Whats your take on three wheeled bandsaws? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 06-07-2019, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question Whats your take on three wheeled bandsaws?



Hey folks I was just wondering whats your take on three wheeled band saws, I recently restored one and gave it a couple of upgrades which has made it quite a good saw. But its still a 3 wheeler!

I have heard that they are quite dificult to get running properly due to wheel alignment of the three wheels, Personnaly I have found it to be ok and do it exactly as I would a two wheeler.... maybe im lucky?

For anyone interested in watching a video of what i did to my bandsaw, I made a couple of videos that can be found here:
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post #2 of 28 Old 06-07-2019, 07:18 PM
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As far as i'm concerned they are not worth the effort, or the money, and a waste of time to a serious woodworker.
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post #3 of 28 Old 06-07-2019, 07:20 PM
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My take on them is, don't buy one.

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post #4 of 28 Old 06-07-2019, 07:38 PM
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Don't have any experience with them. Word on the street is the blades don't track well on them.
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post #5 of 28 Old 06-08-2019, 03:11 AM
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If you are happy with it then that is what counts. Personally I would not buy one used or new if I can find a 2 wheel one.

Marlin
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post #6 of 28 Old 06-08-2019, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjadams61 View Post
If you are happy with it then that is what counts. Personally I would not buy one used or new if I can find a 2 wheel one.
Exactly, for what it cost me im happy with it. I am curious though as to why they have such a bad rep? I have heard that the tracking is hard to get right but ive not had any trouble. I do like the wider throat though which I wouldnt have had with a two wheeler of this size.
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post #7 of 28 Old 06-08-2019, 06:53 AM
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I watched your You Tube video....

You came across as a nice guy, well meaning, BUT a complete bandsaw novice. I don't understand why you wouldn't do some research into what the main parts are commonly called BEFORE making a video about one?


You kept referring to the bands, the belts, the blade, using them incorrectly. This takes away your credibility in my opinion.

The bands go around the wheels, as you call them rollers. They are made of thin rubber like a bicycle inner tube cut into 1" wide strip, IF they are there at all. I suspect your wheels don't have them.

The belt is what drives the bottom wheel and is marked with a coded number by the manufacturer.

The blade is what does the cutting with sharpened teeth on one edge.

The tracking adjustment is what keeps the blade centered on the wheels.

The guides only support the blade, at the rear to keep is from being pushed off the wheels, and on the sides to prevent excessive twist when cutting a radius. A properly tracking blade will not rub on the side guides except when overly stressed cutting a too small radius.

Let the teeth do the cutting, and do not exceed the limit of the blade width, which determines how small a radius you can cut. A 3 wheel saw may be more sensitive to this than a 2 wheeled saw because there is less contact on the wheels to keep the blade tracking.


Our member, Bill, from Falberg saws knows all there is to know about 3 wheeled band saws:
https://falbergsaws.com/Titan_timber_bandsaw.html



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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-08-2019 at 07:00 AM.
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post #8 of 28 Old 06-08-2019, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thewoodbasher View Post
Exactly, for what it cost me im happy with it. I am curious though as to why they have such a bad rep? I have heard that the tracking is hard to get right but ive not had any trouble. I do like the wider throat though which I wouldnt have had with a two wheeler of this size.
Well my problem with them and I have own a few is the height of cut is limited on them. But that is the only problem I had with them. I had brand new a craftsman 11 inch and a couple of Chinese models.

Marlin
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post #9 of 28 Old 06-09-2019, 02:59 PM
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If it works for you that's all that matters. So much of how one perceives the value of a tool is in what they want to accomplish with it. Some tools are made to cost very little and this usually results in a tool that has very limited ability/durability. A hobby/home shop guy will have different expectations and needs than someone making a living with his tools.
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post #10 of 28 Old 06-09-2019, 11:10 PM
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I have one i think it's great.
Would like a big one for re sawing
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post #11 of 28 Old 06-10-2019, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
You came across as a nice guy, well meaning, BUT a complete bandsaw novice. I don't understand why you wouldn't do some research into what the main parts are commonly called BEFORE making a video about one?


You kept referring to the bands, the belts, the blade, using them incorrectly. This takes away your credibility in my opinion.

The bands go around the wheels, as you call them rollers. They are made of thin rubber like a bicycle inner tube cut into 1" wide strip, IF they are there at all. I suspect your wheels don't have them.

The belt is what drives the bottom wheel and is marked with a coded number by the manufacturer.

The blade is what does the cutting with sharpened teeth on one edge.

The tracking adjustment is what keeps the blade centered on the wheels.

The guides only support the blade, at the rear to keep is from being pushed off the wheels, and on the sides to prevent excessive twist when cutting a radius. A properly tracking blade will not rub on the side guides except when overly stressed cutting a too small radius.

Let the teeth do the cutting, and do not exceed the limit of the blade width, which determines how small a radius you can cut. A 3 wheel saw may be more sensitive to this than a 2 wheeled saw because there is less contact on the wheels to keep the blade tracking.


Our member, Bill, from Falberg saws knows all there is to know about 3 wheeled band saws:
https://falbergsaws.com/Titan_timber_bandsaw.html



Cutting Corbels With a Portable Bandsaw - YouTube
Thanks for your thoughts and the link to some great saw and reading!

I wouldn't describe myself as a novice to bandsaws... more of a novice to filming myself talking about them. Its only once I was editing the video at the computer that I started to realise the wording mistakes. by that time its a little late.

As a newbie to recording myself I have come to terms with the fact that there will be some errors at some points. In the beginning I would have redone the video but in the long run not much work got done like that. Im working on getting better!
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post #12 of 28 Old 06-10-2019, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thewoodbasher View Post
Thanks for your thoughts and the link to some great saw and reading!

I wouldn't describe myself as a novice to bandsaws... more of a novice to filming myself talking about them. Its only once I was editing the video at the computer that I started to realise the wording mistakes. by that time its a little late.

As a newbie to recording myself I have come to terms with the fact that there will be some errors at some points. In the beginning I would have redone the video but in the long run not much work got done like that. Im working on getting better!
But while youre "working to get better" youre happy to leave an inaccurate and misleading video up there, for other newbies to learn all the wrong things?

If you know its wrong, take it down and redo it. Youll get a lot more respect that way.
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post #13 of 28 Old 06-10-2019, 12:09 PM
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Gotta love the internet, get something up there and get some hits.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
― Marcus Aurelius
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post #14 of 28 Old 06-10-2019, 02:33 PM
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pro's fantastic throat openings
con's the smaller wheel radius tends to break blades earlier than normal.


I don't know if blade technology has improved in this area enough for them to last longer??
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post #15 of 28 Old 06-10-2019, 05:20 PM
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I didn't use the word novice lightly ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thewoodbasher View Post
Thanks for your thoughts and the link to some great saw and reading!

I wouldn't describe myself as a novice to bandsaws... more of a novice to filming myself talking about them. Its only once I was editing the video at the computer that I started to realise the wording mistakes. by that time its a little late.

As a newbie to recording myself I have come to terms with the fact that there will be some errors at some points. In the beginning I would have redone the video but in the long run not much work got done like that. Im working on getting better!



As someone who has owned bandsaws for 50 years, even designed a prototype 3 wheel version as MFA project, and currently own a total of 7 bandsaws, I take issue with your self described analysis.
The internet is full of DIY'rs and half baked attempts at making "informative " videos, so I pointed out the discrepancies for your benefit. You wanna leave it up, fine. I'd get my story straight and use the proper terms, if it were me.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #16 of 28 Old 06-10-2019, 06:14 PM
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If the saw is working for you, and it does what you want, and it does it well, and you are happy with it, then our opinions matter very little.

I confess, I have often wondered why three-wheel bandsaws exist at all. What compelling feature do they have that keeps the manufacturers going? What special advantages do they have over scroll saws and two-wheel bandsaws?
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post #17 of 28 Old 06-10-2019, 06:50 PM
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Pros and cons .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
pro's fantastic throat openings
con's the smaller wheel radius tends to break blades earlier than normal.


I don't know if blade technology has improved in this area enough for them to last longer??
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
If the saw is working for you, and it does what you want, and it does it well, and you are happy with it, then our opinions matter very little.

I confess, I have often wondered why three-wheel bandsaws exist at all. What compelling feature do they have that keeps the manufacturers going? What special advantages do they have over scroll saws and two-wheel bandsaws?
Throat capacity is the biggest advantage to the consumer. then comes lower cost and lighter weight for bench top applications.

The smaller wheels are much cheaper to manufacture, BUT do not prolong blade life because of the smaller diameter which requires using thinner blades. Thinner blades have less weld contact area but can flex more easily. The saw in the video was variable speed, if I recall. That means a DC motor, not typically found on 2 wheel saws which use induction motors. Crafters will find a 3 wheel saw more advantageous, where serious woodworking requires more HP for resawing and the use of thicker and wider blades.


That's my take on them......

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #18 of 28 Old 06-11-2019, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Throat capacity is the biggest advantage to the consumer. then comes lower cost and lighter weight for bench top applications.

The smaller wheels are much cheaper to manufacture, BUT do not prolong blade life because of the smaller diameter which requires using thinner blades. Thinner blades have less weld contact area but can flex more easily. The saw in the video was variable speed, if I recall. That means a DC motor, not typically found on 2 wheel saws which use induction motors. Crafters will find a 3 wheel saw more advantageous, where serious woodworking requires more HP for resawing and the use of thicker and wider blades.


That's my take on them......
The piece of the puzzle that I was missing is, "The smaller wheels are much cheaper to manufacture ..." - Thanks!
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post #19 of 28 Old 06-17-2019, 02:48 PM
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If you want to sound ignorant on-line, keep repeating that three-wheelers break blades. My saws have three wheels and they don't break blades. period. Do I have to drag out every two-wheeler that ever broke a blade to prove it? I got calls early-on in the portable business that some customers were breaking blades sooner than expected, but most were doing OK. When I explained how blade guides, and any other deflection of the blade, constituted a turn radius far smaller than the wheels' diameters, they stopped breaking blades. Breaking blades is an operator error. I wrote an entire article about it ("Stop breaking my blades). I would re-post it if I knew where to put it. It is not because the wheels are too small. Theoretically, it would play a small proportional part but not nearly as significant as the role blade guides and tracking play. Please stop bashing three-wheelers. I worked really hard to design a portable three-wheeler that tracks tenaciously and won't break the blade. I take it personal.
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post #20 of 28 Old 06-17-2019, 03:01 PM
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I would avoid bandsaws with uncrowned, plastic blade transport wheels and universal motors.
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