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Here is a simple but useful bandsaw repair tip!

New 10″ Rikon Bandsaw

How to adjust the blade alignment (tracking) on your Bandsaw

The “tires” on bandsaw wheels can be critical for proper tracking. Have you changed them in recent years? There should be a slight crown to the tire which draws the blade toward the center of the crown. If you back off all the blade guides (side blocks, backing wheels) so that there is no contact with the blade, the blade should track near the center of both wheels. If not, you have an alignment problem. If the blade tracks okay, you may need to adjust the guides better.

The tires should fit snuggly on the wheels. Mine wore out a couple of months ago and I couldn’t keep the blades or tires properly on the wheels. Start by loosening the blocks or guides that contact the sides of the blade. There should be a pair for the top and a pair for the bottom. Then there is a bearing that is behind the blade on top and one on the bottom. Loosen all these and then place the blade back on the wheels and tighten it up just enough to keep it in place., The top wheel should have an adjustment on the side, that moves the bottom of that wheel in/out which is what adjusts the tracking of the blade. Moving the bottom of that wheel in one direction should make the blade move toward the inside of the wheel and vice versa. Turn the wheels by hand until you can get it to ride in the center. then try it momentarily with the power on and see if it tracks ok. If all that works, then you can start by tightening the blade until it doesn’t flutter. Then you adjust the different blocks/bearings so that the blade tracks properly through the cuts. If you still can’t get it to track properly, then check and see if there is any damage to the mountings for the wheels. It is recommended to release tension on the blades when they are not being used. Leaving them under tension can cause tires to get out of round and even broke one of the castings holding my upper wheel in place! Hope this helps!

One would think the start would be to open the cover (as you did to change the blade), then place a straight edge (yard stick?) across the edges of the wheels. Maybe not! I just did that on my 12″ Craftsman (that presently tracks fine). and the wheels are NOT aligned. So much for logic! Somewhere (perhaps on the back side) is a screw that adjusts to camber (the angle of the upper wheel relative to the machine). I would start by adjusting the camber until the blade will stay on while turning the wheels by hand. Then try power and adjust the camber until the blade tracks near the center of the upper wheel. All guides should be out of the way during this process.

The camber adjustment for the upper wheel is a setscrew with locknut in the hub. Loosen the locknut with a wrench, then you can turn the setscrew to change the camber of the wheel. When it tracks fairly well, tighten the locknut.

Tighten the wheels to the correct blade tension and reset and tighten all of the guides (top and bottom).

Published by carverbobk

I’m a self taught award winning wood carver who has been carving since I was a teenager. I enjoy instructing other carvers, especially beginners.

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