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What's wrong with my bandsaw?

I bought a Craftsman 10-inch bandsaw (http://www.amazon.com/Craftsman-10-in-Band-Saw/dp/B001TQPOG4/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt)  4 months ago. At first, it fuctioned normally and cut at a fast rate. But now, it can barely cut through anything; it took me a minute to cut through 3 inches of  1/2 particle board, and the blade nearly came to a stop while I was doing it. Even 1/8 acrylic can slow down the wheels to a crawl. The bandsaw is tuned correctly, it has enough power, nothing is clogged with dust (as far as I can tell), the blade feels sharp (I could be wrong) and there is no visible external damage. What could be the problem?

(I have a 2 year warranty on it, so if it's broken, then I can get a new one. And if you need pictures of anything, just ask.) 

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Vyger6 years ago
I have the same saw. I have had a few problems with it, slowing down was one of them. Actually the drive belt came off, partly because of a piece of wood that got into it, and when I put it back on and tightened it, it worked much better. Just in case I ordered an extra belt to have on standby.
The other factor is the band itself. I found that 1/2 inch bands work a lot better than the narrower ones. And finally they do get dull. I won first place in the Craftsman Tool contest and one of the things I bought with the winnings was a new carbide tipped blade for this saw. It made an amazing difference. Its expensive, upwards of $100 depending on where you get it from but I had it chewing through all kinds of thick hardwood to the maximum depth of the saw. The blade broke where it had been welded, apparently the company didn't anneal it correctly. However the teeth are still razor sharp. I bought a silver soldering kit and plan on making an instructable on how to repair band saw blades.
Anyway, tighten the drive belt and put on a new blade and it should cut good for a while.
Shagglepuff (author)  Vyger6 years ago
I don't know how tight the drive belt should be. Does this look normal?
IMG_0419.JPG
I just pulled the motor as tight as I could get it without using a pry bar. The directions don't tell you anything about it. I believe the problem comes from the belt stretching after the first hours of use. They should tell you to tighten it up after 5 or 10 hours.
Shagglepuff (author)  Vyger6 years ago
Wow, that did the trick! It works perfectly now and cuts like a hot knife through...bread (close enough). On a side note, will overtightening it shorten the lifespan of the bearings?
caarntedd Vyger6 years ago
+1. It looks very loose.
Vyger6 years ago
The bearings shouldn't be a problem. They are made to take a certain amount of pressure. I think if you do get it too tight it would probably shred the belt before it does any other damage. I am not really impressed with that belt, it seams to flimsy for a tool like this, that's why I bought an extra one.
I also bought a bunch of those plastic inserts that go around the blade in the hole of the table. Mine caught a piece of wood and jammed it into it and it broke in pieces. It should be aluminum or steal, not plastic.
gregsal6 years ago
I agree, the blade may already be dull, depending on what else you've been cutting. One thing I'm wondering - what orientation you have your stock in?
If you are "laying down" a 3" wide piece of wood or acrylic you may be clogging all of the teeth with sawdust, and it won't be able to cut. Rule of thumb for bandsawing is 4 teeth engaged in the work.
If you have a very fine pitch blade, such as is used for sawing metal, AND you're laying the pieces down so the wide surface is presented to the blade AND the blade is dull, you're bound to have problems.
1.) Try a coarser blade intended for wood
2.) install a new, sharp blade
3.) Try to stand your pieces on-edge to present the narrow surface to the blade.
First, have you checked the troubleshooting guide in your operators manual and followed the manufacturer's recommendations? Otherwise...

Bench top band saws don't typically have a very powerful motor so everything needs to be properly aligned and lubricated. The blade needs to be sharp and not fouled with resin or other material. The blade also needs to be appropriate for the material you are cutting. Choose the correct width and TPI for the thickness and density of the material you're trying to cut. A corse TPI blade will generally cut faster that a fine one. The contour of the cut will also affect the rate of feed. A straight cut will generally feed faster than a tight curve. If you have a tight curve you may have to make relief cuts perpendicular to your intended course to prevent the blade from binding. If everything is set up correctly and you have a sharp blade and you still seem to bind up, you might have an electrical problem. There might not be enough current on the circuit you're using to power the motor or the motor might be defective. I would start with trying another outlet that you are sure is on a different circuit. If you still have issues after your verified everything is set up and you have adequate power, you may have to exchange the saw. Craftsman is a national brand so you shouldn't have any trouble exchanging it.
Shagglepuff (author)  diyoutdoorsman6 years ago
The circuit that the bandsaw is running off of looks powerful enough, but I can try another one.
Re-design6 years ago
Check the tension on the belt.

Change or atleast clean the blade. Pitch of melted plastic on the blade will cause blade stopping friction.

Check the blade guides are not too tight or gummed up.

Are the blade wheels turning freely?

aeray6 years ago
Is the blade tensioned correctly?
76543216 years ago
You have to replace bandsaw blades relatively frequently