Band Saw Thrust Bearings

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Forum topic by Hopdevil posted 04-05-2011 05:31 AM 2980 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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223 posts in 3328 days

04-05-2011 05:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question bandsaw

Probably a simple question…

Why do some types of bandsaws have the thrust bearing set perpendicular to the blade, and some are in the same line as the blade. Is there an advantage to one vs the other? It seems strange that some (including my grizzly) are perpendicular with the blade touching the side of the bearing rather than the edge of the bearing so that the bearing can rotate.

Yeah, I obsess about the little stuff.

-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

5 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3092 days

#1 posted 04-05-2011 06:37 AM

All the saws I’ve seen have the stock backing bearing at right angles to the blade. The only ones I’ve seen parallel, or edge-on to the blade, are the Carter aftermarket units. They have a groove milled in the wheel (with a concentric bearing within) in which the back of the blade rides.

Is that any help?

-- " 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 crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3213 days

#2 posted 04-05-2011 11:17 AM

I never did understand the “sidewinder” type bearing. It applies the load in the bearing’s weakest direction and it adds friction by constantly scrubbing the back of the blade.

View swirt's profile


3574 posts in 3214 days

#3 posted 04-05-2011 05:56 PM

My 14” Craftsman has the rear thrust bearing set parallel to the blade so the back edge of the blade runs along the roller. Works well. Not sure why the others put them on sideways.

-- Galootish log blog,

View DrDirt's profile


4526 posts in 3984 days

#4 posted 04-05-2011 06:15 PM

I was told that the sideways bearing doesn’t mess up the blade tracking, where the bearing ‘rolling’ at the back will develop a grove and the blade will want to drop into that groove independant of the tension and guide block adjustment. while there would be no permanent wear pattern on the perpindicular version.

the carter grooved roller is usualy for scrolling without any side guides so that you can turn really tight.
Obviously there is a lot more friction running sideways to the load. But their aftermarket units also replace the guide blocks with bearings.
Maybe it is better – but the demo Michael Fortune gave showed that the gadgets were a waste of money as he tuned a stock 14” delta to prove his point.

I believe him because (a) he seems to know his stuff, and (b) his point wasn’t to get me to buy anything – there was no vested interest for him to support or oppose aftermarket guides.

Doesn’t mean he’s right either….....but his point of view is that we don’t need half the stuff out there on the market that proposes to make us automatically better woodworkers right out of the box.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Hopdevil's profile


223 posts in 3328 days

#5 posted 04-06-2011 04:21 AM

Thanks all!

DrDirt, that makes sense regarding the wear. It just seems a strange way to do it. You would think they would design a special type of bearing with more wear surface or something. I guess that is why I’m not an engineer! ;-)

-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

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