Bandsaw blade tension problem W1706

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Forum topic by 71shop posted 10-20-2014 01:22 PM 4876 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2212 days

10-20-2014 01:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw tension blade w1706 shop fox

I have a Shop Fox W1706 bandsaw that I’m having some difficulty setting up.

If I set the sliding ‘tension spring housing’ to which the upper wheel is attached all the way to the top of its adjustment range, the blade still isn’t tight enough with the tension lever to ‘tighten’ position on the right. The blade is properly positioned on the wheels and the guides are adjusted, as well.

I’ve measured the blade and it’s right at the spec length.

The blade tension at the max position isn’t sufficient to permit a decent cut even into soft pine.

Perhaps someone here with one of these saws or with some good ideas could take a look at the attached photos and see if they see something that I’m missing. Any help, wild guesses or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

19 replies so far

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3055 days

#1 posted 10-20-2014 08:57 PM

I’m not familiar with the saw but do you think the tension spring should replaced?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View djang000's profile


67 posts in 3014 days

#2 posted 10-20-2014 09:19 PM

I have this exact saw. I spent many frustrating night trying to get it with enough tension. If I remember correctly, it comes with a 92” 1/2 blade, but I bought some Viking (Timberwolf) from LV that are 93” 1/2. Even tough the shop manual says that it supports up to 94” I think, I wasn’t able to figure out how to get enough tension (not saying “right tension”, since I still don’t know how to figure out with is enough and what is right).

I ended up playing with the locking nuts that connect the shaft to the spring. Without any blade, I then turn in a clockwise pattern (when you’re facing the back of the saw) the tension knob. I brought the upper wheel up. I had to play with it quite a bit but now I have good tension (enough that it isn’t easy to engage the tension lever). I might have done it too much, since even when I release the tension lever, I cannot remove the blade from the saw… But honestly, I was so much time consuming that I don’t want to fiddle with it :S

Long story short : any help would be appreciate over here as well! :)

View 71shop's profile


5 posts in 2212 days

#3 posted 10-21-2014 01:34 PM

The specs call for a 93.5” blade and I measured the blade to be very close to that figure. I could probably solve the immediate problem with a shorter blade but those blades tend to be less readily available and pricier than the 93.5” blade that appears to be something of a standard for the 14” saws.

To djang000: I’m obviously no expert but it would appear that if swinging the tension release to the left doesn’t release enough tension to let you remove the blade, something is amiss. But I certainly sympathize with you reaching a point where continuing to play with the darn thing starts to lose its appeal. The literature seems to make a good case for the benefits of reducing the tension when not in use to extend the longevity of the blade and the saw.

I think I’, getting closer:

(I’m not necessarily recommending that anyone else do what I’m trying, but I’m describing my own effort to get this saw set up properly)

I noticed that the manual shows 2 configurations for the “clutch support bracket”. One where the “upper frame arm” connects directly to “clutch support bracket” and one where there’s a ~3/8 spacer between them. The latter setup looks like it increases the range of the “tension spring housing” and would get me the extra tension needed in this saw.

I started out small and added a couple notched washers as spacers (~1/8”) and it’s looking like it might work. I’ll check it out more thoroughly and report back with results and pics.

Thanks for the replies.

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 2835 days

#4 posted 10-22-2014 10:37 PM

I have an older (2002 vintage) Grizzly. The tension mechanism looks similar. I was having the same problem you describe, not enough tension, but so much tension that releasing the quick release still wouldn’t let me remove the blade. I finally realized that the lower right surface of the tensioning mechanisms (looking from the inside through the upper wheel) was binding on the upper blade housing, that big sheet metal housing that is screwed on to the cast iron. I marked where the binding was happening, removed the sheet metal so I could work on it and removed about a quarter inch of material at the bottom right side of the “big hole” through which the wheel shaft passed. It solved my problem and now setting the right tension and releasing the tension are textbook easy. Getting the tracking set right is easier now, too and much more “analog” (not so touchy).

You might also pull down the manual from the Grizzly site for their 14 inch band saw. The instructions for setting the initial condition tension indicator position are much clearer than the manual that came with my saw. I think or Shop Fox and the Griz have a lit in common.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3328 days

#5 posted 10-23-2014 12:05 AM

You know the recommended blade length of 92.5” is almost as common as 93.5”?,my imported bandsaw(Taiwan)didn’t come with a manual(BS was bought used)I asked around for the most common blade length ,99% of those who responded recommended 93.5” but it was the wrong length for my saw and it was too loose just like yours.

I now only buy 92.5” long blade,and have not had that problem ever since,I did change the spring as well b/c it was badly needed.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3368 days

#6 posted 10-23-2014 12:27 AM

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Brandocalrizzion's profile


29 posts in 2488 days

#7 posted 06-25-2016 08:16 PM

@71Shop did you ever resolve this? I just got this new saw. Bought a new replacement blade from Timberwolf that was a 93 1/2 inch. Cant get enough tension on this darn machine. No clue whats going on

View 71shop's profile


5 posts in 2212 days

#8 posted 06-26-2016 07:58 PM

Btando, I’m mostly satisfied with the saw now. It requires more effort to cut straight lines than I would have hoped but it’s still useful. when I get to the shop tomorrow I’ll record what I did to get to this point and post back here.

View djang000's profile


67 posts in 3014 days

#9 posted 06-28-2016 12:38 AM

71shop; any chance to share that video here? I still haven’t mastered mine fully :S

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2876 days

#10 posted 06-28-2016 02:34 AM

I have this same saw, haven’t had any trouble with the tension. I’ll see if I can take some pics of the back.

I’ve had an olsen blade as well as a timberwolf on there.


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

View 71shop's profile


5 posts in 2212 days

#11 posted 06-29-2016 02:46 PM

The best results I was able to achieve with the blades I have were by adding the washers to the tension adjustment mechanism as previously mentioned. Here is a photo of that simple tweak.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7914 posts in 1594 days

#12 posted 06-29-2016 03:16 PM

sounds to me like there is a problem with that saw have you guys called shop fox ?

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

View 71shop's profile


5 posts in 2212 days

#13 posted 06-29-2016 03:19 PM

GR8HUNTER, I did call SF and spoke to a technician. He was trying to be helpful but, as I recall, his only real suggestion was to take the saw to a dealer which wasn’t a viable option for me

View djang000's profile


67 posts in 3014 days

#14 posted 06-30-2016 12:14 PM

Thanks 71shop. Maybe not a bad idea, I might give it a try. Personally, it is my first bandsaw so not sure if it’s this model or all bandsaws are like that, but it is really a tricky and frustrating process to change / setup a new blade on this. Going from a 3/8 to a 1/2 blade takes me a good hour. And even with my best efforts, I’ll need to do a few test cuts where I’ll go back and readjust bearings so it doesn’t scream to much. I’m glad I didn’t buy the 6” raiser for it back then; I don’t see how I could manage to get anything near a straight parallel cut in 10” of maple… :S

So good for doing curves and stuff like that, but frustrating for resawing (which was the big point for me; being able to resaw thin (3/32) strips of wood for bent lamination)


View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3328 days

#15 posted 06-30-2016 12:47 PM

it is really a tricky and frustrating process to change / setup a new blade on this. Going from a 3/8 to a 1/2 blade takes me a good hour. And even with my best efforts, I ll need to do a few test cuts where I ll go back and readjust bearings so it doesn t scream to much.

- djang000

Changing blades from one size to another should take 5-7 minutes ,literally.I suggest you do a complete setup and tune-up from scratch by pushing back all the thrust bearings, loosening the guide blocks/height adjustment,etc.
Get the correct length blade, this is very important since it’s probably the main reason you have such difficulty adjusting the height.
Install a new blade , adjust the height, then adjust the bearings and guide blocks.
The thrust bearings should only engage when you cut something , the guide blocks should be 1/6” away(or more) from the teeth of the blade.
I’m sorry if I’m repeating steps you already know but atleast we both agree,changing blades should not take that long.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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