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I picked up a Craftsman 12" bandsaw, model 119.224000, in excellent condition for $100. After installing a new Timber Wolf blade it was working great for a while, then suddenly it started making a racket and then froze up. I checked the bottom compartment and discovered that the pulley on the motor shaft had come loose and was rubbing/locking against the wheel. So I pushed the pulley back on the shaft and tightened the set screw, which seems to be the only thing that holds the pulley in place on the shaft (but if I'm wrong about that, PLEASE let me know). Worked fine for a day or so, then the pulley came loose again. I tried tightening it one more time, and again it came loose.

So I'm wondering - what's the likely problem, and what's the likely fix? Is a single set screw typically the only thing holding the pulley on a bandsaw motor shaft? Should I try finding a new set screw? Could the problem be that I didn't have that pulley properly aligned with the other pulleys driving the saw? Or could overtightening the set screw be a problem? This is my first bandsaw, and I'm pretty much stumped as far as troubleshooting goes.

Also, I haven't taken off the lower wheel when doing these repairs, so it's certainly possible that I misaligned the pulleys. Do I need to take the lower wheel off for better troubleshooting? It looks like it's held on with a c-clip, so I'd need to pick up the proper sized c-clip pliers to remove the wheel.

I can take pictures tonight if that would be helpful. Thanks for any advice!

p.s. Is the pulley connected to the motor shaft called a drive pulley, a motor pulley, or something else?
 

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Thanks very much! I'll give that a shot and report back. Do I need to worry much about pulley alignment? When I tightened the set screw before, I just pushed the pulley as far back on the shaft as I could and that seemed to be properly aligned. Would I notice any bad sound/vibration if the pulley wasn't aligned?
 

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You should try to align them as close to co-planer as possible. For saws with the motor directly below the saw, it's pretty easy to do with just a piece of string and a weight. For ones that have offset motors, a straight edge can be used. I don't think you would get any unusual sounds or vibration if they are slightly out of alignment, but it might cause your belt to wear faster than normal.

Cheers,
Brad
 

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Every Craftsman saw I've had had two set screws in the pullleys. Take the top one out, tighten the one underneath it, then tighten the second one onto the first. Also, check the keyway stock. Hopfully it is still there. Might be worn a bit, too.
 

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Thanks for the additional tips. I didn't realize there could be two stacked set screws. I'll feel around with a hex wrench to see if that's the issue. What is the keyway stock, and do I need to remove the wheel to check it?

I don't know whether this is an offset motor or not. On this saw, the motor rests on the same base as the saw behind the lower wheel case, with the shaft poking through the wheel case.

Wish I could be more helpful. I'm still learning my way around a bandsaw.
 

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A keyway is a pair of matching channels, one milled in the shaft, the other in the pulley. The key, a square piece of steel 1/4" in cross section (they vary in size), usually 1 1/4" long or so, goes in the channels when they are lined up. The set screw should be over that keyway, and will lock the key in place. If the key is missing, it should be replaced.

Lacking a keyway, I would guess the shaft has a flat side on it that the set screw(s) go on. But it's likely there's a keyway. If the key is missing, any hardware store should have keystock (you might have to cut it to length). you'd need to know the actual dimensions, as there are various sizes available.

Don't go to Sears for this part. They won't know what it is, won't have it, will deny that such a thing exists, may offer to order it for you, will tell you it's obsolete, several weeks later when it comes in, they won't bother to inform you, and it will be the wrong size when you finally get it.
 

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Roger that. I think I actually have a bunch different sized keys, but they probably aren't great quality. I got a pack of them from Harbor Freight to use as cheap setup bars/gauges; they seem accurate enough to set my router by, but I don't know if I should trust them in my bandsaw. At the very least maybe I can use them to figure out what size I need, and then buy a higher quality key elsewhere.
 

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Keyway stock is just a hunk of metal.. I have no idea how HF (or anyone) could screw those up, but you never know..

Cheers,
Brad

PS: Some have a half-moon shaped key, which are different. You need to yank the pulley to see what/if you have for a key. Shouldn't be a problem though since it's already quite loose from your description!
 

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If the upper and the lower pulleys are not aligned with each other ,the belt will force them loose again,the best way to check for proper alignment is when the V belt is on. just look at the belt( and the two pulleys )from the side .you can tell if they are in alignment or not.
 

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My Craftsman did the same thing. It worked fine for a long time then started with this problem. The pulley came of again and again. I changed the key stock and it hasn't happened again. I used a piece of stock that came from my dad's shop when we cleared it out. It was about 8 or 9 inches long. I am sure it wasn't anything special. Probably something he picked up in a bargain bin.
 

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I think the craftsmen may have the shaft from the motor turning the bottom pulley not a belt.I.e direct drive
there maybe is a key-way; or may have a flat spot on the shaft with the set screw. if you do pull the wheel you can look in the shaft hole on the wheel and see where the hole is then screw in the bolt you know of;if you see the end in the shaft hole then A:your missing a set screw,B:set screw maybe in another spot,look for another hole in the inside of the shaft hole.could also be the wrong or worn set screw,replace.
 

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I have the same saw Dan just bought, these pics are of the saw in question.

The drive pulley does have a key and set screw. If the key is worn or gone you will certainly need to replace it. I would guess your problem is the key. I would take the saw apart and investigate before you try to tighten the set screw again, you could end up stripping the threads. I bought a set of split ring pliers for mine for under $10.

The pulleys do need to be aligned. This saw has a serpentine belt not a V. If the pulleys are out of line it will chew the belt up.

hope this helps.
 

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I suggest a "universal" split ring plier. These have a pivot that can be repositioned, allowing it to work with both external (like in the photos) and internal C clips. Very handy tool when you need it. No need for an expensive one. Harbor Freight has several to choose from. Some have interchangeable heads for different applications.
 
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