Band Saw help

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Forum topic by BonhamBrad posted 05-21-2012 09:17 PM 1876 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1615 days

05-21-2012 09:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bandsaw

I have a Craftsman 12” bandsaw, given to me by my dad. I’m trying to use a 1/2” blade to do some resawing. When I get the blade on and fire up the saw the belt on the upper wheel comes off. I’ve tried adjusting the tracking and the belt tension, but to no avail. When it comes to adjusting the tension, though, it seems almost impossible to tighten to the indicated 1/2” mark on the gauge on the back of the saw. Any clues? Is the belt on the wheel the culprit, the belt tension, the tracking, or something else? Thanks in advance for your help!

7 replies so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 2459 days

#1 posted 05-21-2012 09:19 PM

Maybe time for new tires(belts on Inside of saw)

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View BonhamBrad's profile


4 posts in 1615 days

#2 posted 05-22-2012 01:44 AM

Thanks DaddyZ. I’ll give some new tires a try.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 2469 days

#3 posted 05-22-2012 08:29 AM

!/2” blade is too big for 12” wheels. 3/8” will work better and resaw fine. Go to Fine Woodworking and look up the article”Five Tips To Better Bandsawing” by Michael Fortune, set up your saw EXACTLY AS HE SAYS, make sure you have a sharp blade, and go to work. Blades don’t last forever, so go to for sharpening tips and tons of info on anything to do with wood. Don’t change tires, untill you have eliminated other problems. You will save much grief. You will find that tension doesn’t need to be that high.
Read, learn, enjoy.


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

View blackcherry's profile


3292 posts in 3242 days

#4 posted 05-22-2012 11:37 AM

I use to have a 12” Sears band saw as well and as stated above by fussy 1/2 inch blade is to wide for this size b.s. 3/8 is about it limits.

View Marty Schlosser's profile

Marty Schlosser

13 posts in 2222 days

#5 posted 05-22-2012 12:40 PM

I, too, had a Craftsman 12” bandsaw and was able to successfully run 1/2” blades without much difficulty. Everyone may not be aware that there were at least two different 12” models sold under the Craftsman brand, so my comments relate to the model which I had and used for just under 2 decades in my shop. The model I had would run 1/2” blades, however, as stated previously by Steve, the culprit may indeed by a somewhat dull blade. As well, excessive tension will cause more problems than it solves, and as stated by others, with a sharp blade you don’t need to crank the tension up very much. How much is too much? With the model I had, there were tension indicators cast into the inside of the frame (you could see them when you removed the plastic wheel guard) and I almost always set it one unit below the nominal blade size (i.e., set the indicator to 3/8” for a 1/2” blade). The fact of the matter is that a 1/2” blade on even the heavier Craftsman bandsaw I had is pushing the envelope. The aluminum frame simply wasn’t heavy enough to keep everything aligned when running any blades above 3/8” and most especially when resawing thicker than 4” material. Every tool has its limitations and it’s up to us operators to learn to glean the optimum performance from them.

View BonhamBrad's profile


4 posts in 1615 days

#6 posted 05-22-2012 01:21 PM

Thanks all. The documentation for the saw states that it can handle 1/2” blades. This is the model 113.247210 saw. (manual)
I do think that the tension may be set too high. I’m going by the gauge in the back of the saw, but I don’t think it is accurate.

I’ve ordered new tires and should have them this week and I’m using new blades, so they better be sharp! I’m going to try backing off the tension and seeing if that will work.

Again, thanks for all the help!

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2753 days

#7 posted 05-22-2012 01:33 PM

Bandsaw tension gauges are notorious for their inaccuracy. Not meaning to bring up even more troubles, but if the new tires, new blade and lower tension don’t work out, then it is possible that the upper and lower wheels are not coplanar. You might find a relevant article at this link:

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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