I have aligned / tuned the blade as per the instructions in the owners book and gone over it 3 even 4 times or more yet the blade drifts severly left or right depending on which way it catches the set first. I also have built a circle cutting jig and even using a 3/8" blade and attempting to cut a 5" dia circle out of 3/4" particle board or soft pine, the blade again drifts extremely toward the front of the saw and the blade pulls forward towards the throat opening (away from the back roller bearing). Is this a case of the tension being too tight or loose? I have it set to the tension guide marks.
It sounds like you are talking about two different problems here. First there is the drift from side to side that the blade experiences when you try to cut a board straight down a length. This from the blade itself. What you will find is, when you try to rip a board down its length, to cut a straight line there will be a certain angle that you have to feed the board at to get the cut to be straight. This angle will be different for different blades and different material. The better the blade quality the straighter angle of feed will have to be. The second problem you describe is a little harder to diagnose. I'm not really sure what’s going on there since when you cut it should be putting rearward force against the backing bearing. It should be almost impossible for that blade to come forward while you are cutting. If you could give a little more detail maybe I could figure it out.
Ok, I'll break them apart:
#1. When a new blade is installed and the tension handwheel is set to the indicator on the scale, approximately how much drift or twisting is considered acceptable and how do you minimize this without having to chase after it?
#2. I built a circle cutting jig so I could cut faceplate stock for my lathe. Have put on various new blades ranging from 1/4" to 1/2". I set the jig to cut a 6" dia circle which is well within the min radius for each of these blades. As soon as I begin to rotate the stock on the pivot point, the blade starts to drift inward and will often surge away from the backup bearing in addition to bogging down the motor. This occurs with each piece of stock I have attempted to cut which is 3/4" red oak, 3/4" soft white pine, 1/2" soft white pine and even balsa wood of varying thickness up to 1-1/4".
Thanks for any input / advice you may have.
I can only help on the second question. Your centerpoint is in the wrong position relative to the blade. It's still early in the morning for me, but I think the pivot needs to move toward the operator (tooth) side of the saw. This is a common issue on bandsaw circle cutters.
Thanks. I had built the jig so the turning point was centered between the leading edge of the blade teeth and the gullet. Re-positioned the jig so the turning point was just forward (about 1/16")of the leading edge of the teeth. Will have to keep this in mind to re-adjust for each blade size I use. Always the simple things that seem so drastic when you get frustrated...Thanks again.
They are weird things, huh? A suggestion to make adjustments easier, don't use it with different blades.
A lot of people I've met are somewhat obsessed with using the largest cross-section bandsaw blade they can get away with. Especially for something like a circle cutter, there isn't a lot of reason to move from a small blade. On my 18" bandsaw, I do all curve work with a 3/16" blade. Works just great, no reason to go larger.
Speaking of blade sizes you will find that with a good quality blade such as an Olsen, or a Timberwolf, you can cut straighter with a narrow 1/4" blade than you will a 1/2 blade of a cheaper brand.
I can't stress this enough the blade makes all the difference in a band saw!!!
Will look into getting Timberwolf blades..Thanks.
Just a note: All blades used to this point were specifically RIDGID packaged blades. Still have extras un-opened..probably should get my money back from Home Depot then.
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