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What I want in a band saw

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Blog entry by richgreer posted 01-19-2010 06:26 PM 829 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my complaints about band saws in general is the way they tell you how much tension to put on the blade. Ever BS that I have seen has an indicator that tells you, based on blade size, how far to move the block that compresses the spring. They are notoriously inaccurate.

Almost all BS blades should be tensioned to around 20,000 p.s.i.. The best way to measure this is to measure how much the blade has stretched. I own a tension gauge that takes that measurement and you really need one if you want to accurately set your tension.

It is my opinion that measuring the movement of the upper wheel could be a good proxy for measuring the actual stretch of the blade. I envision a sensor at the top of the upper wheel that, once calibrated, could measure wheel movement and translate that into a more accurate measure of blade tension. If this sensor measured the actual blade position (instead of wheel position) you would automatically compensate for any tire compression.

While they are incorporating this concept into a future band saw they could also add a servo motor for applying pressure to the blade. With the servo motor I could even envision automatic blade tensioning at the push of a button. Now that would be cool.

Are you manufactures reading this?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.



9 comments so far

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

1123 posts in 2529 days


#1 posted 01-19-2010 06:35 PM

You are on to something here thats for sure. I would love somthing like that on my saws…. Its such a pain having to always set the saw up each time I use it. Or at the least having to check if it has moved out of alignment.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Blake's profile

Blake

3439 posts in 2618 days


#2 posted 01-19-2010 06:39 PM

Too complicated, expensive, and unnecessary. “Accurate” blade tensioning is not really THAT important anyway.

With a little experience, you can gauge good tension simply by pushing on the side of the blade with your thumb. Thats what all the experts have said for decades and it works fine. The spring guide gets you in the ball park. If you have an old spring, you can replace it and then it will be even better.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3592 posts in 1938 days


#3 posted 01-19-2010 06:53 PM

Greetings richgreer: Plus 1 for Blake. I agree all the way. I have never found tensioning the blade to be that complicated. This ain’t “rocket science” you know, it’s just wqoodworking. This gadget might work for you, but it’ll never fly…... sorry, but that’s my take on it. For what it’s worth, the idea was good, but…..............
Just keep on keeping on, and come up with another idea that might work…...................never know….........

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3199 posts in 2567 days


#4 posted 01-19-2010 07:00 PM

Timber wolf blades and Carter blades refer to the flutter tensioning method. First place the blade on the band saw and release the tension while the saw is running til the blade begin to flutter then tension till it stop and add a quarter turn. Very easy and reliable, also release the tension when not in operation for long periods of time. Take it for what it worth it works for me, good luck …Blkcherry

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

1123 posts in 2529 days


#5 posted 01-19-2010 07:20 PM

That goes to show I still have a lot to learn about wood working.
Thanks Blake and blkc

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1859 days


#6 posted 01-19-2010 07:55 PM

I just turn the wire until the blade sings the right note when I knips it…....Dang that was on my bowsaw
sorry Rich can´t follow you there I´m with Blake and for the singing part works on a bandsaw as well

Dennis

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1918 days


#7 posted 01-19-2010 08:13 PM

I bought into the Mystique Of Band Saw Tuning when I bought my Grizzly G0555X.

I probably read most of what’s out there. One thing I figured out: the experts don’t agree on much, but are all extremely passionate about their recommendations.

That told me … it didn’t matter all that much.

I pretty much use the flutter and pluck-like-guitar-string test, too, and seem to have good results. I did, however, really like Mark Duginske’s “Band Saw Handbook.” Learned a lot.

On my upper wheel cover, I also put a big printed sign that says “Blade Tension????” to remember to lock it in before use, and lock it out after. I’m just not bright enough to figure it out without that sign, I found out :-p

Eventually, I’ll probably upgrade the spring in mine, too, incidentally. Something really neat looking, like …..

Why?

I dunno…. ;-)

-- -- Neil

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1859 days


#8 posted 01-19-2010 09:52 PM

:—)
that is the right upgrade for an L J

Dennis

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3592 posts in 1938 days


#9 posted 01-20-2010 09:20 PM

Greetings beener: That my friend, looks like an old shock I had on a ‘56 Ford, that when it flew apart, all that was left was the coil….........he he…...oh no…....huuuuuuuuuuuh? I saved it though, just in case I need a replacement…..... they’re a bitch to get on though….......... lol lol…..........ok!!!!!!!!! later, Neil.

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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