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Thread: Relative Newbie question..

  1. #1

    Relative Newbie question..

    Hello all.
    Well, at 62, I'm not quite a newbie, but I do have a question. I've just acquired a small bandsaw (a Skill 3104 10") and, now that I have disassembled, cleaned and tried to adjust it, I tried it out. And I cannot cut a straight line for anything. The blade wants to turn, and I don't know how to stop it. I suppose it could be the stock -3/4" composite- and/or the blade -7TPI-, but it did the same thing on a piece of 3/8 plywood, so I don't think so. . This is where the newbie comes in. I've never had a bandsaw before. I've worked with tools all my life, done my fair share of carpentry and woodworking, and some amateur cabinetry, so I know a hammer from a hatchet, and a rip from a crosscut. But a bandsaw? Newbie. Sooo... answers, please?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Zushi, Japan

    BS are a bit tricky to set up. There are a few different areas you have to tune in order for it to cut straight. And then there is the blade itself which has its own hook and can lead the wood to go to the left or right. First check the tension. If you don't have a tension gauge it should make a nice plong sound, not a ping and definately not a plonk . Second check the blocks for the top and bottom, side and back are set up correctly to specs. They should be quite close to the blade to keep it in line. Third check guard rail is not too high above the piece you are cutting. Four, the blade should be tracking the wheel in the center. And five about the blade itself; many blades have a tenancy to hook. For that you have to cut a piece of wood without a fence and see which direction the wood pulls. Set your fence to that angle. Check all those and see how it cuts. If you are still not satisfied try another blade and compare.

  3. #3
    You can go to the SKIL website and select a 9" bandsaw but not your nimber, Is it an old model? Anyway you can download the owner's manual and gain some info there.

    However thes small BS have a rep. for being hard to control the blade . But You stil have to follow setup rules as you replace the blade, I would begin with a new blade. then start the setup. Back off all the guides and bearings. (first make sure they are in good order) Then place the blade on the wheels and adjust the tension (Remember the guides are not in the picture yet) adjust the tracking so that the blade rides on the center (crown) of the wheels, turn the wheels by hand till you are sure of the tracking. When the blade will ride consistly on the crown then the guides come in.

    Remember that the guides are not there to control the blade, the tension and tracking controls the blade, Tracking forward of the crown will cause the blade turn to the left, behind the crown will turn to the right)

    Bring in the rear thrust bearings (upper & lower) they are place thickness of a dollar behind the blade the blade should not touch the bearing (It is there to keep you from puushing the blade back as you cut.) Next bring in the two side guides. They should be adjusted so that they approach the blade behind the set or the teeth (back enough so that if the blade is pushed to the thrust bearing, they still do not contact the set of the teeth) again the thickness of a dollar distance between the side guides and the blade. (do this both upper and lower) Now the blade should be tuned to cut correctly.

    Often time blades are twisted and bent slightly by a previous user or the set of the teeth is ruined by guides too close or forward and this will cause a blade to drift. Improper placement in the tilt will cause it to drift. Using the guides to force a blade direction will cause major drift. Each of these can be corrected by following the basic setup practices as I discribed. I suggest a new blade because we don't know how the previous owner abused it. or how any errors you made abused it. A true setup cannot not be accomplished with a damaged blade. The smaller the saw the harder it is to make a good setup.

    But go to the site at and find your tool.

  4. #4

    Skil advice

    Thank you, gentlemen, I will apply the advice proffered, and let you know.

  5. #5
    Well? What's the result?

  6. #6
    Did you replace the blade? Sounds like a dull blade to me.

  7. #7

    Status report...

    Well, evidently the last report never made it to post. As it stands now, it will be a while before I can get around to trying the suggestions and working on the bandsaw. I have found that I need a rolling guide for the bottom set (the current one is made from a ground down bolt, and does not quite fit), I need new guide blocks, and I guess a new blade. Funds are scarce right now also, so it may be a while. BUT... as soon as all the pieces fall into place, you all will be the first to know. Thanks for all, tho.

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