a few bandsaw questions about blades..

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Forum topic by Dave posted 08-11-2013 04:23 PM 3544 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2646 days

08-11-2013 04:23 PM

Hi, I just bought a nice barely used Dayton 14” band saw, model 1FYX1A, and for a very good price. Since there was no manual with it (and nothing on-line) and it being my first band saw, I had to watch a couple of YouTube videos to learn how to R&R the blade. I also learned how to get the blade tracking correctly by adjusting the “co-planing” so the blade is centered on the tires.
My question though is about what size blade does it take. I did a Google search and found a website spelling out the specs and it said the maximum blade length was 93”. I assume that is the standard blade length or do I actually have options on length? If I do, what purposes would longer or shorter lengths serve? Also, I know there is supposed to be a certain amount of deflection in the blade based on the amount of tension. The adjustment knob on back shows marks where a given blade is supposed to be tightened to, i.e., a half inch blade seems to be slightly looser than the mark for a 3/4” blade. (or maybe I have it backwards) anyway, are those marks meant to serve only as guidelines? Is the deflection the ultimate measurement on blade tension?
I realize I have several questions, but I just want to be sure I have everything adjusted correctly. I want to have it working properly and adjusted properly so that it lasts me a long time and I don’t do something to cause things to wear out prematurely.
I’m hoping that one or more of you will educate me on the topic.


P.S. on a side note, I’m signing up for a class at my local Woodcraft store so I can learn as much as I can about how to best utilize my new saw.

-- "I've cut it twice and it's still too short..."

5 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2238 days

#1 posted 08-11-2013 04:31 PM

Ignore the bandsaw tension gage. There’s a video out there explaining how to do it by feel/eye. It’s been mentioned a bajillion times here on LJ but of course I can’t find the link right now.

93 is max, it’s max so there’s no use for anything longer. If you look at how your tensioner works, you’ll see you have some wiggle-room. 93 is the longest you can put on there and still give the tensioner enough room to tighten it up. Depending on how much adjustment there is in the tensioner you may be able to use shorter blades, like 92 or 92.5. You won’t have as much room to play with the shorter you go though. There is no “purpose” for shorter/longer blades other than the manufacturers inability to agree on some common standard like 14” bandsaw = 93” blade, 18” saw = 142” blade, because that would just make it too easy for us.

Highland Woodworking is, in my opinion, the best place for blades.

Edit: I think this is the link. Snodgrass is definitely the name.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3848 days

#2 posted 08-11-2013 04:36 PM

That’s a standard type cast frame 14” saw. Normally
they take blades between about 92.5” and 93.5” well.

When you think about it, that’s only 1/2” of movement
on the tension widget, so you can probably run slightly
shorter blades too. Narrow blades especially are prone to
breakage and can be soldered back together with a slight
loss of length.

The marks are just a rough guide, assuming the tension
spring isn’t fatigued. Some people swear by replacing
the spring with an aftermarket one – they say it makes
the saw run much better even if the OEM spring is
brand new.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2687 days

#3 posted 08-11-2013 04:38 PM

Sign up all you want, it might do some good.

Those marks for tensioning are about worthless in my opinion, I’ve used a bunch of different saws that were said to have poor tracking and a lot of deflection when re-sawing.
Every one was set at the ‘mark’, and all of them were way loose in my opinion. A few had over 1/2” deflection when pushed from the side.
I reset the tension to less than 1/8” deflection and I could resaw 8” wood straight and true.
Blade length is pretty much limited to the distance around the wheels. The longer the blade the farther you have to tension it in order to make it cut right.
There is no reason whatsoever to buy a shorter blade or a longer blade, standard length is good.
Depending on how the saw was treated before you got it, the tensioning spring could be totally worn out. which, again would make you tighten it farther to get the same tension of a new one.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Wildwood's profile


2471 posts in 2334 days

#4 posted 08-11-2013 05:19 PM

Is this your bandsaw?

You can custom order 93” band saw blades from many places. I would strongly suggest ordering only 93” blades. Specs say will take from 1/8” to ¾” wide blades suggest you not buy any blade over ½”. I poo-poo buying smaller or larger blades than 93” because may end up a P.I.T.A to get working properly.

Type of Blade depends upon what going to be cutting, width, number of teeth per inch, tooth style etc..

Recommend check out your library or pick up a copy of Band Saw Handbook by Mark Duginske or his latest book, or Lonnie Birds Bandsaw book.

-- Bill

View Dave's profile


12 posts in 2646 days

#5 posted 08-11-2013 06:54 PM

Thanks to all of you for the advice on set up, blade size range, deflection, and specifically the links to the video and the pages of specs and parts for my EXACT saw.

I knew I could count on you LJ’s for the right advice.


-- "I've cut it twice and it's still too short..."

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