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4x6" bandsaw options

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Robert LaLonde

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Good Grief. If you want to buy blades and the ones that come with most saws are garbage, go buy some good blades that are reasonably priced buy Ellis Bandsaw Blades. They also make really high end band saws. When you call them to order just tell them the size of blade and what you are cutting. They will advise you on the best blades for your situation. No bull just great service and a quality product. I don't have any connection to the company other then a very satisfied customer. I buy both metal and wood cutting blades from them.

You'ld be hard pressed to get me to give up the Wood Slicer Resaw blades I use on my wood cutting band saw. I get them from Highland Woodworking, but I think I've seen them on Amazon as well. Those paired with some Cool Blocks made just huge gobs of improvement on my Rigid bandsaw.
 

Aaron_W

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I'm trying to put the belt cover on and the two pulleys were already installed. The instructions show having to put them on so that seems odd. Not really a big deal but I have to remove them to put the cover in place. The drive pulley comes off no problem, but the worm screw pulley will not come loose, I even completely removed the set screw in case it was hanging up somehow. The pulley will move on the shaft about 1/8" and then it sets up tight. I tried gently tapping it with a soft face hammer, but no good.

Adding to the issue, the pulley was damaged when I opened the box, about 1/4 of the lip on the large end (outer edge) was broken off. There is also a pretty good dent on the sheet metal motor housing, but I don't think that is really an issue beyond looks and I'm pretty sure I can pop it out. Other than that it looked better than I expected, well painted, and no scratches.


Any ideas why the pulley won't come loose, I don't see any other means of holding it and it spins freely without the set screw in place until I get it to the point where it won't go any further then it moves the shaft with the pulley. I don't want to get too forceful with it until I can be sure it is just binding on the shaft.


How easy is Harbor Freight to deal with on issues like this, I'd really prefer that they just replace the pulley rather than the whole machine. I've got it all assembled and other than the pulley and the dent it seems to be solid. Swapping pulleys would be easy (if I can get it off). Disassembling it, driving 60 miles for another one, then going over that one in the parking lot and then driving 60 miles home to assemble another one would be a real nuisance. 10 minutes vs 1/2 a day. I think I'd prefer to buy another pulley that go through that hassle.

Pulley as I found it in the box

HF pulley.jpg



Dent on the motor housing

HF dent.jpg
 

markba633csi

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I would take the whole thing back and get a replacement unless you feel confident that
the motor is ok and you want to wait for a replacement pulley to be sent out to you
There is most likely a burr on the shaft from the setscrew that's hanging you up- inspect the setscrew hole and see if you can see it
then sometimes an end-flattened drill bit can help worry down the burr to the point where it lets go
Mark
 

Aaron_W

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I finally got the pulley off, it was just really tight and needed a little more discussion... I'll go over the shaft and new pulley for any burrs before re-assembling.

I pulled the dented cover off, if covers a plastic fan. The fan doesn't contact the housing and shows no sign of damage, so it is just a dent. I ran the motor for a minute and it seems fine. I didn't want to run it for long as I haven't pulled the cover off the gear drive yet, and I've heard the stories about the wrong lube being used and misc grit. I hadn't seen the post about finding a bolt and a bullet inside the housing :eek: or I would have looked inside before starting it. No bad noises so I think I'm ok.

Just the gas taking it back would be more than paying for a new pulley. I've got 88 more days to blow it up before they won't take it back. :D
 

Aaron_W

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Sat on hold for too long with HF, and while waiting found a bunch of posts all over the web that says HF policy is just bring it all back and get another one...

So I checked Grizzly, and they actually sell all the parts individually. The Pulley was $9, but while these are supposed to be the same machine under the paint they show slightly different speeds. Just to be safe I got both pulleys and a new belt just in case Grizzly actually used a different diameter pulley. They are identical to the pulleys / belt in the HF saw so like the horse power, HF seemed to have embellished slightly on the speeds as well (oddly shows a slightly slower motor speed and slightly higher blade speed o_O ). $30 shipped and the saw works so I'm happy.

Changed the gear oil, which actually looked and smelled like gear oil, just a few metal flakes, no sand, no bolts, no iron bullets. Even the blade seems to be adjusted right straight out of the box. If it weren't for the busted pulley, I'd really feel like I was missing out on the whole HF saw experience. :)
 

MrWhoopee

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I've had one of the HF 4x6 saws for a couple of years. It cut square and straight out of the box with original blade. That blade lasted until I tried something stupid. A piece of 1x8 0-6 tool steel proved to be too much, even though I was able to stretch the capacity to accommodate it. I walked away and left it running, which was a huge mistake. When I returned, the blade had hung and the motor was smoking. Apparently they don't have thermal overload protection. I had a motor from on old Craftsman band saw, so I put it on and I'm back in business. Can't fault the saw.
From reading the long lists of reviews on these saw, it appears that the common criticisms have been addressed over time. Things that were problems several years ago are no longer mentioned. The stand on mine seems plenty rigid.
I'm getting bi-metal blades from Aliexpress for $16 and have had no complaints. I'm more likely to destroy them than wear them out (see above).

So far, the only mod has been to move the power cord exit to the rear of the saw. It's just plain stupid to put it at the switch end (though I've seen suggestions it might be required by European regs). I intend to put an air cylinder on it for down feed control and the hinged, flip down table for vertical cutting.

These are perfectly serviceable saws at a really good price. You just have to remember their limitations.
 

Bob Korves

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I intend to put an air cylinder on it for down feed control
I recommend to use a liquid rather than air system for controlling the downfeed. Air is compressible and bouncy, liquid is not. The idea is to have more rigid control over the downfeed, and air is not much better that the factory gravity only setup. I would use an air cylinder containing a fluid like ATF. Keep all air out of the downfeed cylinder.
 

Aaron_W

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It did the job I bought it for. Made up 10 of these 4x4" sleeves, right from the box with the original blade no fuss. The steel cost almost as much as the saw, $160 for two 10 foot, 1/8" wall, 4x4". As far as I'm concerned the saw was worth the money just for this job. I'd still be out there with a hacksaw trying to do it by hand.

HF4x6 cutting 4x4.jpg
 

TonyRV2

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I make knives, so my band saw use is typically limited to 2-1/2" flat stock around 0.2" thick or so. I bought an HF 4X6 and for me it does the job just fine. I've cut annealed high carbon steel with it as well as stainless. I did, like most others, replaced the blade that came with it. I buy all my saw blades at sawblade.com...good blades which are made to order and good prices too. You may want to check them out as a source. I also have an HF portable band saw, which receives great reviews mounted on a SWAG table. Its a lot more convenient for cutting out knife profiles than having to set the HF up for vertical cutting all the time. I haven't used the portaband a lot yet, but so far its been a great tool along with the foot switch that I'd ordered for it. Lots of online videos for that setup as well as mods for the 4X6 as I'm sure we're all aware.
 

TonyRV2

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I finally got the pulley off, it was just really tight and needed a little more discussion... I'll go over the shaft and new pulley for any burrs before re-assembling.
...
Just the gas taking it back would be more than paying for a new pulley. I've got 88 more days to blow it up before they won't take it back. :D
..
Your a better man than I Aaron. I would have taken the thing back to HF on principle alone, regardless the distance and expense. But that's how stubborn, vindictive Italians operate, lol. Plus, I HATE it when my toys are damaged....can't rest until they're whole again, even if they're just dirty...its a sickness. :oops:
 
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