I hope someone might be able to help me figure out what's happening with my bandsaw. I'm stumped.

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Forum topic by Egfreeze posted 05-26-2019 09:18 PM 1270 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 686 days

05-26-2019 09:18 PM

I recently restored a 1952 Rockwell Homecraft 10” bandsaw. After restoring it, I installed a blade and made several cuts with it. It was running fine and I was happy until the blade snapped. I ordered a new blade, but couldn’t get it to tension near enough (I had over an inch of play in the blade). After checking that the new blade was the correct length and comparing it to the blade that snapped, I was convinced that the problem wasn’t the blade. When I tightened the tensioning knob, the spring completely bottomed out. I figured that the spring lost its “springiness” for lack of better terms so I got a hold of Louis Iturra, who the internet tells me is the absolute authority in all things old bandsaws. He confirmed that the problem just might be the spring. I ordered up a new high-tension spring from him. After installing the new spring, I was still unable to tension the blade. That’s when I noticed that the tracking adjustment screw was preventing me from fully raising the sliding bracket for the upper wheel. There’s a channel in the mounting plate for that bracket which allows the tracking screw to pass through it so that it can engage the bracket and adjust the angle of the wheel. That channel is not long enough for the screw to pass through for some reason.

Here’s a picture:

The part on the bottom with the two bolts is the mounting plate and the upper part is the sliding bracket. You can see the channel for the tracking screw and the hole that the screw is supposed to go through, but can’t. Essentially, that channel is ~3/16” too short for the tracking screw to pass through if the blade was fully tensioned.

Now as I said, I was able to use this saw before with the same sized blade but now I can’t any more. I checked the mounting plate with a straight edge and it isn’t bent, it’s almost as if it has shrunk. The only thing I can think of is that the upper frame arm has bent, but it’s cast iron, that seems unlikely.

I’d appreciate any input as to what has happened to my bandsaw. Thanks.

Video explaining the problem:

9 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


8502 posts in 3249 days

#1 posted 05-26-2019 11:18 PM

Sounds like the blade is too long… what size is it? Should be 71-3/4” but you can usually get away with almost an inch +/-


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

View Egfreeze's profile


4 posts in 686 days

#2 posted 05-27-2019 07:15 AM

I did check the blade length, both with a rule and against the blade that snapped. It is 71 3/4”.

View johnstoneb's profile


3167 posts in 3223 days

#3 posted 05-27-2019 10:59 AM

May be the problem is on the lower wheel. The upper wheel bracket looks fine.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View WhyMe's profile


1376 posts in 2611 days

#4 posted 05-27-2019 11:02 AM

Did you put new tires on that are thinner than the original? One thing is the spring should not be bottomed out, that can break blades. I say get a 1/4 – 1/2” shorter blade.

View Egfreeze's profile


4 posts in 686 days

#5 posted 05-27-2019 12:41 PM

There’s no play in the lower wheel’s axle and it hasn’t bent.

I did put new tires on the saw, but that was before either blade went on, the last blade fit fine. The problem is that something seems to have happened to the saw which no longer allows the new blade to fit.

View Underdog's profile


1649 posts in 3086 days

#6 posted 05-28-2019 11:06 AM

When you say you restored it, what does that mean?
Is it possible that in the process you got a part installed upside down or incorrectly which is not allowing the tensioner to work correctly? The clue is that the tracking screw is interfering….
I know nothing about the machine so I couldn’t say for sure, just guessing.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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4 posts in 686 days

#7 posted 05-28-2019 05:26 PM

Jim, it was a complete rebuild; disassembly, clean, reassemble. I was able to get the saw to run after the restoration, though.

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 3002 days

#8 posted 05-28-2019 06:43 PM

I have been following this with interest to see what the cause of the problem might be. My initial thought, after seeing the video, was like other comments above that there might be an issue with the mounting of the lower wheel. You didn’t have any parts left over after the reassembly did you? (Just kidding).

A Google search turned up an old Lumberjocks post about a similar restoration.

In that thread is a link to another Lumberjocks blog post made by EEngineer eight years ago.

The author of the first link hasn’t been active for many years, but EEngineer last posted here back in February, but he might still be active. You might try sending him a message.

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 3002 days

#9 posted 05-28-2019 06:55 PM

About the new tires. In your video it sure looks like the tire fits way down in the groove on the pulley. It wouldn’t take too much change in the thickness of the tires to make a significant impact on the circumference of the pulley. Perhaps the tires were not fully seated at first and you could sort of tension the original blade. After running the saw a bit the tires might have seated further and the blade became very loose and eventually snapped. Now the new blade doesn’t fit either. The fact that the first blade snapped might be a clue.

Just a wild and crazy idea, but other than that I don’t know what else to suggest.

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