View Full Version : Band Saw Frustrations

03-31-2007, 05:53 PM
My new horiz. Band saw is still giving me fits. My latest problem is slow cutting. The slow cutting is caused by the very low down pressure I have to use to keep the blade from “binding” in the work. Once the blade stops and is bound to the part, the arm has to be lifted to free the blade and permit it to start moving again.

On the arm is gage that regulates the amount of down pressure. The gage reads from 0 to 25 with 0 being no down pressure and 25 the maximum down pressure. I was cutting 1 inch square aluminum bar stock and it took almost an hour to cut thru the stock. I had to have the down pressure set on 1! If I set the down pressure on 2, the blade would bind.

The coolant that was removing the “chips” was being discolored by the exceptional small “dust” that was being removed. I was using a blade with 8 teeth per inch and the blade speed was the highest for the machine. The rollers and guides were sent as close to the work as possible. I don’t have any idea on how the increase the down pressure to make faster cuts without the blade binding.

Appreciate any assistance. Thanks.


John Stevenson
03-31-2007, 06:23 PM
Sounds like blade trouble.
Can you get a Lennox blade from one of the tool houses to fit this saw.


03-31-2007, 06:30 PM
Hum.. 8 tpi and your making dust in aluminum. Is your blades teeth facing the right direction? Cause it kind of sound like the inverted blade to me. Heck I can cut 4" round steel about 15 minutes or so. Could be wrong I'd look at it first.

03-31-2007, 06:30 PM
Sounds like a blade problem to me also, What kind is it?

03-31-2007, 08:31 PM
It sounds more like the blade is loose or slipping from the coolant.

What is the saw, and what coolant are you using? Try wiping off the wheels, tightening the blade as tight as you can and then cutting. Coolant can cause as many problems as it solves, and you don't really need it to cut 1" Al stock.

03-31-2007, 09:07 PM
If he is making dust then the blade is either on backwards or it's dull.

03-31-2007, 09:25 PM
....or he's not feeding it into the work fast enough as he suggested. Recutting chips comes from not getting them removed.

Again, if you have a stock egg foo blade, pitch it. Get a good one. If you have a good one insure that you have not already turned it into junk by stripping teeth or taking the set out from having it spin in place without feeding properly. Then, if the blade still binds, its probably because its not cutting square. If you think about it, if the head lowers into the work squarely, but the blade is not pointed in that same direction, you end up forcing the blade sideways into the work...and it won't cut that way.

All bandsaws need adjustment from time to time, but especially initially to get the blade square to the work. Close doesn't cut it here. A blade off at an angle relative to the path of the head travel will start into the work, but the further it goes in, the more it binds. Once it binds enough, it will cease to cut further and just spin there recutting the swarf. This sounds to me like what is being described.


charlie coghill
03-31-2007, 09:31 PM
If you are around a larger city chances are there will be some place that will make a custom made blade. If so get a lennox as John suggested. That is if a tool house can not supply a ready made blade.

Herm Williams
03-31-2007, 11:19 PM
If I was doing this job I would use about a four tooh per inch or less. You need about three teeth on the material, so three or four would work. The shavings should be stringy curls. The feed should be low enough to not pack the shavings in the gullets and fast enough to carry out the chips. I as wag would say that the blade is backwards or wore out. Thaere is nothing like installing a new $100 blade backwards and running it backwards, two seconds and it is scrap, been there and done that.

03-31-2007, 11:57 PM
Greetings, All,

Bill, you did not mention the brand or model number of the saw. No insult to intended, but dollars to donuts, it is a ChiComCharlie special. I have never yet seen one of these which would cut butter out of the box. Most require a new blade, some a new motor and all a couple of hours of adjustments to get them to cut anything. An hour to cut 1" square aluminum? A new Starrett blade on my 50-year-old hacksaw and my 60-year-old arms will most likely cut same in less than a minute.

More information is needed to determine whether your problem is the wrong saw. It is most likely the wrong blade, definitely the wrong TPI, also wrong adjustments; maybe all the above. You have gotten good advice about everything other than will the saw you have ever do what you want done.

thnx, jv.

04-01-2007, 12:00 PM
I'm betting it's on backwards,I weld blades up for people all the time and about 1/2 of them comeback complaining because the blade won't cut.One guy drove 30 miles back to the shop because he bought a blade and noticed the teeth were facing backwards(opposiite)from his direction of cut.Imagine his embarassment when I turned the blade inside out while he watched:D

04-01-2007, 02:11 PM
My band saw is a Grizzly G0561. The blade in NOT in backwrds. The blade is the one that came in the machine. I think the first thing I'll to fix is to get a new, GOOD blade. Maybe that is the cause of the problems. I think Paul has it right says the blade is twisting and causing the binding. The completed cut was not square to the bar. It was skewed off at a slight angle. Would a "stiffer" blade not be so suseptable to twisting? Does anyone have ideas on how a thicker blade would help, hinder my broblem? Thanks.


04-01-2007, 02:27 PM
Use bimetal blades, they give a better cut and are more rigid.

04-01-2007, 02:28 PM
Greetings, Bill,

FWIW, a good-quality blade is straight as a string. If you buy a good blade and are getting an angle cut, blade drift or binding, 99% of the time, either a guide, the idler wheel or the drive wheel is out of plane. Guides are easy, shimming/machining the wheels is a pain.

The other thing to check is some import saws do not have a strong, tight and accurate pivot mount off the base. I have seen them so weak and sloppy the entire saw assembly moved at changing angles to the vise/base. If the blade isn't moving precisely perpendicular and parallel to the base and vise, the result will be binding and/or angled cuts. Use an accurate machinist's square and check the angularity through the whole range of motion. You want the width of the blade perpendicular to the base of the vise and the length perpendicular to the stationary jaw. Good luck.

(FWIW, last I looked, Grizzly got their stuff from Taiwan. JCHannum and I thus are slandering the Tiawanese. They would be deeply insulted to have their junk tools labled 'chicom')

thnx, jv.

04-01-2007, 02:29 PM
If the blade is wandering in the cut, it is a good sign the blade is shot. The chicoms would do the machining world a great favor if they sold those saws less the blade.

A thicker blade might fail prematurely due to the diamater of the bandsaw wheels. The thicker the blade, the larger the diameter of the wheel should be. Get a good blade, make sure it is adjusted properly as to being square with the table,and not too loose in the guides and you will probably be pleasantly surprised.

Mike W
04-01-2007, 02:32 PM
BigBoy1, you should be able to adjust the guides so the blade cuts square. Once a blade starts to cut crooked, replace it since one side is worn. It took me awhile to realize that.

04-02-2007, 06:57 PM
I placed an order for several Starett Bandsaw blades. Several different pitches of teeth so I can cover small to large cutting. Will check alignment of guides when I install the new blades. Hopefully this will solve the problem. Appreciate all the help that has been offered.