Band Saw Blade Tension Problem

Topics Covered
1. Problem
2. Troubleshooting
3. Called the Company
4. Blade Tension Mechanism
5. Final Thoughts

Recently I bought a new blade for my band saw. I went to put tension on the new blade, but couldn’t get the blade to tense up. To be blunt, I was sent a blade with the wrong blade length. My 12” Craftsman band saw requires an 80” length band saw blade; however, I was shipped an 82” length band saw blade.

Following photo shows the new blade installed.


In the photo above, the guide assembly for tightening the blade has been adjusted as high as it will go. Yet, the wheel tension pointer” shown above has not budged. Plus, look at the slack in the blade.

The following photo shows the slack in the blade between the two wheels.



I laid the two blades (old & new blades) on my workbench to see if they matched-up lengthwise. And the new blade was slightly larger than my old blade. Here is a photo comparing the lengths of my old and new blades.



Looking at the blade lengths shown in the photo above, there’s a 2” difference between the old blade and the new blade.

To calculate the lengths of the two blades shown above, I used a yardstick to measure the diameters of the two blades. Next using the formula for circumference of a circle, I calculated the lengths (circumferences) of the two blades shown above.

Circumference of a Circle = 3.14159 x Diameter of Circle.

I put my old blade back on (shown in photo below), and it tensed up with no problem whatsoever. The blade in the photo below is an 80” x ½” blade.



In the photo above, notice the following:
1. The wheel tension pointer is pointing at ½”, as recommended for a ½” wide blade.
2. And notice the position of the guide assembly it’s nowhere near its upper limit.
3. Plus, the photo shows the blade in tension and no slack in the blade.

Called the Company
I called the mail order company that I ordered the blade from. And they graciously agreed to send me the correct blade length (80”). Turns out the same thing happened to another one of their customers about a week prior to my call. The mail order company said they pulled the rest of their blades in stock (from their supplier), as soon as they realized there was a problem. But my order was shipped before the stock was pulled from the shelf.

The mail order company (McFeely’s) was good to work with. They said to just keep the blade already shipped and they would ship me another blade. No charge. I like the fact that I didn’t have to go thru the hassle of boxing and shipping the blade back. Thanks McFeely’s.

Blade Tension Mechanism
The following diagram shows the blade tension mechanism components which function as follows:
1. Turning the tension adjustment knob moves the guide assembly up and down.
2. The guide assembly movement moves the upper drive wheel up and down.
3. The guide assembly is moved up to put tension on the blade and moved down to take tension off of the blade.



Final Thoughts
I was just glad that my problem was having received the wrong blade versus there being a problem with my band saw itself.


If you enjoyed this post, I would be very grateful if you would share it by email with a friend, or on Google+, and/or Facebook. While I am being needy, would you give me a “Like” on my Facebook page (Woodworking with AJO). My Facebook page “Like” button is on the right side of this page, or you can click on the link shown below for my Facebook page. Thanks a bunch.

Woodworking with AJO | Facebook

Until next time, Take care