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Old 12-27-2017, 12:25 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Default Cheap band saw

A while ago, I was driving by a warehouse that said "TOOL SALE" so I stopped in. The sale had finished but there were still a few items left that never got sold. One was a metal bandsaw on wheels that had a price of 50.00 on it. It looked like a cheaper one so I offered him 25.00 knowing that if I didn't get it, I wouldn't be heartbroken.
He took the offer and I took the saw.

I got it home and tried to make a test cut with it, in some 2" square tubing but it made a horribly angled cut. That was the last time I used the saw.

It seems very tight everywhere, and I don't notice any significant slop in either the blade or the hinge assembly, but I've never used a good bandsaw either so I don't have much to compare it to.

Is there any way to make a cheap metal bandsaw work well?
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2017, 12:27 PM
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digger doug digger doug is offline
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Gonna need to post some pictures.

1. Dull blade
2. Blade not tight enough
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2017, 01:00 PM
Riverr1 Riverr1 is offline
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Have to agree with digger. Probably a cheap or bad blade. Cheap bandsaws are notorious for wiping out the set in a blade on one side or the other. That will cause the angled cut. Look at the set in the blade.

I've always had good luck with Timberwolf blades. Never had any luck with box store blades.
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Old 12-27-2017, 01:16 PM
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cutter cutter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
Is there any way to make a cheap metal bandsaw work well?
I'm assuming you meant the cut was angled vertically? That usually means that the blade is slightly twisted in the same direction as the angle of the cut.
Or it can also mean that the blade is worn out. If this is an ordinary 4 x 6 bandsaw, the blades are cheap - 10-12 bucks will usually get you back in business.

In the first place, both blade guides can be adjusted several degrees right or left to help true the cut. You also need to check the condition of the guide bearings; if they're worn out & run sloppy then you probably should replace them. They are usually readily available for cheap from a bearing supply house.

Bear in mind that the guides have to twist the band/blade quite a bit to correct it from the angle established by the bandsaw wheels so it is not unusual to find a saw badly out of adjustment.

To check the angle of the blade, use a 90° square sitting on the horizontal bed of the vise & drop the sawframe & blade slowly down with the blade barely touching the square. You should be able to see whether the blade is pitched to the right or to the left. You can slightly loosen the bolts holding the guides to the saw frame and twist the guides to adjust the blade to vertical. It usually takes some experimenting & fiddling to get it to cut true.

You should also be aware that every blade can have an innate tendency to cut at a slight angle just from the design or the set of the teeth. This is called "blade lead". This can also be corrected by compensating for the lead using the guides.

Don't give up on it. Even a cheap bandsaw can usually be adjusted to make acceptable cuts within the size & structural limitations of the saw. They are one of the handiest tools for the money that you can own.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2017, 04:55 PM
BukitCase BukitCase is offline
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In addition to Cutter's excellent info, I have a pdf of tracking/alignment info that I can't recall where I found - went looking, and came up empty on a search. Written by John Pitkin, hope nobody gets upset - here 'tis... Steve
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File Type: pdf Basic_blade_adjustment_and_tracking_-_rev-1.pdf (26.9 KB, 60 views)
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2017, 07:22 PM
duckman903 duckman903 is offline
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I understand what your going thru, when I bought my 7" X 12" a 2" cut wandered over 1/4" so started playing with the rolled guides they were way out , kept taking little cuts till I got what I thought was pretty then we got a job in that we had to cut 6" deep then turn the block and cut 5" deep to make an "L" shape checked the cut and had less than .005 error, so that in mind you just have to keep playing with it and make sure you have sharp blade.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2017, 08:21 PM
Scratch Scratch is offline
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Thanks all. I assumed this saw was just a pice of junk so I never used it again. I'll take everyone's suggestions, and spend the time to get it cutting straight. I'm very glad to hear that it should be possible.

Thanks again!
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  #8  
Old 12-28-2017, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BukitCase View Post
In addition to Cutter's excellent info, I have a pdf of tracking/alignment info that I can't recall where I found - went looking, and came up empty on a search. Written by John Pitkin, hope nobody gets upset - here 'tis... Steve
Very detailed how to do it. Thanks, that was useful.
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:36 PM
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I got a cheap Chinese made saw, I had to make various adjustments to get it cutting right. One thing mine had was a steel bush on a steel shaft in the follower blade wheel. I replaced it with sealed bearings. It cuts ok now, as has been said the saw is really useful in the shop.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2017, 03:00 AM
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I just replaced the blade on my 7x12 (about $38 for a Lenox 14TPI). Had to adjust the guide arm a little bit as Rod suggested. Saw will and has cut square for most of its life. When things start getting out of whack, it is usually time for a new blade...
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