Modification to Band Saw Belt Guard

Topics Covered
1. The Blade Stopped
2. There Must Be A Better Way
3. My Solution
4. Final Thoughts

The Blade Stopped
In using my band saw to cut a piece of wood, the blade stopped. Turned out, the Allen screw on the pulley (concealed by the belt guard) had loosened and the pulley was slipping. A close-up of the pulley and Allen screw is shown in the following photo (the Allen screw has been re-tightened in this photo).

1_Allen screw & Pulley


No big deal right, just tighten the Allen screw and press on. Well not so fast, at least not for my Craftsman 12” band saw (Model Number 113.243311). Now what I especially dislike regarding this pulley and belt guard setup is that you have to remove the belt and belt guard in order to check the tightness of the pulley Allen screw.

A photo of the belt and belt guard is shown in the following photo, next to the belt and pulley.



Now to remove the belt guard shown above, you first have to remove the belt. Having to remove and later re-tension the band saw belt is not exactly what I want to be doing with my shop time. But, the only way to get to the Allen screw (and check for tightness) is to remove the belt before you can remove the belt guard.

There Must Be A Better Way
The belt guard is easy to remove (once the belt is removed). The belt guard easily snaps on & off. However, having to first remove the belt before I can remove the belt guard is what I object to. There must be a better way. The photo below shows the back of the belt guard (the side up against the band saw housing).


My Solution

The solution I came up with was to remove (using my Dremel & a cutoff wheel) the back of the belt guard housing. The back of the belt guard is shown in the above photo (prior to being modified).

I clamped the belt guard to my workbench using a scrap piece of OSB and a holdfast, as shown in the following three photos. This clamping scheme worked great.



The Dremel cutoff blade heats and deforms the plastic along the cut-line (this can be seen in the above photo). I used a Dremel sanding bit to smooth out the deformed plastic along the cut-line. The Dremel sanding bit is pointed out in the following photo.




The next photo shows the modified belt guard next to the belt & pulley.



And the photo below shows the modified belt guard reinstalled on the band saw.



Final Thoughts
Nice to know I can now check the tightness of the Allen screw, without having to remove the belt. This modification will help ensure that the Allen screw is checked for tightness on a regular basis. I plan to make a couple more modifications to my band saw, and will post (about the modifications) once they are accomplished.

Listed below are links to two other posts on modifications to my band saw:
Band Saw Housing Cover Modification
Band Saw Tension Adjuster Modification

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Until next time, Take care