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4x6 Harbor Freight Cutting Crooked

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richz

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#1
I usually cut small stuff on the band saw. Recently I was cutting some channel and as soon as the blade went through the web the cut made a hard left and jammed the saw. I never really did any kind of reel setup except for aligning the blade 90 degree to the table. After I got the blade unstuck I checked that alignment. It was deed on. I decided to start at the beginning and try everything that I have read about adjusting these saws. First I checked that both wheels where on the same plan. They where not. The bottom wheel was in a little to far. The wheel is set screwed and there is a retaining ring keeping it on the shaft. The wheel was not contacting the snap ring so I loosened the set screw and had to use a puller to move the wheel to the snap ring. Ok great now the wheels are on the same plane. Put the blade on and started to adjust the tracking. Got the blade just about touching the flanges on the back of both wheels. I then noticed that the teeth are riding on the wheel. Looking at the blade there is no set in the teeth on that side of the blade. Could this by why the saw never really cut straight? Should the set in the teeth ride off the edge of the wheel? If so should I machine the wheel down some?
 

Bob Korves

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#2
First thing is to get the belt tight enough. It needs to be just about at tight as you can tighten it with one hand. It should then have a high pitched musical tone when you pluck the blade. After it is tight and working correctly, it may then take a bit more tweaking to get it to cut straight. Higher tension changes the geometry of the saw a bit.
 

dlane

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#3
If the set is gone on one side of your blade it will try to cut donuts, if using a 1/2” blade the teeth should miss the wheel when against the flange, dose on mine anyhow.
Just one or two teeth messed up will not cut straight.
I think Bob meant blade not belt , yes get the blade tight
 

RJSakowski

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#4
My saw (not HF) has third wheels that the back edge of the blade rides on. The teeth should not be contacting the side wheels.
 
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benmychree

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#5
This is why I am a devotee of power hacksaws -----
 

markba633csi

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#6
Rich: Most of these 4x6 saws use a 1/2" wide by 64.5" blade and the teeth should hang off the edge of the wheel and not touch it when the back of the blade is tight against the drive wheel flanges.
It sounds though that the saw actually shifted with respect to the table- need to check the main pivot and the blade guides, also the vise itself-
Mark
 

ELHEAD

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#7
I go with dlane on this , blade set is the main problem, even though the mis-alignment of the wheels probably contributed to the dulling of the teeth initially.
Dave
 

richz

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#8
Going to remove the wheels and chuck them in the lathe after work.
 

JPigg55

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#9
I recently had to replace the blade on mine when the old one broke. I found tensioning to be a bit tricky at first.
Turns out that the easiest way for me was to tension it with the cover guard and guides removed.
If over tensioned, the blade torques the drive and idler wheels causing the blade to run low on the wheels which ends up causing the teeth to hit the guides running at an angle.
With the saw pivoted up, guides and bottom cover removed, tension the blade until snug.
Turn on the motor and continue to tension until the blade starts to move down off the drive and idler wheels.
Back off the tension until it's back running true on the wheels and then tension just enough to remove backlash without causing the blade to move down the wheels again.
Reinstall guides and cover and it should be good.
 

machinejack

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#10
I was a final inspector for Hyd-Mech saw company. Know quite a bit about bandsaws. Even new a saw is hard to aline correctly. Lots of factors the guides, squareness, condition of the blade, feed force, the list goes on. The HF stuff thou servacable are a pain. Personally I have a Parma Roll in and a 1930's Peerless hack saw. The Peerless is so cheap to run my blades are cut from left over rust damaged blades that I got from work. Lenox Bimetal
 

markba633csi

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#11
Rich you sure you don't have a 3/8" blade on there? Otherwise it does sound like the factory didn't machine the wheels correctly and
you'll have to correct that
 

dlane

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#12
1/2” blade ?, don’t think I would take anything off the wheels .
 

Silverbullet

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#13
Do they use tires on those saws? My old craftsmen one did when I rebuilt it they helped out alot. The tires help space the teeth away from the wheels.
 

royesses

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#14
Do they use tires on those saws? My old craftsmen one did when I rebuilt it they helped out alot. The tires help space the teeth away from the wheels.
No tires on the HF saws unfortunately.

Roy
 

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owl

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#15
You will probably need to replace the blade too. Once the set is damaged it seems the blade will never cut straight again.
 

brav65

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#16
Reach out to John Hermanson, HMAN here, he rebuilt a saw similar the the HF saw and I bought it from him, the thing works like butter...
 

Silverbullet

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#17
I'd look at where the blade rides on the wheels if the teeth ride on the metal edge I'd take the wheels and chamfer the edge at about thirty degrees . Just a small edge cut to allow teeth set room.
 

richz

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#18
Making some progress. Pic 1 is the wheel as it came off the saw. look at the flange toward the edge. Pic 2 I machined in a chamfer and took a surface cur. It was running out about 0.008. Pic 1.JPG pic 2.JPG
 
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