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Thread: Aligning bandsaw table to the blade

  1. #1
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    Aligning bandsaw table to the blade

    This is a riff on a much-discussed topic.

    I bought one of those gizmos to see how far off my blade is. (A lot) Then I looked in my Jet owner manual for how to adjust the table (miter slot). Nothing. I wound up adjusting the fence to the blade, which is fine, worked well. Almost enough slack, but I got it close, and my cut was smooth and lovely.

    1) This precludes using the miter slot/track for a holding jig for making boards out of logs
    2) Made me wonder if blade position on the wheel would affect alignment
    3) Led to the discovery of badly cracked tires (to be replaced)
    4) Which further led to the discovery of an out of round/ out of balance lower wheel as evidenced by carefully holding a soapstone to it inside and outside (NO BLADE!). The marks were in very close alignment inside and out.

    This saw dates from 2005, very little use. It had the original blade on it.

    Comments?

  2. #2
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    Yes, adjusting the tracking to vary where the blade rides on the wheels will affect the cut line. Use that to make it parallel to the miter slots.

  3. #3
    Adjusting the blade tracking is the proper method to align the blade.
    All the gizmos and gadgets are a waste of time and money IMO
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    If the wheels and/or tires are crowned then adjusting position of blade on tires with the tracking adjustment will change alignment. If the wheels/tires are flat I don't think it will make much difference. My Laguna 18BX table slot was not aligned to the blade and like yours, no info in manual on adjusting the table alignment. But it was pretty easy to figure out what to loosen to shift the table and I was able to align it close enough using the magnet and rule trick. If you're going to do this, align the table first, then the fence. If you shift the table, check it over the full range of motion to make sure the table insert doesn't hit the blade at any angle.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  5. #5
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    Adjusting the table to be perpendicular to the blade is what I consider a critical need. But the cut line, itself, is going to change over the life of a blade. That's where an adjustable or point fence comes into play.
    --

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

  6. #6
    To be clear, I was taking about Bandsaws with crowned tires.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meryl Logue View Post
    This is a riff on a much-discussed topic.

    I bought one of those gizmos to see how far off my blade is. (A lot) Then I looked in my Jet owner manual for how to adjust the table (miter slot). Nothing. I wound up adjusting the fence to the blade, which is fine, worked well. Almost enough slack, but I got it close, and my cut was smooth and lovely.

    1) This precludes using the miter slot/track for a holding jig for making boards out of logs
    2) Made me wonder if blade position on the wheel would affect alignment
    3) Led to the discovery of badly cracked tires (to be replaced)
    4) Which further led to the discovery of an out of round/ out of balance lower wheel as evidenced by carefully holding a soapstone to it inside and outside (NO BLADE!). The marks were in very close alignment inside and out.

    This saw dates from 2005, very little use. It had the original blade on it.

    Comments?
    I aligned my band saw table to the blade and I no longer have drifting problems, even when I change blades. I used this link to do the job.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  8. #8
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    Bandsaw threads are often as rife with voo-doo as Saw Stop, Festool, and sharpening threads. Many, many folks have found what works for them; they are all correct. A lot of these folks think they have the definitive answer; they are probably not correct . Your post touches on a lot of areas but it seems you have found a method that works for you so I would stop there.

    Blade position on a crowned tire does alter alignment with another fixed plane.
    Bandsaw-Blade-Drift-Visual.jpg
    Adjusting the fence to compensate for "drift" is another way to go.

    You mention the miter slot. As with router tables there are those of us who use the miter slot and others who wonder why. This will vary with how completely you use the tool as in the case of many 14" 'do it all' machines versus dedicated curvy-cutters and ripping bandsaws.

    I aligned the blade to the miter slot using a wide blade, a magnet and a rule. First to the miter slot.
    BS Align (3).jpg
    Then aligned the fence.
    BS Align (4).jpg
    As mentioned, blade wear or use beyond the reliable life of the cutter will result in tracking issues and there are all sorts of ways (including an expensive fence) to handle that until your new blade arrives. I keep spares of each commonly used blade and order the replacement when the spare goes on the machine.

    Bandsaw blades are wear parts like sandpaper. If you try to milk extra work out of a failing item you can spend more time fixing the errors it provides than it is worth. I find I get much better and more repeatable results with a cutter that isn't past its "good" life. I do keep worn blades around as 'thrashers' for unknown or unforgiving material.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-26-2021 at 2:10 PM.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  9. #9
    I look at it this way,
    I have two bandsaws both with crowned wheels/tires. On both my saws, the table is mounted solidly to the frame, not designed for adjustment. The fence is mounted to the table solidly and aligned to the miter track, not designed for adjustment. The blade is mounted on the wheels/tires which are designed to be adjusted via the tracking adjustment mechanism.
    So, not to sound like a jerk but why would I fiddle around with things that aren't designed to be adjusted?
    The number of gadgets available to eliminate "blade drift" is staggering. If you set your saw up properly in the first place, you effectively eliminate the need for all those gadgets.
    Once the blade is running parallel with the fence and by extension the niter slot, you can use other fixtures and sleds with better accuracy.

    There are many opinions on this subject but there are also objective facts and laws of physics/geometry that can't be ignored.

    As has been said, whatever works for you in your shop. I only provide an alternative that works for me and try to explain why.

    Cut straight, be safe

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I use this Bandsaw Buddy from Axminster and find it to be very effective.
    https://www.axminstertools.com/us/uj...glCurrency=USD

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Adjusting the table to be perpendicular to the blade is what I consider a critical need. But the cut line, itself, is going to change over the life of a blade. That's where an adjustable or point fence comes into play.

    And that's the easiest adjustment to make. Take a board about 4" high, and make just a kerf cut into it. Take same board and place kerf cut behind blade. If blade doesn't align, the adjust and try again.

  12. #12
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    I've been working on improving my Grizzly 16" bandsaw for resawing and such.
    One of the guys at Woodcraft suggested watching this Alex Snoddergrass of Carter Products:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU

    I did what he did on my bandsaw and I've only did one test cut but I was able to cut a test piece 0.10" thick off of a 1.5"x8" board. The worst the thickness varied (excluding blade ripple marks) was about 0.015". It was about 20" long. That was the best I've ever done with it. We'll see if that works on the soft maple I'm resawing. My first round before tuning it up ended up losing a number of my boards due to varying thicknesses.

    Alex claims drift and such isn't a problem with a properly tuned saw. And it is a quick tune-up.

    BTW - My saw is a 1999 Grizzly 16" G1073. It is a decent saw but is not a "tight" construction and still has all the original guides and such which leave a lot to be desired.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Northern Illinois
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    I'm not really sure what the gizmo you bought was, but I have never had any problems with alignment either at 90 degrees to the table or 90 degrees to the miter slot. Whenever I change blades, and sometimes in between, I go through the setup process detailed by Alex Snodgrass from Carter Products. I realize that this set of steps is meant for resaw bandsaw setup, but the steps have always resulted in everything being setup properly including both the blade squareness to the table and the slot. Now maybe I'm just lucky but I doubt it. I also have something similar to the Axsminster jig referred to in the this post (mine is from Carter) but I don't use it for that purpose; only for getting an approximate distance from the blade to the fence for resawing. I also don't use the factory fence which came with my saw (Rikon). I could never get their fence to lock down square even though they supplied me with a replacement during warranty. Instead I use Cadter's MagFence which allows me to lock the fence down exactly where I want it with the 2 integral magnets. It is square to the table and to the slot (which for resawing probably isn't essential, only for other rips).

    In case you're interested in the Alex Snodgrass (Carter) video, it's all over the internet on YouTube and, I think, on Carter's site. It's never failed me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    Adjusting the blade tracking is the proper method to align the blade.
    All the gizmos and gadgets are a waste of time and money IMO
    I agree the gizmos and gadgets are a waste but you are assuming the able is properly aligned and the blade is good. If the table is off either because it was not properly aligned when originally installed or knocked out of alignment when moved or in use then that needs to be corrected. In my experience though, the main source of drift is the blade itself, I had a blade that drifted badly, I sharpened it with a Dremel and metal cut off wheel and the drift is gone.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    I look at it this way,
    I have two bandsaws both with crowned wheels/tires. On both my saws, the table is mounted solidly to the frame, not designed for adjustment. The fence is mounted to the table solidly and aligned to the miter track, not designed for adjustment. The blade is mounted on the wheels/tires which are designed to be adjusted via the tracking adjustment mechanism.
    So, not to sound like a jerk but why would I fiddle around with things that aren't designed to be adjusted?
    Are you certain the table mounting holes in the trunnions of your bandsaw(s) are not oversized?

    The table adjustment procedure is to loosen not remove these bolts, tap the table into the desired alignment position with a mallet, then tighten the bolts.

    The video Lee linked demonstrates what I am trying to describe at about 7:45 of the video.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 06-28-2021 at 6:06 PM.

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