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My new (to me) Central Machinery 14 inch 4-speed bandsaw

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Forum topic by simonov posted 01-08-2017 03:19 AM 1343 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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simonov

51 posts in 343 days


01-08-2017 03:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: central machinery bandsaw band saw n00b question refurbish

Yesterday I picked up a 1999 vintage Central Machinery 14 inch 4-speed 1HP bandsaw, made in Taiwan. If possible I prefer to buy old or used tools, but I’m also new to the game and typically have lots of questions.

In this case, because the bandsaw was made in Taiwan, it would be inappropriate for me to post about it at OWWM, where discussions of Asian machines is banned. However, I was drawn to Lumberjocks because I found the online reviews of later versions of this machine, and frankly I think this forum will be a better fit for me in any case.

Anyway, while I can be as snobby about Asian-made machines as anyone, the Jumberjock reviews suggested this was a pretty decent bandsaw for the money, and when one popped up on Craigslist I grabbed it. I could tell when I inspected the bandsaw there were one or two issues with it, but even though I know very little about bandsaws (this is my first), they are relatively simple devices and I figured I could work out the bugs.

Here it is (I am using small sized images to save space and bandwidth; you can click on the images to go to my Flickr account and see larger versions):

The first thing I noticed is the original owner upgraded the guide blocks, which the reviewers suggested was a must:

Then when I opened it up, I could see the blade stayed to the front on the top wheel but was more or less centered on the bottom wheel:

Then when I switched it on there seemed like there was a very slight wobble in the wheels. The entire machine vibrated, but because I have no experience with bandsaws, I wasn’t sure whether this was normal or not. I recorded a short video of the bandsaw running.

These issues didn’t bother me, because I reckoned I could solve them easily enough. I simply don’t know where to begin. I don’t even have a manual.

According to the original owner, the bandsaw never got much use, but instead sat in his garage for years. We are in the high desert here, so there isn’t a lot of moisture in the air most of the time, but there is a bit of surface rust I am looking forward to cleaning up:

There are a few more photos of the bandsaw here. I hope you folks can help me getting this guy running in tip top shape, as I have a lot of plans for it.

Thanks in advance,

Mitch in Reno

-- Nunc est bibendum.


15 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6006 posts in 2037 days


#1 posted 01-08-2017 03:26 AM

Makes no difference where the blade rides on the lower wheel… adjust the tracking for the top wheel and be done with it. Also, IMO, those blade guides are not an upgrade – HSS blocks are the best, although I think those saws came with something like phenolic, which isn’t that great. That saw is basically a cheap asian clone of the Delta, so you can get most info you need from the Delta manual (or any of the other clones).

Before you go any further, watch the obligatory tune up video:

Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass

Surface rust on the table is easy to get rid of with a little solvent and a scotch brite pad. Might want to start with a razor blade first to get most of the crap off. And putting the scotch brite pad under a vibrating sander makes it really easy to finish it off.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

383 posts in 1300 days


#2 posted 01-08-2017 03:48 AM

I started with that band saw and have recently upgraded to a 17” grizzly.
I used cool blocks on the one I had. Checked into the all bearing guides and desided it was to much to spend on the saw. Brad is right on about the tune up. After I tuned it up it worked well for up to 8/4 work.
If you google harbor freight band saw manual, you can download it in pdf. I use 600 grit on a RO sander with some wd40. All that rust will come right off.
As with any saw, buy good blades. I was always fighting with the saws performance and using blades from Lowes. when I Started getting blades made at a local shop, (Nevada Carbide). It made all the difference.
Good luck.

-- John

View BobAnderton's profile

BobAnderton

239 posts in 2628 days


#3 posted 01-08-2017 04:16 AM

Yeah, I had this model of saw back in the day too. I had it running really nice and steady with no vibration when I sold it to upgrade to an 18” Grizzly off Craigslist. I second the coolblocks recommendation for the blade guides.. I liked the saw. I had the riser block for mine to get a 12” of resaw height. Harbor Freight sold the riser block to me. You just had to call them.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

652 posts in 3159 days


#4 posted 01-08-2017 04:38 AM

First the guides you have are made by Iturra and function well enough. Cool Blocks (graphite infused phenolic material) will also work fine especially with narrow blades where guide to tooth contact is a possibility. If you are just using wider blades I prefer ceramic blocks to steel or phenolic blocks, but what you have actually works pretty well.

When you have a saw with vibration issues you need to try to figure out the source. First run the saw with no blade if you have vibration it is coming from the motor/pulley/belt/lower wheel/lower tire and you can work on isolating it from there. Isolating between those helps if you have enough experience to rule in or out possibilities based on the frequency but you will learn that as you go along. The belt may well be your issue as they develop a set hen they aren’t used, especially cheap belts on harbor Freight machines. If you don’t have vibration with the band off then it is in the band/upper wheel/upper tire area and you can focus there. Be aware you may have more than one issue as a result of sitting for a period of time and/or issues that were there from the start.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10634 posts in 2218 days


#5 posted 01-08-2017 05:43 AM

I believe they don’t balance the wheels on those saws, if not it will be a definite source of vibration.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4320 posts in 3572 days


#6 posted 01-08-2017 06:30 AM

I wonder if the tires got flat spots from storage under tension.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1197 posts in 3380 days


#7 posted 01-08-2017 12:43 PM

That bandsaw looks almost like a twin to my 16 in Grizzly that I purchased in 1994. If it works anywhere near as good as mine you’ve got yourself a good bandsaw. Every thing about it pretty much looks identical.

-- Bruce Free Plans http://plans.sawmillvalley.org

View Nick424's profile

Nick424

63 posts in 478 days


#8 posted 01-08-2017 01:46 PM

I see a roller in the guide block, I would keep them.

View simonov's profile

simonov

51 posts in 343 days


#9 posted 01-08-2017 04:20 PM

Yes, those are roller guides, so no reason to replace them for now. That Alex Snodgrass video was excellent; after watching the video and coming in this morning to get to work tuning the bandsaw, I feel like I’m an expert already.

I adjusted the blade so that the gullet is aligned with the crown of the upper wheel. I had a little trouble because I assumed the blade tracking knob was some kind of locking screw for the tensioner, and everything was completely out of whack before I figured out what was going on. When I got it button up and switched on the power, it seemed to run with a lot less vibration. Maybe I’m imagining it, I dunno. But I’m happy with the way it runs.

BTW, my tensioning knob is below the top of the wheel guard, which makes it a little difficult to adjust. I’m probably going to find some metric threaded rod and replace it with a much longer unit that extends above the wheel guard so I can get my hand around the knob.

I got to work on the guides. I had to do a little head scratching for a minute or two, but as I said, these aren’t really very complicated machines and I got the lower guides adjusted:


For the upper guides, someone along the line appears to have lost the thrust bearing adjustment thumbscrew and replaced it with a hex bolt. That’s a bit of a pain, and I’ll get a thumbscrew for it from McMaster-Carr (I removed the blade guard to get a better look at the guides assembly).

I’m going to make a few cuts this morning, but I’ll replace the blade ASAP.

Thanks for all your help, you guys are great.

-- Nunc est bibendum.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

383 posts in 1300 days


#10 posted 01-08-2017 05:07 PM

I would leave the hex bolt in place. I never could get the thumb screws to stay tight by hand, and put bolts on all of mine. Made it easier to adjust too. Specially under the table. I could get a socket with an extension under there. Also my new grizzly saw uses allen head bolts on everything. That is turning out to be even better. Sometimes a socket will have clearance issues in a tight spot.
And while we wre talking about the harbor freight bandsaw. I had broke the round table insert on my saw. Harbor freight does not sell a replacement. And I never did find out if another brand would fit. Wound up making one. Does anyone know of a replacement insert for the saw? If not I would use the one you have as a template and make a couple while you can.

-- John

View simonov's profile

simonov

51 posts in 343 days


#11 posted 01-08-2017 05:27 PM

Hey, that sounds like a good idea. I’ll order replacement socket head caps screws from McMaster-Carr for all the thumbscrews.

I just like keeping the necessary adjustment tools with the machine, and I’d rather have a hex key with the machine than a wrench.

-- Nunc est bibendum.

View simonov's profile

simonov

51 posts in 343 days


#12 posted 01-10-2017 03:22 PM

What do you folks use to clean out rusty and gunky miter slots? I was thinking about using Scotch-Brite on a 4½ angle grinder, but the only such pads I could find on-line are highly abrasive for industrial use, and also expensive. Is there an alternative to cleaning these out by hand?

-- Nunc est bibendum.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2094 posts in 2466 days


#13 posted 01-10-2017 04:51 PM

Those slots can be cleaned with a scotch brief pad and mineral spirits. Get your next blade from Lou Iturra of Iturra design. Tell him you need one for tuning up the BS. He’s also has forgotten more about most 14” bandsaws than most of us will ever know. He is a great resource and his products, while they might cost a bit more, are definitely worth it.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View simonov's profile

simonov

51 posts in 343 days


#14 posted 01-13-2017 10:11 PM

A little elbow grease (and ScotchBrite and Krud Kutter) got the miter slot cleaned up. Sanded the rest with 120, 220 and 320 grit, then waxed it. I’ll probably go back with 500 grit when it arrives in the mail.

It was never machined to a really smooth finish in the first place, so I don’t think I’ll ever get a nice polished finish.

The new insert is from Amazon.

Before:

Now:

-- Nunc est bibendum.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

383 posts in 1300 days


#15 posted 01-14-2017 05:46 AM

Looks good as new. I use 600 grit with a RO sander and wd40 when I have to clean rust like what you had there.

-- John

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