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Band Saw or Bandsaw? And, do you really need a quick release?

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Forum topic by StumpyNubs posted 1249 days ago 3379 views 0 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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StumpyNubs

6176 posts in 1434 days


1249 days ago

Seems like whenever I do a band saw related search on the internet the search engine corrects me. if I search “Band Saw” is asks “Did you mean bandsaw” But if I type “Bandsaw” it wants to know if I meant the other way. I can’t seem to get it right. so let’s settle this once in for all- What the heck is the correct way to spell it?

Of course that wasn’t the only reason for this thread. I want to talk about Band Saw/Bandsaw quick release mechanisms. Carter makes a nice one for about $150- which is an outrageous price. And since there has been a long debate over weather they are necessasary at all, I thought I’d ask the community.

I am filming one of the upcoming episodes of the Stumpy Nubs Show which will include my own design for a homemade quick release, but I wanted to know if anyone really even wants one.

Here’s what i see as the two sides of the issue:

ONE SIDE SAYS- Leaving your blade tensioned all the time causes it to develop a “memory” and will leade to reduced flexability and shorten it’s life. It can also cause flat spots of the tires. A quick release makes it easy to release tension between uses, and also makes blade changes faster.

THE OTHER SIDE SAYS- That’s a bunch of whooey! People have left their band saw tensioned for generations and those things rarely happen. If you change blades a lot, or have a hundred and fifty bucks burning a hole in your pocket you can get one. But my tires and blades will last just as long as yours.

SO- which side do you come down on?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com


51 replies so far

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superstretch

1500 posts in 1327 days


#1 posted 1249 days ago

Table saw, scroll saw, hand saw, dovetail saw, chain saw=> ergo band saw.

Cheapo Craftsman 10” bandsaw with a $10 blade. You can bet I don’t un-tension it after every use…

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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Bill White

3421 posts in 2594 days


#2 posted 1249 days ago

I de-tension from habit. Never had a failure before doing same (or since).
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1327 days


#3 posted 1249 days ago

I never detensioned mine (which I killed in an unrelated event). I’ve seen many homebrewed jobs around. $150 is pricey, but it IS a Carter product. I noticed the same thing in google. Bandsaw like bowsaw, iMHO.

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

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crank49

3378 posts in 1605 days


#4 posted 1249 days ago

Dan, which cheapo Craftsman 10”? I have one that’s a rebadged Rikon. I love that little saw.

Jim or should I say Stumpy? I don’t think a failure to de-tension a band saw blade is going to foretell the end of life as we know it, but it can’t hurt anything either; unless you forget to re-tension before the next use.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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StumpyNubs

6176 posts in 1434 days


#5 posted 1249 days ago

Crank- That’s a good point. Using a bandsaw tension release can cause you to forget to re-tension before you turn it back on. I doubt that would be catastrophic, but what a mess it would cause!

Of course, the Carter tension handle is designed to remind you to retighten because it has a big red grip on the end which hangs down in your face when the tension is released. Home made versions don’t usually have that.

Everyone seems to say- why not have one. I can think of a couple reasons not to- 1. Price, 2. Price and 3. Price. If I bought every do-jiggy on the market for every tool I’d be broke. So before anyone slaps down the big bucks, it better have an upside that makes it worth the price.

I have yet to hear of anyone who has ever confirmed that NOT releasing the tension between uses has damaged anything. So seems to me that it is a waste of money.

Of course, if someone gave me one I’d use it!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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superstretch

1500 posts in 1327 days


#6 posted 1249 days ago

@Crank- I have a newer model. Picked it up new after not seeing anything on CL for a while and needed one sooner rather than later. It was on sale, so why not. I wish I had had the $ at the time to go bigger.. Resawing a max of 4-5/8” is pretty lame.

@Stumpy- Honestly, I think the blade will dull and the tire bearings go bad long before you’d see the effects of not de-tensioning. Perhaps I’m wrong, but it sounds logical in my head

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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BilltheDiver

228 posts in 1519 days


#7 posted 1249 days ago

I have the Carter and use it! Sure makes changing blades a lot easier and quicker. I’m not so sure it is too important to de-tension if you mostly use larger blades for resawing, but if you do much with 1/4 or 1/8 inch blades I think it is more important.

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

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1327 days


#8 posted 1249 days ago

I always imagined that all but two small parts on the tires would be under continuous pressure, and thus could potentially deform. Tires are relatively cheap, though. I’ve started my saw many times in a detensioned state. Mostly, it would just make a terrible noise; once it broke a thin blade but kept it retained within the saw. When I buy my new saw, I’ll probably spring for one. But I’m with you, it’s like buying an air filtration unit: it hurt, it wasn’t any fun to play with, but it seems like the right thing to do.

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

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TheDane

3741 posts in 2297 days


#9 posted 1249 days ago

First, I have read the pros and cons of de-tensioning the band saw blade, and go with those who say you should do it. My neighbor doesn’t … when he starts up his band saw, the tires are in such bad shape it sounds like a corn sheller and vibrates all over the place.

I have the Carter system on my Jet 14”, and it is great … I find myself using the band saw now more than before I installed the Carter, and it does make blade changes a lot faster. My band saw purrs like a kitten.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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saddletramp

994 posts in 1272 days


#10 posted 1249 days ago

Well, Stumpy, before this discussion I really had no opinion one way or the other on this issue. I had heard both sides before but no compelling arguments for either side. I sometimes detensioned mine and sometimes I didn’t. LOL Now, however, after hearing from both sides here, I still have no opinion one way or an other. LOL

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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StumpyNubs

6176 posts in 1434 days


#11 posted 1249 days ago

TheDane- Are you certain that your neighbor’s problem is because he didn’t use a tension release? I ask because it would be the first time I have ever heard a real example of someone who had a problem because he kept it tensioned all the time. I hear a LOT of “if’s” and “could’s” from people, especially companies who make them….

I suppose it would make sense that a thin blade would be more likely to weaken if always kept tensioned, and a wide blade may be more likely to flatten a tire because it has to be under a lot more tension than a narrow blade. And I suppose if you kept a blade tensioned for a very long time (years) without turning on the saw it may be more likely to cause problems. But if you’re using the saw several times a week, I don’t know. Unless the horror stories we her about actually happen, isn’t it more about speculation than reality?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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saddletramp

994 posts in 1272 days


#12 posted 1249 days ago

BTW the Merriam-Webster dictionary says Band saw is correct, the Oxford English dictionary says that either is correct.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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TheDane

3741 posts in 2297 days


#13 posted 1249 days ago

StumpyNubs—Am I certain? No, but the tires on my saw are smooth, while the tires (especially the top wheel) on his saw feel like snow tires. You be the judge.

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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GaryL

1074 posts in 1464 days


#14 posted 1249 days ago

I back off the tension with four or five cranks on the tensioner wheel and call it good. Save that $150 for something else. The three or four seconds it saves does not seem worth it to me.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

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HorizontalMike

6926 posts in 1548 days


#15 posted 1249 days ago

I tend to believe the flat tire story on the BSs. I do know that my little Toyota truck only gets fired up every couple/three weeks and when it does, the first 10-20 miles down the road shakes like crazy until the tires warm up and expand. I don’t really plan to have to run my BS for a half-hour to get it to stop shaking so I de-tension my BS between uses. Forgot to re-tension once but no problems, just spinning wheels and the blade came off the wheel without damage. Woke me up though ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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