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Need help with Carter Blade Stabilizer

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Forum topic by DC2250 posted 04-30-2019 05:23 PM 492 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DC2250

3 posts in 168 days


04-30-2019 05:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: carter bandsaw band saw carter stabilizer carter band saw stabilizer carter band saw blade stabilizer cutting straight line

Hi everyone, I’m new here so my apologies if I overlooked a rule regarding placement of this post.

That being said, I have two separate issues that I would love some help with.

Band Saw: Powermatic 14” with 6” riser block installed and Carter Blade Stabilizer
Blade: Timberwolf 3/16” 3tpi

1st Issue:
I recently installed the Carter blade stabilizer. I watched numerous videos on how to install it, and from what I can tell I did everything as prescribed.

Unfortunately, I am unable to cut a straight line with the stabilizer installed. The blade I’m using is a Timberwolf 3/16” 3tpi. Curves are certainly not an issue, but when I need to cut a straight line (i.e. for bandsaw boxes), the blade shifts either to the left or the right. I have tried both with and without a fence, but the result was the same. I’ve searched the internet for an answer to this issue more than any other woodworking topic I’ve searched, but have not found a single person who has mentioned ever experiencing this problem with the Carter Stabilizer.

I would like to avoid having to remove the carter and re-install the factory guides simply to make a straight line cut, only to have to remove and reinstall all over again.

2nd Issue:
I noticed this becoming an issue before I installed the Carter stabilizer. My blade is not centered through the table insert. It sits right up against the inside egde (closest to the frame). I first noticed this when I saw a fairly sized chunk missing from the insert. This issue is present with a 1/2” blade and a 3/16” blade, both Timberwolf, and with factory guides and the Carter stabilizer installed.

Any suggestions on either, or both, issues would be greatly appreciated.


15 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7478 posts in 2706 days


#1 posted 04-30-2019 05:50 PM

Can’t help with #1… you may want to contact Carter and ask them directly.
As for #2, you should be able to loosen the trunnion bolts and move your table over a smidge.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View sgcz75b's profile

sgcz75b

72 posts in 267 days


#2 posted 04-30-2019 05:54 PM

Is the bandsaw new or used? Has it always had issue #2?

From your description issue #2 is the cause of issue #1.

Have you or anyone else adjusted the table, trunnions, guides?

The blade should run fairly close to the center of the insert hole.

Remove the table and run the saw. Something is very amiss for the condition you’ve described.

Take photos and post them.

-- "A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half remembered glory" - John Steinbeck

View TDSpade's profile

TDSpade

117 posts in 2923 days


#3 posted 04-30-2019 06:31 PM

You need to center your table. To do that you need to install the thickest blade you have (3/8” to 1/2”). Make sure to track and tension the bade, but leave the guides away from the blade. This will give you a visual aid to square the table. Loosen the three bolts on each trunnion and adjust the table, and retighten the bolts. I just recently did this with my delta 14” bandsaw. It took a couple of tries to get it right. Parts want to move back to where they were as you tighten up the bolts. Made a world of difference.

I don’t have riser a block. So I don’t know how that will affect the blade, with a Carter stabilizer. You may need to use a little more tension on the blade. That can be a bit tricky. And always back off the tension and Carter stabilizer, when not using.

Also I have three bandsaws, and always use my 18 inch for straight cuts. ;-)

-- For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

4969 posts in 1096 days


#4 posted 04-30-2019 08:13 PM

Good advice above on adjusting the table top. As far as cutting a straight line, part of the idea of the Carter stabilizer is to allow the blade to twist. There are no side guides, just the groove in the rear guide for the blade to ride in. This allows narrow blades to cut an extremely tight radius.

You don’t mention the thickness of the board you’re cutting, but if you’re trying to re-saw a wide board, you will not be able to with the Carter installed. It’s not intended for that. If you have a thinner piece, say less than 2 inches, and you’re still unable to push it through for a relatively straight cut, your blade might be dull.

Again, it’s not designed for cutting straight lines, it’s designed for tight curves that you can’t achieve with standard blade guides.

-- There are 10 types of people—those who understand binary, and those who don’t

View DC2250's profile

DC2250

3 posts in 168 days


#5 posted 05-02-2019 07:12 PM

Sorry for the late response – I decided at 34 to go to law school, and am currently in the middle of final exams, so the majority of my time is taken up with my nose in a book as opposed to making saw dust. And of course there’s my job, my wife, and my puppy. I know, I know, I’ve definitely bitten off more than I can chew. As does the puppy

Thanks to everyone for the responses.

Rich: I’m aware that the Carter stabilizer is for curved cuts, but I’ve seen plenty of videos of people making straight cuts when they’re having to make several curved cuts with a single straight cut needed in the middle, (usually with bandsaw boxes) to avoid having to remove the blade, remove the stabilizer, re-install the factory guides, install the re-saw blade, make the straight cut, then doing everything just mentioned in reverse. The board is actually a blank for a bandsaw box – in my case, several 3/4” boards glued together, total dimension of blank is 7” x 4” x 5” (7 inches long, 4 inches deep, 5 inches high). In encountering this problem, I was trying to cut the back off of the blank, so the blade was going through 5” of wood for the entire 7 inch length of the blank. The only time I would want to make straight cuts with the stabilizer is when I’m going to have to make several curve cuts with a single straight cut needed in the middle. Just trying to save myself some time and hassle, but if that’s my only option, then it’s my only option. I wanted to ask people here who certainly know much more than I do. It definitely isn’t a dull blade – I had taken it out of the box and installed it minutes before running into the issue, and the curved cuts I made were very smooth and easy.

One hypothesis I have is that, while “spring-loading” the blade per the instructions with the stabilizer, I am actually pushing it forward too far. When I get time I’ll try that and report back.

TDSpade, MRUnix, sgcz: Thanks for the advice – I’ll do that first chance I get.

SGCZ – The bandsaw is new. I’ve had it for approximately 2-3 months, but haven’t had much opportunity to use it yet, The problem has not always been present. Not sure when it started, but only noticed it recently. I’m sure it’s the table, nothing else makes sense. Of course now that I typed that comment, it’s going to be something incredibly difficult to figure out and fix.

View DC2250's profile

DC2250

3 posts in 168 days


#6 posted 05-03-2019 12:07 PM

So I tried loosening the bolts and moving the table to the left. I was able to get it to shift over maybe 2mm, but if I let go, it immediately moved back. I then tried the same thing and continued holding the table while re-tightening the bolts, but the bolts, upon re-tightening, force the table back to the problematic position. I removed the table completely, re-installed my 1/2” blade, then the table, same exact issue.

Increasing the blade tension made it worse. Decreasing it has no effect until it was way too loose to cut anything.

If anyone has anymore recommendations I’ll definitely give it a shot, as I’ve tried everything I know to try.

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1225 posts in 2046 days


#7 posted 05-03-2019 12:16 PM

I’ve seen Alex Snodgrass use the stabilizer many times and it was never for a straight cut. If it’s less than 3/4” thick, you may get a way with some straight cuts when cutting out patterns. When making the bandsaw boxes, Alex always switched over to the regular 1/2” blade to cut the back off and the front and back of the drawers then goes back to the stabilizer to make the curve cuts if it wasn’t super thick.

With that said, the only thing that may help you get straighter cuts is the put the lower guides back in place and reset the tension to normal and you could get straight cuts.

View wncguy's profile

wncguy

455 posts in 2819 days


#8 posted 05-03-2019 12:27 PM

I make B/S boxes and after re-reading these comments my understanding now is that you can’t make a straight cut in conjunction with your curved cuts. Are you re-centering the blade so the gullets are centered on the upper wheel after your put tension on guide?
Also if the feed rate is too fast that can be a problem.
Blade tension can also impact tracking. It’s dicey for me finding the sweet spot so it’s “loose enough” to get good curves & “tight enough” to continue on same cut for straight lines.
If the blade isn’t sharp there will be problems.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

View sgcz75b's profile

sgcz75b

72 posts in 267 days


#9 posted 05-03-2019 12:46 PM

For the blade to not be close to the center of the inset, it seems that the problem is coming from above the table.

When it’s running and you’re cutting straight with the 1/2 blade do the upper or lower guides move?

Did you install the riser kit? An improperly installed riser kit can create problems.

Have you checked the squareness of the blade to the table both parallel and perpendicular with a machinist’s square?

-- "A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half remembered glory" - John Steinbeck

View wncguy's profile

wncguy

455 posts in 2819 days


#10 posted 05-03-2019 02:25 PM

Here’s some photos (not great) I just took of boxes I am working on (about 4” thick)... one pic shows my design for cutting & the other 2 after I’ve cut out the drawers. You’ll notice that I’ve already used rounded the edges so not the greatest to see just the cut. Think these show you can do a straight cut in conjunction with your curves.
I should note with these the straight cuts are across the grain but in the majority of my boxes they are with the grain. For me, the blade has more of a tendency to wander going with the grain.

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2354 posts in 3145 days


#11 posted 05-03-2019 07:44 PM

On my grizzly band-saw, the table is centered by loosening the bolts that hold the trunion to the stand, not the ones that hold the table to the trunion. You might take a look to see if there is something like that on your saw.

The red arrow I added below points to the bolt I’m talking about.
There’s another one on the other side.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2354 posts in 3145 days


#12 posted 05-03-2019 08:05 PM

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3878 posts in 1081 days


#13 posted 05-03-2019 08:54 PM

“Generic manual for a 14 PM bandsaw. Like Delta with the original 14” 2 wheeler which all of these things are based off of, not much has changed with them except paint, and other cosmetics.

Page 14 right at the top look at figure 21, part HP1-K, can you identify that part on your saw? That is the limiter stop that forces the table to only be able to go so far.

YOUR COMMENT
“So I tried loosening the bolts and moving the table to the left. I was able to get it to shift over maybe 2mm, but if I let go, it immediately moved back. I then tried the same thing and continued holding the table while re-tightening the bolts, but the bolts, upon re-tightening, force the table back to the problematic position.”

It makes me wonder if yours is over penetrated. IOW it forces your table to remain past 90, and attempting to fix it you are just flexing your table a bit.

I will say one of the things I often found after a guy sold me his POS (&&(( (&^*()) bandsaw for pennies on the dollar, that these were not set correctly, and therefore the table was always in a tilt that WAS NOT 90 to the blade, and worse yet until that little stub of a screw was placed correctly, it never was going to be 90 to the blade.

So please check if moving that is the answer for you.

Sorry Ocelot. I just looked up, and saw you were saying the same thing. Maybe the manual will help him elsewhere.

-- Think safe, be safe

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3878 posts in 1081 days


#14 posted 05-03-2019 09:47 PM

Plus I agree the design of the stabilizer is ease of movement left and right. I have one on my 14” BS, and it steers all the time. It steers in wood grain if you let it. No side guides mean a lot to a blade, plus with the stabilizer you are using the tiny little blades with hardly any ability to go straight, unless you head em up, and force them with blade guides. Plus, at least with mine I have to use much higher tension, than I would the similar sized blade between guides. Lo tension and I’ve had it fold over, and just present it’s flat side to the wood. It’s right about then those little 1/8” blades go twangggg DAMHIKT.

-- Think safe, be safe

View sgcz75b's profile

sgcz75b

72 posts in 267 days


#15 posted 05-03-2019 10:53 PM



Plus I agree the design of the stabilizer is ease of movement left and right. I have one on my 14” BS, and it steers all the time. It steers in wood grain if you let it. No side guides mean a lot to a blade, plus with the stabilizer you are using the tiny little blades with hardly any ability to go straight, unless you head em up, and force them with blade guides. Plus, at least with mine I have to use much higher tension, than I would the similar sized blade between guides. Lo tension and I ve had it fold over, and just present it s flat side to the wood. It s right about then those little 1/8” blades go twangggg DAMHIKT.

- therealSteveN

While I don’t have a Carter Stabilizer yet, I am a fan of correct tension according to the blade manufacturer’s specs. For my 1/4 inch Diemaster blade that’s 15,000 psi. And using a tension gauge that’s what I set.

It runs straight without touching either guide. I don’t see why it wouldn’t do the same with the stabilizer and correct tension.

Using a deflection or flutter method is subjective. It may work for some, but I’m willing to bet the majority of all woodworking bandsaw blades are under-tensioned and that leads to problems with accurate, straight cuts.

However, in this case, I’m guessing something’s wrong with either the resaw riser being out-of-whack, or wheels/ tires. While the table may be set incorrectly, unless it’s been monkeyed with it shouldn’t develop the OP’s situation suddenly.

And I can be wrong.

I’m very interested to see how this plays out.

-- "A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half remembered glory" - John Steinbeck

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