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Atlas bandsaw binding up......

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  • Atlas bandsaw binding up......

    I have an Atlas bandsaw, model 4353, which is one of about 4" capacity that takes the 5 foot blades, and adjusts vertical or horizontal. It has the hydraulic damper.

    Anyway, I have used it for a while, and keep it clean and oiled. There are some obscure oiling spots, but I have them covered.

    Problem is that it has recently started a habit of binding, so as to stop the blade while running. This when using it as a vertical with relatively light pressure.

    If I give the main pulley a bit of help, it starts up, but withdrawing the work does nothing. The pulley does show a lot of resistance when it binds. When it is not bound, it is pretty free, about what I would expect.

    However, the 4 blade rollers are OK, they turn when it is bound, so they are not frozen. All the bearings seem OK, with oil evident, and no heating, etc. Gears are clean, and the thing gets vacuumed regularly (just was), so chips are not visibly in gears or stuck between blade rollers and blade etc, etc.

    Just seems to be no obvious reason for this.
    I could tear it down and check everything, but I am hoping someone else will recognize this and have a hint.

    Any takers?


  • #2
    Sounds like the bearings on one or both wheels are defective. Maybe a sheared off pin, keyway, or set screws on the pulleys or gears.

    Or a really bad blade with no set.

    There is not a lot else that can screw up - I presume the belt does not slip.


    • #3
      Bearings fine, lots of oil, no sheared pins,mostly because there are no such....

      Belt DOES slip when it binds, .


      • #4
        I guess the next thing I would try when it happens again is turn the power off, slack the tension so the blade is completely loose, and try turning each wheel by hand. That still won't tell you 'what', but it may tell you 'where.'


        • #5
          Can't help directly but do have a copy of the Atlas 4352 bandsaw manual that I've scanned into a PDF file. Email if you'd like a copy and can tolerate a 800 kb file via email.

          Mike, near Chicago
          Mike Henry near Chicago


          • #6

            You didn't mention gear oil in the worm gear box. Pull off the cover (in horizontal position) and check for lube immediately.

            Check my recent letters in 'The Third Hand' under Asian Band Saw.

            Good Luck,



            • #7
              Almost sounds like something is getting hot. Have you checked the motor? I'd try Uncle Dunc's suggestion first. I bet you find the problem soon however; amazing how a little input from another person can get the mind working.


              • #8
                Well it does not HAVE a worm gear, it is two open crown gears, one is on one of the wheels. (Atlas, not HF etc)

                The motor is fine, and so is the dang saw, except when it binds. Takes a good bit of torque to get it going again, but so far I can't tie down the problem, as anything I do to access a part seems to loosen it up again!

                What happens is the belt stats slipping, because the main drive pulley won't turn.

                One clue, I used it several times today horizontal, no problem, feed agressive or slow, no different. Vertical is the condition it doesn't like. Might be swarf dropping, dunno yet.

                GRRRR I don't want to tear it down, even though it is as simple as a stone hammer. I do have the book, but thanks for the offer.

                I will slack the tension next time and see if i can get a clue.

                BTW, the motor pulley is belted to a drive-pulley. the drive pulley shaft has a crown gear that direct-drives the lower wheel. Upper wheel is driven by the blade, and has a simple spring tensioner. Its that simple.....seems like there isn't anything to go bad.
                That crown gear shaft is also the saw frame hinge. Makes it a pain (and slow) to disassemble.

                [This message has been edited by Oso (edited 12-22-2002).]


                • #9
                  Check the blade guide bearings. On each guide set there is one fixed (concentric)roller and one adjustable (eccentric) roller. It may be that when the saw is put in the vertical position the eccentric pulls in against the blade and binds it.


                  • #10

                    I think Fran is on to something. In the vertical position with gravity helping, the eccentrics on the bearing blade guides might just be camming over enough to put a good pinch on the blade.

                    Let us know what you find out.



                    • #11
                      Atlas bandsaw, model 4353 maual

                      Atlas bandsaw, model 4353 manual.
                      No parts are available from Atlas/Clausing.

                      Same as Craftsman model#10122950
                      There are limited parts available at sears.


                      Pulley, handle, and wheel assembly:

                      Last edited by Bryan Smith; 11-11-2009, 10:21 AM.


                      • #12
                        Check the pulley shafts... start with the top of free wheeling one first. Cause it sound like the the same issue I had with mine. The darn thing wore down on the top along with the spacer and would allow the wheel to cant and bind up. Turned up a new on from O-1 tool steel and fitted a long oilite bushing solved to problem with the spacer. Yep that be my first thing to look in to.
                        Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.


                        • #13
                          My Jet was doing the same thing in the vertical position!

                          Took it apart, put it back together at least 4 times before I actually watched what happened when I lifted it up.

                          As I lifted, chips were falling into the bearing guides and wedged the blade to a complete stall.

                          Felt a total twit I did.


                          • #14
                            Welcome to forum, good information.

                            You have helpfully replied to a thread from 2002
                            A common 'oops' all of us have done at one time or another.



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by agrip
                              Welcome to forum, good information.

                              You have helpfully replied to a thread from 2002
                              A common 'oops' all of us have done at one time or another.

                              It's OK! I didn't notice the date either and read through the revived thread and picked up some useful (timeless?) information.