Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: bandsaw blade tension question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Yankton, SD
    Posts
    19

    Question bandsaw blade tension question

    Hello,

    I just received my new Timber Wolf 3/16" x 4tpi 93 1/2" bandsaw blade. First time I will be using a Timber Wolf blade. I am wondering how to properly tension for this blade? It did not come with any instructions on how to properly tension it. I've heard that Timber Wolf blades do not need as much tension. Is there a correct way to tension this blade. By the way, I have a Delta 14" bandsaw with cool blocks for guides. Thanks,

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    From their website: http://www.suffolkmachinery.com/six-rules-of-sawing/
    1. Remove guides–you CANNOT run this test if the band saw blade is restricted in any lateral movement.
    2. Make sure tire surfaces are in good condition–they cannot be hard, flattened out, cracked or brittle. On mills with loose fitting V-belts, replace them with the next size down so they are tight fitting. This will eliminate over 80% of the vibration in your mill and the blade.
    3. Mount the blade on the machine and apply the tension to the band that the manufacturer recommends for other steels.
    4. Close all covers for safety purposes.
    5. Start the machine, engage the clutch into the high speed cutting mode. NOTE: You will not be cutting any wood.
    6. Stand at the head of the machine, with your hand on the turn screw tensioner and your eyes on the band saw blade. Very slowly start detensioning by half turns at a time, keeping your eyes on the band saw blade. The object is to bring the tension of the blade down to a point that the blade starts to flutter. TAKE YOUR TIME.
    7. When you see the band start to flutter, you have hit ground “ZERO”. Now start ADDING quarter turns of tension, SLOWLY, until the band stops fluttering and is running stable again. At this point ADD one-eight to one-quarter turn of tension.
    8. You have now tensioned our blade correctly. Shut off the machine and put your guides back in place. You are now ready to start sawing.
    9. ALWAYS DETENSION YOUR BAND SAW BLADES. Since you do not know exactly where the proper tension is, it will be easier to remember if you take off 8, 9, or 10 full turns of tension until the band is completely relaxed. The next time you use our bands, add the same amount of turns of tension that were taken off. At this point, you will only have to run the flutter test one time.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Yankton, SD
    Posts
    19
    Thanks Glen, I appreciate that info.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    No worries John. I had to post and run or I would have said . . . I have been using TW blades and this method for years with great success. There are many other fine blades out there, I just happened to order a few and then a sale came along and then another so I have a few in the wings. The Woodslicer dad has on his almost identical saw is a very impressive blade that cuts a very thin kerf and I may try one next time around but they are pretty much a resaw-only format blade. The types of blades you find to be "best" will have a lot to do with what you do, how you do it and so forth.

    One thing that led to a great leap of progress toward success with the bandsaw was learning that the blades are wear-parts. When the cut quality reduces, effort increases, tracking starts to fail, etc. the blade is done. Have one on hand to swap out. If a new blade cures your ills, leave it on and order another replacement for next time. I generally keep 2 of each type I use so that I will not be tempted to try 'just one more cut' with a blade that is shot and spend as much in spoiled material as I would have on a new blade .

    All this info made available for the cost of about what its worth
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,825
    Glenn, I'll try the method sometime. Really should have before now. But, my (non)method has been to simply turn the tension until the blade feels taught enough. Nuttin' scientific. I don't get drift or have other problems that I read about here. Maybe just dumb lucky, I dunno. I don't always remember to raise the de-tension lever between uses. Does not seem to make any difference. For the record, mine is a Grizzly 14" G0555.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
    Well here is a good question. It says to apply the same tension other band saw blade manufacturers recommend.

    Do they mean that you use the scale by the spring on the back of the saw?

    I have found in playing with the flutter method that the blade will flutter with different tension settings. One blade I tried it on it fluttered as soon as I started the saw so I tightened it. Almost bottomed out the spring trying to get rid of the flutter. Wasn't comfortable with that so I reset it and loosened the tension till the flutter went away and came back again then proceeded to retention the blade to get rid of the flutter and I was almost back at my original setting I started with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Maybe just dumb lucky, I dunno. I don't always remember to raise the de-tension lever between uses. Does not seem to make any difference. For the record, mine is a Grizzly 14" G0555.
    If its working, I wouldn't change a thing . As to de-tensioning; it seems to be a Ford/Chevy argument with no real winner. I do if I am entering a phase where I will not use the saw for several days and always have so I can't say that it helps or not. Other folks preach detensioning every time, some never do . I imagine the benefit is greater for folks who like to torque the pea-wad out of their blades. I run mine pretty loose and they track great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Bienlein View Post
    Well here is a good question. It says to apply the same tension other band saw blade manufacturers recommend.

    Do they mean that you use the scale by the spring on the back of the saw?
    I imagine Suffolk's target customer base have tension gauges that clamp on or are built in. For us little guys, the usual guesstimate would have to do . I just tension to where I am comnfortable and start from there. As the blade will have oscillation points in specific intervals I believe they are looking for the point just below "normal" tension(?). Pretty subjective .
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-10-2011 at 04:27 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    The tension gauges on a bandsaw assume a certain blade thickness. My big bandsaw is calibrated for a blade .019 inches thick - but I have never seen one that thin. The woodslicer is .022 inches thick. Most of my blades (both Timberwolf and Lenox Carbide) are about .035 inches thick. So if you happen to have a blade whose thickness matches what the factory assumed (but rarely publishes) the gauge works great, but otherwise it is nearly useless. Whether it is a separate gauge or an indicator of how far the spring is compressed, it is the same technology.

    Most hobby bandsaws have relatively soft crowned tires. Leaving the blade tensioned, without use for a long time, can imprint the tires, just as storing a car for a long period without moving it can leave bumps in the tires. Will it keep the bandsaw from working? No, but it will be smoother if you do de-tension when the saw will be idle for a long time. Most industrial bandsaws have extremely hard flat tires, so reducing the tension on those saws is less important.
    Last edited by Charlie Plesums; 12-10-2011 at 08:40 PM.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Southern New Hampshire
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    From their website: http://www.suffolkmachinery.com/six-rules-of-sawing/
    1. Remove guides–you CANNOT run this test if the band saw blade is restricted in any lateral movement.
    2. Make sure tire surfaces are in good condition–they cannot be hard, flattened out, cracked or brittle. On mills with loose fitting V-belts, replace them with the next size down so they are tight fitting. This will eliminate over 80% of the vibration in your mill and the blade.
    3. Mount the blade on the machine and apply the tension to the band that the manufacturer recommends for other steels.
    4. Close all covers for safety purposes.
    5. Start the machine, engage the clutch into the high speed cutting mode. NOTE: You will not be cutting any wood.
    6. Stand at the head of the machine, with your hand on the turn screw tensioner and your eyes on the band saw blade. Very slowly start detensioning by half turns at a time, keeping your eyes on the band saw blade. The object is to bring the tension of the blade down to a point that the blade starts to flutter. TAKE YOUR TIME.
    7. When you see the band start to flutter, you have hit ground “ZERO”. Now start ADDING quarter turns of tension, SLOWLY, until the band stops fluttering and is running stable again. At this point ADD one-eight to one-quarter turn of tension.
    8. You have now tensioned our blade correctly. Shut off the machine and put your guides back in place. You are now ready to start sawing.
    9. ALWAYS DETENSION YOUR BAND SAW BLADES. Since you do not know exactly where the proper tension is, it will be easier to remember if you take off 8, 9, or 10 full turns of tension until the band is completely relaxed. The next time you use our bands, add the same amount of turns of tension that were taken off. At this point, you will only have to run the flutter test one time.
    Is this timberwolf specific, or is this the basic method for tesioning BS blades? The BS is a new tool to me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barger View Post
    Is this timberwolf specific, or is this the basic method for tesioning BS blades? The BS is a new tool to me.
    The flutter test is the way you establish the minimum tension for the blade. Timberwolf blades like working near minimum tension (for comparison, this amounts to about 7000 pounds per square inch cross section of the blade). At the other extreme, my carbide blades are best at about 25,000 to 30,000 psi - for a 1 inch wide blade like my carbide blades, this is more tension than most non-industrial bandsaws can handle. For most blades, something between works well - if you get a good cut, go for it.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

Similar Threads

  1. Bandsaw blade question
    By Toni Ciuraneta in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 03-06-2015, 07:26 PM
  2. Bandsaw Blade Question
    By Paul Douglass in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12-10-2013, 07:08 PM
  3. Bandsaw blade tension
    By Bruce Moffitt in forum New Tools
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-23-2008, 07:30 PM
  4. Bandsaw Blade Question
    By Ed Nelson in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-04-2007, 01:11 PM
  5. bandsaw blade question
    By Frank Fusco in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-21-2007, 11:00 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •