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Table saw blade "flutters"

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Forum topic by MTMan2 posted 01-15-2012 09:42 PM 1067 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MTMan2

41 posts in 1414 days


01-15-2012 09:42 PM

I’ve been using my new old ShopSmith Mark V for a few weeks, now, with no problems. Yesterday, though, I set up to make some cuts in some 50” lengths of 1×4 pine to create a grid for working sheet goods (roll-around cart build). So the cuts I’m making are set for 1 3/4” deep and 3/4” wide.

Anyway…

I was in the 3rd or 4th test cut when I noticed my blade seemed to have moved to the right side of the table insert (not using a zero-clearance). I reset the quill feed and made sure all table and saw settings were locked and started over. The next cut showed a kerf that was almost twice as wide at the top as at the board’s side.

So, I stopped everything, unplugged, etc. Then I spun the blade by hand and watched to see if it was moving side to side (thinking to myself the blade is warped or bent or something). Seemed fine. Powered back up and just turned the blade on and watched. To my eye, it looks like the blade spins fine for about 3-4 seconds, then it will “flutter” side to side, then spin fine for another 3-5 seconds.

Any ideas? I’m not running the machine with a saw blade again until I figure this one out.

-- - The most recognized name in all of recorded history was worn by a woodworker.


13 replies so far

View Viking's profile

Viking

857 posts in 1917 days


#1 posted 01-15-2012 09:54 PM

Try another blade. That will sort your problem out.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1831 days


#2 posted 01-15-2012 10:40 PM

One way of testing the proper tightness of a sawblade on the bandsaw is called the “flutter” test. Without the guides touching the blade, you loosen the tension until the blade “flutters” and then tighten the tension until it stops. You might need to tighten the blade a little more. While you are adjusting, you might want to look up the flutter test online to set the tension and then reapply the blade guides. If you still notice a problem, it might be the blade, but proper tension and wheel allignment should stop further occurrences.

David

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View MTMan2's profile

MTMan2

41 posts in 1414 days


#3 posted 01-16-2012 12:44 AM

David – Thanks for the bandsaw tip. Just to clarify, my problem is with a table saw.

Viking – I happened to just buy 2 new blades that I hoped to use to create a narrower kerf. I will give them a try this afternoon. Any resource or comment to explain why I would not the “flutter” only occasionally rather than all the time?

-- - The most recognized name in all of recorded history was worn by a woodworker.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5562 posts in 2098 days


#4 posted 01-16-2012 02:18 AM

A word of caution about over tightening your arbor nut. The direction of the rotation will self tighten, so you really don’t need to wrench it up very tight. Overtightening can actually cause your blade to warp. Let us know how you make out with the new blade….it be useful to know what blade you were using and which one you’re switching to.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1645 days


#5 posted 01-16-2012 02:58 AM

Loose shaft??

-- Life is good.

View MTMan2's profile

MTMan2

41 posts in 1414 days


#6 posted 01-16-2012 03:35 AM

knotscott – I will be careful of that. The current blade was the original blade from SS that the previous owner had mounted to the blade arbor. When I got it the arbor was frozen, but everything seemed straight and clear, so I mounted it. I have been using it with no problems for several weeks.

Howie – This was my first thought, but I wanted someone to tell me it was the blade. I haven’t made the switch, yet, but have another original SS blade and bought 2 7” skilsaw blades to try with the table.

If I don’t get success with switching the blade, I will contact SS, but figured I’d ask for anyone who knew what this might be because I have the day off tomorrow and had big plans for a productive day of sizing and joining lumber… until this happened.

I’ll still get the work done, I think, but will be using hand saws and chisels… and maybe a skilsaw.

-- - The most recognized name in all of recorded history was worn by a woodworker.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1831 days


#7 posted 01-16-2012 03:49 AM

Yeah, my bad on that one. My mind was elsewhere :)

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1773 days


#8 posted 01-16-2012 08:41 AM

What you are seeing is a harmonic vibration; a result of a small imbalance (nick in a tooth?) in the blade. It is periodic because it builds up ( think feedback in a pa system), reaches the peak allowed by the diameter/ thickness/ speed/ and plate thickness of the blade, dissipates and starts all over. If you watch carefully with no load, it should be very predictable. Try a new blade.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View David 's profile

David

81 posts in 1356 days


#9 posted 01-16-2012 09:31 AM

cCHECK FOR CRACKS AROUND THE ARBOR HOLE.

-- David, Center,Texas

View lewis62's profile

lewis62

73 posts in 1361 days


#10 posted 01-16-2012 01:56 PM

Arbor was forze up.
SS has shaft that extends is it in all the way or extended when set up for what you are doing.
Are you ripping or just cutting slot in board.
Bad blade ,blade to thin.
bad bearins will do same till they freeze up or blow up.
what speed , too fast for blade or too slow for material.
If just slotting ,blade clogs up with saw dust and starts vibrating. too many teeth .Thicker blade for thicker stock, less teeth for ripping.

View MTMan2's profile

MTMan2

41 posts in 1414 days


#11 posted 01-16-2012 05:15 PM

What fussy describes is what I’m seeing. With no load, the “flutter” happens very predictably about every 4 seconds. I will be trying a new blade some time today.

-- - The most recognized name in all of recorded history was worn by a woodworker.

View MTMan2's profile

MTMan2

41 posts in 1414 days


#12 posted 01-18-2012 04:23 PM

New blade solved problem – and helped me discover that old blade was fine but arbor set screw was loose. I’m totally amazed that the blade stayed on at all. The lower blade guide was holding it in place almost as much as the set screw. YIKES!

I thought I was being careful before. Add another item to the checklist for “before I flip the power switch.”

-- - The most recognized name in all of recorded history was worn by a woodworker.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3540 posts in 2683 days


#13 posted 01-18-2012 05:46 PM

Man, you dodged a bullet there. My idea of Frisbee fun is NOT with a flying saw blade.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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