Changing your band saw blade can be a tricky process to learn, and even the most experienced band saw operators struggle with it from time to time. There’s a certain finesse required to change a band saw blade, and of course, every blade is unique which only adds to their complexity.
According to Fine Woodworking Magazine, many reported problems with band saws are actually problems with their blades. If these blades haven’t been installed, aligned and replaced as necessary, they can cause all kinds of problems with your machine.
To change your band saw blade, there are a few basic steps to follow. It’s important to pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations, though, as each blade has its own unique requirements.
1. Prepare the Blade for Changing
The band saw blades are packaged generally to form a tight coil, so our first step is to unravel this coil. Keep your eyes and hands safe with protective gear as these coils can be dangerous and sharp, then hold the blade together and cut the ties which hold it in. Your blade is now ready to be installed on your saw.
2. Prepare Your Saw
Before making any adjustments to your band saw, always ensure that you disconnect it from the power source. Disconnecting from the power source may seem extreme, but one accidental knock could start your band saw and open up the possibility of numerous injuries.
With your machine securely turned off, open the machine, loosen the band saw blade guides, and release the tension on the old blade. Most machines have a specialized lever for this very purpose. Remove the old blade and tie it up so that it can’t cause harm.
3. Put Your New Blade On
Hold the blade in line with the guide bearings on the saw and tighten the tension so that it gets tight enough that you don’t need to hold it in place. Once you’ve achieved this tightness, you can then tighten the blade completely. Reverse the previous steps and close your machine, again adjusting your blade guides to their required setting.
4. Test Your New Blades
The telltale sign of an incorrectly installed blade is a vibrating machine. Before beginning any of your work, be sure to test that your blade is working correctly with a trial run on some spare material. If necessary, make adjustments to your band saw and then test its alignment again.
With these simple steps, it won’t take long at all to become a pro at changing your band saw blades. Each blade is different so it may require a slight tweaking of the steps, but the basic foundation for changing your blades is here.
Remember that safety should always be your first priority when working with power tools, so keep eyes, arms, and hands out of harm’s way with protective gear whenever changing blades or working with your band saw.