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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings

I have recently bought a 10" craftsman bandsaw. I purchased it for hobby use, cutting MDF board, thin plastic sheets and some wood planks for war gaming.

I have used a band saw a number of times in shop class when I was in high school, I am some what familiar with the machine but it has been some time.

I've read the instruction booklet and watched a number of videos and blogs regarding setup and other tips.

I am having some issues with getting straight lines. For the most part it cuts straight, but there seems to be some hiccups as I cut. As I cut though material there is a slight jump in the cut going off course. (see image).

it will cut straight then curve out away from the fence then work it's way back in, even with consistent feeding of material into the saw.

Example image (done quickly with Photoshop)



I've read about table drift.

I set up the little bearings on top and bottom the same (total of 6) each one was set up as close to as the blade without touching it.

table is level.

I am not sure if I have the correct amount of tension on the blade. Don'e know if I need more or less?

Issues I think may be causing it

The blade that craftsman gave is cheap junk or damaged in shipping.

too much or not enough tension.

bearing may be too close to the blade? (not too sure about this one). Should the blade's back end be hitting the bearings as I push material through, or the side bearings?

Lastly, There seems to be an odd issue with my blade when checking with my square.

As I check the blade if it is perpendicular to the table top, it is perfect and true on the left side (the side of the fence). It is not true for the other side, it seems to be off just a wee bit.

any tips?
 

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where's my table saw?
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I have the same saw

It's a good small saw for what you describe, however the stock blades are not so good. They must be a thinner material .025 to go around the small wheels repeatedly and therefore are "specialty" blades. The normal thickness blades .032 or so won't last very long and the welds will break. You are stuck using the Craftsman blades if others in that length ...70 1/2" I believe, are not readily available.

Your issue is very common, and usually it's the blade which may be getting dull. It may also just be a knot or harder area in the material. You might also try increasing the tension on the blade so that it will deflect about 1/8" when lightly tapped on the side with one finger. The tension indicators on the back are not very accurate.

The blade should be square to the table from both sides. Check the fence to be square to the table vertically also. Make some test cut in plywood which has fewer anomalies than solid wood to see if you still get the same condition.
 
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Another suggestion

There is probably more properly setting up a bandsaw than any other tool in your shop. I watched a YouTube video on bandsaw setup by Snodgrass which was excellent (sorry that I don't know how to link that stuff yet). The deepest part of the blade gullet should be in the center of the top tire. Then adjust the thrust bearings (the back ones) to just barely miss the blade. It sounds like you may be hitting a hard spot in the material then the blade is running off the side of the thrust bearing causing it to wander. Your blade could be getting dull or just gummed up. Something else to try along with the other good advice previously posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone.

When I push through the material the bearing spin pretty rapidly and constantly. Should this occur?

Or should the bearings spin every so often?
 

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It's normal if the bearings are spinning. Just make sure that you set them up nicely. Set the bearings with a dollar bill
between the blade and bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I received my new bandsaw blades today, I had to order the 70 and 1/2 inch bladed via sears website, starting to second guess my choice of band saw as I cannot just go to sears and pick from a wide range of blades. They only carried one type.

As long as sears craftsman does not stop production of them I guess it is only a small problem to have to order and wait a few days.

-------

At any rate, I was able to achieve multiple straight cuts on various lengths of wood planks, mdf boards and plastic sheets.

Bout 5 or 6 new saw blades. Different sizes and different TPI ranging from 4 TPI to 12 or 15 TPI for various tasks (as you already know).

something I notice when changing out the stock blade, the little plastic center piece in the center of the cast iron tabletop looked chewed up.

The area was about the same width and thickness as the stock blade.

After inserting the new blade and turning the wheels by hand notice the bandsaw blade would constantly hit the plastic center piece and vibrate in the process.

Had to spend an extra 2 or 3 hours from the beginning to make sure this was an error on my part in setting up my band saw. Put the tabletop back in place, readjusted the blades, etc.

same thing occurred.

Had to file the plastic center piece a little bit. About 1 - 1.5mm

Not sure if that was the only cause of my issues, small part or none at all, but I am getting straight cuts.

After many hours of frustration, wasted scrap wood and swearing like a sailor, I did learn something. :laughing:
 

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where's my table saw?
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the plastic piece is called the insert

You must set the saw up WITHOUT the insert in place. It will throw everything off as far as centering the blade gullets on the wheel. Once the saw is set up properly, you can try the insert. It may fit better slot towards the front OR slot towards the rear depending on the width of the blade. It may not fit at all, and you will have to file a bit off to get it to seat down in the table...no big deal. Glad you "learned something" from the experience. :yes:
 
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