The old saw needed help!
A number of years ago, I had a sudden opportunity to buy an 18″ Jet bandsaw (for which I had yearned, lo, these many years...) and I jumped on it without hesitation. It has been a great saw, but it was gradually becoming more and more impossible to saw a straight line.
My youngest son looked it over, and pointed out that the original guides were worn out, and that conversion kits were available to make all the guides roller bearings, instead of sliding surfaces. But the kits were $250, or so, and I hesitated. I attempted various adjustments, to no avail, and finally went online, and watched a number of videos explaining why the saw behaved the way it did, and decided that, since the saw was effectively useless the way it was, it was well worth the upgrade cost.
So I ordered the correct kit from Carter tools, after watching a bunch of videos by Alex Snodgrass, and installed it, expecting the change to be instantaneous. (Well, almost: It still took meticulous re-setting of several variables: the blade had to be correctly positioned on the drive wheels, the guides had to be correctly adjusted for the size of the blade, and the blade had to be correctly tensioned…and I did all that.)
Results? Not exactly what I expected.
It sawed exactly the same as before! (Augggh!)
Back to the Manual
So I went back to the computer and downloaded a manual that was for almost the same machine as I have, and looked at the trouble-shooting list.
It turned out that the blade I was using had been damaged, and the teeth had lost their set. I installed a new blade, readjusted everything (different size blade) and tried again:
And that was it! It turned out that, while the guides really were worn out, and needed replacing, the blade was also worn out, and remained as the final issue. Now that it has been replaced, the saw cuts like magic!
So now I have begun resawing all the chunks of maple I have set aside for fiddles! 🙂 I can saw rib-stock, and neck billets, and backs, and have them come out usable again. What a relief!
Thanks for looking