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Band saw alignment questions

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  • Band saw alignment questions


    Just purchased the 1400 BS a while back ( $299 + 10% off!) and I noticed that when I have an 1/8" blade installed, it doesn't make contact with the lower BB guide. I then checked and it seems as the two main wheels are not parallel to one another when checked with a straight edge. The upper wheel is almost
    1/4" off at the top when compared to the lower wheel. When the 1/8" blade is in the center of the rubber on top, it's to the left on the bottom rubber.

    Is this adjustable? Is this a major problem that will affect my over quality of cut, etc.? I know that in most of the mag. tests, one of the first things they check is alignment of the wheels, and Ridgid seemed to rate pretty highly.

    Also - the miter guide slot on my saw is a little tight for a standard 3/4 aluminum miter gauge from my table saw - anyone else notice that?


    Julian Tracy

  • #2
    I assume you are talking about the 14inch bandsaw where did you get it at 10% off $300, and do you like it. I am looking for one myself and its either the delta for a Hundred more or the Rigid


    • #3
      I assume you are talking about the 14inch bandsaw where did you get it at 10% off $300, and do you like it. I am looking for one myself and its either the delta for a Hundred more or the Rigid


      • #4
        Got the 10% coupon for signing up for the HD credit card - although I didn't have to use the new card for the purchase.

        I don't think you can get a better bandsaw deal when compared to this saw for $269, but I'd like to figure out this alignment issue.

        Of course, I haven't had to deal with the "new" Ridgid customer service, but all in all seems like a nice unit.

        Also purchased the 13" Planer and Oscillating sander the same day. The planer is amazing, and the sander is very helpful - excellent dust collection on both units when used with a dust collector.



        • #5
          When holding a straight edge against both wheels simultaneously near the bearing, the top rim of the bottom wheel is approx.. 1/16" tilted to the right, and the top rim of the top wheel is tilted to the right approx. 1/4".

          The display model at Home Depot is only off 1/16" at the top of the top wheel.




          • #6
            OK, not with help from the manual, but with help from the Fine Woodworking review of 14" bandsaws (wint2001), I've come to realize that maybe I was just doing a stupid newbie thing. I just realized that after adjusting the blade tracking screw, I can get the wheels in perfect alignment.

            Here's my situation: although I CAN get the wheels to be perfectly parallel using the blade tracking adjustment, when set like that the blade is not properly centered on the rubber. So, when I adjust the tracking so that the blade is in the middle of the top tire's rubber, on the bottom tire the blade is over to the left of the rubber.

            Maybe this is ok?, but, it results in not being able to use the bottom BB guide on the back of the blade when using an 1/8" blade because the guide won't extend out far enough to touch it.

            So, when I try to adjust the blade tracking to get the blade slightly off center to the right on the top wheel to compensate, the blade stays near the left on the bottom wheel.

            Are these just the way this works? Is it ok that I CAN get the wheels in perfect alignment when it's off, but when running, it has to be adjusted so that they are back out of alignment?

            Is this just the nature of 14" import saws?

            I only paid $269 for this saw, so I'm perfectly ok with some degree of flaw, but I'd like to make sure I'm getting the best performance possible.

            Thanks for the help - sorry for the dumb questions.

            Julian Tracy


            • #7

              I was asked to chime in with my 2 cents. Your band saw is suffering with issues that several band saw owners have. The Saw is improperly manufactured. It's not correct to have to adjust the tracking to make the blade run true if the flywheels are in line, and certainly not alright to not be able to use the lower guides! There is a safety factor here!

              What I have found with mine, and I'm sure you will experience this with yours over time, is;

              The lower flywheel shaft passes through the case, and afixed with a pully driven my the motor. The shaft is held from sliding through the case on the pully side by a E clip. On the flywheel side the bearing seats to a shoulder on the shaft and the flywheel bolt seats the flywheel to the bearing.

              The problem lays in either or both of the milling of the housing or shaft. What happens is the bearing is not seating in the housing. The shaft can actually move through the housing until the bearing seats. Then move back again until the E clip stops it.

              This is where the trouble is, because as the shaft moves, mine nears 1/4 of an inch, you are constantly tracking the blade.

              Others have posted to shim the flywheel from the bearing, but this doesn't stop the play in the unseated bearing, and furthers the blade from the lower guides, and further out of alignment. I shimmed behind the bearing, but in doing so to keep the shaft from floating through the housing, the flywheels simply can not be properly aligned, and the lower guides are useless on anything less than a 3/8" blade.

              Mine are also out of alignment vertically, meaning that looking straight down over the machine, between the two flywheels the blade is running under a slight twist. Also causing tracking problems. All this out of alignment stuff over time will cause accelerated ware, and worsen the problem. This could be the fault of improperly machined riser block I have installed on my band saw. I never checked it without the riser block, I added it right away.

              You may feel this is an acceptable flaw for the price. I feel it is not acceptable at any price.
              Depends on the amount of use and what type of cutting you are doing will depend on the acceleration of the ware. Cutting arcs and shapes with a blade that doesn't hold tracking leads to some unacceptable cuts.

              I am not positive, but I don't think Ridgid's band saws were ever produced in an ISO factory. Grizzlys are, insuring a high quality standard. For a $105 bucks more than you paid, and the deal they have on shipping right now, you need to examine all the extras you would get on the Grizzly, and what it would cost to upgrade the ridgid to it's level.

              Then you will see what a true deal it is for a band saw with flaws.
              John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


              • #8
                Thanks to you both for your replies. I will have to read them again a few times to fully comprehend what is involved in fixing this "defective" saw. For any other owners, I'd like to hear your opinions/comments as well.

                I'll check back and let you folks know if I was able to implement any of the above suggestions. Thanks very much.

                Julian Tracy


                • #9
                  Woody, are you saying that on your saw you actually have an amount of play at the flywheel shaft?

                  Do you mean that when there is no blade attached, the flywheel will "wobble" slightly at it's bearing attachment point?

                  Thanks again,



                  • #10

                    That isn't exactly what I was saying, no. However, the top flywheel is is not perfectly round, and there fore out of balance in itself.

                    What I was saying above is the shaft the lower flywheel mounts to, slides back and forth horizontally through the casting due to poor machining, which there is no correct fix other than replacement components which are machined correctly.
                    John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                    • #11
                      Don't know if my BS1400 'problem' is as bad as the alignment mentioned above. I wonder what's the best way to stop the blade rattling inside the plastic blade cover off & on?


                      • #12
                        Bandsaw is a tricky machine to get to know. Once they're set up properly are great. I own a delta I bought from Lowes for 400 bucks. They all pretty much seem to be pretty similar though. My wheels are never aligned perfectly. When you tension them, the wheels tend to change alignment as well. Almost ALL consumer models have this. I had my top blade running off the wheel for a week before I figured it out. LOL.

                        I'd back off all your guides & Thrust bearings ( TOP AND BOTTOM ). --Your top blade support may be pushing your blade forward?-- Once you have ALL your guides back as far as they can, tension your bandsaw and Track it manually with the machine unplugged. ( Spin the wheels with your hand ). If the blade slips offcenter, there should be a twisting knob adjustment behind the top wheel. If your blade drifts to front or back, use tracking knob on back of top wheel. More of an art than science.

                        Once you get blade tracking properly ( riding in center of both wheels ), Set the thrust bearing slightly behind the blade ( top & bottom ) and then set the blocks around the blade pretty close to touching : paper should fit in between block and blade : Make sure that blocks don't touch teeth of blade.

                        You may have a bent saw, but Ridgid Bandsaws are known to track well, and it took me a while to figure mine out. I'd suggest playing with it some more. My guess is you are missing something. Keep at it.

                        Good Luck