Axminster bandsaws and work-table alignment

Our relatively NEW Men’s Shed in Birmingham was fortunate to receive some grant funding, and among the considerable number of items we purchased from Axminster was a bandsaw (can’t recall the model number but it’s irrelevant anyway in respect of my comment). It wasn’t by any means the cheapest, but not a trade model either, and we know that you get what you pay for, and that Axminster is significantly more expensive than broadly similar models available from other suppliers of Chinese imports, or look-alikes!
All of that said, there is something we could all do to make even the most expensive machines that little bit better/more effective, and that relates to ensuring that the work-table is square to the blade, something I’m sure that everyone but me was/is aware of.
Some of our lads and lassies complained that using the adjustable fence was a waste of time, and positively injurious to the life of the blade. Why? because after the first few inches of a lengthy cut the blade began to bind and occasionally smoke would waft up from the wood.
We went through the workshop manual and tried just about everything we could think of and still smoking wood.
The other day, having realised that the first blade was just about useless, I fitted a new blade and in an idle moment, spent brushing some of the remaining dust from the cases, I thought to check whether the work-table was square to the bandsaw chassis. Not something that’s easy to accomplish, but given a good try square and a rule, a colleague and I managed it and found there to be a significant discrepancy. So, either the chassis was out of true, or the work-table (which I thought was pretty-much pegged to true by the three bolts securing it) was out of synch.
A little while later, belt fitted and everything back in place, we tried a test saw along a three foot plank. SUCCESS! OK, so we’re rank amateurs, but I wonder how many others have blamed the saw and the supplier/maker when it wasn’t … ?
Oh, and BTW, BIG thanks to Axminster’s technical blokes on the help desk for putting us straight about the problems we’d been having with the raising and lowering mechanism on the top blade support. Although we agreed the design could be a LOT better, we were sent a new gear and connecting bush and all will be well again very soon. So, while we (many of us) mutter and moan about pricing and the design and manufacturing standards of some of the gear, praise where it’s due!!!

HI Davey, I have a craft bandsaw and experienced some the problems you mentioned. I never expected too much performance as it was one of Axminsters cheaper models but it would be big enough for my needs. Two things over the past few months have helped. One was a you tube video " Bandsaw clinic with Alan Snodgrass". I followed his advice and my little bandsaw was buzzing along beautifully. Next was an attempt at bandsaw boxes, cuttin the curves caused stuck blades, whiffs of smoke etc and then I read a little more and found the optimum blade for curves was 4 teeth per inch 1/4" wide… Ordered one and the little machine cut through the laminated wood like a larger industrial machine. Table is held true resting on a bolt, which did need a little adjustment to bring it to square. I check it periodically. Rip fence is OK but I made my own Jig for perfect 90 degree cuts. Good luck with the bandsaw. Happy Turning

I had similar issues with a Jet 14" bandsaw. The misalignment was more than I could correct using the tracking knob.
First I aligned the fence with the mitre slot in the table.
Then I adjusted the tracking so that the blade was running on the crown of the wheels, equidistant from front and back face of the wheels.
Then I unbolted the table and, with a Bandsaw Buddy, aligned the blade with the fence.
It now works a treat.
Andrew

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