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Hi folks,

I picked up a mostly-working 1HP, 12" Craftsman bandsaw for $40. Replaced the tires, replaced the missing table trunnion, and now it seems to be generally shipshape. However, this is my the first time I've owned a bandsaw so I wanted to ask for advice. I want to install the widest, deepest-cutting blade this saw can handle (probably 1/2" 3 TPI) and use it to process small green logs into bowl blanks.

The major oddity I want to ask about: this saw comes equipped with tiny round blade guides; they're basically 1/4" dowels. The ones that came with the saw are actually tapered down to 1/8" at both ends. Why?? Every other saw I've seen or used has had fat square guide blocks. Will it be possible to get decent blade tracking with this sort of block? If so, is there any special care I need to take?

If not, has anyone ever replaced the whole guide block assembly on this kind of saw? I'm not contemplating a fancy roller guide, but I wonder whether the entire guide assembly from a different brand might be compatible. Or maybe I could get a broach and enlarge those 1/4" holes.
 

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I had a 12" Craftsman with round guides

It's long gone, years ago, but I remember those guides. I think they were hardened steel, held in by socket head screws.

Some bandsaw theory here.... The guides should not rub on the blade, just barely touch. They should be just behind the gullets on your widest blade. The saw is not worth buying "improved" guides in my opinion. Save your $$$ and make do for now with those. You could replace them with round brass rods and let them touch ... heat is the enemy of metal blades, so no friction is best.

A new blade should be thin .025" for a 12" wheel. A thicker blade will not flex well and the weld may fail. A 1/2" 3 TPI is what I use for resawing on a 14" Craftsman. I use a 3/8" 6 TPI for general cutting.
 

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Those kind of guides are not available anymore. Do you have picture? I don't think that it needs extra care; the blade should barely touch the guide. You may set the guide blocks or the side bearings using the dollar bill. Well, many hobbyists opt to use carter guides as replacement.
 
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