Band saw motor belt

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 04-06-2013 11:42 AM 1720 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3391 posts in 3896 days

04-06-2013 11:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: band saw motor belt pulley

I have a Jet 14” band saw and it’s a workhorse. I’ve had it about 8 years or so now and this is really the first problem I’ve had with it. Before now all I’ve had to do was replace the starter switch and that was within the first six months I had it, so I can say I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of the saw. Today the motor belt came off the pulley. I know how to fix it but I’m curious as to how it happened.

I was re-sawing a piece of walnut and there was a huge bang and the machine stopped. The belt does not look damaged at all, there are no cracks or even frayed edges on the belt. Any idea why the belt came off the pulley? If the belt only comes off once every 8 years that’s not bad—- but if I can find out why it came off this time – perhaps I can prevent it from happening again. Is this just something that happens for no particular reason or is there something I need to check?

Thanks in advance.


-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

12 replies so far

View Cajunrotor's profile


35 posts in 2328 days

#1 posted 04-06-2013 12:23 PM

The first (and most obvious) thing I would look for is either loose motor mounts or loose pulleys. Seems to me that either one could have created enough slack for the belt to jump off?

-- Earl

View lew's profile


12062 posts in 3756 days

#2 posted 04-06-2013 12:40 PM

+1 on the loose belt. It may have just stretched over time and during the resaw, if the wood got pinched, the motor continued to run- it would have caused the belt to bulge up and over the pulley.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2851 days

#3 posted 04-06-2013 01:16 PM

Check to see if both pulleys are secure, Betsy. Those little allen head set screws, especially the coarse thread ones, can loosen up.

If that is the case, check to be sure the pulley fits on the shaft nicely. It shouldn’t wobble or rattle. If it’s loose, it must be discarded and replaced.

The only other thing I can imagine that would throw the belt if the pulleys are intact would be an object getting in there between the belt and a pulley causing the belt to stretch and pop off.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2007 days

#4 posted 04-06-2013 01:23 PM

I had the same thought as Lee. Maybe a chunk of the wood you were sawing dropped in there and got between the belt and pulley. BANG! Instant belt jump.

Oh, and while you’re examining the pulleys, make sure one hasn’t slipped outward on the shaft. If the pulleys aren’t lined up, that might cause belt jump also.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8191 posts in 2577 days

#5 posted 04-06-2013 01:25 PM

I put link belts on my bandsaw and it made a huge difference
in performance.

Solid advice above.

View Vjeko's profile


135 posts in 3415 days

#6 posted 04-06-2013 04:38 PM

Like the guys said / check if pulleys are loose (may have climbed over) or may be
not in line -use straight edge (tighten with grubscrew or may need to replace)
Check if belt is worn on the inside – may also be a reason for climbing/jumping out under stress
Check if belt tight enough – sheck like on car – some 6mm play when you pinch it in the middle
- if it’s too loose, you’ll hear it, if it’s too tight, the motor may get hot and bearings wear out.
-My first thought was actually that something (piece of wood) came under the belt and it
climbed out – like the guys said

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

View Airspeed's profile


445 posts in 1903 days

#7 posted 04-06-2013 06:35 PM

Looks like Jennyzinger wants to meet a good lookin man! I’m married so maybe or of you single guys can help her out!


View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3896 days

#8 posted 04-06-2013 08:09 PM

Just my luck some honey boo boo wanna be highjacks my thread! Jeez—there’s no escaping low morals.

Back to the issue at hand. I think you are right that a piece of wood probably got between the belt. The pulleys are in alignment and the belt is in good shape. I simply loosened the mounting bolts a bit, slipped the belt back on and retightened the bolts, checked my alignment again and plugged it in. IT WORKS!

I do think if this happens again, I’ll change to the link belts. I did take the opportunity to check the full belt inside and out and it’s in remarkable shape for being so old. It’s not even got any “rotten” spots. Lucky me.

Thanks for all the tips one and all.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View madts's profile


1862 posts in 2340 days

#9 posted 04-06-2013 10:15 PM

Do you run your belts on your car for 8 years?. That might be your problem.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View MrUnix's profile


6716 posts in 2199 days

#10 posted 04-06-2013 10:39 PM

I do think if this happens again, I’ll change to the link belts.

Be aware that the link belts are very prone to stretch. If you want low-stretch, go Kevlar.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View bbc557ci's profile


595 posts in 2075 days

#11 posted 04-06-2013 11:59 PM

I recently put a link belt on my old Craftsman table saw and my God what a difference!! Runs way way smoother with the link belt. So, I picked up a couple more for my old 10 Atlas TS, which uses 2 belts. I bought the belts at Harbor Freight for $24.99 ea. (five footers) and can not attest to the longevity, just the smoother performance. As far as adjustment after wearing in time, a link can be added or removed in just a couple of minutes.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4577 posts in 2409 days

#12 posted 04-07-2013 12:50 AM

Have same bandsaw, belt was loose after 10 years never bothered to check. Yeah I know lazy what can I say?

jennyzinger sorry babe, already married a REAL Ukrainian woman got all I can handle..


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

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