Band Saw Thrust Bearings

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Forum topic by Hopdevil posted 04-05-2011 05:31 AM 1961 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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194 posts in 1933 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 ---- Message sent from the End of the Internet.

5 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1697 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


3710 posts in 1818 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.

-- Michael :-{| Don't anthropomorphise your tools, they hate it when you do that.

View swirt's profile


1971 posts in 1819 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


2922 posts in 2589 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.

-- "Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." Ronald Reagan

View Hopdevil's profile


194 posts in 1933 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 ---- Message sent from the End of the Internet.

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