Bandsaw Wheel alignment question

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Forum topic by sneakypita posted 09-04-2015 02:53 AM 657 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 418 days

09-04-2015 02:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw question bandsaw wheel alignment bandsaw vibration question

Hi all,

New to LJ as a member, but I have been gleaning tidbits of know-how from the site for over a year now – love this community!

I tried searching forums for some info, but didn’t really find what I needed.

I just picked up a “used” Ridgid BS1400 14” bandsaw. I quote used, as the unit is in MINT condition – he said he used it some, but you would never know from looking at it. The only sign of age was the thin film of rust on the table, but that came right off.

I knew that the vibration of this saw is a well known feature, and was prepared to deal with it following the various recommendations. But my question has to do with wheel alignment. Currently, the blade is tracking great on the upper wheel, with the gullet running dead centre, and staying there. But the blade is noticeably off-centre on the lower wheel, riding about a 1/4” from the outer edge (towards the user’s side).

I wanted to know if this is a problem, in particular if it could be causing some of the vibration, or if it will shorten blade life. The saw cuts really nicely, great straight lines with no fence, and the curves are a dream (compared to the old Craftsman 3 wheeler I just dumped). The only way I see of fixing this would be moving lower wheel towards the frame, although it doesn’t appear to have any room to move, or pulling the upper wheel out from frame.

I can tell that the 2 wheels are not in perfect alignment with each other, as a straight edge across both wheels does not touch the tops and bottoms of both wheels.

It cuts so nice, I am wondering if I even need to worry about it, if it’s not contributing to the vibration.

Thanks for any replies and suggestions!

-- "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - .

9 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


4032 posts in 1621 days

#1 posted 09-04-2015 02:59 AM

It’s fine.

Obligatory video: Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View NinjaAssassin's profile


629 posts in 1146 days

#2 posted 09-04-2015 03:01 AM


Per the video (and my experimentation after watching the video), adjusting the tracking on the top wheel doesn’t do much for the bottom wheel and that doesn’t seem to be a problem (and I haven’t come up with a reason why it would be).

-- - Billy

View DrDirt's profile


4141 posts in 3164 days

#3 posted 09-04-2015 04:19 PM

^ Yup

Coplaner wheels aren’t necessary.

All of your cutting is controlled by the blade location on the top wheel through the guide blocks… then in your wood piece on the table

What the blade does after it is already done making the cut becomes irrelevant.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View BurlyBob's profile


3483 posts in 1687 days

#4 posted 09-04-2015 04:39 PM

DR. Dirt, Your explanation is so chuck full of common sense !!! It simplifies all the discussion on this topic so concisely. Your astounding! Thank you.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


1535 posts in 560 days

#5 posted 09-04-2015 05:12 PM

All of the above makes sense to me. If it’s cutting good, then it’s not a problem.

If vibration is your concern though, it seems like the bottom wheel is not only out of plane with the top wheel but not parallel. If the wheels not running true vertically, the horizontal component of the momentum could be causing the vibration. You could find out by removing the blade and turning the motor on. If the vibration’s still there, it’s just about gotta be the bottom wheel causing it.

Either way though, unless the vibration’s affecting your cutting ability or driving you nuts, I don’t really see a reason to try to correct it.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Clarkie's profile


380 posts in 1263 days

#6 posted 09-04-2015 06:26 PM

You always want the top wheel to be in alignment with the bottom wheel. How long did it sit without the tension being released on the blade. Are the wheels on the Ridgid made from aluminum? There could be another factor, perhaps the bottom tire is worn differently from the top and is loosening, this could cause a problem also. For the most part, you’ll find out sooner or later what is causing the problem, that is if you continue to run it without checking. If you are happy with getting the “good results”, then be happy, make some dust.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3382 days

#7 posted 09-04-2015 08:37 PM

If it cuts well, it is good. Nuff said. Don’t sweat the vainglorious blah blah. Some time too much info is a bad thing.
I’ve seen, and watched, folks who would spend a zillion bucks just to get a bandsaw to be absolutely dead nuts true. Did it cut better?
If you’ve got that much free money, I’ve got plenty of micro measuring devices to help you get wood object to the nearest .0005”. They were for the machine shop. Wanna bite?


View sneakypita's profile


5 posts in 418 days

#8 posted 09-04-2015 08:40 PM

Thanks so much for all of your responses, gang.

I was primarily concerned with damage to the blade, due to this non-coplanar issue. I had already watched the Snodgrass video (multiple times) and was aware that his recommendation was to not worry about coplanar. Your input seems to confirm what I had watched.

I WILL try dealing with the vibration, although it’s not awful – mainly because I know it’s there and that maybe it shouldn’t be…things like that drive me nuts. I’ll probably replace the belt as soon as I find the one I need.

But yes, it cuts great, and I got some new blades in today, so I’ll throw one on and see how much I love this thing.

Thanks again!

-- "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - .

View johnstoneb's profile


2105 posts in 1595 days

#9 posted 09-04-2015 08:56 PM

If the vibration really bothers you turn the saw on when you have the blade off. Vibration gone you might have a tire wear issue or a wheel out of balance. Vibration still there look at the belt if it has been sitting for quite a while v-belts take a set and that could be causing the vibration. Wheels not coplanar is not going to cause a vibration and is a none issue as far as the operation of the band saw.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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