This Article is About
proper alignment
inch hole
few degrees
brackets
blade
Band Saw Guide Basics, What You Need To Know About Proper Alignment
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Knowing the proper band alignment is very important when adjusting the band saw that you have or one that you make like I did. It is important because if not correctly aligned at both ends, the saw will cut crooked on a thick piece of wood, plus you don't want the band forced back by the pressure of the wood. You do not want the band to be forced off the wheels, and could damage the band or injure you.

The way I aligned mine was I began with a ball bearing that had a 5/8 inch diameter. This will go to the back edge of the band below the table and above the guard on the top. I mounted the ball bearing to a short piece of 5/8 inch rod, then drilled a 1/4 inch hole off center in the 5/8 inch rod making it eccentric. I then drilled a 1/8 inch hole in the short piece of 5/8 inch rod that was half way between the low point and the high point of the eccentric rod. This will cause the ball bearing to move in and out depending on where you adjust the eccentric rod. The rod is mounted into a bracket and the rod snugly fits in with a 1/4 inch bolt so it can't move.

The side play or twist of the band is adjusted on many saws with cool blocks. The cool blocks I used were 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch. These are sold in most woodworking stores. Since they are in 1/2 inch square, I used keystock of 1/2 inch to hold the alignment of the cool blocks 90 degrees to the blade. This will hold the band in proper alignment. I made a slight adjustment on the plate that holds the cool blocks to change the angle right or left a few degrees.

The brackets that hold the cool blocks are built the same, as you want the blade to pull down on the cool blocks holding them to the bracket. I installed four allen head screws to hold the cool blocks in place by drilling and tapping holes in the half inch keystock, so that they would press against the back part of the keystock. I fastened the keystock with shorter allen head screws that I countersunk into the keystock. This is made into one piece that holds the roller bearing and the cool blocks in alignment.

When adjusting the cool blocks with the blade installed, the gap should be about 3-5 thousandths of an inch and the roller should be also back from the back of the blade about 2-4 thousandths of an inch. To make sure your adjustment is correct, as you can move the blade right or left with the cool blocks, take a thick piece of wood, preferrably something about 11 or 12 inches thick, and square on the bottom, and turn the saw on and saw into the wood about 1/4 inch. Pull the wood back, shut the saw off and with a square, measure to see if the cut was exactly perpendicular to the bottom of the board. If it off one way or the other, compensate with the cool block to make a perpendicular cut.

This can be done with most bandsaws, whether bought commercially or homemade, and is essential to a good cut. Hopefully this will help properly set your band, and get you on your way to a great woodworking experience.


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