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Powermatic PWBS-14 Bandsaw - Can't get blade to track in center on upper wheel

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Forum topic by noone posted 12-13-2017 02:19 AM 4416 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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noone

583 posts in 2145 days


12-13-2017 02:19 AM

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why I can’t get the blade to track in the middle, or even to the far right if I wanted it to. It bugs me that I can’t adjust the upper wheel to get the blade to track dead center like all the tutorial videos on YouTube (Alex Snodgrass for instance) show. The upper arm hinge looks good and not bent. The blade basically sits towards the outside side of the upper wheel and when I have a 1/2” blade on it (not pictured), I have to remove the black blade guard so the blade doesn’t rub on it. As you can see from the pictures, I don’t think the upper wheel ever had shims or washers on it and from the looks of it the way the wheel sits flush on the upper hinge post, it doesn’t look like it was designed to have washers. I can’t turn the angle knob any further to tilt the wheel to the right. It physically won’t go any further because the cover stops it from hinging out further. You can also see from the pictures below that there is virtually no clearance between the left side of the upper wheel (when facing it) and the wheel case. It just seems plain weird as I’ve taken this thing apart many times and don’t understand why the wheel rides that close to the yellow metal with less than a 1/32” clearance. I believe the wheels are as coplanar as they can get with the installed riser block.

Does anyone else have this bandsaw and if so, what is the clearance like on the wheel and how does your blade track on the upper wheel?

It seems to cut fine, but it just doesn’t seem right the way the wheel rides that close to the casing, and why would I have to remove the black blade guard to use a 1/2” blade?

Untitled


22 replies so far

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firefighterontheside

17221 posts in 1729 days


#1 posted 12-13-2017 02:45 AM

Is there any lower wheel adjustment that can be done?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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noone

583 posts in 2145 days


#2 posted 12-13-2017 02:55 AM

No, the bottom wheel is fixed.

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Mike_D_S

382 posts in 2087 days


#3 posted 12-13-2017 03:20 AM

I had one of these and I could walk the blade back and forth across the upper wheel using the wheel tilt adjustment. So I don’t think it’s a design issue in a general sense.

A few thoughts:
Did you inspect the threads on the adjustment screw or check for a small bend in the shaft? Bad threads or a bent screw could create a bind that would feel like you were at max adjustment, but you might not actually be?

My adjuster had a lock nut. I’m going to assume you are aware of this, but just to cross it off, is the lock nut back far enough to give you full adjustment range.

On my saw, giving the adjuster a turn and spinning the upper wheel by hand I could pretty much immediately see the change in the blade tracking, so while not super helpful for you, I can at least tell you it should be possible.

Good Luck,
Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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tomd

2123 posts in 3643 days


#4 posted 12-13-2017 03:25 AM

Just a couple ideas, have you loosened the adjustment knob lock nut so it can be turned further in, it is on the adjustment knob shaft. Is the adjustment knob shaft contacting the back of the upper wheel hinge ? I can’t think of any other reason the hinge would not move.

-- Tom D

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noone

583 posts in 2145 days


#5 posted 12-13-2017 03:31 AM

Appreciate the replies. Yes, I have loosened the lock wingnut. The wheel cannot physically tilt more to the right because the metal hinge arm catches on the outside of the wheel cover. I’m going to make a video to show because this is the weirdest thing.

View gleasoncraftworks's profile

gleasoncraftworks

24 posts in 1107 days


#6 posted 12-13-2017 03:44 AM

I’ve worked on a few bandsaws in the recent years, and here is what comes to my mind:

Can you remove completely the top cowling in order to remove it from the equation? I wonder if it is bent, or maybe it just needs adjustment/alignment? You may be able to move the blade tracking arm once this is no longer in the way.

If you are able to make the blade work perfectly without the top cowl then I would focus on shimming or adjusting that. After all, it’s sole purpose is protecting you from the spinning blade. It doesn’t impact the saw performance normally speaking.

Let me know, I’m anxious to see how this works out!

Jared

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Mike_D_S

382 posts in 2087 days


#7 posted 12-13-2017 03:46 AM

One other potential issue is the support bearing not being set too far forward, preventing the blade from following the preferred tracking.

You might try double checking the alignment of the column with the riser block. There are locator pins, but maybe you got a shift somehow? Might be worth loosening the bolt and checking for a small shift. It looks ok in the pics, but I’m running out of moving parts to ask about.

Also, you might double check the lower wheel/shaft/etc. We’re all looking up top, but maybe you have something up with the lower wheel (bad tire, shaft shifted, etc)?

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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noone

583 posts in 2145 days


#8 posted 12-13-2017 04:33 AM

I removed the top cowling last weekend and inspected closely. It did not seem bent at all. It’s a heavy duty gauge, so it won’t bend easily.

Here’s a video that will show where I’m coming from.

https://youtu.be/tp6NoLI6LOE

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Aj2

1224 posts in 1670 days


#9 posted 12-13-2017 05:14 AM

I have the same saw I also watched the video. Since I don’t have a riser block and use the regular stock tires not sure if I can help. One thing I saw was the rear thrust bearing looked like it wasn’t back all the way. That would keep the balde from traveling back.
Maybe that’s as good as it gets with a riser block.

-- Aj

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Mike_D_S

382 posts in 2087 days


#10 posted 12-13-2017 05:34 AM

I saw the same thing as AJ, at around 3:40, the thrust bearing looks like it’s too far forward. Try backing the thrust bearing all the way back as far as it will go and then try again.

Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6191 posts in 2071 days


#11 posted 12-13-2017 05:35 AM

The guides should be backed off all the way when initially adjusting (taking the table off also helps). Also, you apparently are constantly releasing tension when adjusting. Don’t. With the blade on the tires, give it some tension (don’t need to go full bore yet). Then spin the upper wheel with your left hand as you adjust the tracking knob with your right hand. You should see the blade walk forward and backwards as you turn clockwise/counterclockwise (your description of left and right is confusing). Always adjust tracking while spinning the wheel. Once you get it where you want it, then adjust the tension and finally the guides. Ignore where it sits on the lower wheel as that makes no difference.

Also, there is a good possibility that the sheet metal cover is tweaked a bit. Sure, it’s heavy gauge, but it can be bent. I’ve had to ‘adjust’ the guards on more than one bandsaw due to the wheel hitting it. Riser block may have something to do with it, but that would be my last effort (loosen and re-position).

Cheers,
Brad

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

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runswithscissors

2599 posts in 1897 days


#12 posted 12-14-2017 05:34 AM

After trying everything else on an 18” bandsaw I had, I finally decided to check the lower wheel. Some very minor shimming fixed the problem.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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Rick

8566 posts in 2905 days


#13 posted 12-14-2017 05:50 AM

I agree with Mike…..........”I had one of these and I could walk the blade back and forth across the upper wheel using the wheel tilt adjustment. So I don’t think it’s a design issue in a general sense.”

Regards: Rick

-- A Chip On The Shoulder Usually Indicates Wood Higher Up. (Rick, Ontario, Canada)

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Mike_D_S

382 posts in 2087 days


#14 posted 12-20-2017 11:34 PM

noone,

Following up on this problem. Did you ever get it figured out and if so, what did you end up doing?

Thanks,
Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

218 posts in 74 days


#15 posted 12-21-2017 12:08 AM

Ok, while mine is a delta, i had same issue.
I took apart, cleaned it well, lubed it and added a washer behind the blade wheel, and for some reason, it magically performed quite well. Not sure if when i refurbed it a few months back i didn’t put thte washer on the back side, or heck i don’t know grasping at straws, its the only thing i did different, besides a good quality blade

are tires still crowned.
rj

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