Bandsaw Issues - Need Help

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Forum topic by MarineGator posted 02-10-2012 12:14 AM 1158 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MarineGator's profile


40 posts in 2411 days

02-10-2012 12:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip bandsaw

Hey everyone,

I’ve looked around various places for answers to the problem that I’m having. I recently bought a Jet JWBS-14CS 14” bandsaw in great condition on Craigslist. Put new urethane tires on it, checked wheels for balance and alignment (twist, tilt, and vertical), checked wheel bearings, aligned pulley wheels on lower wheel and motor, tensioned blade, set thrust bearings to 1/64”, guide blocks 1/64” behind blade gullet and set to hold a dollar bill on either side of blade.

However, I still have way too much play when the blade is cutting. It drifts very far left and when I make curved cuts it tears up the guide blocks on the right side, top and bottom. I have been using a 1/8” blade to make a couple small bandsaw boxes, but because of the blade movement, the kerf is so wide you can always see where the glueup took place and it is next to impossible to cut a straight line, even with a fence clamped down according to the drift angle.

The only thing that I can think that is causing the problem is the fact that I am currently using the $10 Bosch blades from Lowe’s until I can get some new ones.

Any thoughts or answers would be very helpful as I am becoming incredibly frustrated.


-- If you ain't a Gator, you must be Gator bait.

7 replies so far

View Bill1225's profile


125 posts in 2425 days

#1 posted 02-10-2012 12:21 AM

You may want to consider with small blades using a hardwood like maple instead of your factory guides and encasing the blade totally and run them tight against the blade with wax

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 2356 days

#2 posted 02-10-2012 12:32 AM

Do you have your blade tensioned enough? Sounds to me like it could be that. Bill’s suggestion might help too.

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 02-10-2012 12:38 AM

Get Mark Duginske’s “Bandsaw Handbook”.

Band saws are high-spirited machines and the best way to
get excellent results is to be well educated.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3077 days

#4 posted 02-10-2012 05:53 AM

Bill is on the money. Especially with small blades, wooden guides (maple is fine but lignum vitae would be perfect) can give extra support. Just mill your stock to fit, make sure the ends are square, and squeeze them against the blade. Just make sure you squeeze evenly from both sides. The teeth will cut their path and then can go no further. The wood doesn’t heat the blade or wear it and they are cheep and easy to make and easy to square up when needed. One other thing you may try is to round the back of the blade so that the outside edge in a turn doesn’t notch the cut. Some people use stones for this, but I use an old Nicholson mill smooth file. Just takes a second or two. Also, look up Michael Fortune’s article “Five Stevs To Better Bandsawing” in the Nov/Dec 2004 issue of Fine Woodworking. Follow his instructions to the letter, make sure your blade is sharp and your problems will go away.


P.S. Wildcats LOVE gator tail.


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

View WinterSun's profile


163 posts in 2636 days

#5 posted 02-10-2012 06:14 AM

I’m with Ben; if your blade is deflecting, it sounds like you might need more tension. Are you tensioning according to the markers on the saw? If so, know that those are woefully inaccurate. I was having trouble getting a good cut on my older Delta with a brand new 1/4” blade until I gave ithe tension knob a couple extra cranks.

-- Rory // Milwaukee, WI

View MarineGator's profile


40 posts in 2411 days

#6 posted 02-10-2012 01:39 PM

Thanks for the help everyone. I don’t think it is the tension. I have it cranked to about 3/8” tension. I’m a musician and can find that sweet spot where the blade plucks a note and resonates. I’m going to go ahead and try the hardwood guides. I’ll keep you posted on the results.

Fussy, season doesn’t really begin until March, although KY looked unstoppable the other night. Luckily I have another dog in the fight as my wife is a Carolina Tar Heel grad.

-- If you ain't a Gator, you must be Gator bait.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3101 days

#7 posted 02-10-2012 03:35 PM

The tension on the blade should be about 20,000 pounds per square inch. The 20,000 sounds very high but, remember that the area of a band saw blade is very small. That 20,000 pounds per square inch could translate into less than 100 pounds of pull on your blade.

I own a tension guide that, in theory, tells me the true amount of tension. I find that to get 20,000 pounds per square inch I have to go to the market on the side of the bandsaw that is almost twice the actual size of my blade. For example, if I am using a 1/4” blade I need to tighten it as if it were almost a 1/2” blade. I use a 3/4” blade for resawing and I tighten it as if it were a 1 1/4” blade.

These tension guides are controversial because their accuracy is often in question. IMO, it’s very easy to not use them correctly and get a false reading because of that. I think I use mine correctly and I think it is relatively accurate. I know I have virtually no drift problems and I have never broke a blade.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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