Bandsaw Setup Confirmation

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Letorix posted 12-17-2011 02:44 PM 1684 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2500 days

12-17-2011 02:44 PM

So I bought a 20” Old Jet Bandsaw.

I feel dumb to ask because it makes sense to keep the blade from being pushed back but still felt I ought to ask.

Are these rollers setup right? i.e. the back of the blade runs on it vs the side of the blade.

6 replies so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3171 days

#1 posted 12-17-2011 05:10 PM

That looks like it’s your thrust bearing.

You should have the back of the blade a few thousandths FROM the thrust bearing. A guide for this would be a folded-in-half dollar bill.

You should have another set, under the table…..

-- -- Neil

View Planeman40's profile


1176 posts in 2757 days

#2 posted 12-18-2011 02:17 AM

That looks right. Many bandsaws use the side of a wheel – usually a ball bearing – like that as the back guide.

Setting up the blade guides properly is very important on bandsaws. ALWAYS get the blade running where is wants to, THEN bring the guides up to the blade.

(1) Pull the guides back from the blade (both top and bottom guides)
(2) With the blade tensioned on the wheels where you want it and the blade running in the center of the wheel rim tires, turn the bandsaw on and let it run for a couple of minutes while tweeking the wheel angle adjustment to keep the blade where you want it on the tires. This allows the blade to settle into where it should be running all the time. Then turn the bandsaw off.
(3) Now move each guide up to where only a few thousandths of an inch separates it from touching the blade. A sheet of typing paper is a good thickness gage.

If the back guides put a good bit of pressure on the back of the blade, it will work-harden the back of the blade and lead to blade breakage given time. When cutting, the blade will be forced against the guides anyway so you want to keep the blade away from the back guides as much as possible, at least during the non-cutting times.

Having done all of this, you should be ready to start sawing.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2500 days

#3 posted 12-20-2011 04:29 AM

Thanks guys, well she runs, she is a beast, and she is loud as all get out. I’ve got to get some time to figure what all the noise is about. Maybe its normal.

View Loren's profile


10383 posts in 3644 days

#4 posted 12-20-2011 04:44 AM

It looks like your side guides are set too close to the blade.

When running with the guides set up correctly, the saw should
hum and sound a bit like a washing machine in spin cycle; not
too loud.

If the blade is scraping the side guides when the saw is running
but not cutting, it will be noisy and build up heat as well, which
can ruin the temper on the blade.

My rule of thumb is the thrust bearing should start spinning
when moderate cutting pressure is on the blade, pushing it
back. I run a 1” wide blade on my saw, so in light cuts the
front to back stiffness of the blade is sufficient that the
thrust bearings don’t spin.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3709 days

#5 posted 12-30-2011 09:51 PM

Hey Neil,

We have two dollar bills here, do you still have to fold em to get the spacing?:-) LOL

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Letorix's profile


119 posts in 2500 days

#6 posted 01-19-2012 04:40 AM

I had a friend stop by and give the saw a look over. It appears the blade was welded uneven. So the blade is hitting the thrust bearing every so often.

This is a WBS-20-1, any suggestions on where to buy parts?

Should I keep the guide blocks or look to getting some rollers?

Sorry form my late response…haven’t been able to spend as much time in the shop as I’d like.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics