Tuning a 1960s Powermatic Bandsaw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-02-2014, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Tuning a 1960s Powermatic Bandsaw

I recently acquired this old Powermatic bandsaw, and have a few questions about tuning it.

As you can see from the pictures, the blade is being bent a bit by the bearing guides. In my limited experience, I thought the blade wasn't supposed to touch the guides (there should be enough room for a sheet of paper).

Additionally, the bottom bearing sits behind the blade. What's the point of that?

Any help with this or other pointers would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-02-2014, 06:28 PM
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Hope you got it for a great price, you've got a lot of work ahead.

In both the upper and low guide cluster, the top bearing is the thrust bearing. It should sit behind the blade. All those bearings look like they should be tossed. The good news is they aren't very expensive to replace. Ebay is your friend for that...
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-02-2014, 08:52 PM
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Those are good quality saws, but I'd bet yours is going to need a complete rebuild. As PhilBa said, the bearings are toast. I wonder if the other bearings in the main wheels and the motor are just as bad....

I'd suggest you remove the drive belt and the blade, and then you can feel each of the bearings at the motor, the lower wheel, and the upper wheel. They're probably all bad, or at least need new grease.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-02-2014, 11:32 PM
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Youre correct about the bearings not touching the blade, those are incorrectly set up. As far as the thrust bearing and it being set behind the blade, the only reason that bearing is there is to keep the blade from being pushed off the tires during the cut. When the blade is in motion but not making a cut, the crowning on the wheels should keep the blade tracking with no outside force needed.

As far as general advise goes, youve got a bit of a project ahead of you. Id recommend starting with the basics. First, if you can, disconnect the motor from the saw and let it run on its own. Listen for any noises other than just a gentle hum. While the motor is off, look at the belt that goes from the motor to the drive wheel. Its probably rubber, check for any cracks or fatigue in said rubber. Next, check out the wheels. Make sure the rubber tires on the outer rim arent cracked and still have some grip. Give the wheels a spin, listen for any squeaks, creaks, or anything else. Im with the other two guys on this part, with the age of the saw, youre looking at it having unsealed oiled bearings, which at very best need a good oiling. Id recommend replacing them anyway, bearings are cheap, an ER visit after a bearing explodes and sends a blade in your hand arent.

The wheels and motor are the main working components, assuming they all work and check out okay, all that really needs done is cleaning and tuneup. Cleaning is self-explanatory, go through everything and wipe it down, de-rust the table, etc. Tuneup is also pretty easy to do. Personally, id recommend new tires no matter what, a new blade, and checking out the Wood Whisperers guide to setting up a bandsaw.

Looking forward to seeing the restoration, thats a nice piece of kit. Im pretty jealous actually, ive got a thing for old tools

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-03-2014, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

Ok thanks! I'll get to disassembling this, cleaning the rust, getting some new bearings, etc.

Will provide updates as it goes!
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-04-2014, 07:35 AM
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▶ Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass - YouTube

This video will help you understand the basics of setting up a bandsaw.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-04-2014, 09:36 AM
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Looks like an interesting project ahead. With some patience and a lot of elbow grease you could have a fine machine. + 1 on the Alex Snodgrass video. I have seen his demo 3 times in person and he is great. He works for Carter products and they have a lot of things that may work on that saw such as tires, guides and bearings. Good luck and keep us posted. http://www.carterproducts.com/band-saw-products Also check out Iturra Design in Jacksonville FL. They don't have a website but their catalog is a wealth of information and products many of which they manufacture. If you call them (904-642-2802) they will send you a copy. Most of the time your call will be answered by the owner Lou Iturra and he is very helpful

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post #8 of 12 Old 10-04-2014, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wunderlink View Post
Ok thanks! I'll get to disassembling this, cleaning the rust, getting some new bearings, etc.

Will provide updates as it goes!

Be sure to take plenty of pictures as you progress through the project. Not necessarily for our sake, although we would all really enjoy following your restoration, but more for you as a reminder of where parts came from and how they should go back on. Plenty of photos and plastic baggies for nuts, bolts and other small parts will pay off when you can't remember what "this or that" is or how it goes back on.

It takes many nails to build a crib, but only one screw to fill it
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-04-2014, 12:51 PM
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+1 on the pictures thing. Continuing the parts thread, I got a magnetic parts dish from harbor freight. Best $5 I ever spent - not only does it stick to iron/steel but iron/steel parts stick to it. Remember that when you're looking for that screw you took off...
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-06-2014, 02:51 PM
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Basically, you need to clean the band saw. Check everything, from belts, tires to guides. Change them if necessary. Tune it up and get new blades. Good luck and looking forward to seeing the progress.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-06-2014, 06:09 PM
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Bandsaw rebuild

Check out the Old Woodworking Machines web site at owwm.org.

A lot of folks on there rebuild old woodworking machines and have good sources for things like the ball bearing guides for your bandsaw.

Jack
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-07-2014, 04:40 PM
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The guide system is totally wrong. Change the guides and set them up correctly. Good luck with the restoration.
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