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Metal cutting bandsaw

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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:52 am    Post subject: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've got a Harbor Freight metal cutting band saw that has been working great for a couple of years now and recently the blade won't stay on it. I've tightened the guide rollers very tight against the blade and the blade still comes off. Does anyone have a idea what I need to do to correct this.

 
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George Marsh
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Increase the tension on the blade. It's like a bicycle chain, if it's loose, it will jump off the sprocket.
George
 
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neverfear
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It should have a thrust block or bearing to adjust forward to keep the blade in between the guide bearings. Make sure the blade is fiddle string tight.
 
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retired farmer
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You might have a bad blade. I have had to take the big idler wheel off and lubricate the bushing a couple of times over the years. You don't want the four guide bearings excessively tight against the blade. Also check them for slop. I have had to replace mine once. Got them from a bearing house. I notice the last time I used mine that the blade kept wanting to come off. Haven't had time to check to see why yet. Probably getting worn out, I have used it a lot.
 
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Mel in SW Iowa
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:33 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

With the blade off, check the large drive and idler wheels for bearing or bushing slop. They will eventually wear enough to cause trouble.
 
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neverfear
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Also, if that blade is bent from jumping off it may not work no matter what you do.
Best to get a new blade and start over. All the stars and moons must be aligned to keep the HF stuff working over time.
 
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Bob - MI
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I second the thrust block or roller behind to keep it from going too far back.
 
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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That is something to check. I inspected everything for something broken or excessive wear but I did not check how far the roller was back.
 
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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:20 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

None of the bearings appear to be any different than when the saw was new. I believe the problem has to be something out of adjustment and my lack of experience with this type of machine is not letting me see it.
 
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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:33 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If it was a bad blade then I got two of them. They were HF blades but all the blades I've had on the saw were HF. I recently got a job replacing the posts on a steel fence. I had to cut 25 posts out of 2" steel and instead of using 16 gauge tubular steel, I used 10 gauge. The steel I got seem excessively hard and after the first blade came off the saw I put a new blade on the saw and cut other parts out of 1" 16ga tubular. Within a few cuts the new blade walked off so I quit using the saw altogether. Now I'm wanting to use the saw again so I want to get the saw fixed. Everything on the saw appears to be the same as new.
 
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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:43 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I believe I've been putting the blade on tight however my experience with bandsaws are with its woodworking counterpart. I realize the metal blade should be much tighter and until recently the saw has been working great. I did have two blades and when the first blade came off I attempted to hammer the kink out of the blade but when that didn't work, I put the new blade on and it did the same thing. I'm not one to bash HF but I believe in this situation something is out of adjustment and if I was more skilled with this machine I could put it back to running great again. My problem is I'm a woodworker trying to run metal working equipment.
 
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JDseller
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I will second what the others have said about the back guide roller/block letting the blade ride too far up. Check it out.

As for your cutting tubing. I have found some batches of square tubing that are hardened at the joint seam. The rest of the tube will cut fine but the welded joint is heat hardened. It will ruin a band saw blade, even the good bi-metal ones. When I cut tubing on a band saw now I take my torch heat it red hot right at the weld seam. Just let it air cool and it seems to take the hardness out of it.. It has made my band saw blades last much longer.

I found a used Milwaukee metal saw last year. The blades are high ( $50 each) but it is the best thing for tubing and pipe I have ever used. It is fast and will last a long time if you don't let the blade bind.
 
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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I will give that a try. I think I've been tightening the blade enough however I've never had anyone show me the proper tension.
 
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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The tubular steel I was using seem to be very hard all the way through, not just the seam. I don't have a torch so I can try to heat it. All I have is a propane torch. I may have to try the Milwaukee blades. I don't mind paying more if they are more durable. I know the Milwaukee tool company has a fine reputation. The HF blades I have been using I believe run about $17.00.
 
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Jerry/MT
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: Metal cutting bandsaw Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Make sure the idler and drive wheel are aligned properly so that the blade tracks correctly. the blade should just touch the flange on the drive and idler wheels. Don"t over tension the blade.

if you have the manual, it tells you how to make this adjustment. You can look it up on the HF website.
 
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