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Common bandsaw faults
 
We've collated the most common bandsaw issues into this handy guide. 
 
My machine does not start. 
 
Check the red stop switch (E-stop) – this must be pulled out. 
Check guard switches and blade tension switches (if fitted). 
Check wires have not been pulled from the machine or plug and socket. 
 
 
My machine does not cut straight. 
Do not adjust machine unless you are quite sure its not a blade or material issue. 
 
Is the blade in good condition. 
Is the blade tensioned correctly? 
Is the blade the correct type and tooth pitch for the material you are cutting? 
 
If in doubt change the blade or call our helpline 0800 521 292 
 
 
Blade cutting speed. 
Speed of blade (or rotational speed of band wheels) is critical! Check machine handbook or phone our helpline 0800 521 292. 
 
As a general guide mild steel cutting speed is 70 to 80m per minute, stainless steel is 30-40m per minute, aluminum 90-120m per minute. However, wood is much faster, up to 1500m per minute. 
 
 
Coolant 
The coolant we would recommend is a semi-synthetic E.P soluble for most applications and can be purchased in our online shop
 
Most manufactures give dilution strength at 5-10% but we always recommend 10% or even as much as 15% for cutting high alloys / stainless steel etc. 
 
This coolant needs to be changed regularly as it is affected by bacteria. 
 
Some machines are fitted with an air supplied micro-lubed system using special oils while some are vegetable based. 
 
Vertical bandsaws are usually cut with no coolant, we use a blade speed around 20% slower to reduce heat, generally we tend to pass material through at a slower rate. 
 
 
Hydraulic oils and pump 
Its best to refer to makers handbook, but generally iso 32 or iso 46 is used, which will need changing if it is not clear, if oil is very dark and pump is noisy, it will probably mean the pump is worn out and needs changing. 
 
 
Blade guides 
Blade guides are essential for good straight cuts, some machines use hard carbide inserts although low-cost budget machines use bearings only. The best machines use a combination of bearing and carbide inserts, some of which are self-adjusting, or spring loaded to some degree. All guides are subject to allow of wear and tear and need replacing periodically. Many guides can be adjusted along with the guide blocks which house them. 
 
 
Blade tension 
 
Many machines have a tension system to maintain the tension at a correct level, however, lower cost machines rely on guess work. It is possible to purchase a tension gauge to measure how much the blade extends whilst fitting a new blade. 
 
Generally, the small machines may require 15,000 – 20,000 PSI and larger performance machines can be over 30000 PSI. 
 
 
Blade tracking on band wheels 
Vertical machines have been adjusted to run the blade on the part of the band wheels to suit the width of the blade fitted, this ensures it is running through the guides correctly. 
 
Horizontal bandsaws often have adjustment (usually to the free running wheel) so the blade can run in the correct position but avoiding scrubbing of the flanges on the wheels. 
 
If the blade is coming off the wheels, the cause could be slack band wheel bearings which can be checked for movement of band wheel with the blade removed. 
 
If the blade is coming off the wheels when cutting the material it is because the blade is jamming in the cut and will peel off the band wheel. 
Usually slowing down the feed rate and better tooth pitch selection will help improve performance. 
 
 
Getting the support you need 
As finding a repair person isn’t so easy right now, we’ve launched virtual service support to help you maintain and repair your machines yourself. This virtual service support takes the form of online video tutorials. Designed to be as easy to follow as possible, our videos will help you to diagnose issues with your saw and put the problem right. If you need help or support with your machine, or if you’d like to find out more about our virtual support services and the products we offer, explore our site or get in touch with a member of our team. 
Tagged as: Bandsaw Servicing
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