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Forum topic by doitforfun posted 04-15-2014 12:02 PM 657 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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doitforfun

156 posts in 266 days


04-15-2014 12:02 PM

I bought an older craftsman 12” bandsaw the other day for $90 off craigslist. I watched a bunch of videos and read stuff about tuning it up and yesterday that’s what I did. It came with a 1/4” blade. Who knows when it was last used or how it was abused. It didn’t come from a woodworker, but rather a craigslist trader. I kind of bought it on a whim because it was inexpensive and i’d like to do some projects with it this summer after the rest of my project queue is finished. It has a 1/2 HP motor. I’m a novice woodworker in general and I have never used a bandsaw except maybe once in junior high shop class.

Anyway, I think I tuned it up pretty well. I got the blade to track properly and adjusted the guide blocks and thrust bearings to the dollar bill test. I have a couple of issues that I need advice on.

The belt tension is almost non existent. I adjusted the motor mount to try to tension the belt but there is still very little tension. Is it supposed to be like that? When I did a test cut after all my tuning I noticed that there was some slippage when the blade got bogged down.

Speaking of getting bogged down, that’s precisely what happened. Like all the time. I assume at least part of that is due to the old blade. My test cuts were done on a piece of 2×3 so the thickness was 1-1/2”. It bogged down and burned the wood and took what seemed like a long time to cut. After that I tried a cut off edge of a 2×4 that was maybe 1/4 thick. It even bogged down on that but less so and still left burn marks.

Also, while I was pushing the wood through the blade there were sometimes sparks coming from the guide blocks. I assume that’s because the guide blocks were set too far forward. Not a big deal for this blade but I don’t want that to happen with a new blade! Or maybe that’s normal? I don’t know but I doubt it would be.

And lastly, how the heck to I change the blade? The tensioner doesn’t seem to move far enough to simply pull the blade off. Do I have to intentionally misalign the wheels to roll the blade off? I haven’t tried yet. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY


20 replies so far

View Richard Miller's profile

Richard Miller

108 posts in 629 days


#1 posted 04-15-2014 12:48 PM

I would try a shorter belt so you can get it tight and a new blade. I have a old craftsman and put on the carter blade guide and it made a new saw out of it.

-- Dick F,Burg Iowa

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

691 posts in 831 days


#2 posted 04-15-2014 12:51 PM

Pictures would help. If the tensioner is a knob that sticks out above the top of the saw yu just back it off as for as it will go and you will have plenty of room to change the blade. Put a new blade on, while you probably need a new belt you will continue to have slippage until you get a sharp blade.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View ChipBreaker's profile

ChipBreaker

37 posts in 203 days


#3 posted 04-15-2014 12:52 PM

I just tuned one up (model#113.243311). There was a couple different things I replaced. Guides with cooling blocks. New tires and new blade. I got a Timber Wolf blade(1/2” x 80 3TPI).

If your blade tension assembly isn’t moving then you need to clean it. I just took the tension dial all the way off and wiggled the wheel down till it slid freely up and down. Once it comes un-stuck you will be able to take the blade off.

There’s lots of PDF owners manuals on the craftsman band saws out there.

What model is it?

Im by far NOT an expert. I can tinker though.

-- I wood if I cood

View comboprof's profile

comboprof

274 posts in 393 days


#4 posted 04-15-2014 12:59 PM

Hard to answer your questions without knowing the model. I bought a craftsman 12” bandsaw 30 years ago and I have never had problems with it. I keep a 1/8 blade on it it for scroll work. The blades on mine are 80 inches and I simply turn the tensioner down until the blade is easily removed. Thus I think you have the wrong blade
length for your machine. See if you can online find a manual for it. Post a picture and tell us the model and other specs.

Funny how we all gave the same advice at the same time.

-- -- Cheers, Don K. (Michgan's Kewenaw peninsula)

View doitforfun's profile

doitforfun

156 posts in 266 days


#5 posted 04-15-2014 01:33 PM

Thanks for the tips. I got the blade tensioner moving. It definitely needs cleaning. Also, I was turning it the wrong direction. Duh!

Here are some pics.

I haven’t really cleaned out the inside yet other than vacuuming. I suppose that’s part of the tune up. ;-) I’ll get a new blade soon. I don’t really have a project for it yet so it may be a couple of weeks before I get around to that.

One last question – is 1/2 HP enough? Is this a good buy or should I just clean it up, finish tuning it and resell it? I’m not quite sure what I plan to do with it. I definitely want to be able to do some resawing for furniture projects and also probably some curve cuts also for furniture, but probably not scroll saw type of stuff. At least not yet.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1186 posts in 955 days


#6 posted 04-15-2014 01:52 PM

Cutting through inch and a half thick material with an old quarter inch blade will bog things down. Smaller blades are meant for tight radius turns in thinner material.

Is 1/2 hp enough? Depends on what you plan on doing. Cutting out things like spoons or making radius cuts on adirondack chairs or similar it is plenty. If you want to resaw with it I would say no. If you have the space there is nothing wrong with leaving this one set up for tight cuts and getting a bigger saw for resawing. $90 is not a deal breaker. Especially since you got the sanding disc on the back side of that.

View ChipBreaker's profile

ChipBreaker

37 posts in 203 days


#7 posted 04-15-2014 01:58 PM

That’s the same one I have. I wouldn’t put too much time into it if you plan on selling it.

heres your manual
http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-model/Craftsman-Parts/Saw-Parts/user-manuals/manual-downloads/Model-113243310/0247/0744100?modelNumber=113243310&diagramPageId=&documentId=

-- I wood if I cood

View doitforfun's profile

doitforfun

156 posts in 266 days


#8 posted 04-15-2014 02:25 PM

Thanks for the manual. I don’t PLAN on selling it. I would prefer to actually use it, but if its too small for my needs then I would consider selling it. I guess I want to see what the general consensus is on whether this particular one is big enough for resawing. I think for the meantime I’ll try some coolblocks and the timberwolf 3 tpi blade and see how it goes. That will put me about $40 more into the hole, although I could reuse the blade if I get a more powerful 12” saw later. Anyway, I should at least try to use it to find out what the whole bandsaw thing is all about. Then I can make a more informed decision about the next one if I decide to upgrade. Thanks again, everyone for the advice.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

View ChipBreaker's profile

ChipBreaker

37 posts in 203 days


#9 posted 04-15-2014 04:03 PM

I wanted a band saw for resawing for a little while. Was going to save up and get a decent one capable of this. I ended up with a deal I couldn’t refuse. Now I have two. Not really meant to resaw but now I have them.

-- I wood if I cood

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

63 posts in 243 days


#10 posted 04-15-2014 04:54 PM

I have that same model, purchased it new. Where did you purchase the blocks that you find to be a good improvement? I should do that.

thaks.
.

View ChipBreaker's profile

ChipBreaker

37 posts in 203 days


#11 posted 04-15-2014 05:05 PM

I got everything off amazon since I had a free trial of the prime account. Blade stayed nice and cool(stopping frequently during test cuts).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P4SK9Y/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

-- I wood if I cood

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1186 posts in 955 days


#12 posted 04-15-2014 07:37 PM

” if I get a more powerful 12” saw later.” You could get a bigger motor now, or just upgrade to a 14 inch Delta or Delta clone. If you really plan on serious resawing you want something with a a riser block on it.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15699 posts in 2877 days


#13 posted 04-15-2014 07:44 PM

I just inherited one almost identical to yours.

I had the exact same issue with the blade tension. Turns out it was just too gummed up to move. Spray a little WD-40 on the tension mechanism, back the tension knob all the way off until it is loose, then tap down on the upper wheel with a rubber mallet. The wheel will move, and the blade will slide right off.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3175 posts in 832 days


#14 posted 04-15-2014 08:43 PM

I had the “sparks” problem with the guides, I simply changed it.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View doitforfun's profile

doitforfun

156 posts in 266 days


#15 posted 04-15-2014 08:44 PM

Chipbreaker, thanks for the link.

Dhazelton, what do you think about using my delta table saw motor? I’d have to get a wheel pulley twice as large but I’m sure it would be cheaper than a new motor. It’s a contractor/hybrid saw that simply hangs off the trunnion for belt tension. So simple and perfect as an engineering solution. I’m sure I could rig it to the bandsaw in a similar fashion. It’s 1 HP.

Charlie M, I did get the blade tensioner loosened up and it definitely needs cleaning.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

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