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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Default small hobby bandsaw blade tension?

Hello there,
I have a small hobby bandsaw that I use for quick cuts. I have had to change out the blade and in doing so I need to tension the new blade back to working tautness. Anyone got an idea on how taut the blade needs to be? I installed an android guitar tuning app and it is at 125Hz at the moment. Is this correct? How do you know when the blade of your bandsaw is taut enough? Would tighter mean there is less 'blade drift'? I am somewhat worried of applying too much pressure on the blade but I still want to get somewhat straight cuts. Is there some sort of balance between tight enough for straight cuts and loose enough for cutting curves?
Thanks for any pointers.
K.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 10:56 AM
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Using a tuner isn't going to help with blade taughtness. The way I check how tight the blade is, while the saw is unplugged, put moderate pressure against the side of the blade. It should deflect only small amount (1/8"-1/4")

Honestly, drift on the blade is more of function of how sharp the blade is and the overall tracking. Keep a sharp blade centered on the tires and you will minimize your drift significantly.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 11:15 AM
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...take a look at Alex Snodgrass's tutorial on YOUTUBE..."bandsaw clinic"...it may help you in other areas of tuning as well...

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 11:47 AM
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Check this out:

https://woodgears.ca/bandsaw/tension.html

Blade sharpness and tension do both influence drift. While resawing drawer sides a few months ago I found that tighter was better.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank for this guys, I will run some wood through it and see how I go. I just thought there was a sort
of 'standard' tightness dependant of blade size.
If I over-tighten can I break the blade or is the blade stronger than any potential damage to wheels and bearings? I think I might under tighten just in case as long as I can get straight cuts. The machine is not super precise anyhow. I am a little worried it might explode in my face if i over-tighten too much....
thanks for the pointers, it is appreciated.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 05:44 PM
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Hi Bodwin

Quote:
Originally Posted by kibodwin View Post
I just thought there was a sort of 'standard' tightness dependant of blade size.
The wider and thicker a blade is the greater the beam strength, but the greater the tension you need to put it under in order to saw straight

Quote:
Originally Posted by kibodwin View Post
If I over-tighten can I break the blade or is the blade stronger than any potential damage to wheels and bearings?
Yes. You'll also damage your tyres if the saw is left tensioned between uses and on smaller, lighter saws leaving the blade permanently fully tensioned can actually bend the frame of the saw slightly

You can generally tell if a blade is under tightened because it will bow in the cut

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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thanks Phil, your answers are appreciated. I will run some tests and take it from there.
I also think I will loosen the blade when it is not in use.
K.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 06:27 AM
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Wow, I will have to loosen my blade too. Thanks Phil.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 08:31 AM
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Nick, Snodgrass is the guru. I was tracking my blade incorrectly for 30 some years and never happy with the results of my 14 inch Delta. After watching his method it now works very well.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 11:06 AM
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I have a Shopsmith bandsaw. I tried the Snodgrass method. It does not work on this saw. The Shopsmith has a bearing for auto tracking. For resaw or ripping with fence use the method of marking a straight line parallel to the edge. cute 6-8" inched freehand forllowing the line, clamp the workpiece to the table and set the fence to the workpiece. I t may lool funny but it will give good cuts.

The guitar tuner would work well once you knew the frequence of a well tensioned blade however the correct frequencey will be different for different size blades. If by chance your hobby saw is a three wheeled saw you shoud find a manual as these may be different
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