Tune Your Bandsaw
6 adjustments deliver professional results.
By Mark Duginske
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I love bandsaws, even though they have a reputation as troublesome tools. I suppose that’s why I like them, because I enjoy investigating woodworking machinery. I’ve tinkered with dozens of 14-in. bandsaws, trying to understand how they work and how they should be set up. Here’s what I’ve concluded: most bandsaws benefit from a tune-up.
I’ll show you six procedures to improve your saw’s performance. I’ll demonstrate these steps on a standard cast-iron 14-in. saw, but they apply to just about any type of bandsaw. Once you complete your inspection of your own saw and correct any problems (or learn to live with your saw’s limitations), I’ll show you how to adjust it for a typical blade.
The alignment procedures we’ll perform are a one-shot deal. You shouldn’t have to re-check your saw again. The tensioning, tracking, and guide-adjustment procedures must be followed every time you change blades, however.
Begin aligning your saw by removing the table. It’s easy to do. Take off the blade, then unscrew and remove the knobs under the trunnions. The table just lifts off.