Tensioning Timberwolf Bandsaw blade

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Forum topic by Cosmo posted 10-02-2017 08:49 AM 8042 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 4130 days

10-02-2017 08:49 AM

I recently bought a 1/2’’ timberwolf blade for my 14” bandsaw with riser-block and after installing and reading the instructions for tensioning I realized I didnt fully follow those instructions.

Instead I just set the blade to the 1/2’’ tension mark on the saw turned it on and it looked a little wobbly, so i just added tension until the blade cleaned up its line to as good as I could make it. Is this sufficient enough for a low tension blade? The blade seems to run pretty straight when looking from the front(at the teeth)

Kind of a stupid question, but one i need to ask. Also would there be any benefit to replacing the tension spring? I think the blade is tensioned fine (just over the 1/2” marker), but the saw was bought used, and its from the early 80’s? Would that reduce the minimal vibration I am having.

thanks for any opinions

-- Who is Joseph Cotton! Giddy-up

8 replies so far

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 3598 days

#1 posted 09-22-2010 02:51 PM

Couldn’t hurt. And no, it probably wouldnt fix the vibration…

For my Timberwolf, I had to tension it to just under the 3/4 mark, and its a 3/4 blade… so maybe your tensioner is a little worn… but then again, those indicators are crap if you think about it… you need to tension it to 3/4 if you use a longer blade, and less than 1/8 if you use a short one… nothing to do with width… I just use them for ball park estimates… Tension it to the mark.. turn the saw on, and apply tension until the flutter goes away…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3963 days

#2 posted 09-22-2010 10:43 PM

The tensioners are just fine. This isn’t rocket science. “proper” tension on a blade is a wide range and the gauge is more than close enough. But if it’s fluttering, you’re way too loose. Crank it up!

-- The Wood Nerd --

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291 posts in 3963 days

#3 posted 09-22-2010 10:53 PM

Cosmo, the old wives tale about the tension spring “weakening” with age is just that, an old wives tale. Don’t worry about it.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4864 days

#4 posted 09-22-2010 11:00 PM

I set my 1/2” Timber Wolf a notch tighter then the meter called for and it works great. I have read in several band saw books that the meter is just for guidance and you really have to fine tune it until you are happy with the results. I’ve also read that it’s a waste of time getting to critical with the spring and the meter. Just my 2 cents.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3831 days

#5 posted 09-22-2010 11:08 PM

A 1/2 blade on a 14” light duty bandsaw is it’s limit!!!

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4003 days

#6 posted 09-22-2010 11:21 PM

Sorry, I just sort of eyeball mine with th e”deflection” method. Light pressure to the side of the blade should not deflect it more than 1/4”.

And yes I upgraded my tension spring. But then again, that has to do with the riser block as much as the blades…

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View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 4558 days

#7 posted 09-23-2010 02:30 AM

I have 3 different 1/2” T’Wolf blades that I use on my 14” Central Machinery (read that Harbor Freight) BS that I bought 2nd hand. I first tensioned them using T’Wolfs directions, and have come up with three different spots for the three blades. After measuring, found out there is a 3/4” difference in the length of the blades. One also has a slight crook int he weld resulting in a 1/16” front-to-back wobble, and one has a crook in the blade that caused 1 tooth (and I am still looking for which one) to scar the cut deeper.

After doing the above, I realized the torque I needed to tighten the tension spring felt the same on all three, so now that is my guide as much as anything, and all perform as well as I can expect.

Bottom line, each blade may tension differently in regards to the gauge. The 1/2” T’Wolfs have worked well and I think are about the max for my “inexpensive” 14” saw/w/riser. However, I do not consider them a premium quality blade. The defects in the ones I have, with the exception of the crooked weld (and realize it is only a couple thousandths off at the seam), could have occurred in shipping, in the store storage, or even by rough handling by previous customers, so I am not going to dis the manufacturer, but if a resaw gives you a problem, do not assume its not the blade just because of the price.

What really surprised me is that having recently gotten a chain saw mill, I found the smoothness of cut with my chainsaw is better than my bandsaw!!


-- Go

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4795 days

#8 posted 09-23-2010 04:42 AM

I’m with Gofor on this. Timber Wolf blade tensioning is a very subjective thing. I also had some problems and ended up switching to the Wood Slicer blades sold by Highland Woodworking, and never looked back.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

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