Router Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The Jet 14" band saw tension knob is a miserable design. I've seen some knob offerings on the web and many of them are reasonably priced and seem to make the tension adjustment no sweat. Me being the DYI'er to an anal degree wanted to see if I could hack this thing for a fraction of the cost. The results pictured below...
I removed the tension knob assembly (just unscrews leaving a loose nut and a spring which remains aligned unless you remove additional parts of the tension system), knocked out the roll pin, unscrewed the knob. Turns out it is 8mm x 1.25 pitch thread. Picked up an 8mm threaded coupling for a little more than a buck at Menards and an 8mm x 35mm hex head bolt and an additional roll pin (1/8" by about 3/4"). The two items were less than two bucks. The rest is pretty self explanatory. After threading on the coupling to the tension rod I drilled for the roll pin and drove it in to secure it. The end of the coupling is epoxied into a hex recess in the arm of the crank keeping it from freewheeling in the arm. Then I secured the coupling/shaft to the oak arm from the top with the original bolt cut a little shorter than original. The old knob is then attached to the end of the oak tension arm. If I had to do it again I would shorten the oak from 8" to about 4" or 5" and forget about the knob; it's not necessary. There is plenty of leverage and it is extremely easy to over tension now. I had a 1/4" blade in the saw and didn't realize I was halfway between 1/2" and 3/4" marks on the scale before I stopped to check where it was!

Please note... the coupling was not very long. It was long enough to clear the machine to tension the blade, however, it just clears the top of the band saw with the door open. With the door closed it rubs. There are many creative ways to remedy this, however, I always have the door open when tensioning anyway.





 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,240 Posts
This is a really cool fix. For those of us who are age challenged, twisting a knob against spring tension is annoying and sometimes painful. This is a great idea. I suspect it won't be much of a problem finding a longer 8mm threaded rod. You guys are ingenius! Jet should take notice.

Looking at my Delta saw, it seems to me that you could simply mount a lever directly on the tensioning knob by drilling a couple of holes through the knob and bolting a bar onto it. Simpler and elevates the lever a little higher. Make the crank a spoon shaped paddle so you can put four small bolts in it--strong and won't easily break the knob.

Wish I could do that with the Laguna 14/twelve, but the knob is below the wheel. Hummmmm... I'll have to think about that.

Don't forget to release the tension with the lever when you put it to bed at night!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Don't forget to release the tension with the lever when you put it to bed at night!
Not saying that isn't a good practice. I just haven't done it in the 20+ years I have had the band saw. I suppose the spring might loose a little umph after a while but I don't see any decrease in springyness. Actually, when all I had was the knob I could never tension a 3/4" blade anywhere near the 3/4" mark on the scale. My hands couldn't even come close when I was in my 30s. I've always viewed that tension scale as a reference. If Jet considers it anything more than a reference they really missed the mark! The other thing might be the tires showing an indentation, but, again, 20+ years and they don't show any markings. It has been a great saw and I expect it will serve one of my kids well after I'm gone.

Here's one of the aftermarket cranks available in case you don't want to fool around with drilling and such...

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Horn-14330-Tension-Crank/dp/B001C4UOVS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Have you seen this tension toggle? https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Pi1b7AHM_3A

I think you could add that to your set-up if interested, Tim.
I saw a similar lever like that a couple years ago. Looks simple enough. On my version the only change I am going to make is cutting the oak arm shorter. It is actually too easy to turn, if that makes any sense. I'm afraid I will over tension the blade too easily.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top