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Lower bandsaw wheel very difficult to turn

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 03-13-2013 01:40 AM 1244 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 997 days


03-13-2013 01:40 AM

I reasawed some butternut last night, came out awesome! My wife needed to trim some super long pieces off of a cutting board to plane it, but the table saw still had a rip blade on it. To save time, she just fired up the bandsaw. Well, not really. It wouldn’t turn on. It was laboring hard. I gave it a good cleaning, but I keep it clean anyway. Still no luck. I released a lot of blade tension, still no luck. I pulled the blade off and I can barely turn the lower wheel. I released all of the belt tension and still cannot turn the lower wheel without significant effort.

I released all the belt tension and turned it on, the motor sounds fine and the pulley spins. I pulled the wheel off. It looks ok and there was no crap in it or behind it. When I put it back on, it spins freely until just the slightest amount of pressure is put on the nut that holds it in.

With the drive belt back on and tensioned and the nut really loose, it runs fine until the rotational force tightens the nut (good design) then it grinds to a halt again.

Any ideas? Did I over tension the blade and bend the whole thing out of alignment? The saw (Craftsman 14”) has a stupid gauge on the back for blade tension, but I don’t pay attention to it. I had a 5/8” blade on it and the gauge was about at the 1/2” suggested tension which was plenty tight enough (a hair under 1/4” deflection with the guard about 6” from the table)

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts


27 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

1235 posts in 773 days


#1 posted 03-13-2013 01:49 AM

Try replacing the nut with a nylock. Won’t tighten unintentionally. But I’m wondering if there shouldn’t be some sort of bushing in there to prevent overtightening …..?

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 997 days


#2 posted 03-13-2013 01:57 AM

I don’t think the nut is over tightening. Even if it is barely finger tight – just enough to make contact with the lock washer, the wheel will not turn.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View needshave's profile

needshave

150 posts in 708 days


#3 posted 03-13-2013 02:36 AM

Joe,

I’m going by memory here, so bear with me. My shop is not at my house or I would go look my bandsaw’s lower wheel assembly. Is it possible the lower bearing has seized? When you loosen the lock nut, and remove all residual force against the bearing, the hub of the bearing is spinning on the shaft rather than the bearing turning? Once tightened down it forces the bearing to turn as it should. if seized or attempting to seize that would provide you with the resistance you are experiencing.

Like I said, I’m not close to the saw where I could look and I can not remember where it is keyed. I thought I would offer this for investigation. Please let us know what the problem was.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7823 posts in 2396 days


#4 posted 03-13-2013 02:43 AM

Assuming the bearing spins, sometimes such issues with
machines can be resolved by putting a thin spacer
washer on either side of the bearing with an ID to
fit the shaft and the OD no larger than the inner
bearing flange.

I don’t know how long you have had the saw but is
there any possibility it was never assembled correctly
in the first place? Check the schematic to be sure
the lower wheel assembly is correct with no absent
washers.

One can turn to loctite too, or even drill and tap the
nut for a set screw to prevent it from overtightening
on the shaft.

There is also a possibility that the nut is not properly
flange faced so as it tightens it is bearing down on
one point on the wheel bearing instead of more
evenly all around. You can check with a feeler
gauge and mark the nut with a sharpie, then
face it with a sharpening stone.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 933 days


#5 posted 03-13-2013 02:44 AM

Same think happens with my powermatic except it doesn’t tighten on its own. I leave it so it is just barely touching the bearing and it seems fine.

View needshave's profile

needshave

150 posts in 708 days


#6 posted 03-13-2013 02:55 AM

Loren, how does this happen all of a sudden? Is there wear involved and the bearing needs the additional washers to align it and make the bearing run true/perpendicular to the shaft?

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Loren

7823 posts in 2396 days


#7 posted 03-13-2013 03:04 AM

Dunno. I’m just suggesting a way to MacGyver it. I’ve
worked on a lot of old woodworking machines where
there are no parts available and I’ve found shimming
to be a good problem solver in lieu of a more informed
diagnosis than I am sometimes capable of making.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View mrg's profile

mrg

535 posts in 1748 days


#8 posted 03-13-2013 03:14 AM

The bearing on the wheel is a common over the counter bearing. Same for the guide bearings. The guide bearings are roller skate, skate board wheel bearings. The wheel bearing is larger but a common bearing can get them online or local automotive or hardware store. The bearings run about 10 bucks if not mistaken.

You may be able to pop the shield off the bearing, clean with carb cleaner or brake clean and degrease for a temporary fix.

-- mrg

View needshave's profile

needshave

150 posts in 708 days


#9 posted 03-13-2013 04:02 AM

Have not heard back from Joe, But If it were me, I would probably follow MRGS advice and try and clean and degrease the bearings to prove the remedy. Then, if that is the culprit,change out the bearings. MRG apparently knows the saw and sounds like parts are readily available. That’s a good thing.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

1311 posts in 1157 days


#10 posted 03-13-2013 04:18 AM

I agree with the bearing issue. In automotive we see this when the bearing wears and in the worst of cases locks up. Once the weight of the vehicle is off the bearing, i.e. load, the whel will turn freely. Try cleaning it 1st, if this does not work then maybe a shim but I am guessing the bearing finally gave up the ghost. Just a thought….

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

189 posts in 796 days


#11 posted 03-13-2013 10:00 AM

It sounds like it has seized – probably some dust. Those things aren’t “sealed” as well as they should be. I’ve had success freeing up bandsaw bearings using a solvent. I start gentle with WD-40 and soak it and turn by hand until it runs free. If WD-40 doesn’t work the suggestions above should work. Then be sure to lube it with something (not WD-40). Should not hurt even if I diagnosed it incorrectly. I actually have had this be a permanent solution in every case I’ve done it.

That’s some really good thinking above trying to imagine what the cause may be!

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 997 days


#12 posted 03-13-2013 12:17 PM

So it sounds like the general conscious is bearing seizure. I used to rollerblade a lot many many years ago (haaayyy!!) and have quite a few sets of 608zz bearings – however they are not ABEC style, they are Swiss and only shielded on one side. They are meant to be cleaned and lubed often so that’s not going to work.

I’ll go to the sporting goods store later and grab some regular ABEC3 or ABEC5 double shielded bearings. In the long run does it make sense just to replace these with proper machine bearings (sealed)?

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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needshave

150 posts in 708 days


#13 posted 03-13-2013 01:44 PM

I wouldn’t want to use anything but a sealed bearing in such a dust laden environment. That combined with the forces it must withstand + the speed at which it must operate(rotate) = heat. I would go toward a better machine bearing. I personally would want to do it only once. NAPA, would most likely have it or at least get it for you. I’m sure MRG would know, sounds like he’s been there, done that.

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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 997 days


#14 posted 03-13-2013 01:52 PM

The bearings on there are not sealed, they are just double shielded. Sealed bearings usually operate at lower speeds and greater load. That may be what I am looking for. Does anyone know how fast a bandsaw wheel actually turns (RPM)? I suppose I could figure it out based on the wheel size and the FPM rating of the blade. I have a feeling it would be considered a “low speed” in the grand scheme of bearing design.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 997 days


#15 posted 03-13-2013 02:12 PM

I pulled the bearings, the front one is seized good. Looks like it pissed out all the grease. I threw some 3-in-1 oil in there and it turns, but makes horrible noises. If I had some sawing to do today, it would likely work for a while, but it’s shot. They are also not 608 sized like on the guides (skateboard bearings). they are 6023z. I think I will just order a few from McMaster Carr.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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