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Thread: Bandsaw Blade Sizing Question from a Clueless Woodworker -- 59-1/2" or 62"?

  1. #1

    Bandsaw Blade Sizing Question from a Clueless Woodworker -- 59-1/2" or 62"?

    Hi, Everyone. Yes, I REALLY AM clueless.

    About a week ago I purchased a HF 9-inch bandsaw. It says it takes a 62-inch blade. With the blade installed and all the adjustments maxed out, it appears the blade is still too loose.

    Question: Can I install a 59-1/2" blade on this bandsaw? I see these listed all over the place. Is that the generally-recognized blade size for a 9" wheel (I warned you I was clueless). Did I put on th?

    Also, while I have you, how do you know if your blade is too TIGHT? I see all kinds of articles on blades being too loose and the flutter test and all that, but when do you stop tightening?

    Okay, I've given a mouthful. Appreciate your advice.

    Scott
    Last edited by Scott Memmer; 10-24-2020 at 10:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    You should lay a string around the same path of the blade and figure out from there. I just saw a video that says 64 inches for an HF 9 inch so it seems they have different ones.
    I broke a Delta saw years ago trying to tighten the blade too much so be careful and set it with a somewhat easy side play of 3/8 inch in one direction, test cut and see if that is enough.

  3. #3
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Every bandsaw has a range of adjustment, so as long as the band is sized to be somewhere within that range, you're good to go. Bruce's suggestion to physically measure with a string is a good one...I'd do that with the tension adjusted toward the low end side of the middle so you leave more than enough adjustment to mount and tension the blade properly.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Memmer View Post
    Hi, Everyone. Yes, I REALLY AM clueless.
    About a week ago I purchased a HF 9-inch bandsaw. It says it takes a 62-inch blade. With the blade installed and all the adjustments maxed out, it appears the blade is still too loose.
    Question: Can I install a 59-1/2" blade on this bandsaw? I see these listed all over the place. Is that the generally-recognized blade size for a 9" wheel (I warned you I was clueless). Did I put on th?
    Also, while I have you, how do you know if your blade is too TIGHT? I see all kinds of articles on blades being too loose and the flutter test and all that, but when do you stop tightening?
    Okay, I've given a mouthful. Appreciate your advice.
    Scott

    Scott,

    It's surprising how small a difference will make a blade too loose. I once bought a 4tpi blade that I couldn't tension on my 18" bandsaw which takes a 142" length. Since accurately measuring a blade was difficult I counted the teeth and compared to the previous blade from the same place. The bad blade had ONE extra tooth!

    It would be easier to measure the bandsaw, with the adjustment that Jim mentioned. I'd be careful to use a string that wouldn't stretch, or better a flexible steel tape which might lay on the crowns easier. BTW, if your wheels are steel or cast iron a strong magnet might help keep the tape or string in place on one wheel while pulling it around the other. I use this method to hold a blade in place on one wheel while mounting a new blade.

    Also, if it's a new bandsaw there is a possibility that something is not right. Perhaps a return and replacement?
    If it's a used saw, it is possible that it's been over-tensioned and something is bent. That happened my 14" saw when trying to tension a blade too wide. I had to replace some parts on the saw.

    As for tensioning I use a tension gauge. There are several other methods touted but they rely on some experience, as in answering your question when to stop tightening or how much pressure to use for deflection. Some possibly useful reading: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...82#post2659282

    Tension gauges are expensive but if you belong to a club perhaps someone has one you can use. (You don't indicate in your profile where you live but if close to me I might be able to help.) I bought a Starrett but Iturra Design has a cheaper one. You can make one using the same principle.
    There is a way to make a gauge with a dial or digital caliper, posted here a few years ago by John TenEyck.
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...33#post2640833
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....04#post2640804

    It's worth it to get the tension right. Not enough tension is a leading cause of problems with the cut. Too much tension is a potential cause for damage to the machine or blade. Fortunately the tensioning range is fairly forgiving for much work, such as cutting stock less than 2". It can all fall apart when resawing or cutting up 12" thick green hardwoods (which is what I use mine saw for often).

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 10-25-2020 at 12:19 PM.

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