Why does my bandsaw blade track towards the front of the wheel?

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Forum topic by nipponese posted 06-23-2017 12:10 PM 4004 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1397 days

06-23-2017 12:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw blade

Hi, my first time posting here… looking for some help with a bandsaw:

After adjusting my bandsaw wheels for coplanarity, my blade will not track towards the center of the wheel. Instead, it creeps towards the front of the wheel. Tilting the top wheel does walk it back a little, but I would like to maintain coplanarity. Any suggestions out there?

FYI, spinning the wheel in the opposite direction does seem to move the blade to the correct location, but obviously this is not idea because once it moves in the correct direction, the blade tracks towards the front again.

23 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10863 posts in 2545 days

#1 posted 06-23-2017 01:14 PM

Don’t worry about coplanar. Let the blade sit where it wants.

Edit: after adjusting tracking of course. Don’t worry about spinning the blade in the opposite direction.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5349 posts in 5019 days

#2 posted 06-23-2017 01:15 PM

What saw, what width blade, what kind of tires, what kind of guides? Ya gotta give us more to work with before we can help.

-- [email protected]

View Redoak49's profile


5190 posts in 3047 days

#3 posted 06-23-2017 01:23 PM

Why adjust to be coplanar? I have never done that. Did you check to see how it tracked before you “adjusted” it.

You need to watch the Alex Snodgrass video on setting up a bandsaw. Sorry no link but just Google it.

View johnstoneb's profile


3167 posts in 3231 days

#4 posted 06-23-2017 01:46 PM

Coplanarity is not necessary. If you adjust wheels for coplanar as soon as you readjust your tracking you are out of coplanar. Adjust so the gullet is approximately centered and forget about coplanar.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1179 posts in 1447 days

#5 posted 06-23-2017 02:23 PM

Ditch the “co-planar” WORST advice ever. Think castor/camber like the front tires on your car. You will apply both by tipping/twisting the wheel resulting in moving the blade track – just like your front tires.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8348 posts in 1771 days

#6 posted 06-23-2017 02:27 PM

as you know by now forget coplanar watch THIS


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View MrRon's profile


6006 posts in 4302 days

#7 posted 06-23-2017 06:10 PM

A band saw’s wheels are supposed to be co-planar once it leaves the factory. Tilting the upper wheel is the only way to adjust tracking. In order to adjust for co-planar wheels is to add shims to the upper arbor. This will take care of any slight deviation from factory setting. Usually the factory setting is close enough to not be a problem, but if the wheels are off by a big amount, say 1/8” or more, then the wheels should be re-aligned for a co-planar condition.

View Loren's profile


11156 posts in 4707 days

#8 posted 06-23-2017 07:01 PM

That’s a wider blade, looks like the back is
riding on the crest of the tire. I don’t see
any problem with that setup. If the saw
starts throwing the blade off, then you’d
have a problem.

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 3054 days

#9 posted 06-23-2017 07:18 PM

The wisdom I have always heard is that you should have the gullet of the blade centered on the crest of the wheel. Your blade would have to move back a lot to get there. Don’t worry about coplanar….it is not a requirement.

If the gullet is not on the center of the crest the blade will want to wander as it cuts.

If your saw is a large saw that has a completely flat face to the wheel, then where the blade sits matters less, assuming the guides can still reach it.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8518 posts in 3258 days

#10 posted 06-23-2017 07:53 PM

Tilting the top wheel does walk it back a little, but I would like to maintain coplanarity. Any suggestions out there?

Tilting the wheel? I’m guessing that you are doing that via the tracking mechanism… which is what it is for.
Here is the obligatory band saw tune up video… watch it, do it, make sawdust….

Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass

Only other suggestion is to be careful using wide blades. It is very easy to over tension the blade and cause damage to the tilting bracket – which will make tracking the blade almost impossible and usually results in having to replace broken/bent parts to correct.


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

View Planeman40's profile


1544 posts in 3820 days

#11 posted 06-24-2017 12:46 PM

Every blade finds a position on the wheels it likes. Just live with it as long as it works. The trick to setting up blades and guides is to (1) find this blade position and (2) THEN move the guides into position to the blade! Never try to position the blade to fit the guide. This will drive you crazy as the blade will always move back to the position on the wheels it likes.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View jonah's profile


2136 posts in 4357 days

#12 posted 06-24-2017 01:05 PM

The amount of questionable band saw advice is kind of amazing. Just watch the Snodgrass video and do what he does. Forget about coplanarity.

View Robert's profile


4524 posts in 2539 days

#13 posted 06-24-2017 03:18 PM

Check on this, but I think I’ve read some brands of saws are designed with non coplanar wheels. IMO what he says will not work on every machine especially ones with non-crowned or very low crown tires. I was advised not to change the factory settings, only if replacing the bearings.

Jonah, its not that simple. Lots of people advocate the Snodgrass video. No intention to start a debate, but be forewarned what he says re: drift has never worked for me (and not just me).

To me, its a whole lot easier and quicker to live with drift. 2 minutes to adjust the fence and I’m back to work. I’ve talked to tech I think at Powermatic and he said some bandsaws are actually designed for drift. I believe this is true because the manuals for both my saws (Rikon and Jet) have instructions on adjusting fence.

I suggest you call tech support for your saw and run it past them.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Kelly's profile


3506 posts in 4003 days

#14 posted 06-24-2017 10:04 PM

It’s difficult to believe band saw manufacturers haven’t figured out how to send their machines out the door with co-planer wheels after decades of building theme, in the course of competing with each other for sales.

My PM wheels aren’t co-planer and never will be, unless whoever gets it after me tampers with it.

My fence will not adjust for drift without a lot of work. It locks at the front and back. If I had to tweak the fence each time I swapped blades, it, probably, wouldn’t get used for anything other than scroll work.

My fence is nothing to write home about, but it will give me veneer or whatever I ask of it. All I have to do is get the gullet on center and the tension right.

View Aj2's profile


3773 posts in 2857 days

#15 posted 06-24-2017 11:33 PM

I like this guys video on bandsaw tips and safety.Ive found a lot of truth in what he says.The beginning is very noisy but it gets quieter.

Alan snodgrass videos are pretty good too.But Sometime I feel like I’m watching a salesman at a county fair.

-- Aj

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