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Band saw tension

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Band saw tension

Postby Lurker » 27 Jul 2023, 11:37

Does anyone bother to de tension a bandsaw blade between use?
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Trevanion » 27 Jul 2023, 12:14

I don’t bother detensioning narrow blades (1” and under) but I will detension wide blades as the tension on those is quite extreme and can crack the blades if left idle for too long under tension.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Lurker » 27 Jul 2023, 12:21

That must be a big BS to take 1”. My maximum is half inch, although In theory I could use bigger.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Malc2098 » 27 Jul 2023, 12:22

I have a Laguna 14/12. It has a de-tensioning lever, which makes it simple to do. So I try to remember to do it after each use.

What is less easy is to remember to re-tension it before pressing on. :oops: (Only the once, mind you.)
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby RogerS » 27 Jul 2023, 12:42

Lurker wrote:Does anyone bother to de tension a bandsaw blade between use?


No.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Trevanion » 27 Jul 2023, 12:46

Lurker wrote:That must be a big BS to take 1”. My maximum is half inch, although In theory I could use bigger.


The maximum is 2” on the Wadkin PBR, which is what I use with a 1TPI blade for heavier resawing.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby AJB Temple » 27 Jul 2023, 12:48

Nope. Most of the time my 18" saw just has a half inch blade on it.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Dr.Al » 27 Jul 2023, 13:42

On my big wood bandsaw yes (but it's got a lever tension arm, so it's really quick and easy). On the small horizontal metal bandsaw no (as it hasn't got a lever tension arm and I'm lazy).
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Woodster » 27 Jul 2023, 14:09

As per manufacturer’s instructions I take the tension off the blade after use, it only takes a few seconds.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby kirkpoore1 » 27 Jul 2023, 15:40

No.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Pete Maddex » 27 Jul 2023, 15:48

No from me as well.

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Re: Band saw tension

Postby spb » 27 Jul 2023, 15:56

When I know I'm not going to be using it for several weeks, yes. Otherwise no.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby sunnybob » 27 Jul 2023, 16:07

When I got my first, I did because I was told to. I made a little sign to hang on the guides saying "4 turns loose" to remind me.
Then I got lazy. :o
Havent de tensioned a blade in over 8 years now. 8-)
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby DaveL » 27 Jul 2023, 16:12

Like most of the rest, no.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Woodbloke » 27 Jul 2023, 16:17

On my big Ax Industrial bandsaw I do as it's used for deep sawing under max tension, even with a 3tpi, 12mm blade. My smaller Ax one with a 10mm blade doesn't get de-tensioned - Rob
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Cabinetman » 27 Jul 2023, 17:27

Never managed to remember to do it, not once in all these years soI suspect it really isn’t necessary.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby HOJ » 27 Jul 2023, 19:01

I don't either, with a 3/4" 3TPI skip blade in it all the time.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Lons » 27 Jul 2023, 22:10

Nope, never have.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Doug71 » 27 Jul 2023, 23:22

I had a Wadkin BZB for years, never de tensioned the blade and never had a problem, back then I didn't even know it was a thing.

I've had a Jet for a year or two now and the top tyre deformed and came loose, managed to sort it out with some fix-all but wondered if that was down to leaving it tensioned and unused for a while? I now take the tension off when I leave the shop (if I remember), it's got a quick release lever so no hassle, I have also started leaving the top door open to remind me........ :eusa-doh:
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby johnward » 28 Jul 2023, 06:30

No
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Eric the Viking » 28 Jul 2023, 08:18

Yes.

I have a small, old SIP, and I've changed the main wheel bearings for better ones.

I've noticed if I forget and leave it tensioned but not moved for a few weeks the bearings are noticeably noisier on startup. My _guess_ is that the blade itself also adapts to the tension a bit, meaning it has a 'memory' of being stopped in that one position - doesn't help either bearing life or accuracy.

I can run up to 5/8" for resawing, but usually go no bigger than 3/8". It's got harder to set up as it's got older, and I suspect the frame itself is probably sagging a bit. The tensioner is pretty worn, too (was never a good design), and probably needs a rebuild, but the main issue is that the frame itself tends to bow down towards the table, meaning the blade tilts slightly.

So no cast iron proof (Ow!), but strong suspicions that detensioning helps accuracy and longevity. I'm fairly certain that on big Stenners, etc., there are mechanics to do this easily. I don't think they take the tension off completely though. I'm sure there was someone who felled and dimensioned lumber either around here or t'other place, who can confirm/refute this. They definitely have a coil spring arrangement for tension, so it's nothing like the crude leadscrew arrangement of hobbyist saws like mine*.

E.

*Mine does have a coil spring, but the mechanism is really not very clever, and doesn't work very well. It might even be getting tired, so that might be a useful maintenance replacement.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Andyp » 28 Jul 2023, 08:53

Like most of the tools in my workshop my bandsaw, INCA 260, gets used infrequently, perhaps many weeks between uses. If I use it today and know that I will use it again tomorrow I will not release the tension. On the other hand I will will release the tension after most jobs. I have a wooden sign that hangs over the bandsaw case that says “CHECK TENSION”.
Again because it can be many weeks between each use a quick check inside the cabinet for dust build up, blade alignement, blade guides etc is no bad thing.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Phil Pascoe » 28 Jul 2023, 09:01

Mine's 13 y. o. No.
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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Woodster » 28 Jul 2023, 10:21

I wonder if Steve now takes the tension off when he’s not using his bandsaw. I ask as there seemed to me at least a possibility than not doing so damaged the tensioner on his machine?

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Re: Band saw tension

Postby Suggs » 28 Jul 2023, 11:00

I release the tension after use, its part of my process when clearing up at the end of the day.
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