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I have a Delta 14" bandsaw that I just installed a 3/8" wide all purpose blade. If I adjust the blade with the indicator on 3/8" there's very little tension. Right now I have it set with the indicator past 3/4" and the blade tracks in the center of the wheel.
It seems to cut okay. I'm not sure how much tension I should apply. I can move the blade fairly easily by grasping the blade by the back blade guard and applying a little pressure.
Thanks for any suggestions..
 

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I have a Delta 14" bandsaw that I just installed a 3/8" wide all purpose blade. If I adjust the blade with the indicator on 3/8" there's very little tension. Right now I have it set with the indicator past 3/4" and the blade tracks in the center of the wheel.
It seems to cut okay. I'm not sure how much tension I should apply. I can move the blade fairly easily by grasping the blade by the back blade guard and applying a little pressure.
Thanks for any suggestions..
It sounds like what has happened is the blade is a little longer than it should be. That's alright but you won't be able to use the indicator and often the indicators are not accurate. A person can spend a lot of money buying tension meters but I just use my thumb. I just set mine where you can't comfortably move the blade more than a quarter inch side to side.
 

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I tension my blades as light as I can get away with, setting the blade guides is what is important. I also don't try and feed to fast. Generally I can cut 1/16" veneer 12" high using a 1/2" Lenox bi-metal blade, with great accuracy.

My procedure:

Fit the blade, leave the blade guides open, or far away adjusted from the blade.

Tension slightly and turn the band-saw wheels by hand, adjusting to get the blade center.

Start the saw, then slowly start increasing tension. Keep adjusting to keep blade in center of wheel. Increase tension until the blade stops fluttering. (vibrating)

Adjust the blade guides as close as I can get, leaving about 1/16" between rear blade guide and back of blade.

If the blade is pushed against the back guide, (1/16" clearance closed by pushing by hand) then the gullets of the teeth should be proud of the side guides by about 3/32"
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your quick response. Sounds like I need to adjust the blade a little more. It's not chattering but it's real easy to flex. Now I need t decide whether or not to release the tension after each use.
 

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where's my table saw?
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no need for that unless ....

If the rubber wheels are compressed by the blade noticibly, then back off the tension, BUT put a piece of tape on the blade to remind you to tighten it before use.

If you have a musical ear you can pluck the blade like a stringed instrument and listen for the sound. A thud is too loose, but a clear tone is better. A deflection of 1/4" or so should give good results AND the gullets should track in the center of the wheel.
This a good video for setting up the bandsaw:
 

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The blade will make some compression effect on the tires if it's tensioned properly. You may not see it, but from what I've experienced it does. I would release the tension if the saw will not be used for a while, as the tires get used to the blade, and the curvature of the blade when the wheels are at rest over a long period of time can create some 'memory'.

As for tension, IMO, I wouldn't go by any strumming sounds that you could create. They may not be an accurate tell tale for proper tension. I usually just feel the blade, and check for the freeplay. You can also test with how much drift. I like the back of the blade to be on the thrust bearing, which eliminates any blade movement to the rear. I like a skidding on the side guides which are positioned behind the teeth. I like to have a very minimal clearance with the top guide, and have it as close to the subject piece as possible.






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not for everyone certainly

http://www.finewoodworking.com/tool-guide/article/setting-bandsaw-blade-tension.aspx

This article states in the second sentence that plucking the blade is only for those with a musical ear, which is a select few. The tension in a blade for maximum "beam" strength depends on the width of the blade which is why the spring indicators have different settings. This is covered in the article above.

The thing I do is open both upper and lower blade covers so that the entire length of the blade is exposed on the left side with no blade guides in between the contact points on the radius of the tires. This allows the entire length to be examined and tuned by deflection or "plucking" which ever method you choose. There are also expensive dial indicators that measure tension.The factory installed springs with indicators are not usually that accurate. Tapping the blade is recommended in the Alex Snodgrass video.

There is also the "flutter" method discussed here:
http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-tools/power/bandsaw-blade-tension-flutter-method/

There are many methods. Over time you will figure out which method works best for you based on the quality of your cuts. :yes:
 
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