Delta band saw woes.....

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Forum topic by LazyHorse posted 12-30-2013 04:02 PM 922 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1031 days

12-30-2013 04:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw band saw

Hello Lumber Jocks! This is my first post. I’ve been reading posts etc. for a while and love this site. I hopping you guys can offer some suggestions on working out some bugs on a used 14” Delta band saw that I just bought. My main problem at this point is that the saw keeps throwing off the blade. It seems that when the blade is riding in the center of the top wheel, it’s riding to the front of the bottom wheel. I have tried adjusting the angle on the top wheel as well as the tension, thrust bearings, blade guide and blocks over the past two days. Blade stays on fine until I start cutting. I felt like picking the saw up and throwing it today but lucky for it it’s too heavy. Need more info? Thanks guys!

-- "Yer young, you got yer health, what do you want with a JOB?"

14 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


15472 posts in 2428 days

#1 posted 12-30-2013 04:12 PM

Sounds to me like your wheels aren’t in the same plane. Take a plumb bob, and while holding it firmly against the top wheel, drop it down and see where, or if, it makes contact with the lower wheel. They should be in direction alignment vertically to one another. A couple of washers to shim out either wheel might be the ticket.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 1460 days

#2 posted 12-30-2013 04:45 PM

This is the video you need to watch, it will tell you how to set up your saw properly.

If you are setting it up correctly then just starting a cut shouldn’t make the blade come off. I don’t want to jinx you, or scare you, but Delta 14” saws went through a short period from 1980-present where they made the upper adjustment piece out of a special grade of tinfoiluminum, a proprietary blend of cheap iron and toddler-boogers with a rockwell hardness about the same as cotton candy, but with the brittleness of, well, peanut brittle. Surprisingly enough they break a lot. Because the piece is hidden behind the center of the upper wheel, the problem is hard to diagnose until the operator starts experiencing TSIAPOS (pronounced thisiyapus). That’s short for the medical term “this saw is a piece of s@it) and usually includes symptoms like blade not tensioning properly, tracking consistently, or attempting to jump off the saw completely and escape out the back door.
If you do find this piece is broken, fear not my friend because the manufacturer should have a large supply of replacement parts, made from the same tinfoiluminum, that they will be willing to sell you if the price is right.

Edit: And welcome to LJ – the third friendliest place on the internet.

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View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3382 days

#3 posted 12-30-2013 04:47 PM

While you’re at it, check the tires to see if they are loose on the wheels. If the tire expands or distorts when spinning it’ll throw the blade.


View Wildwood's profile


1852 posts in 1556 days

#4 posted 12-30-2013 06:09 PM

What size blade are you using, and have you checked the weld? If band saw wheels already coplanar that is would be my next checki. Many 14” bandsaws do not like wide blades, 5’8” and above can cause fits. Sloppy welds can throw blade off no mater size or whatever adjustments you make. Old blades (stretched) need more tension than new.

Nice books to have, “Band Saw Handbook by Mark Duginske,” or Lonnie Bird’s Band Saw book.

-- Bill

View LazyHorse's profile


26 posts in 1031 days

#5 posted 12-30-2013 06:21 PM

Arg! Foiled again! Oh well. worst case scenario, i’m out of $125. I bought it with the intention of building my own at some point. I took to top wheel off and inspected the mechanisms and everything looks like everything is intact. Rubber on the wheels seems to be holding good. Guess I will keep pluggin away…... or convert it into an electric motorcycle. I have not checked the weld on the blade but its a 3/8”.

-- "Yer young, you got yer health, what do you want with a JOB?"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16808 posts in 2527 days

#6 posted 12-30-2013 09:02 PM

I have a friend who bought a 12” bandsaw and had the same problem. I think his is a Wards or a Delta. We adjusted the tilt on the top wheel until it was truly parallel to the bottom driver wheel and it was 3/16” off. We shimmed the top wheel out to make it align with the bottom and it works fine now. I think that is why he got it so cheap- the blade kept flying off for the last guy.

It is a simple machine!!! Don’t give up!!

It you get your wheels adjusted parallel and they do not line up, shim the proper wheel to make them align and then put the blade on and tune it up the rest of the way….....................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View JoeinGa's profile


7379 posts in 1429 days

#7 posted 12-30-2013 09:13 PM

You might consider changing the rubber tires out for new poly ones. Made a world of difference on mine

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

View pintodeluxe's profile


4825 posts in 2235 days

#8 posted 12-30-2013 09:19 PM

What would we do without comments from Just Joe. ...A short period from 1980-present… you had me rolling.

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

View CharlesA's profile


2974 posts in 1219 days

#9 posted 12-30-2013 09:20 PM

Before buying anything, take Joe’s suggestion and watch that video and do what it says. It was of great benefit to me.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Underdog's profile


879 posts in 1457 days

#10 posted 12-30-2013 09:32 PM

I’d check the tires while it’s running. If they tend to create a “wave” in front of the blade contact (especially when cutting), then you know those tires need replaced. The rubber tires are bad about this. That’s why they make poly replacement tires.

Just don’t stand where the blade will hit you if it comes off.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1849 days

#11 posted 12-30-2013 10:10 PM

Take the blade off and check that it is not bent from cutting through hard screws – I found out about this problem the hard way. I cut through a broken (hidden) screw and ruined a blade, after that happened it would not stay on, no matter what I did to the adjustments.
I put on a new blade and all was okay.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View LazyHorse's profile


26 posts in 1031 days

#12 posted 12-31-2013 12:39 AM

Thanks for the many tips you guys. Love how you guys are so friendly and eager to help a greenhorn such as myself. I will try some of these ideas and report back.

-- "Yer young, you got yer health, what do you want with a JOB?"

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2112 days

#13 posted 12-31-2013 01:50 AM

Having the blade tensioned to the correct tension is very critical in getting blades to track properly. I couldn’t keep a 1/8” blade on my saw until I called Grizzly and the tech guy suggested decreasing the tension. INSTANT fix!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View LazyHorse's profile


26 posts in 1031 days

#14 posted 01-01-2014 11:56 PM

That IS a great video. . I followed his instructions and it really helped a lot. Blade is staying on now. I was experiencing some drift but I put a new blade on and that’s better now too. Other than some vibration the saw seems to be performing pretty good. I re-sawed some 3” walnut and it cut straight. I will try something wider later. Gonna end the day on a positive note. Thanks for all the LJ’s

-- "Yer young, you got yer health, what do you want with a JOB?"

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