BANDSAW BLADE TENSION

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There is no clear cut answer for setting the tension on a bandsaw blade. There are a lot of forums and videos from woodworkers that claim to have the answer to correctly setting the tension. The problem is that there isn’t any one method that works the same for all different size blades.

I was really concerned when I got a bigger ¾” blade. I had a hard time setting it to where it wouldn’t wander, while all the time worrying about putting too much tension on it.

The manufacturer had specs on the range of tension the blade could be set at. Their specs varied from 13,000 PSI to 18,000 PSI depending on how wide or wet the wood is.

I found a site that did a good job of explaining how to find out the tension you have on your blade, without having to buy an expensive blade tensioning tool. The site is www.woodgears.ca/bandsaw/tension

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This jig uses a dial indicator mounted on a pivoting arm to measure the stretch of the blade, when tensioning the blade.

 

I put a spacer behind the clamp part to keep the blade from rubbing on the rest of the jig.

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Using the formula for figuring up the tension, it put my mind at ease that I wasn’t putting too much tension on my ¾” blade. Checking my readings, I found that the tension gauge on my bandsaw matched the specs that the blade manufacturer had. I wouldn’t say that this jig is a necessity for owning a bandsaw. But at least it made me feel good about how I was adjusting my blade.

 

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