Powermatic band saw assembly

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Forum topic by jazzlover posted 09-05-2009 11:58 PM 2907 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 3674 days

09-05-2009 11:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am assemblying my new PM 14” band saw and I am having a major problem keeping the the belt onto the pulleys. When I hand turn the upper pulley I notice that the belt will roll off of the motor pulley. Both upper and lower pulley seems to be aligned as shown in the manual. Could this be that the belt is not tight enough?
Getting the belt tight (moving this beast of a motor) is a real pita!!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

12 replies so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3694 days

#1 posted 09-06-2009 12:00 AM

when I set up my band saw (not a PM) I used a straight edge held against the larger pulley, and aligned the motor pulley to it… it sounds like yours are out of alignment.

-- San Diego, CA

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4057 days

#2 posted 09-06-2009 12:22 AM

It does sound like the two pulleys are not aligned to me as well. They should be aligned and in the same plane. The ribs on the belt should interlock with the grooves on the pulleys. It has been awhile since I put mine together but I seem to remember it took a little work to get the upper and lower pulleys aligned. As far as the belt tension goes I can measure about 1 inch of deflection at the middle of the belt when putting pressure on both sides of the belt.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 4156 days

#3 posted 09-06-2009 12:38 AM

Just give up and send the whole thing to me…..

View lew's profile


12495 posts in 3991 days

#4 posted 09-06-2009 04:00 AM

My band saw- not a PM- has the motor mounted in such a manner that the motor can “twist” in the mounts. So the two pulleys can be aligned vertically (side to side) but the motor pulley shaft may not be parallel to the upper pulley shaft. This caused the belt to run off the lower pulley.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3544 days

#5 posted 09-06-2009 06:04 AM

I have the Powermatic 14” bandsaw and the belt came off the first time I used it until I aligned the pulleys. This solved the problem for me and has been working perfectly for over a year and a half now. You will enjoy this excellent bandsaw.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 09-06-2009 11:13 AM

Same bandsaw, same problem. Getting the motor positioned properly is a major pain, but misalignment is what’s causing it. I spent an hour or so fighting it to get it close, even today it pops off one in a while. But I figure that trying to “fix” it will probably just make it worse :)

-- The Wood Nerd --

View greenwoodbob's profile


20 posts in 3478 days

#7 posted 09-08-2009 07:07 PM

I too was having this same problem. I just received my new Powermatic 14” last week and couldn’t keep that belt on. Thanks to the prior comments about the motor alignment, I just spent a few somewhat maddening minutes aligning the motor housing, and everything now works great!

-- Bob Card

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 3458 days

#8 posted 09-08-2009 07:35 PM

I have a Jet that sounds like it may be a similar setup. I never had the belt come off, but it was a huge pain getting the belt tensioned without the motor twisting. I never did get it “perfect” but I did get it fairly well aligned. I have been thinking about digging into it again to get it aligned better. I was thinking that I will have to cut a small piece of board (and shim it) to hold up the back side of the motor while I push down on the front of the motor to tension the belt. Very frustrating considering if they had just put a tighter tolerance on the mouting slots this would not have been an issue.

-- James -

View greenwoodbob's profile


20 posts in 3478 days

#9 posted 09-10-2009 01:33 AM

Instead of the wood shim, you may try a simpler approach. I just used blue painters tape. Here’s what I did. Once I got the tension right, I tightened the lower bolt on the front side of the motor, and only gently snugged the other three. This held the motor at the right hight relative to the belt, but allowed me to pivot the back side of the motor so that I could get the whole thing into alighment.

After I got the tension correcvt, I put the painters tape across the top of the motor housing where it meets the saw base. It touched the housing on the front side.

Naturally the back side tended to be a little lower, since the belt & pulley did not provide resistance on that side of the motor when I was pushing down. So I positioned the tape to be straight across, and then brought up that low end of the motor until it touched the tape.

I tightened all of the nuts and tested the saw. It worked perfectly.

-- Bob Card

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3649 days

#10 posted 09-10-2009 02:59 AM

I have the same PM saw and it was a hassle for me at first. It took a while but I finally got it.

Good luck!

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View ColinFraizer's profile


4 posts in 3326 days

#11 posted 04-18-2011 12:49 AM

I just got this saw and had the same problem. Thanks to all the helpful answers in this forum, I corrected the problem in no time.

Thanks, guys.

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2903 days

#12 posted 04-18-2011 01:02 AM


congrats on the new saw
good luck

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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