Blade Guides

bandsaw_guides-06Bandsaw blade guides keep the bandsaw blade on track while cutting through materials.

Blade guides should be set above and below the saw table to help reduce vibration by holding the bandsaw blade in place while cutting. This assures a precise and quality cut.

Carbide blade guides are made of high quality materials but can still wear out due to the amount of friction made by the blade during the cutting process.

It is important to determine if the guide’s wear is normal or caused by operator error. Check the worn-out guides for any indication of problems and make the proper adjustments to the bandsaw.

Improperly adjusted or worn guides can cause excessive wear on the saw blade and lead to difficulty in maintaining correct adjustment of the upper guide. This will result in the machine’s not cutting square. It will also work to dull the bandsaw blade prematurely, which will also affect the cutting ability of the blade and produce poor end-results or rough cuts.

Gullet cracks in the bandsaw blade will occur as well.

A bandsaw blade may break if it cannot move freely. The operator should maintain clearance within the guides where the blade is held. The gap between the guides might become wider due to friction. The bandsaw blade may break if it comes loose from the blade guides. Indicators include inaccurate cuts and blade bounce.

Replacing carbide blade guides will save the expense of having to purchase more bandsaw blades, and it is time-consuming to have to keep changing them.

The steps used to change carbide guides on a bandsaw are as follows:

  • Align the upper thrust bearing — the blade should ride along only the outer edge of the thrust bearing — if one face is scarred from use, flip over the bearing and use the back face
  • Align the blade guide assembly with the bandsaw blade
  • Loosen the Allen screw on the upper blade guide assembly
  • Adjust the assembly until the blade guide blocks are parallel to the bandsaw blade
  • Replace the lower thrust bearing
  • Remove the nut on the end of the guide rod and slide off the tube to free up the thrust bearing
  • Slide the new thrust bearing into place

Blade guides provide a critical function for a bandsaw machine and are important in assuring the integrity of work output. Remember not to overlooked them during daily maintenance of a bandsaw machine.

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