Bandsaw bottom wheel tracking

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by mangus, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Portugal
    Hi there folks.
    My bandsaw is driving me bananas. The top wheel holds the blade in the right position(center) but on the bottom one the blade is way too close(part of the teeth hang out) to the outer edge. How can this happen and how can this be solved?
     
  2. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    330
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    Location:
    WI
    There should be an adjustable "thrust bearing" to ensure the blade doesn't move too far back when wood is applying pressure. There should be adjustable blocks so the blade isn't touching.
     
    OldDude2 likes this.
  3. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Portugal
    I've set that part meticulously using a video from Alex Snodgrass
     
  4. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,048
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    If you can't adjust the problem in the normal way, it could be from a couple of different things.

    Maybe bad tires? If the tires are shot, they can make adjustment an exercise in futility. But don't rush to blame it on the tires and run out and spend $40 or $50 bucks on a set of good tires without checking for other problems. My bandsaw runs it's same set of old tires it came with 30 years ago.

    From my bandsaw experiences, I'd say in general that all of the blade tracking adjustment is done with the upper wheel, where ya adjust the camber or toe in/toe out of the upper wheel to hit a happy medium of alignment between the upper and lower wheel, and then fine tune it with the adjustable upper and lower blade guides.

    The bottom wheel is not usually adjusted, because most bandsaws have the upper and lower wheels set in the same plane by design.

    On the bottom wheel, you might get a little bit of in and out adjustment by adjusting the thickness of washers on the lower wheel shaft. Maybe this would give you enough adjustment to make a difference?

    On my bandsaw (an old, and not very accurate offshore copy of a Delta) the top and bottom wheels were not in the same plane, they were really out of whack. There was no way to get a blade to track properly. Not only were the wheels out of plane vertically, they were skewed in relationship to each other.

    I had to break apart the joint where the upper and lower sections bolt together and re-position and properly align the upper and lower sections, then pin it in position and finally tighten the drawbolt that holds everything together. It was a bit of a pain in the ass, but the saw tracks pretty much perfectly now.

    I also had to fabricate a complete upper wheel carrier assembly with the camber adjustment, when that part broke. Not to mention the set of adjustable trunnions that support the saw's cutting table when those broke.

    I have a weird relationship with that old bandsaw - I only paid $75 bucks for it when I bought it used, but if I added up all the time I spent making replacement parts and working on the thing and converted that time to dollars, I could have bought a really nice quality machine with a 13" or 14" re-saw capacity ;).

    What type of bandsaw are you working on?
     
  5. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    366
    Joined:
    May 30, 2019
    Location:
    PNW
    If it's the tires you can usually resurface them by making a fixture to hold a small router motor like a laminate trimmer with a single flute straight cutter and rotating the wheel by hand taking the smallest amount of rubber possible each rotation.

    It's actually just a great way to fine-tune any bandsaw.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    16,100
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Western Connecticut
    Are your wheels co-planar in that plane? Sounds like the top wheel is more forward...

    Or, could also be the wheels are tilted relative to each other.

    Either way, measure with a long straight edge.
     
    mangus likes this.
  7. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Portugal
    I think they aren't coplanar. if i take a level or a straight edge to it they touch the two parts of the top wheel and the bottom part of the bottom one
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  8. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Portugal
    A benchtop 9" powerplus powx180
    I don't think it's the tires. They are new(4 months)
     
  9. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    16,100
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Western Connecticut
    I think that's a problem :)

    You mentioned Snodgrass. I'm sure he goes over that in at least one of his free youtube setup videos.

    I set mine up a while ago, and just maybe Alex will say tilting it is an optimization of some kind, but I don't think so. Those are supposed to be dead on, seems to me.
     
  10. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,048
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk

    I'd say that's where the problem is.

    From your description, it sounds like the top wheel like is projecting out slightly further than the bottom wheel.

    There are a couple of ways to correct the problem; I'd try whichever one is easier :).

    1) Check the bottom wheel and see if you can remove it. If so, add a washer between the hub of the lower wheel and the carrier for the lower axle. That will move your lower wheel out by the thickness of the washer you use.

    2) Check your top wheel and see if there is a washer between the wheels hub and the carrier for the upper axle assembly. If there is, I'd try removing it and reassemble sans washer and see if that does the trick.

    What you want to do is put both the upper and lower wheels as close as you can to being in the same vertical plane so the blade will track correctly.

    The "tilt" or "tracking" adjustment will then be able to work within it's adjustment range and get you back in business. Instead of bananas, you'll be making sawdust :),
     
    boris bubbanov likes this.
  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    51,203
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    There's just flat out design limitations, on what you can do with a very inexpensive band saw. Is this saw used? Have you used it much?

    I'm just saying, my Dad had a band saw, very nice one, from the 1950s and while he let me use all the other power tools, he wouldn't let me us that - for decades. It was just too easy to muck it up.
     
    old wrench likes this.
  12. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,048
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk

    That's the truth! :)

    From what I've seen the cheaper built bandsaws simply lack the rigidity and more precise construction tolerances that the superior machines have. To keep the price down, corners have to be cut somewhere.

    On the cheaper machines, when you give the upper blade guide assembly a shove, you can see the flex in the whole upper part of the saw.

    They usually have some unwanted slop in the upper axle carrier/tracking adjustment assembly, as well.

    I put a ridiculous (foolish :)) amount of time and effort into correcting those deficiencies on my cheap import 14" bandsaw.

    As a kid, I worked for a tool and die/stamping company where we had had a fantastic Do-All bandsaw. It was a huge old sucker, a 24" saw as I recall. It was a variable speed machine and had a blade welder built right in to the side of it.

    If you needed to cut out a section from within the interior of a large piece of tool steel - no problem, just drill a hole in the plate big enough to pass the blade through, thread your blade through the hole, then weld the blade together, then mount and tension the blade and start cutting. They used to buy their blade material in big rolls so you could custom make any size of blade you needed.

    I
     
    RogerC and boris bubbanov like this.
  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    16,100
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Western Connecticut
    Don't know what the OP has, though...

    I have a bottom-end 14" Grizzly (around $300, IIRC), and it's fully tunable. Sets up nicely, never given me any trouble, except for the cheap-ass guide block arrangement. Added a resaw height block onto the frame a year later, and it resaws 8" stock with no wander, using a 3/8" blade. And the wheels track well...

    Point being, I know there's a bunch of crap, but it doesn't mean the OP's isn't adjustable...
     
  14. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Portugal
    I can't find good bandsaw brands that cheap around here. In fact I've searched the used market and I could only find 3 phase beasts that wouldn't even fit inside my workshop. Power here is 230v and not a lot of people dabble in woodworking
     
  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,391
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    I had bearings going out on one wheel that caused a lot of problems. Replaced the bearing for $25 and all was better again.

    Otherwise follow the setup procedure here.



    .
     
  16. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,048
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    It sounds like you are just like most of us here and have no alternative but to work with whatever tools we are are fortunate enough to have :).

    Are you making any headway with getting your bandsaw to track better?
     
  17. mangus

    mangus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    Posts:
    455
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Portugal
    Yesterday I finally finished rewiring my workshop(more like a garage in size really)and only had a few minutes to find a washer, enlarge the hole as wide as the shaft that connects to the bottom wheel and install it. Tensioned the blade but it seemed more or less the same.
    I spend more time working on my workshop than on guitars. I think I have an addiction for tool acquisition
     
  18. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    2,177
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    Are your tires flat or rounded ?
     
  19. kafka

    kafka Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,322
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Location:
    Potomac, MD
    I've always hung my teeth off the edge of the tire, but I haven't used it since seeing the Snodgrass video. He says put the deepest part of the gullet at the crown. I'll have to give that a try. He seems to know what he's talking about.

    And trying to get the wheels coplanar just seems to be pointless to me. The goal is to move the blade, and it blade stay in the same place. You can do that without the wheels being coplanar. So why bother?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  20. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,048
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk

    Having the wheels in a coplanar and parallel condition isn't pointless :).


    Here is a video that shows why and how ya might try to achieve that condition -







    g
     
    moosie likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.