Bandsaw Questions (tires and wander)

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Forum topic by rlrobinhood posted 02-21-2012 03:32 AM 1687 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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80 posts in 2553 days

02-21-2012 03:32 AM

Hi all,

I picked up a cheap chinese/harbor freight style bandsaw real cheap (blue upright floor model, but brand names on it). I tried using it today (I’m very novice and no experience with a bandsaw) and it seemed the blade would wonder a lot. I set up the metal guide blocks based on information I found on the internet and slid the guide mechanism down low to the wood. But it still wanders a lot, hard to follow a slight curve, expecially when transitioning from right to left curve. any suggestions?

Also, the tires are shot. How do I determine what size of bandsaw I have (ie 12”, 14”, etc)? What do you reccomend, rubber or urethane?

When I order tires, I figure I’ll get cool blocks too. Anything else you suggest I get or do to tune this up better?

Thanks a million.

7 replies so far

View plantek's profile


312 posts in 2706 days

#1 posted 02-21-2012 03:52 AM

Check out Wood magazine online as well as Fine woodworking and popular woodworking. You can find some good videos as well as advise.
Does your band saw have a tilt for aligning the wheel. Also the you might try tightening the blade.

-- If you want it and it's within reason... It's on it's way!

View JAAune's profile


1780 posts in 2224 days

#2 posted 02-21-2012 04:10 AM

I like the Michael Fortune techniques for using bandsaws. He’s done some articles for Fine Woodworking on the topic.

-- See my work at and

View rlrobinhood's profile


80 posts in 2553 days

#3 posted 02-22-2012 02:55 AM

Hi guys,

Thanks for the info. I’ll read up on Michael Fortune. Also, the saw does have a tilt feature. I suspect a lot of the problem is with the tires. They are in HORRIBLE shape.

Anyone know how to tell what size of bandsaw this is? Do you simply measure the diameter of the wheels? Also, what are your thoughts on rubber versus urethane tires?

Thanks again.

View JAAune's profile


1780 posts in 2224 days

#4 posted 02-22-2012 03:15 AM

Measuring the diameter of the wheel to get the bandsaw size is correct.

I believe most people recommend urethane tires. I forget the exact reasons why though.

-- See my work at and

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1555 posts in 2413 days

#5 posted 02-22-2012 03:18 AM

Yep, first get urethane tires. Old rubber tires will crown and cause wandering of the blade.

Make sure your wheels are coplaner with a long straight edge.

Add a link belt and cool blocks.

Get a good blade, Timberwolf, etc.

That should get you pretty darn functional

View Don W's profile

Don W

18606 posts in 2475 days

#6 posted 02-22-2012 03:29 AM

I’ve got a HF bandsaw. I’ve had it for 20 years or so. Make sure the tires are good. You may have to replace the tensioning spring. I got a replacement from woodcraft. Follow the many tune up guides as stated above. You should be good to go.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Loren's profile (online now)


9967 posts in 3555 days

#7 posted 02-22-2012 05:47 AM

There’s other stuff to attend to as well. Tires may look back
but that doesn’t mean they need replacing. The lower tire
can be turned round with a lathe chisel under power from the
motor. The upper tire is more work to turn true, but it can
be done.

Wheels should be adjusted to co-planar. Sometimes this
requires removing 1 wheel and putting washers on the

Michael Fortune’s method is good. Also the Marc Duginske
“Bandsaw Handbook” is essential reading imo. Much of the
common ignorance about how band saws work would be
reduced if woodworkers read that book.

It should be noted that Michael Fortune uses a fine General
490 band saw and no riser block. A good machine, well-tuned,
and not asked to do more than it was designed for.

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