Bandsaw Upgrades

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Forum topic by Blakep posted 02-23-2011 02:26 PM 3279 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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232 posts in 3036 days

02-23-2011 02:26 PM

Well guys with my new bandsaw being my first and since I have never used one before, I made a mistake. I put to much tension on the blade and it stripped out the threads on my tensioner. My question is, since I am ordering a new one, would you guys make any upgrades to it since I have to replace it anyway?

17 replies so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3157 days

#1 posted 02-23-2011 02:28 PM

It would help if we knew what brand of saw it is.

-- Life is good.

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 3036 days

#2 posted 02-23-2011 02:30 PM

Sorry Howie, its a Grizzly 14” Extreme series with a riser block installed.

View poopiekat's profile


4405 posts in 3968 days

#3 posted 02-23-2011 04:39 PM

I’ve heard of tensioners that instantly release with a lever for quick blade changes, but I’ve never actually seen one. Might be worth looking into if you frequently want to switch back and forth among various blades.

-- 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 BilltheDiver's profile


260 posts in 3119 days

#4 posted 02-23-2011 04:50 PM

I have a Jet 14” saw with a riser, and I have installed the Carter quick release lever as well as the Carter guide system. Personally I have nothing but good things to say about everything I have purchased from Carter. The quick release lever really speeds up blade changes. As a suggestion on tensioning, you might look into the “flutter” method of determining how much tension is appropriate for your blades.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3084 days

#5 posted 02-23-2011 07:03 PM

Put the upgrade money into wood and make stuff. Get to know the tool and what it can do.

Chrome hubcaps won’t make a car go faster or get better mileage.

My $.02



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 3036 days

#6 posted 02-23-2011 07:51 PM

Thanks for the responses but I guess I should have gave more information. My saw has a quick tension release on it already. I was just wanting to know if you guys use a different spring or tension crank than the one that came on it or should I just order the factory tension crank and be done with it?

View Blue Mountain Woods's profile

Blue Mountain Woods

110 posts in 3168 days

#7 posted 02-23-2011 07:58 PM

When you say “upgrade”, do you mean replacing the saw? What sort of budget are you working with? Also, there are some good books on bandsaws; among them, the ones by Mark Duginske and by Lonnie Bird. While they disagree with each other regarding blade tension, there’s some good information in them.

-- Pete -----

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 3036 days

#8 posted 02-23-2011 08:06 PM

No Blue Mountain, I was not nearly clear enough in my origional post. I just got the saw last week. Its brand new. During set up (and me knowing nothing about bandsaws) I put to much tension on the blade and stripped the threads on the tensioner. I only need to replace that part. I was just wondering if anyone had any upgrade recomendations such as springs or anything in the tension assembly, since I have it apart right now. I just ordered the parts from Grizzly. Everything including shipping was $25 so for sure not a new saw haha

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3367 days

#9 posted 02-23-2011 08:24 PM

Depending on the blade, you will need to try different tensioning methods. Timberwolf blades are designed to run with low tension – set the tension adjust to the mark for the width blade on the saw, then, with the blade guide raised as far as it will go and the saw running (be careful, no blade safety now), loosen the tension just until the blade begins to flutter. Now slowly tighten the tension very slowly until the flutter JUST goes away (don’t forget to re adjust the blade guide). The resaw blades like the Woodslicer require higher tension. You can safely go to the indicator for one size larger than the size of the blade. This should not harm the threeads on the saw. No matter which method you use to tension the blade, ALL of the blade and saw manufacturers recommend that the tension be released when the saw is not in use. This makes sense, as the blade metal will take a set over time, and act as if it has a kink in it, and will break sooner (probably at the weld).

Please don’t ask if I regularly detension my blade! I often forget, and I have paid the price.

Poopiekat, I have seen one or two shop-made quick tension/de-tension levers on LJs which look very similar (athough made of wood) to Grizzy’s. I am pondering whether to build one.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3157 days

#10 posted 02-24-2011 01:36 AM

Blake: I have a grizz go555x and other than a good blade I have done nothing to upgrade. Works good last a long time. I bought this saw brand new(2008),went step by step to put it together and tune it and never had a problem with it. I do not have a riser in it,haven’t felt the need for one yet.

-- Life is good.

View tommyt654's profile


122 posts in 3682 days

#11 posted 02-24-2011 03:32 AM

Better blades than comes with it is a major step-up foremost IMO,Then you could consider another spring as tension rates are higher with wider blades and longer lengths for resawing. You might consider a upgrade in your fence as well or at least a taller one for resawing. That saw has a lot of good features built into it. Check with Joe Iturra @ 866-883-8064 in Jacksonville for more info on upgrades to your saw and see if you can get his catalog its chock full of how to set-up and tune your bandsaw.Tommy

View Blakep's profile


232 posts in 3036 days

#12 posted 02-24-2011 07:11 PM

Ok guys is their another tention bold that will work on my Grizzly? They are back ordered until april so I am shut down until then unless another brand will work.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2918 days

#13 posted 02-24-2011 08:27 PM

I don’t know the saw but it’s hard to believe that barring a channel locks on it you could put that much tension on it to strip the threads. It sounds more like a faulty part and you should seek a warranty claim as opposed to a replacement part. If they value their reputation, you shouldn’t have to wait until April. Just don’t tell them you might have over-tightened it (I truly doubt you did).

Other than that, can you tear it apart and take the suspect piece to your local hardware store to see if you can find a bolt or length of threaded rod? It doesn’t sound like a high-priced machine so I suspect they built it using standard hardware items. A little hacksawing might be required but no big deal there.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2927 days

#14 posted 02-24-2011 08:32 PM

I bought an aftermarket tensioner to help remind me to retension; I rarely change blades. The carter kit was a major (but expensive at the time) upgrade to my Delta but it was a lower-end saw to begin with. I would imagine you’re starting from a much higher point. Good luck.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3367 days

#15 posted 02-24-2011 09:16 PM

Depending on where you are, you could go to a threaded fastener supplier and get a length of M10 (10 mm) threaded rod to replace the screw. If the square nut is damaged, you could take an M10 nut and embed it into a new “carrier” made of oak, maple, etc. (hard wood) or aluminum and replace the square nut.

Harbor Freight, Ridgid, Jet, Grizzly, Powermatic all use the same basic 14” bandsaw with their own enhancements. If you want replacement parts, go online to any of these companies, download their product manual for a 14” bandsaw, and call them to order the part number for the part/s you need (don’t tell them it is for a competitor’s machine). Explain that you are “dead in the water” until you get the part, and they may send it priority mail on their dime.

I would start by going back to Grizzly and trying the warranty sceme as teejk suggested. Rember to tell them that you are at a standstill and ask if they can temporarily “steal” the part/s from a unit in the warehouse so that you can go back to work. Make it sound like you are losing money till you get the part/s.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

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