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Bandsaw Vibration

Bandsaw vibration is counterproductive to a smooth cut, and having material wriggle right off the machine makes for a time-consuming effort. Solving the issue of bandsaw vibration is often as simple as maintenance, with the option to upgrade having an even greater impact on quality of cut and overall performance.

With all of the moving parts on a bandsaw, possible sources of excess vibration are varied, but it would be best to start with worn or inferior drive belts. Old, well-worn belts or the purchase of a cheap belt with lumps or inconsistencies will indicate just cause for unnecessary vibration.

Blade check comes next. Loosen and remove the bandsaw blade and apply power to the machine with upper and lower doors in the closed and locked position. If vibration is no longer present, the blade is probably bad and needs to be replaced.

Other causes for vibration include:

Wheel flat spots — leaving blade tension on wheels for extended periods or while idle will cause flat spots. Loosening blade tension after every use will eliminate the issue. If flat spots are present, perform the crowning procedure.

Motor bolts loose or improperly mounted — perform correct motor mounting procedures.

Drive belt loose — check that the main drive belt is not loose or frayed. If notched, check that there are no missing belt sections.

If the bandsaw has a double belt system and only one belt is replaced, this could cause vibration. Belts come as a matching pair so both need replacing regardless of the lesser severity of one over the other. A new belt will only serve to show the older belts lesser imperfections, and it is likely that the new belt won’t be the exact same length as the old one.

Rear motor fan blade missing or broken — a good indicator of a bandsaw blade needing tune is the development of excessive blade vibration. It will make straight and curved cuts difficult to achieve as well as making operation dangerous.

If the bandsaw blade vibrates in excess, make sure that the tooth pattern is appropriate for the material being cut. Thicker material requires less teeth per inch than thinner material.

If the teeth are too coarse for the material being cut, blade choice could be the cause of vibration. If the blade choice is appropriate, try tightening the blade tension and stepping up the blade velocity. After doing this, try increasing the feed pressure.

More often than not, applying a combination of the above steps will work to reduce or eliminate blade vibration.

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