What is the purpose of band saws? Well, band saw is used to cut some material. The band saw consists of toothed metal that rotates on the wheels in order to make cuts. Woodworking and metalworking uses band saw quite commonly for large cutting projects.
But for the cutting, uniformity is required and that can only be achieved with an evenly distributed tooth load. Today’s topic revolves around how to change a band saw blade so that it makes even cuts. You have to be very careful while changing the blade and making necessary adjustments to keep the saw cutting properly. Here goes the list of steps:
The very first step to change the band saw blade demands you to disconnect the power. Because while changing the blade, you cannot afford the band saw to get turn on.
Once you are done with the power disconnect, open the cabinets i.e. top and bottom, that reveals two tires. These tires tighten the blade between them so you have to clean the dust or chips that are stuck there. It will help you to change the blade easily.
When you have cleaned the dust or chips from the tires, it’s the time to loosen the blade tension now.
Keep the tension knob on the band saw top that is located on a vertical shaft above the top cabinet. Turn the knob in counter clockwise direction to loosen the blade tension unless you don’t see the blade is loose and pliable.
In this step you have to raise the blade guard once when you are done with loosening the blade tension. The guard slides up and down a track. Basically, the guard is designed to get adjusted when you are going to cut stock of various thicknesses. This guard must always be in the lowest position as not interfering with the stock. Also it keeps the blade from warding off.
In order to raise the guard, you have to turn the tightening knob on the back side of top cabinet that is found at the guard’s top. Tighten the knob and secure the guard by sliding the guard to the highest position.
Now when the blade is loosed with the front guard lifted up, it’s the time to remove the rear blade guard. This is the guard that covers the blade while travelling upwards from the bottom tire to top tire. Also, it protects the operator in case of blade breakage.
For the time being, keep the screws and guard aside.
Now loosen the under table blade guard after removing the rear blade guard. Beneath the table, there are few blocks and adjustment wheels and a wrap around guard is also there to secure the blade in case any breakage happens to occur. Also, if the blade comes off the track, wrap around guard takes care of that however.
To use the blade guard, pop off the plastic centre that is located at the middle of the saw table using a screwdriver and keep the centre aside. Now look into the hole to locate the screw that is holding the wrap around guard. To bring the guard out of the place, loosen the screws and rotate it at 180 degrees until it comes out of the way.
Now with all the blade guards removed, you have to now remove the band saw blade. Hold the blade near the top wheel and pull it off of the tracking tires. Rotate the blade at 90 degrees so as the blade’s teeth points towards your right.
Once when the blade is removed, you have to fold the band saw blade now and then tie it securely, use some wire or tape for storage purpose.
Always fold the blade if you are good at or else you will get your hands sliced.
Now the old blade has been removed and you have to slide in the new blade in band saw. Like the way you removed the old blade through the slot in the saw table, slide in the new blade the same way. Once the blade gets through the slot and the centre cut out, rotate the blade to place it over the bottom and top tire of the saw. Over the two tires, centre the blade and start tightening the tension knob so as holding the blade securely in position. Make sure that the tension knob is on the top of the band saw.
Now before start to tension the blade, first of all loosen the band saw guide blocks to keep the blade track properly. Two sets of blocks and rollers are there from which one is found in the blade guard and the other one is beneath the table.
Now loosen the screw that is holding the block on any side of the blade on the guard. The blocks must freely slide to left or right, may be towards the blade or away from it. Now after loosening the set screw, rotate the rear roller to backward direction but away from the rear of blade. Keep repeating this step for other set of blocks and roller located beneath the table.
Once the blocks and guides get out of the way, install the blade properly to apply tension at this. While tightening the knob, you have to rotate the top wheel to track the blade in the centre of the tire. If you see that the blade tracks too far the location i.e. front or rear, locate the adjustment knob in the backward direction of the saw.
Now as you turn the wheel, rotate the tracking knob and check the difference in the centre. Keep on adjusting the blades as long as you don’t get on the right track i.e. the blade rides perfectly on the centre tire. A little adjustment to the tracking knob makes a huge difference in the blade tracking to make your adjustments subtle to the knob.
Looking for the tension gauge on the blade. Adjust the tension unless you don’t see the gauge indicator properly positioned for blade thickness. Wide blades require more tension than a thin blade but the indicator must have marks for every blade size. To be sure that the band saw table is square to the blade, it must be properly tensioned and tracking in the tire centre.
Put a combination square on the table and then align its opposite edges to the sides of the blade. If you think that the blade is not square to the table, loosen the adjustment knobs beneath the table. Next, adjust the table angle unless it doesn’t come square to the blade. Secure the table by tightening the knobs in place.
Now when the blade is properly made a tension and tracking in the centre, now you need to re-position the blocks and rollers that you unscrewed few steps above.
Start positioning by rotating the under table guard back and then tighten the screw that is handling the guard securely. Then, adjust the blocks in such a way that they don’t touch either side of the blades. Tighten the screws back to hold the blocks securely in place. Next, adjust the front position of the blocks the same way and they must ride behind the teeth on the blade’s flat part.
Now, when you are done with the blocks, rollers must be adjusted so that they ride behind the table. To lock the rollers, tighten all the screws and rotate the wheel. You can clearly see that the blade will track through the rollers and blocks. If you feel that they don’t touch the blade, the positioning has been done correctly. Install the spacer in the centre hole and lower the blade guard about half way. Repeat the adjustments for the under table roller and blocks. Also, the guard that you removed before it is reinstalled now.
The last step is to plug in the band saw and turn it on. Check the tracking of the blade and try to listen to the binding of guide blocks. If you feel that the saw is not turning properly or there is any sound in it or the rollers and blocks are not positioned rightly, turn off the saw immediately. You must have missed something while changing the blade. You may have to do the adjustments once again to let the band saw work properly.
Once satisfied with all the adjustments, shut down both the top and bottom cabinets that you opened in the first step. Lower the blade guard to the right and appropriate height and then start using the band saw again.
Hope you enjoyed the article and understand the topic well. If you have any queries, let us know. Till then stay tuned for more updates!!
You can refer more on the following guiding video (Collection)