Common Problem with older JET 14" Bandsaws

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Forum topic by molarman posted 05-20-2009 04:49 PM 10024 views 2 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 3236 days

05-20-2009 04:49 PM

I have a JET 14” bandsaw that I purchased new approx. 10 years ago – it is the older blue-green JET color. It has served me quite well, but over the last couple of years or so I have had a problem with the upper wheel. When the upper wheel was properly adjusted so that the blade would track on the crown, the saw would make a “thump thump thump” sound. I isolated the problem to the part of the saw which tilts the upper wheel as it is adjusted for proper tracking. The part in question is the part that holds the “axle” for the upper wheel. As I would adjust the tilt of the upper wheel this part would begin to rub against the wheel itself, causing the noise. Assuming that I had done something wrong (over-tensioned, not de-tensioned at the end of a day, etc etc) I tried to work with it by removing this part and grinding it down to eliminate the interference. This worked, but the problem eventually returned.

The other day I was in Woodcraft buying a router bit and I described my problem to one of the salesman there. His only thought was that it might be bad bearings on the upper wheel. I was about to buy a new set of bearings when the asst manager caught wind of the conversation. Boy am I glad he did. His exact words – “I know exactly what the problem is”. It seems this particular part was built with a bad alloy that would deform over time. This in turn would require the user to crank down on it more which would deform the part even further. He told us that it was very common on JET bandsaws of this era – in fact there was a time when the store was almost flooded with folks complaining of this phenomenon. JET apparently denied that there was an issue of any kind. Interestingly, about this time, new JET 14” bandsaws became scarce due to a “backorder problem”. I ordered a replacement part and it solved the issue immediately. What was amazing is how much the original part had deformed without me even realizing it. Little did I know that that piece was supposed to be flat rather than the mild “C” shape that mine had become.

So if you have a JET bandsaw that is approx 10 years old and are having a similar problem, this is your solution.

-- Woodworking is not a's a joinery !!!

18 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115167 posts in 2995 days

#1 posted 05-20-2009 06:09 PM

I had one with the same problem

-- Custom furniture

View molarman's profile


44 posts in 3236 days

#2 posted 05-21-2009 02:37 AM

Here are some photos to more clearly demonstrate the issue at hand.

This first image clearly shows the degree to which this part had deformed in my machine. The piece that has the gentle curve is supposed to be completely flat.

This second image shows the points of interference with the upper wheel.

This last image was emailed to me by a woodworker who has had the same problem although his bandsaw is significantly newer than mine. In fact, his is JET ivory, not the older green-blue like mine, demonstrating that this had been an ongoing problem with these JET bandsaws. The part on the left is the newer, more robust version of the part on the right, and presumably will not allow such deformation.

-- Woodworking is not a's a joinery !!!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17573 posts in 3094 days

#3 posted 05-21-2009 03:35 AM

You would think a reputable company would stand behind their products rather than lie about it!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View molarman's profile


44 posts in 3236 days

#4 posted 05-21-2009 03:41 AM

I’m not by any means “dogging” JET Tools. I have previously owned 2 of their table saws and currently own 2 of their bandsaws, a jointer and a drill press. I have been very pleased with them all, and will consider their products in the future. I have not called them regarding this issue as my bandsaw is now 10 years old, and as such, I don’t really expect any allowances to be made by the manufacturer. However, I thought it might be of interest to others here.

-- Woodworking is not a's a joinery !!!

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3162 days

#5 posted 05-21-2009 03:49 AM

This problem happens with all of this line of saws, Delta, Jet, Powermatic, etc. It’s a good argument for not over tensioning the blade and letting off the tension when not in use.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17573 posts in 3094 days

#6 posted 05-21-2009 04:19 AM

I guess now we know where the weak link is in the saws.

A friend of mines dad used to work for a hardware store an appliance repair man. They sent him to a seminar about repairig their line of applicances. The factory guy told him based on their sales data, they should need this many of this part and that many of those over the next x number of years. He asked how they knew that. The factroy trainer said those parts were the ones engineered to fail on each of those appliances. Perry was from the WWII generation, as honest as the day is long and absolutely livid for months. Everyday when Mark came home from work, the first thinng he did was scrape his dad off the ceiling!!

Of course on the flip side of the coin is putting in a shear pin designed to prevent more serious damage. I’m not familiar enough with bandsaw design and use to know which to consider this failure point.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2759 days

#7 posted 05-21-2009 08:20 PM

i think we have all had various orriental tools over the years .
i started noticing years ago that many appeared similar.
came to find out that to be true. they just had different logos and minor variations.
i always go to grizzly tools to get parts and manuals for lobo , sunhill , reliant and various other knok off brands ,
as they have complete parts for their own tools , it can save the time it takes the other guys to get parts from taiwan / china . grizzly is prety good about helping with this and even though their newer catalogs don’t have some previous stuff , you can maybe go online and access older tools they had .
i don’t know much about jet , but it’s worth a try.

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View xwingace's profile


214 posts in 2006 days

#8 posted 05-21-2012 01:19 AM

Just got into this thread as my part cracked in two right where yours was bent. It made the bad sound, as I was making a cut at the time. Quite exciting!
Now I have to decide if I want to spend $70 on a new part, or spend a lot more and get something that won’t blow apart on me… :P

-- I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.

View AHuxley's profile


424 posts in 2739 days

#9 posted 05-21-2012 09:40 AM

tenontim is correct it happens with all the Delta clone cast saws and Delta too but it doesn’t happen with Powermatic since they never made a clone of the Delta saw, they had the overbuilt 141 that makes the Delta look positively puny and the Artisan welded steel framed 14” saw which was a DOG in other ways. It is also not an Asian built issue, it happens to the US made Delta saws as well, all the way back to the originals from the 30’s. It comes from being a saw that was designed originally for use with a 1/4” blade and built for that, little if any beefing up happened over the years BUT the makers kept upping the blade capacity making it into a 12” high 3/4” blade resaw machine which it certainly isn’t. There are several other reasons but I won’t waste your time. Take a look at a PM141 if you want to see a 14” saw that can tension a 3/4” blade properly, the tensioning arm and spring assembly look like most 16-18” Asian saws today!

Iturra sells the Delta part for about $25 and his improved version for about $50, he was working on one that fit the Jet a couple of years ago but not sure it is on the market, you should call him.

The bottom line is be careful of the tension on these saws, I would never use wider then a 1/2” blade on them and probably not even a 1/2” bi-metal only spring steel , high silicon or carbon blades.

Ooops just saw this thread is very OLD but maybe the info can be useful to xwing

View northwoodsman's profile


242 posts in 3164 days

#10 posted 05-24-2012 01:17 AM

I have a 12 year old Rigid that had “alloy” issues. I purchased it from my wife’s grandfather last summer and I ended up replacing every single part (except the wheels) that was made out of an alloy. The blade bearing guides and holders (upper and lower), the table lockdown clamps, and etc. I could literally snap the alloy pieces with my bare hands. I practically have a new bandsaw now after all of the upgrades (Kreg fence, riser block, good blades, new tires, mobile base).

-- NorthWoodsMan

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3170 days

#11 posted 05-24-2012 01:28 AM

The biggest mistake most woodworking hobbiests make is buying a 14” bandsaw with dreams of resawing 10” stock and milling fresh tree parts. By time they add all the after market upgrades…..they could have owned a much more solid 17” or larger saw which would have done all that without the time and hassle.

View Dusty56's profile


11800 posts in 3106 days

#12 posted 05-24-2012 01:33 AM

Thanks for the info ..I have one of those , but no problems to date …I feel like I need to run into the shop and check it out though…maybe tomorrow : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View AHuxley's profile


424 posts in 2739 days

#13 posted 05-24-2012 01:55 AM

@ ShipWreak amen

View Bayouwoodworker's profile


1 post in 217 days

#14 posted 03-18-2016 10:18 PM

Thank you, now I know. My older Jet Bandsaw that I bought from a retiring cabinet maker broke. I disassembled and found the same broken parts described above. I now know the “c” shaped part, didn’t start out that way, it is now. The big question for me, can I get replacement parts to salvage, as the rest of the saw is in very good shape for an older saw.

Model JBS-14, Stock number 708452, Serial number 445919.

Parts WA14-21 and WA14-26 which hold and cants the top wheel.

Does anyone know where I can find one of each of these so I can salvage the saw? Are they even still available or should I just hang it up, sell it for scrap and get a new one?

View klassenl's profile


167 posts in 2077 days

#15 posted 03-19-2016 03:07 AM

Yep. Mine is an elephant band saw from House of Tools and had cracked upper slide parts. I ordered a new slide bracket from R & D and he told me to buy the hinged part as well because it was a matter of time before that one died too…..........not too long after it died.

If you search google images for wa14-21 my thread on Lumberjocks is the first entry.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

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