Signs of trouble ahead

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Blog entry by bluejazz posted 07-30-2012 02:22 PM 841 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While I was preparing to do some re-sawing on my (Grizzly 550) bandsaw yesterday I had unique- at least to me- experience. I had just reset the guides and tested with a rip cut just to be sure all was well.

While ripping I notice the blade doing some crazy stuff; it would push forward and then move back, almost like an orbital jigsaw motion. I stopped the saw as quick as I could and opened the wheel housings and rotated the wheels by hand. Sure enough the blade would track the center and then shoot to the left side of the upper wheel and then go back to track to center. I of course suspected the weld and sure enough this was occurring right at the the weld.

I looked at it with a 25 cent harbor freight magnifier and the weld did not look particularly healthy. Evidence enough for me; time to replace it. When I took the old blade off and put just a little hand pressure to it, it broke.

Bandsaw blade breakage may be as statistically inevitable as car accidents and part of the price of admission, but I am sure glad I didn’t have to pay the price today.

If there is a moral here I guess it’s that safety begins and ends with observation. I wonder how long this had been going on likely to a lesser degree, before I noticed. I will surely pay more attention in the future.

If your saw starts doing something unusual, it’s likely not going to prove be an ‘improvement over normal behavior’. I lost 1/2 the day getting a new blade, but avoided (at the very least) a very sudden heart rate increase.

-- I'm 58. In my mind, I still feel 28. Until I do something physical; then I feel 78.

4 comments so far

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


13238 posts in 2043 days

#1 posted 07-30-2012 02:39 PM

When something looks or sounds wrong, it probably is. Im glad you had the where withall to stop and check your gear. A very good tip to everyone out there. Thanks for the post.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View derosa's profile


1567 posts in 1873 days

#2 posted 07-31-2012 06:01 AM

Depending on the manufacturer some of them will warranty a defective weld, glad to hear that you caught it before it broke. I’ve been hit with a snapped blade, didn’t do much more then scare the hell out of me and spike my heart rate but still something to be avoided.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View oldnovice's profile


4428 posts in 2405 days

#3 posted 07-31-2012 03:43 PM

Yes chrisstef this is a true ” When something looks or sounds FEELS wrong, it probably is.” and that goes for the body too!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View BigTiny's profile


1667 posts in 1925 days

#4 posted 08-03-2012 03:25 PM

“Better safe than sorry.”

So true…


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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