/8" thick.

Rich

- dumbo
Thanks Rich. The tires on both the top and bottom wheels look brand new and the blade does not contact metal at any point (unless I over adjust the tracking at which point the blade will attempt to jump off of the wheel).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is a real mystery to me now. I just got off the phone with Jet and tech support could not find the model number of my saw (JWBS-14X) in their system right away. The guy had to look up the stock number to find my saw and even then did not have a manual for it. I will try to get ahold of Louis Iturra today to see if he has had any dealings with this saw.
 

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I have the JWBS 14 CS the last 1 or 2 letters have to do with the stand CS for closed stand and OS for open stand.
I think the DX and X probably cover something similar. The actual bandsaw being the samewhether ending in X or DX.
You might run a tape measure around the blade track on the saw in addition to measuring the blade. It is possible that the blade was marked wrong or made to long.
I just watched your video and there is no tension on that blade. The wheel is as high as it will go. It really looks like the blade is a couple inches to long..
 

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I forgot to mention that an additional problem could be a stripped tension adjustment screw rod but if you can compress the spring down all the way and you still don't get tension then it probably isn't the adjustment screw rod. Iturra's manual does document a problem with some Jet bandsaws where the tension adjustment rod went through the upper arm casting where the adjustment screw rod meets up with the casting. It looks like a drilled hole made by the tension screw rod into the casting. The fix is to glue on a hard metal or screw in a hardened bolt to prevent this from continuing. Check the threading on the adjustment screw rod and the casting and see if these are the problems?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I called Louis Iturra and he helped me determine that the quick release mechanism on the saw had been adjusted incorrectly and was preventing the tension from reaching the correct level. He recommended removing the quick release until I got the tension working. Once I removed the quick release the tension worked perfectly =)

I still have a lot of other tuning to do but Louis Iturra just gained a customer for life. A big thank you to everyone that replied to this thread.
 
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