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Keep forgetting to untension my bandsaw balde

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Forum topic by BenDupre posted 04-07-2017 07:57 PM 1183 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BenDupre

531 posts in 328 days


04-07-2017 07:57 PM

Hey all. I know i am not supposed to leave the bandsaw blade tensioned. I just had this sudden realization: I left the bandsaw blade tensioned since I was working in the shop last Saturday (it’s Friday). I have a Jet 12in with a cheap 1/2 in Olson blade on it. I put a crank in place of the tension screw because man i really got tired of turning the little knob.

Question is: Have i ruined the blade? What is the danger or potential downside? And how do i know if/when i might need a new spring? It seems to me i have to go way past 1/2 on the scale to get the deflection out. I dont have a guage to judge the tension.

Advice?

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw


16 replies so far

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papadan

3584 posts in 3208 days


#1 posted 04-07-2017 08:00 PM

I only have a 10” Delta benchtop, but I never release the tension on it. I use it a couple times a day normally and just never thought about it.

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Aj2

1179 posts in 1638 days


#2 posted 04-07-2017 08:00 PM

That’s Myth you can leave it tensioned.I leave mine tensioned for months or until I change blades.It doesn’t hurt the blade.I have a Aggazani 20 inch and a 14 PM

-- Aj

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MrUnix

6017 posts in 2039 days


#3 posted 04-07-2017 08:03 PM

Only time I de-tension the blade is when I’m changing them. You will find those who insist the tension should be backed off when not in use, and others who haven’t de-tensioned them in years with no ill results. I’d say you are just fine and not to worry about it.

And most people ignore the tension gauge on the machine – it’s there just to get you in the ballpark. As for the spring, you will know when you need a new one when it bottoms out trying to tension a blade. Usually takes many, many decades of use to get to that point though, if ever :)

Cheers,
Brad

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

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JayCee123

196 posts in 604 days


#4 posted 04-07-2017 08:13 PM

I don’t have first hand knowledge regarding your saw, and I agree with Aj2 that its not an issue for your blade. However, some bandsaws, like the Delta 14”, have rubber tires mounted on steel wheels … I’ve read that leaving the blade tension on the stationary wheel can cause flat spots in the tires. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to relieve the blade tension.

View BenDupre's profile

BenDupre

531 posts in 328 days


#5 posted 04-07-2017 08:17 PM

JayCee that’s a good point about the tires. I replaced mine with urethane tires. Can they go flat or am i still safe?

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

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JayCee123

196 posts in 604 days


#6 posted 04-07-2017 08:20 PM

I have no knowledge about urethane tires Ben, sorry.

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MrUnix

6017 posts in 2039 days


#7 posted 04-07-2017 08:23 PM

JayCee that s a good point about the tires. I replaced mine with urethane tires. Can they go flat or am i still safe?
- BenDupre

I think you are worrying about nothing…

I once got a bandsaw with it’s original rubber tires and the (1/4”) blade was still tensioned. It was old, covered in surface rust, dirt and grime, and had been sitting that way in his garage for at least 10 years. The tires were a bit cracked from age, but there were no ‘flat’ spots or any other indication of damage from sitting that long under tension. Urethane tires are even more resilient. Put it out of your mind and go back to making sawdust :)

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Rrrandy's profile

Rrrandy

212 posts in 319 days


#8 posted 04-07-2017 09:13 PM

I use my bandsaw a couple times a week to resaw. The same blade has been in there for two years and I’ve never untensioned it. Works as good today as two years ago.

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

4544 posts in 2044 days


#9 posted 04-07-2017 09:37 PM

I have never detensioned the fan belt on my car at night.
Although its similar but obviously not the same the same physics apply.

The tension if correctly applied has no effect on the blade whatsoever, its possible slight flattening of the tyre may occur, but remember its designed to work this way with the materials involved in its operation.
Even if a flat spot does occur its no different to parking your car overnight, do you chanes the tyres or simply just drive off?

No doubt good workshop practice will return a possible life extension of the tyre but what happens when you have a narrow blace that tracks on the tyre? wear is taking place as a normal work cycle.

Do I detension my blade …yes I do…why …recommended practice… do I spend time checking tracking before starting up again …yes I do.

-- Regards Robert

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bigblockyeti

4698 posts in 1560 days


#10 posted 04-07-2017 09:58 PM

I take the tension off my 20” Grizzly if I don’t know when I’m going to be using it again, if I know it’ll be running again in a day or two I don’t mess with it. I have to change out a sharper blade every 6 months or so as it sees quite a bit of resaw work and I haven’t yet had a blade failure, I’m really more concerned about the tires as their more expensive than on smaller saws and a PITA to change. You’re probably fine but there is a reason many manufacturers started installing dedicated detensioning levers.

View BenDupre's profile

BenDupre

531 posts in 328 days


#11 posted 04-07-2017 10:08 PM

My little 9 inch harbor freight has a tension quick-release lever, and I use it. Given all the feedback I will probably stop worrying about detensioning the Jet. Thanks for the advice.

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2906 posts in 1828 days


#12 posted 04-07-2017 10:15 PM

I do not worry about it with most blades on my larger bandsaw. On my 10” Rikon, I have a 3/16” blade and do take the tension off of it

View pottz's profile

pottz

2243 posts in 824 days


#13 posted 04-07-2017 11:15 PM

i agree with the majority ive never de tensioned my blade,ive never noticed or had a problem.i think it an old wives tale.i wouldnt worry about it.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View PaGeorge's profile

PaGeorge

18 posts in 276 days


#14 posted 04-08-2017 04:46 PM



I don t have first hand knowledge regarding your saw, and I agree with Aj2 that its not an issue for your blade. However, some bandsaws, like the Delta 14”, have rubber tires mounted on steel wheels … I ve read that leaving the blade tension on the stationary wheel can cause flat spots in the tires. I can t tell you how many times I ve forgotten to relieve the blade tension.

- JayCee123

You can take that to the bank about the tires more than the blade is the major concern..I think everyone forgets to loosen the tension and have never lost a blade due to it.. Still I got into the habit of “twanging” the blade when I’m in the shop,,,,most of the time..:) Keep a spare blade on hand and don’t use cheap blades,,,they’re all crap.

-- PaGeorge

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pauljuilleret

98 posts in 1493 days


#15 posted 04-08-2017 06:02 PM

Somewhere I have heard that if you live in a cold climate like I do in northeast Ohio you should remove the tension in the colder weather so I take it off of my Laguna 14/12 in the winter months but don’t normally bother doing it in the warmer months.

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