Help with Bandsaw? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-30-2018, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Help with Bandsaw?

Hello all,

I received an old 14" AMT bandsaw from my great grandfather who moved away shortly after passing it on to me and it's a fantastic gift but it scares the hell out of me. Today my fears were justified.

Backstory:
It's always been kinda sketchy (howls/screeches/wobbles) but it's always tracking fine and the tension seems ok. However, I don't consider myself to be very mechanically savvy when it comes to power tools especially saws. Today I was using it and noticed a rattling so I shut it down and waited for it to stop spinning to open it up and when I did, I noticed that the rubber track on the bottom wheel had come about halfway off. The blade was still on it and in the center of the wheel but I think I'm pretty lucky I stopped it when I did.

Question:
Does anyone know if there are places I can take the bandsaw for a tune-up? As I said it was a gift so I wouldn't want to sell it and of course a replacement bandsaw would be expensive (to me). Also, I simply don't trust myself to adjust it especially since he seems to have made the base to house the motor himself and I think he customized the blade guides.

I would much rather pay 50-100 to have this thing fixed up by a professional than replace the gift and spend 500+ to do so.

- SomeDudeOnline
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-30-2018, 11:20 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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don't panic yet ...

Replacing the rubber tires on bandsaw wheels is pretty simple. There are You Tube videos on how to do it. You will eventually have to learn some machinery maintenance IF you are going to continue woodworking. You can't just call someone when there is a minor issue... unless you are wealthy.

Here the tires that fit your 14" saw OR you can contact Harbor Fright yourself and order them directly:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-BLUE-MAX-...YAAOSwcu5UQyfE

The AMT wheels should be the same as a Harbor Fright machine, Central Machinery but If you can go to a store measure the diameters to make certain.

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 #3 of 12 Old 03-30-2018, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Replacing the rubber tires on bandsaw wheels is pretty simple.
So you don't think I should be concerned about the general howling, wobbling, and screeching? That's what's making me think I'm out of my element.

- SomeDudeOnline
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-31-2018, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeDudeOnline View Post
Hello all,

I received an old 14" AMT bandsaw from my great grandfather who moved away shortly after passing it on to me and it's a fantastic gift but it scares the hell out of me. Today my fears were justified.

Backstory:
It's always been kinda sketchy (howls/screeches/wobbles) but it's always tracking fine and the tension seems ok. However, I don't consider myself to be very mechanically savvy when it comes to power tools especially saws. Today I was using it and noticed a rattling so I shut it down and waited for it to stop spinning to open it up and when I did, I noticed that the rubber track on the bottom wheel had come about halfway off. The blade was still on it and in the center of the wheel but I think I'm pretty lucky I stopped it when I did.

Question:
Does anyone know if there are places I can take the bandsaw for a tune-up? As I said it was a gift so I wouldn't want to sell it and of course a replacement bandsaw would be expensive (to me). Also, I simply don't trust myself to adjust it especially since he seems to have made the base to house the motor himself and I think he customized the blade guides.

I would much rather pay 50-100 to have this thing fixed up by a professional than replace the gift and spend 500+ to do so.
I believe there is a thread over at vintagemachinery.org about how to change a bandsaw tire. The easy solution would be to replace the tires with urethane tires. You just stretch it over the wheel like a rubber band. They aren't glued on so when you get the tire on it's ready. Problem is after a year or two the tire can start walking off after it gets stretched out. The best tire for a bandsaw is a rubber tire. They are glued on and you true and crown the tire so it tracks well. Since the tires are glued on the tire will stay on the saw until the rubber rots which should be several decades.

Last edited by Steve Neul; 03-31-2018 at 08:14 AM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-31-2018, 08:53 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Yes, that's a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeDudeOnline View Post
So you don't think I should be concerned about the general howling, wobbling, and screeching? That's what's making me think I'm out of my element.
It sounds like you may have a bad wheel bearing, a simple fix, not rocket surgery. Here's how to tell what it is. Remove the blade ... probably already slipped off anyway. Now spin the upper wheel as fast as you can by hand. It should spin freely and quietly. If not, that's your problem. Now turn the machine on and it will spin the lower wheel. It should run quietly with no screeching. It may need a new V belt rather than wheel bearings. That would cause some of the symptoms you described, another simple fix even for a novice.
A bent drive pulley would also cause those noises.

If either of these "tests" make a loud noise or wobbling, then you may have bigger issues than you are capable of .... if you have zero mechanical skills. An automotive machine shop will be able to replace the bearings and probably repair what ever else is wrong. Machinery repair facilities will charge more, typically as they are used to working on much larger machines, but who knows until you ask.

There are some specialized tools that are needed for pulling bearings OR I would suggest you try it yourself with help from us here. Auto parts store will loan you those tools IF you want to try ir yourself.

Steve's advice on the rubber drive bands is technically correct, but gluing them on is messy and truing them is pretty technical and slightly dangerous. The blue ones I posted from Ebay, are stretchable and will last for almost ever, and are easier to put on.

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 #6 of 12 Old 03-31-2018, 06:39 PM
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First and foremost, unplug the bandsaw before you do anything else.

Test the wheel bearings, as recommended by @woodnthings. If one of the wheel bearings has gone bad and is the source of the squealing, then maybe @SomeDudeOnline will need help. Personally, I would try to replace the bearings myself. I have not done it myself, but it can't be that difficult. Many many people have done it on their own. SomeDude has little to lose by trying.

My guess is that the wheel bearings are fine.

If I were @SomeDudeOnline, I would replace the tires on the bandsaw wheels myself. It is a skill he needs to learn anyway. No matter the root cause of the problem, at least one tire must be replaced, but I would replace both of them now. Bandsaw tires are not expensive, especially compared with paying someone to do such a basic job. This is the perfect "take it on and do it myself" job, and then he will know how to do it for the next time.

Does SomeDude know how to install a blade and adjust the bearings, guides, and tracking for it? It can be tricky for a beginner, you know. I started to write a full set of instructions on how to adjust a bandsaw for a blade, but gave up and deleted it. SomeDude has the user manual for his bandsaw, and there is so much information on the internet, including plenty of YouTube videos to watch.

I wonder whether the squealing is caused by a frozen bearing, or maybe the blade guide bearings or guide blocks are poorly adjusted. Frozen bearings are common - the sawdust eventually gets in and destroys the bearing. If the bearing shows any resistance to turning, replace it. If the bearing doesn't turn, then the blade rubs and wears against the same spot in the bearing, generating unwanted heat, and maybe loud squeals, too.

My 1953 (14 inch) Delta 890 bandsaw makes a squealing noise when I am cutting, and especially if I attempt too tight a curve with the current blade. That's normal. My bandsaw is very quiet when it is turned on, but I am not actively cutting wood on it.

Finally, my local woodworking club has "mentors" who are willing to help members in various woodworking areas. They have a bandsaw mentor. I was already a member of the club when I bought my used bandsaw. I called the bandsaw mentor, and he helped me check it out carefully to make sure it was safe to operate. He gave me safety instructions, and finally taught me how to handle blades, install them, and adjust the saw accordingly. We made a few cuts to try it out. I offered to buy him lunch to thank him for his time, but he had places to go.

That's what SomeDude needs, a friend with bandsaw experience who can stand by his side while he learns how to replace the tire, check out the saw, and teach him how to replace blades, adjust it, and use it. In my opinion, SomeDude should not haul his bandsaw to a shop full of strangers who will charge him a fortune. If he does that, he won't learn much for the future, will he? As I said, I would check out the local woodworking club before I would search for a shop. Let see: Save money, learn more, and make a friend. Who wouldn't appreciate that?

I like the woodworking club idea the best, but SomeDude might think about bringing his bandsaw one of the local woodworking shops. If he lives in an urban area like most people in California, there should be a Rockler or a Woodcraft or another woodworking store near him. I would definitely call first before showing up with a bandsaw. They may not be interested in helping, or they may not have the time. Or they may be nice and say, "Bring it in and we'll check it out briefly." Don't expect them to be patient or do a thorough job. They may also offer a beginner bandsaw class. Both Rockler and Woodcraft offer them. You could ask whether you can bring your own bandsaw if you take the class.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-04-2018, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for all of the great advice and tips! After reading your descriptions of things to check for I feel a bit more confident and think I will give it a shot when I have the time.

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-04-2018, 11:37 AM
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When I was restoring an old bandsaw I looked into rubber tires and urethane tires. What I was reading about urethane was the tires larger than 14" had trouble with the tires staying on. Since mine was 14" I decided to go urethane. Then in about six months the tires started walking off. I would work it back on and it would stay for quite a while. Now after a couple years I've had to stop using the saw because of the tires. They have stretched out where they won't stay on. I suppose if the wheel had a raised lip to hold the tires it would work better but my saw the wheel is smooth.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-04-2018, 06:07 PM
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replacing tires

For wheels without rims, the tires should be glued on. I can't take a side on the rubber vs urethane issue because I only have rubber tire on my saws and they work just fine. I've never replaced a tire in 40 years of bandsaw use.

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 #10 of 12 Old 04-30-2018, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone,

I finally got around to looking at the bandsaw and based on your input, I think it's mostly find but there are two things that I think may have been contributing to the noises and rocking. All of the bearings seems to spin freely and without noise so if the source of the noise and rocking isn't one of or a combination of the two things below then maybe the tension wasn't correct or I had the wrong size/type of blade or something?
  1. There is a large standard screw holding the bottom wheel in place and it was a tad loose which was causing a tiny bit of rocking (I'm going to remove it and replace it with a bolt I can get a little more torque on unless someone thinks that's a terrible idea).
  2. The top wheel spins nice and smooth but I can easily push the topside of the wheel backward into the case unless I tighten the tracking knob down all the way so that the wheel is touching the frame. This concerns me but I don't know how normal it is and I don't see any obvious way to correct it. It has a nut to set the tracking but even with that in the appropriate place the wheel easily tilts back. Thoughts?

- SomeDudeOnline

Last edited by SomeDudeOnline; 04-30-2018 at 09:15 PM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-30-2018, 10:08 PM
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There are YouTube videos available to help you adjust your bandsaw.
There are also books available at your local library that can be helpful for a beginning woodworker.
Some areas offer Community Service classes through a local Jr College taught one day per week at a local high school shop.
Although new tires are readily available, if youíve never installed a new tire on a bandsaw wheel it can be more difficult that you might think. If you buy the new tires locally from a woodworking supply house, you might ask if they know of anyone you can contact for service on woodworking machinery.
And not to be negative but I donít recommend spending too much on this old saw. Hopefully you can get by with new tires and an adjustment.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-03-2018, 08:16 PM
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Steve, thanks for referring to vintagemachinery.org -- it's a great website!

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