Bandsaw Question

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Forum topic by moke posted 07-07-2012 05:43 PM 1770 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1175 posts in 2774 days

07-07-2012 05:43 PM

I am new to nice bandsaws. The first 25 years of my woodworking I have always had old and cheaper BS’s.
A couple of months ago I bought a Jet 14” with the high riser.

I have a couple of questions, After use, do most of you take the tension off the blade? And please tell me your experience with a BS auxilary table. I have the Rockler, and I am wondering if I should get rid of it and get a Kreg fence…..any and all advice on any BS issue is appreciated.

-- Mike

18 replies so far

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2186 days

#1 posted 07-07-2012 05:56 PM

On the tension issue, absolutely ! I never leave the blade under tension while the saw just sits. A lot of the 14” saws now have a quick release system on them. If not, guys like Carter sell a good add-on.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Bobmedic's profile


379 posts in 2800 days

#2 posted 07-08-2012 12:43 AM

Yes, on releasing the tension. I have the Kreg fence on my bandsaw and I love it. Easy to set up easy to use.

View AHuxley's profile


653 posts in 3319 days

#3 posted 07-08-2012 12:57 AM

Whether or not I release tension depends on how long it will be before I use the saw again, if it is within 7-10 days I don’t bother. The thing you avoid is flat spotting the tires, it is more of an issue with small bandsaws like the Jet (and all the other Delta clones) that have thin tires, less of an issue with larger saws that have thick rubber tires.

The Kreg fence is excellent for the money and since the Jet uses side removal insted of back toward the front prevents any issues.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3460 days

#4 posted 07-08-2012 01:54 PM

Why release the tension? I have never understood the reasoning behind it. I see the quick releases as good only for blade changes. If you release the tension now you are setting yourself up for other issues, tracking problems come to mind. Mine is always left in tension. After all, bandsaw have been around a hundred years or more and they didnt have some nifty quick release on them. My opinion is set the blade and forget it.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View don1960's profile


227 posts in 2685 days

#5 posted 07-08-2012 02:13 PM

I have no experience with good quality woodworking bandsaws, (I have the HF one) but I’ve been around metal cutting bandsaws my whole life and no place I ever worked even thought about loosening the tension on a blade unless it was being changed out. So, I’m of the camp that says leave the tension on. (at least until someone comes up with a logical reason for releasing the tension.)

Oh, and MedicKen, I absolutely LOVE your sig line! Your kids and mine can go to the same therapist and maybe get a volume discount. :-)


-- -- Don from PA

View moke's profile


1175 posts in 2774 days

#6 posted 07-09-2012 05:15 PM

Thanks guys—
I have been using it a fair amount so I guess I might leave the tension on for now anyway…the flat spot thing makes sense.

-- Mike

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2512 days

#7 posted 07-09-2012 06:52 PM

I worked for a 78 year old furniture company for almost five years, and they never, never took the tension off the bandsaws. From 6” up to the big dogs, those blades stayed on there and in tension until the rakers started falling off. (Cheap private ownership) I was the head of maintenance, and only once did we ever have to change out a tire, and that was probably 20 years old. The workers were on piece work, and they ran the crap out of those machines.
When I spent my 16 months in Shanghai for the chinese division of the same company, they made the entire frame on bandsaws, not having CNC. Never took tension off ever. Come back after Chinese New Year, (12 day shutdown, start them up and cut, cut, cut. No difference. And these were cheap chinese saws I never heard the name of, mainly because it was in chinese! Might snap blades while cutting, but never took the tension off.
As far as the flat spot thing, the blade is on full tension for about 150 degrees of the wheel, so where exactly is this flat spot? There is no flat spot. Just my humble opinion after 42 years of woodworking.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View AHuxley's profile


653 posts in 3319 days

#8 posted 07-09-2012 07:55 PM

@Tennessee The issue is not industrial machines, old US big iron nor European saws their thick high durometer rubber tires are not effected in my experience. Where a long tern issue can develop is on smaller hobby sized saws with thin low durometer rubber tires (less of an issue with urethane) that are designed for use on a crowned wheel. Even though the pressure is distrbuted over most of the 180* the band touches the tire it is not distributed equally and is higher the closer one gets to the top of the tire. I have seen this in examples of smaller used machines that have been sitting with tension on the band often for years, it produces a whoomp, whoomp sound that is very distinctive and in the worst cases can throw tracking out of whack, that said it is not an issue ANYONE needs to worry about unless they have a small saw with thin tires and leave it idel for long periods of time. There is a reason the best bandsaws do NOT have a quick release of any sort, it is a phenomenon of the low end.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2174 days

#9 posted 07-09-2012 09:28 PM

Important information you need to know about band saw machines and band saw blades can be found at .

View AHuxley's profile


653 posts in 3319 days

#10 posted 07-09-2012 10:07 PM

@Fishinbo Another shill for and its feeder sites, these shills are multiplying like rabbits!!! That makes a least 5 new accounts doing this.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#11 posted 07-09-2012 10:13 PM

I installed a crank handle to de-tension the bandsaw. It is so much easier than the stock Jet handle, and they only cost $6. As far as tables, I just use the stock table and an outfeed roller for long workpieces.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3046 days

#12 posted 07-10-2012 03:42 PM

I sold my Kreg fence yesterday as I could never use it in way satisfactory to me. Instead I built my own table with a miter slot on the bottom (toward me) and one the the right side to use with my miter fence.
I found this solution working much much better for me especially for resawing and the price is a fraction of the Kreg fence.

I also i have the crank handle, it works very well.

-- Bert

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Mainiac Matt

8044 posts in 2326 days

#13 posted 07-10-2012 04:20 PM

I installed a crank handle to de-tension the bandsaw. It is so much easier than the stock Jet handle, and they only cost $6.

can you please post a link to this?

we don’t take the tension off of the 36” Tannewitz BSs at work…

but I do on my 14” Jet at home…. mainly because I have a Timber Wolf blade on it and they say to.

If I don’t do it immediately after I’m done…. I’ll forget for sure.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3046 days

#14 posted 07-10-2012 04:26 PM

View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 2262 days

#15 posted 07-10-2012 04:30 PM

I worked in a machine shop where we never released the tension, although we used it on a regular basis and changed blades frequently. I think that sounds like something you would do if your going to store it or not use it for an extended time. My opinion for what it is worth.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

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