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Bandsaw Blade Tracking

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Forum topic by CapnS posted 09-19-2019 09:38 PM 425 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CapnS

4 posts in 33 days


09-19-2019 09:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bandsaw blade tracking

I’ve read hundreds of posts but here I am asking my first question. I’m no experienced woodworker but have probably changed the blade on my 14” Rikon bandsaw about 100 times at least. Am now on my 2nd Timberwolf 3/16 blade … first one didn’t track, and this one doesn’t either. Timberwolf was good about replacing the first blade but here I am w/ the same problem. Bandsaw is tuned; bearing guides are out of the way. I can put ANY other blade on the machine and have it tracking in less than 2 mins, but this particular blade, no way. It will seem to track for about 8-10 rotations then slowly work its way off … I’ll make an adjustment and then it works off in the opposite direction. Worked at it for about an hour last night before quitting in disgust.

Am I looking at 2 blades in a row with a bad weld? Or is there anything I should be checking that’s particular to narrower blades. Seems to me that if I can get my 1/4 blade working then I shouldn’t have problems with 3/16. Thanks for the experience here.


8 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2497 posts in 2311 days


#1 posted 09-19-2019 10:04 PM

I’ve also had narrow blades move around a lot on my 20 inch bandsaw. My best guess is as the blade stretches it changes how it tracks.
My solution was back off the tension and keep the rear bearing close so the teeth wouldn’t run into the guides.
Your saw probably has crowned tire mine doesn’t.
I’m very vigilant when I run the 3/8 or less I hate spoiling a good blade.
Let me know if you solve your mystery
Good Luck

-- Aj

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CapnS

4 posts in 33 days


#2 posted 09-20-2019 12:07 AM

Aj2 – Thanks, I’m going to try bringing in the rear bearing first. I may go ahead & buy new tires as well. Appreciate the advice.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3916 posts in 1087 days


#3 posted 09-20-2019 02:57 AM

For the smallest blades I think everyone has difficulty keeping the teeth off the guides. It ruins blades, and steers them to places you don’t want to go. Aj’s mention of fronting the back up bearing is the fix on standard guides.

Some years back I won a HF 14” clone, and it was with a Carter blade tensioner, the standard replacement guides they have, which were a huge upgrade over what came on that saw, and a Carter Blade Stabilizer for it.

The thing I get the biggest kick out of is the Carter Blade Stabilizer. It’s their answer for smallish blades, and does away with the side guides completely, and you run on the spline of the blade, it’s just on the top guide, and you keep your normal lower guides set to allow movement, and it is driven by the very small wings from there. I’ve never smacked my teeth on this guide, and it turns like a Formula 1 racer. On the lower guides I set the back up bearing forward like Aj suggested.

They have one for the Rikon 14 inch, just not the new Rikon 14 Check out the video.

Completely away from the guides, I’ve not heard much good about those WoodSlicers. WoodCraft has savings on their Starrett line of steel blades till the end of the month. IIRC most of the blades are around 15 bux on sale, so you may also want to try a different blade. I really like Starrett blade material, and they are big enough to have someone good doing the welds, always a nice marriage.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Rich

5001 posts in 1103 days


#4 posted 09-20-2019 04:11 AM

I can say good things about Wood Slicer blades. They perform flawlessly. For the price, they can’t be beat. If you regularly saw hardwoods like alder, walnut or others in that hardness range, they will do the job, and for as little as $35 bux, how can you go wrong?

On my main saw, I keep a Laguna ReSaw King installed. I have an Atlas 12” for the narrow blades, but that’s another story. Regarding the Laguna blade, there is no substitute. But you’re looking at $150+. Do keep an eye out on eBay though, I’ve gotten them for as little as $120. It will outlast ordinary blades many times over and can be resharpened several times.

Just don’t saw through rocks imbedded in mesquite wood though…lol Or this is what you get. On the upside, Laguna replaced that blade for free, no questions asked, even though it was no fault of their own.

This is a photo of what it did to my shelix cutters. You can imagine what it did to the band saw blade.

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CapnS

4 posts in 33 days


#5 posted 09-20-2019 11:37 AM

More great advice – thanks. The more I get into bandsaw boxes (and smaller radii) the more that blade stabilizer looks like a necessity vice luxury. I’ve been making do with stock guide bearings as well … maybe time for an upgrade.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3916 posts in 1087 days


#6 posted 09-21-2019 05:22 AM



More great advice – thanks. The more I get into bandsaw boxes (and smaller radii) the more that blade stabilizer looks like a necessity vice luxury. I ve been making do with stock guide bearings as well … maybe time for an upgrade.

- CapnS

Probably the single biggest video of that Stabilizer is Alex Snodgrass doing those BS Reindeer. You can actually cut a lot tighter than many of the cuts in that project. The biggest thing is to use it, you take away your traditional upper guides. A lot of folks are put off by that, because it took them forever to get them right. I admit the first few times it was kind of a PIA. After doing it a few times you really gain speed, and the knowledge to get your standard guides reset to do really nice cuts. So as a learning tool, it kinda forces you to really learn about setting up, and adjusting the guides on your BS, which really does end well.

I have owned BS’s a lot of years, but it wasn’t until I started using that Stabilizer that I really knew what I needed to do to get blade guides set, quickly, and effectively. The Stabilizer itself is simple to put in. If you only use it for tight work, there is no reason to swap back to the traditional guides. I think it makes a really good case for just getting a smallish 10” BS, and having it with a Stabilizer just for small blades, and tight cuts. Currently I am at the backward look of that, and I have the 14” I do swap blades, and guides on frequently, and an 18” that is just a resaw machine.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Rich

5001 posts in 1103 days


#7 posted 09-21-2019 05:45 AM

It would be helpful if you posted some photos of your setup and projects, SteveN (real or not).

Think smart, be smart

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CapnS

4 posts in 33 days


#8 posted 09-21-2019 12:42 PM

Quick update – I installed my 3/16 blade, lightly tensioned, then brought my rear guides to within a paper’s width of the blade. That helped a lot but the blade still moved on the tire after several hand-turned rotations; I never felt confident enough to power it up. New tires are on order, and in order of priority I think I’m going to upgrade my guides before going to the stabilizer. My stock guides have been a PIA with adjustments, and if reviews are accurate I expect to see a leap forward with the Carter guides.

I saw the video of the Stabilizer in use – impressive. My kids are often asking about <$100 gift suggestions for Dad … now I have a good suggestion. (Maybe they’re tired of hearing my >$500 suggestions.)

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