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Thread: Bandsaw tension

  1. #1
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    Default Bandsaw tension

    Hi all,
    I bought a bandsaw similar to this one https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/B006

    It uses a 19mm blade.
    In the manual it recommends setting the blade tension using a bandsaw blade tension gauge. I didn't know such a thing existed.
    Well I'm not paying 300 odd dollars for one so just wondering what are your thoughts on setting the tension ?

  2. #2
    elanjacobs is online now Apprentice gear maker and machine doctor
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    On woodworking bandsaws I always went by feel; just push the blade sideways with your finger and see/feel how far it moves
    I'm sure there'd be a similar thing for metal blades. If you wanted to get all scientific about it, get a cheap luggage hand scale and find out how far the blade should move when you pull on it with a known force.
    Specialist fine pitch gear cutting from 0.1 Module
    www.rigear.com.au

  3. #3
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    With a timber bandsaw I have successfully set tension for 40 odd years by giving the blade a flick with a finger and listening for nice crisp tone
    I don't know if the same applies to metal bandsaws however I am about find out, I find myself the owner two these days. I'm sure someone will be along with a more technical method.

  4. #4
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    I've dabbled with BS blade tensioning using mobile phone frequency apps - trying to measure the frequency of the note produced by a struck blade - all to no avail.

    On the old Bandsaw sawmill the blade tensioning is done using a hydraulic ram which has a pressure gauge on it.
    The recommended pressure on the blade is 20 to 25 thousand PSI.
    The gauge measures the pressure on the ram which has an area of 1 sqin
    The blade 2" x 0.05" (0.1 in^2) in cross section
    This is 10th of the cross section of the ram so a gauge pressure of 2000 - 2500 psi on the gauge is needed.

    On the new WW bandsaw mill the blade tension is set using a torque wrench but the blade tensioning system uses a set of 4 pairs of specially cupped washers to provide a back pressure. The specified torque setting is between 20 and 25 ftlbs

    None of this directly helps the OP but on my MW BS I have often though of adding a square headed extension to the tensioning knob and using a torque wrench.

  5. #5
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    First search got a few ways to do it inexpensively. Better searches should get you more.

    https://www.homemodelenginemachinist...n-gauge.20898/

    Crude but still works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iAkRLvLAvI

    Pete

  6. #6
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    When I first started using my bandsaw, I got hung up on what tension to set but in the end I just do it up till it feels firm enough. I looked into making my own tensioning gauge but figured the amount of engineering involved was not worth the effort.

    I figure if it's too loose, I'll find out because it will slip off the driven wheel.

    Simon

    Sent from a galaxy far far away
    Girl, I don't wanna know about your mild-mannered alter ego or anything like that." I mean, you tell me you're, uh, super-mega-ultra-lightning babe? That's all right with me. I'm good. I'm good.

  7. #7
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    On my generic 6 x 4 with 1/2" blades I tighten until the blade goes straight and then give the M8 adjusting screw another half turn.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by China View Post
    With a timber bandsaw I have successfully set tension for 40 odd years by giving the blade a flick with a finger and listening for nice crisp tone
    I don't know if the same applies to metal bandsaws however I am about find out, I find myself the owner two these days. I'm sure someone will be along with a more technical method.
    Hi China
    Yours is exactly the same process I use on my BS-4. I modded the saw a bit by fitting a thrust bearing under the tension knob. This alteration makes the "feel" much more sensitive but easier to tighten.

    I found this on my computer while looking fora pic of the tensioner mod.

    https://www.lenoxtools.com/Guides/LE...nd_20Sawing.pd


    Grahame

  9. #9
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    Hi Guys,

    I tension my bandsaw blade in very much the same way ! Just a slight twist and listen to the ping.
    Best Regards:
    Baron J.

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    Grahame, link does not work., I have had a BS4 for about 18 months bought it from a friend she bought it new 20+ years ago, done very little work I just tension the the blade by ear it has worked so far.
    Just bough a Paulcall, same size one it going to be set up vertical , for cutting small knife blades and most likely lots of other small stuff.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by China View Post
    Grahame, link does not work., I have had a BS4 for about 18 months bought it from a friend she bought it new 20+ years ago, done very little work I just tension the the blade by ear it has worked so far.
    Just bough a Paulcall, same size one it going to be set up vertical , for cutting small knife blades and most likely lots of other small stuff.
    Ok I will try again

    https://www.lenoxtools.com/Guides/LE...d_20Sawing.pdf

    Paulcall made good stuff.

    I remember the small handtools, but never saw a machine.Hopefully your Paulcall should work like a charm.

    EDIT Just shut it down and backed out and restarted. Clicked on link and it works ,sorry don't know where I went wrong.

    If your chasing 24TPI blades in 12mm, The link I put up in the other bandsaw thread has them.

    Grahame

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    Yep link works now, I have a Paulcall Radial arm saw bought it from a local girls college apparently it's not safe any more because it does not have lots of bright yellow guards all over it making it impossible to use
    was made in the seventies still works like new I have had for about 5 years, until I bought the bandssaw I was not aware they made any metal working gear.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grahame Collins View Post
    Hi China
    Yours is exactly the same process I use on my BS-4. I modded the saw a bit by fitting a thrust bearing under the tension knob. This alteration makes the "feel" much more sensitive but easier to tighten.

    I found this on my computer while looking fora pic of the tensioner mod.

    https://www.lenoxtools.com/Guides/LE...nd_20Sawing.pd


    Grahame
    Grahame, the link you provided has the last letter (f) missing from the end of the url. and so it won't work. This modified one should work https://www.lenoxtools.com/Guides/LE...d_20Sawing.pdf
    Rob.

  14. #14
    BobL is online now Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by China View Post
    Yep link works now, I have a Paulcall Radial arm saw bought it from a local girls college apparently it's not safe any more because it does not have lots of bright yellow guards all over it making it impossible to use
    was made in the seventies still works like new I have had for about 5 years, until I bought the bandssaw I was not aware they made any metal working gear.
    Radial arm saws have lost flavour in places like schools due to a number of reasons but probably the biggest one are these stats.

    Although data are limited RAS have 4 times greater rate of accidents per person hours of use compared to table saws, and about the same rate as bandsaws.

    In terms of "time to first injury", TS are typically 58x longer to first incident compared to RAS. Bandsaws are 4x longer.

    Just watching the eedjets at the mens shed using any saw, but especially the RAS, made my skin crawl.

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    Interesting Bob, and I suppose we have to take into account it was at a school ( full of high school kids) )

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