Souping up my band saw

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Forum topic by NBeener posted 10-26-2010 06:51 AM 7165 views 12 times favorited 56 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4816 posts in 3376 days

10-26-2010 06:51 AM

I ordered

- a 1/2” Wood Slicer for re-saw
- a 1/2” 4TPI Lenox bi-metal for every day use
- a 1/4” 6TPI skip-tooth Lenox bi-metal for scroll-type work

... all in 105”, for my 14” Grizzly G0555X band saw.

When they come in, I’ll install the riser kit that I’ve been sitting on, for nearly a year.

I also ordered:

- The parts from Grizzly to convert my alignment bearings to alignment “blocks,” top and bottom:

It took a bit of milling to get the holders to fit in the OEM slots, but … done !

- A Carter Cobra Coil Tensioning Spring:

- A Carter Ratchet Rod Tension Adjuster:

I’ve only run a few BF through it, so far. I’m waiting for the 105” blades and the riser block, to get started on my next project.

But … immediately … the blade is MUCH more stable, and my cuts are MUCH quieter.

The difference in ability to apply significant tension TO the blade, with the new spring and the Ratchet Rod … is huge. The difference in effort is night and day. Following Lonnie Bird’s advice, I tensioned my standard TimberWolf 1/2” blade TO the markings FOR a 3/4” blade.

With the OEM setup, it required a rag, two hands, and steroids.

With the Carter stuff … it was just a few easy turns of the knob. Amazing difference !

For the moment, I’m leaving the OEM tension/de-tension device out of the picture. It’s just SO easy to use the ratcheting action to de-tension the blade that … I just don’t miss it.

I’ll report back once the riser block is on, with the new blades, but … for now … I’m feeling more and more Grizzly love, every day :-)

-- -- Neil

56 replies so far

View stefang's profile


16133 posts in 3536 days

#1 posted 10-26-2010 11:27 AM

There is nothing so sweet as being able to resaw whatever thickness you want and to bookmatch. A lot of great BS improvements Neil. I hope you will be careful in tensioning your blade though, as this can ruin the tires if you go overboard.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ellen35's profile


2739 posts in 3634 days

#2 posted 10-26-2010 12:29 PM

Nice pick up Neil. Can’t have too many attachments for a band saw!!!!
I love my Grizz band saw.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View b2rtch's profile


4867 posts in 3250 days

#3 posted 10-26-2010 12:36 PM

I already riun this set up with a precison fence, I love it.
Be careful TimberWolf has its very own procedure and they do not recommend to put too much tension on their blades.
In fact you will surprised to see how lose their blades run.
TimberWolf is what I use.
Can someone tell me why my band saw is vibrating.
Every thing is clean and look in excellent shape.

-- Bert

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3397 days

#4 posted 10-26-2010 01:25 PM

Neil this looks really good. I’m jealous lol. I’ve been wanting to do the exact same thing with mine for some time. So far I’ve only replaced the rubber tires with urethane ones. How much did the guide block conversion kit and ratchet adjuster cost?

Bert, my first thoughts would be to check the wheel alignment and make sure your blade is centered.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View b2rtch's profile


4867 posts in 3250 days

#5 posted 10-26-2010 01:48 PM

Eric, ” Bert, my first thoughts would be to check the wheel alignment and make sure your blade is centered.”
been there , done that.
The whole saw and adjustments are right on, yet this thing still vibrate quite a bit.
I think that my next step is to replace the belt.

-- Bert

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3397 days

#6 posted 10-26-2010 01:52 PM

Sorry Bert I can’t help much more than that suggestion. I guess belt would be good to check as well ;)

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View barryvabeach's profile


159 posts in 3245 days

#7 posted 10-26-2010 02:00 PM

B2rtch, to test for vibration, it is usually best to isolate 1 thing at a time, with some sort of measuring devise. Here is a procedure I follow While he starts with balancing the wheels, in your case I would start by taking off the blade and the belt and turning on the motor to see if there is a vibration, then add the belt and check the numbers ( the lower bandsaw wheel will turn, not the upper) so this is the time to balance the lower wheel, then add the blade and check the numbers again and balance the upper wheel. For my bandsaw, I went to a link belt and got some great improvement, then balanced the upper and lower wheels and got some good results. I didn’t have the weights he used, so I used spare change and duct tape. Once you have it right, I marked all the locations of weights with a sharpie so it would be easy to replace when the duct tape faiiled

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4501 days

#8 posted 10-26-2010 03:12 PM

Neil,...You’re turning your bandsaw into a Cadillac.

Bert,...If it just started vibrating, & it didn’t do it before, there’s a possibility you may have

some bad bearings. There’s no reason the wheels should suddenly lose there balance.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View b2rtch's profile


4867 posts in 3250 days

#9 posted 10-26-2010 03:21 PM

Thank you for your reply and for the link.
I shall look into that very soon.

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile


4867 posts in 3250 days

#10 posted 10-26-2010 03:22 PM

It always has been vibrating.
I bought it used (it was used only once before)
I need to change the belt and see what happen.

-- Bert

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3850 days

#11 posted 10-26-2010 04:15 PM

Neil – thats a nice shopping list! FWIW the Woodslicer IS my everyday blade, I should have ordered 2-3 of them to have spares/extras (already gave mine a twist that I was luckily able to straighten back out). for scroll work I have a 3/32” blade from highlandwoodworking as well. this blade can turn a pencil size round although you may not require such tight curves (we still talking woodworking?).

Bert – take the blade OFF, run the saw – if it’s NOT vibrating its either the blade got kinked, or the bearing. if the saw if still vibrating – it’s either the motor / belt / lower wheel assembly – with the blade off it’s easier to track.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3376 days

#12 posted 10-26-2010 04:21 PM

Thanks, all. In terms of bang-for-the-buck, the Carter and Grizzly bits were pretty darned cheap.

Bert: thanks for the comments on the tension of TimberWolf blades. I just checked their site. They like the “flutter test” method.

For those playing the home game …. it’s here:

Flutter Test: Remove old blade and clean the tires for inspection. If your tires are dry or cracked, replace them. Next open your guides or cool blocks and recess the thrust bearing. Install your new blade and apply tension to the band that the manufacturer recommends for other steels. While rotating the wheel by hand, adjust the tracking knob until the teeth are running on the center third of the tire. Close all covers and plug in your saw. Start the saw, stand at the head of your machine and with your hand on the turn screw tensioner and your eyes on the blade, very slowly start detensioning by half turns at a time keeping your eyes on the band saw blade. The object is to bring the tension of the blade down to a point where the blade starts to flutter. TAKE YOUR TIME. When the blade starts to flutter, stop detensioning, and start retensioning the blade by slowly adding 1/4 turn at a time until the blade stops fluttering and is running stable again. At this point, add 1/2 to 1 full turn more tension. ”

Sharon: Actually, I didn’t know they went all the way down to 3/32” !! Wow ! Nice to be able to just cut little spiral patterns on the band saw, huh ?

I did kind of wonder if I’d wind up changing out the wood slicer, very often. 1/2” doesn’t seem to enjoy radius cutting, though, so … as long as I remember that blade-change and machine setup really take no more time than changing from a full kerf to a dado stack on the table saw … with luck … I won’t be lazy, and will use the right blade for the task.

-- -- Neil

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3875 days

#13 posted 10-26-2010 06:09 PM

Nice work!

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3779 days

#14 posted 10-26-2010 06:20 PM

Hey Neil
Wow great souping up all you’ll nead now is some chrome exhaust pipes and a fox tail on a antenna and you’ll be ready for the woodshop race track. :))
Glad for your upgrades I hope your band saw cuts wood like a hot knife through butter. Enjoy

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3930 days

#15 posted 10-26-2010 10:08 PM

this looks great. I’m quickly realizing that I’ve outgrown my 12” (maybe only 10”) craftsman bandsaw. I’m VERY jealous. Nice work.

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