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Safety Upgrades

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Upon setting up the bandsaw and learning how it works, everything seemed to be fine. I inspected all of the closed chambers to make sure there were no obstructions and turned the saw on. It ran like a charm. I tried a few pieces of scrap wood and they seemed to cut fine. The blade did look a bit rusty from being in the shed but it still worked. I decided to try a larger piece of wood that required a bit of force to push through.

There are a lot of scary things out there but a new addition at the top of my list is now the sound of a blade coming off of a bandsaw while it’s running.

The saw immediately stopped and I jumped back. Thankfully, nothing exited the machine and it was contained within the wheel wells.

I opened the saw and removed the wheels. The two of them that held the blade at tension were seemingly really worn. The rubber that sits around the wheel and holds the blade against it were fraying pretty heavily.

A pile of rubber sat at the bottom of the machine that was indicative of this. After a few searches online, apparently it is very common to upgrade these rubber wheels with a polyurethane rubber grips with better durability and grip on the blade. At the same time, I figured it was time to obtain a non-rusty blade as well. They were relatively inexpensive and if it prevented the blade from falling off again, I was down.

Putting these rubber grips on the wheels was a nightmare. They’re not very stretching and required a lot of torque to essentially push them onto the wheel itself.

With the help of some clamps, I was able to make progress and then clamp it in place so it wouldn’t retract. I spent a bit of time trying to do this without clamps and make it 75% the way around the wheel, just to have the whole thing spring off and force me to start over.

Viola. These replacement grips and the new blade worked like a dream. I would also suggest spending the time setting up the guides on the top and bottom of the saw according to your manufacturing guide. The tension wheel that presses the blade against the piece you’re trying to cut needs to be adjusted properly to make sure it’s not going to push the blade off the wheels.

I think it goes without saying that safety is always the most important thing in woodworking. This was definitely a sound investment to keep things running and safe.

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