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Blade tension on a 14" Delta bandsaw

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Forum topic by willie posted 01-08-2012 06:29 AM 3232 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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willie

533 posts in 1921 days


01-08-2012 06:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

Just finished the restoration on a 1956 Delta/Milwaukee 14” bandsaw. My question is reading the scale for blade tension. What part of the nut do I line up on the scale? Does it read at the top or the bottom of the nut or is there another point? Saw seems to be cutting OK but not sure about blade tension and don’t want too much. Resawed some curly maple and some maple burl and had some blade flex. I need to speed up the saw but otherwise, no problems.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!


11 replies so far

View Bill Davis's profile

Bill Davis

226 posts in 3391 days


#1 posted 01-08-2012 07:34 AM

On my Delta 14”er (not that old) there is a washer on top of the nut and that is what I was told to use. I have attempted verifying that setting with other ways I’ve seen described but always seem to come back to the washer. Someday I’ll take the thing apart and paint it white.

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willie

533 posts in 1921 days


#2 posted 01-08-2012 07:11 PM

Thanks, Bill. Since I didn’t get any manuals with this saw, I pretty much have to try trial and error. I have found a lot of info online but not some of the finer points like this. I’m sure that eventually I’ll find what I need. I am totally impressed with this bandsaw and plan on many years of using it. I can’t see that I’ll ever wear it out!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4457 posts in 3427 days


#3 posted 01-08-2012 08:00 PM

Google “band saw blade tensioning”. There’s lots of stuff out there. I use the old tried and true method of pushing the blade side ways ‘til it stops at about 1/4”. Not pushing hard, just enough that ya feel the resistance kick in. Pull the guides away from the blade while doing this and while the upper guide arm is lifted as far as it will go. Turn the machine on to see if ya have any blade “flutter”. If there is some flutter, increase the tension ‘till it goes away. Set the guides. You’re good to go. All this is based on having a quality, sharp blade. Most often the tension setting marks are just a starting point.
Don’t get carried away with using the widest blade you can put on the saw. The widest I use is a 1/2”, and my all ‘round blade is a 1/4” to 3/8” 6tpi.

-- bill@magraphics.us

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#4 posted 01-09-2012 04:43 AM

Bill, I have a 17” Grizz and was told to use the 1” 2-3 tooth blades for resawing. I’m hearing more and more that wider is not better. Could you expound a little on this topic? FYI I’m usually resawing hard hardwoods in the 9-12” thickness. Thanks for your time.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

639 posts in 1966 days


#5 posted 01-10-2012 05:32 PM

If you want to measure the blade tension and calibrate the indication, you might be interested by

http://woodgears.ca/bandsaw/tension.html

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4457 posts in 3427 days


#6 posted 01-10-2012 05:47 PM

gfadvm, I don’t have a 17” jobby (I wish), but I use the 1/2” Woodslicer with variable teeth. 3 tpi and 4 tpi on it. Looks goofy, but sure works. If ya have the horses to carry a wider blade I’m not fussing at ya, but I’d think that a GOOD 3/4” 3 tpi blade would work like a champ. The narrow blade will also tension better than a 1”.
Kinda think about it like this:
You can under power a wide blade, but its hard to over power a more narrow one.
If your gonna be cutting any green wood, you’ll need to get a blade with few teeth and a wider kerf (more set to the blade) in order to clear the chip.
Biggest thing I had to learn was to take my time and not “force” the cut.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View IrreverentJack's profile

IrreverentJack

724 posts in 2310 days


#7 posted 01-10-2012 06:40 PM

CJ, This might be your manual. If you haven’t already, check out VintageMachinery.org. -Jack

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#8 posted 01-11-2012 01:40 AM

Thanks Bill, I’ve been satisfied with my cuts using the 1” T Wolf in Osage Orange and Jatoba (both really hard) but I may try a 3/4” next time I need a new resaw blade. The Grizz seems to have adequate power for the 1” blades as it doesn’t ever bog down.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View willie's profile

willie

533 posts in 1921 days


#9 posted 01-11-2012 03:27 AM

Thanks, Jack. That’s not the exact one but it has most of the same parts and a lot of good info. I found a roll of bandsaw blade for making your own blades that I forget where I got it. It’s Starrett 3/8” 3TPI skip set. Originally it had 100 feet on the roll, not sure what’s left but more than half. I don’t have the equipment to make my own blades. Where would I find someone to make some or is it not worth the trouble?

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View IrreverentJack's profile

IrreverentJack

724 posts in 2310 days


#10 posted 01-11-2012 05:59 AM

CJ, They probably have the correct manual on that site. Just look for the right model number. If I had that roll I’d be reading up on how to silver solder. I think it would be worth the trouble. -Jack

View willie's profile

willie

533 posts in 1921 days


#11 posted 01-11-2012 05:44 PM

The one thing missing on my saw is the plate that gives a model number or serial number. All I was told that it was made in 1956. I have found pictures that look like mine but I don’t know the model number. I’ll read up on silver soldering. Looks like I might get to buy some more tools!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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