LumberJocks

Question, bandsaw vibration and link belts

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Bobmedic posted 795 days ago 2073 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1406 days


795 days ago

I have a 14” Central Machinery (aka Harbor Freight) bandsaw that I bought on Craigslist. The saw functions fine but there is a terrible vibration when it is running. I have read many posts about link belts and memory in the stock v-belts. My question is, should I replace both belts with link belts or just the long one that goes from the motor to the driver pulley assembly?

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed


16 replies so far

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

208 posts in 1926 days


#1 posted 795 days ago

The first thing to do is isolate the vibration. Run it without a band, if the vibration is reduced or gone there is an issue with the upper wheel, either bearings, concentricty or balance are the most likely. The next variable is taking the lower wheel out of the equation, remove it and run the saw if the vibratiuons stop or are reduced you have one of the above three issues with the lower wheel. If none of those completely get rid of the vibration then it is part of the pulley/motor/belt issue. Once you isolate the issue or issues you can attack it or them by process of elimination.

If you knew the saw ran fine previously you could rule out a lot of the above, but without knowing that is was vibration free in the past you can’t automatically rule out issues that would be present since day one like balance of the wheels.

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2067 days


#2 posted 795 days ago

The link belt will more than likely increase the vibration. I would do as previously stated and a step by step eval to see where the vibration in coming from. Could be something as simple as a loose motor mounting bolt.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1406 days


#3 posted 794 days ago

Well, I took the band off and still had lots of vibration. I then took the belt off that runs the bottom wheel and still had vibration. I then took the belt off from the motor to the pulley assembly and then no more vibration. Looks like I will be changing the belts and everything should be fine. While I had the blade off and the belts off I took the time to balance the upper and lower wheels and put new tires on them. MedicKen, just curious why would link belts increase vibration? They were designed to reduce vibration and keep from getting a memory like v belts. I have heard lots of people using them and they swear by them. I would like to hear your input.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1713 days


#4 posted 794 days ago

You are correct Robert, the link belts help reduce vibration and are a good investment regardless if you find other balancing issues on your saw or not. I should note that just taking off the belts will not tell you the whole story of your vibration issue though. One you removed both belts, you took the wheels completely out of the equation and your bandsaw is running a motor but not really spinning anything. I would recommend doing some searches on here regarding bandsaw tuneup and exploring the problem a little further.

David

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

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1406 days


#5 posted 794 days ago

David, and everyone else too, thank you for the information and suggestions. David, I have tuned the band saw up following many suggestions on here. I balanced the wheels and put new tires on the saw. I borrowed a digital blade tensioning gauge to get the best tension possible. I set the guides and the thrust bearings with feeler gauges and aligned the pulleys with a laser alignment tool. The wheels are coplanar with each other checked with the same laser pulley alignment system. I have secured the saw to a platform and even made sure the saw was exactly level. The table is square to the blade in all planes. The motor mount bolts are tight and the bracket that hold the motor has been reenforced. The only thing I have left to do is replace the belts. My original question was, Should I replace both belts or just the one to the motor? I will most likely replace them both with link belts.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

208 posts in 1926 days


#6 posted 794 days ago

@David the point was to remove one variable at a time to isolate the area the vibration was in, you have to remove the wheels one by one in a non-intervention diagnostic approach or you never are able to isolate the problem. I think the diagnostic approach I layed out and he followed is sound and one can be resonably sure the vibration is in the last phase.

@Robert, the thing to remember is you have not isoated the belt as the issue, you have isolated the belt, motor and last two pulleys as the problem. I doubt it is the motor or you would be getting other feedback like nasty sounds from the motor itself, but it COULD still be one or both of the pulleys, cheap Asian pulleys are well known for their ability to cause serious vibration AND baffle owners. In the end my bet would indeed be the belt and since the average hobbyist has no way to check or dynamically balance a pulley correctly I would replace the belt. I do have 8 or 10 feet of link belt but only use it when I have a belt issue until I can buy a quality V belt to replace it then it goes back into storage. The quality of GOOD V belts are more than fine for woodworking machines but the cheap ones that come on many of the Asian built machines especially the very low end of the price scale are often horrible, I just haven’t found the need to spend 3-4 times as much for the same solution, but they are easy to use and keep on hand due to their adjustablity.

I would have caustioned NOT to replace the tires and/or balance the wheels prior to replacing the belt and checking for vibration since you will be adding 4 variables back into the equation instead of just one. The issue now is if you replace the belt and vibration is still there you have the pulleys, wheels and tires all back into the equation.

Hopefully a new built will solve your issues!

PS regarding replacing both or one belt I might replace both (one at a time to keep the variables low as mentioned), again I would use quality V belts, as I am not sure $60 worth of belts on that saw is a wise economy, then again I run V belts on all my bandsaws.

PPS what digital tension gauge is out there? I have never seen one, only analog ones, unless you mean one “built” from a digital caliper. Just out of curiosity what band and what tension are you using?

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1406 days


#7 posted 794 days ago

@AHuxley, your suggestions were very sound. Even if the vibration is still there after the belts are replaced, I can reasonably exclude the wheels and focus on the pulleys. I think you are right about the motor, there is no noise or vibration coming from the motor directly. When I disconnected the belt, the motor ran super quiet and very stable with no Vibration. So, with your help, I believe I have isolated the problem to either the belts or the pulleys. As you have stated there isn’t an easy way to check the balance of the pulleys so I will try to replace the belts and see where that gets me. I may skip the link belts and buy some good quality v-belts from an automotive store and give them a try. Thank you again for your suggestions.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1406 days


#8 posted 794 days ago

@AHuxley, I borrowed this from a friend who has one. I used the settings in the manual for the Accurite blade.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1655 days


#9 posted 794 days ago

The limk belts from HF will do the job. Used them on mine ans=d smoothed it out fine. If balancing ther wheels, stick-on wheel weights from any auto parts store will make quick work of it. Don’t waste a lot of time and effort on tension. GO to Fine Woodworking’s site and search for “Five Tips For Better Bandsawing” by Michael Fortune. It explains everything you need to know. Di exactly as he says and you will enjoy your saw.
They may require paid membership to view it, but they give a free 2 week trial. If that doesn’t suit, pm me with your email and i will send you the PDF.

Steve

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

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1713 days


#10 posted 794 days ago

Yes understood the point ahuxley. My response was just to confirm that link belts would reduce vibration, as asked in post #3 and I was not aware of the prior steps performed to isolate the vibration, as they were not previously mentioned.

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

View ChrisFranklin's profile

ChrisFranklin

23 posts in 794 days


#11 posted 794 days ago

I put link-belts (both belts) on my similar Reliant saw and couldn’t believe how all the vibration went away. I now have them on every stationary tool in my shop. If I could figure out how to put them on the routers and the screwdrivers, I would!

-- Mud thrown is ground lost.

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2938 posts in 891 days


#12 posted 794 days ago

I’d also check the motor mounting before you replace the belt unless the belt looks worn. The CM has IMO a rather cheesy way of mounting the motor and it could have slipped a little. The way to straighten it out is to leave the belt attached and adjust the non belt side of the motor to square with the belt. You don’t need a lot of tension either.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

208 posts in 1926 days


#13 posted 794 days ago

I forgot about the load cell based Carter ETG, I suppose because it won’t fit any of my saws. I was kinda hoping someone had developed a digital strain based gauge that was more repeatable than my Starrett.

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5281 posts in 2190 days


#14 posted 794 days ago

I bought a small bandsaw which vibrated so bad I had to return it to base and get my money back.I had no intention of fixing anew bandsaw.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Bobmedic's profile

Bobmedic

302 posts in 1406 days


#15 posted 779 days ago

Well, I installed link belts on both pulleys and the vibration is gone. Thanks for all the responses.

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase