Since for most weekend warriors a 14" bandsaw is kind of industry standard starting point i thought i would share some of my bandsaw experience in the hope that others might benefit.
Let me say if you have a saw of this kind it will be well worth your time money and effort to put a little work into it. No matter who you bought it from or how old it is.
Use your own intuition and get in tune with your saw.
From my experiences to date.
Change bearings, these are really relatively cheap to get decent double sealed bearings.
Check out your tires and replace them if they old and worn.
Check out your tension spring, these things dont last forever and there is a new version out now that makes all the difference to the spring supplied. There are several sources for this.
Take time to get the wheels aligned properly. I did not initially, again assuming that my darn expensive made in America machine was a cut above the rest....yes in certain areas not in many others. ( assume = make and ass out of me u dont enter into it )
Hunt down vibration and put it to bed once and for all. Vibration gets transfered to the blade. I have incrementally learnt this lesson each time coming to grips with more and more.
First time was checking the pully alignment on its drive shaft in respect to the drive pulley on the motor. Mine was a matter of losening (intially found it to be loose anyhow) and moving it to the correct position such that the belt tracks parrallel to the drive pulley.
But make sure the machine is mounted on a solid base. If neccessary build your own and make it stout. These open base stands and metal boxes like mine all have the flaw that they are not a solid platform. If he machine can rock or sway slightly on this top plate of the base then you got a source for vibration. ( I will be posting my findings on my scroll saw, and i learnt how relevant this is from that machine. When i researched it more via other peoples experiences sure enough our bandsaw bases suffer the same problem)
Tell yourself you own this machine and do to it what you like especially once the warranty is over. I tend to have this stupid logic of leaving it as the manufacturer intended, that has changed now.
Sort out the wheel alignment in both orientations. Not just across their faces but get the edges in line two. If not when you raise the guide to the highest point you will find the blade is rubbing on the guides to one side.
In the end this means the blade is not leaving the upper wheel in a straight line to the wheel below and thus certainly not going over your table at 90 degrees.
Buy good blades and change out your guides i will leave as going without saying. Those issues are normally where we start but dont let it end there.
Of course we should not be surprised to find like with the spinny stuff we should have perhaps gone straight to a 17" right from the start. But the deed is done and i aint upgrading for the amount of time i get to play in my shop.
I enjoy tinkering with the machine and its been amazing to see the improvements. You too can get the machine to cut the way you hear and see others getting theirs to do the same. It just takes a little patience and getting stuck in.