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Help needed to lift bandsaw curse.

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Bill Phinn28/02/2021 18:58:02
598 forum posts
87 photos

After buying an Aldi Workzone bandsaw in 2019 and deciding to return it because I felt it wasn’t good enough for my needs

(**LINK**)

I some time afterwards decided I couldn’t live without a bandsaw so bought a more expensive Femi model, which, in some ways, was even more disappointing:

**LINK**

This too was returned (and subsequently lost by the courier, though that is another story).

Feeling I still needed a bandsaw, last week I bought essentially the same Aldi bandsaw as before but this time branded under the Scheppach name.

Like the first Aldi saw, out of the box the Scheppach would not cut perpendicularly to the vice/base. However, I managed to correct this by simply shimming the far side of the vice slightly. It now cuts perfectly square, even when what is being cut is something as thick as a piece of 4x4 timber.

In spite of my initial elation, I soon realised that my bandsaw curse has not yet been lifted; there is a very disconcerting clunk as the blade kicks downwards into the work every revolution.

You can judge for yourselves in a video a friend of mine has uploaded for me. For the record, I am cutting 6mm x 20mm hot rolled mild steel bar, the blade is fully seated on the wheels and bearings, properly tensioned, running on speed 2 out of 6, and not by any means being forced into the cut. There is no noticeable weld seam on the blade and no obvious (to me) reason why it kicks downwards.

Whether the surface finish I’m getting is anything to do with this kicking downwards I don’t know, but I do know that the surface finish on brass, aluminium or mild steel is poor. (Attached photo shows 6mm x 20mm hot-rolled steel bar).

Any suggestions on how to cure the downwards kick and improve surface finish would be greatly welcomed.

6x20 mild steel finish 2.jpg

JasonB28/02/2021 19:07:08
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21611 forum posts
2490 photos
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Clunk that was not that easy to hear is likely to be the weld on the blade, a better quality blade may fix that though I can still hear the joint on my Femi and vertical woodworking bandsaws.

I tend to cut flat bar laid flat so there are more teeth in contact with the work which may also help with your finish.

Ady128/02/2021 19:17:01
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4810 forum posts
717 photos

Your speed sounds fine

Blade tension?

I dont use a lot of tension and get nice cuts

The nice bit is the bandsaw, the top bit milling

I use 10-14 tpi blades and dont let too much weight fall on the blade by supporting it via the trigger handle

 

Edited By Ady1 on 28/02/2021 19:26:28

Martyn Edwards 128/02/2021 19:37:14
24 forum posts
59 photos

Although Scheppach manufacture very good Bansdsaws in their German Factory the smaller cheaper ones are badged Chinese ones so I would suspect if it's the original blade that came with the saw I would look at trying to get a better quality blade that's possibly made in the UK such Dakin-Flathers blades.

John Baron28/02/2021 19:41:47
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499 forum posts
189 photos

I would check very carefully for missing teeth. The original Aldi bandsaw blade lost several teeth within a few cuts, the new blade is far better.

John Haine28/02/2021 19:46:24
4259 forum posts
251 photos

I got a Femi 782L and it's brilliant! What problems did you have with it?

martin perman28/02/2021 21:27:18
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2014 forum posts
83 photos

AS already said, check the weld and look for teeth missing, can you open the blade guides slightly because the weld might be slightly thicker when going between them.

Do you also have a guide pushing down the blade, the weld may not be flat along the edge catching the guide there also. 

Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 28/02/2021 21:31:43

Bill Phinn28/02/2021 22:02:00
598 forum posts
87 photos

Many thanks to everyone for your replies.

I think the blade is almost certainly the problem, as Jason and others with experience of these things clearly sensed.

I took off the blade used in the video, located the weld seam and emeried it as smooth as I could get it, even though it was pretty smooth to begin with.

After refitting I expected at least some improvement, but there was none; it still jerked downwards disconcertingly. [In the video the jerking and clunking is more noticeable in the last half].

Fortunately, Aldi supply two blades with this saw [M42-grade steel, so perhaps a bit better than bargain bucket territory in their material at least?]. I fitted the second blade. There is a slight detectable deviation downwards once per rev., but this is much less than with the first blade, and there is no audible clunk.

As for cut quality, I've uploaded a couple of photos of steel bar showing the difference between cutting with the bar flat and cutting with it standing on edge, as initially. Lying it flat produces an obviously better cut.

There are still two minor issues. The picture of the brass bar [in the first image and 3/8" x 2", I think] shows the first: the two short patches near each end of the bar. I can't detect any difference in surface height with my finger at these points, so I'm not too concerned by it, but does anyone have a suggestion as to why these markings have occurred? There is nothing on the surface of the bar either side to explain their existence, and further cuts produced exactly the same result. The bar was cut lying flat.

The second issue is that now I have shimmed the vice on one side with washers [around 1.25 mm thick], the plastic guard on the inner side of the saw slightly fouls the angled side of the vice at the bottom of the cut. I can probably resolve this fairly easily, but why the clearance between the edge of the vice and the body of the saw has to be so small I don't know.

John Baron, there are no missing teeth.

John Haine, if you click on the second link in my opening post you should find my post about the Femi on that page.

Ady, the user manual shows the blade tension lever pointing almost vertically downwards when the blade is tightened according to the instructions ["to the stop"]. Are you saying it would be OK to use the saw with the lever backed off part way? I will back it off when not in use.

bandsaw cut shadow.jpg

bandsaw cut comparison 1.jpg

bandsaw cut comparison 2.jpg

Bill Phinn28/02/2021 22:07:44
598 forum posts
87 photos
Posted by martin perman on 28/02/2021 21:27:18:

AS already said, check the weld and look for teeth missing, can you open the blade guides slightly because the weld might be slightly thicker when going between them.

Do you also have a guide pushing down the blade, the weld may not be flat along the edge catching the guide there also.

Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 28/02/2021 21:31:43

Martin, good question about the blade guides. The gap between the pair of bearings distant from the cut direction is noticeably greater than the gap between the two bearings on the other side of the gap. Measured with a feeler gauge it is about 0.05mm wider. The blade inserts easily between these two bearings and is piggishly tight between the other pair. Not sure if this is how things should be, or how adjustable the bearing positions are [I suspect they're thread-locked; EtA: tried to undo one screw - tight as hell, and head of screw not very hard, so gave up for time being].

Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by a guide pushing down the blade.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 28/02/2021 22:16:33

Martin Kyte28/02/2021 22:20:48
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2597 forum posts
45 photos

I would change the blade. Most budget saws will be dispached with somewhat less than quality blades. Now't wrong with the saws but don't expect top quality blades to come with them.

regards Martin

martin perman28/02/2021 22:30:41
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2014 forum posts
83 photos

Bill, your saw has two bearing guides either side of the blade, is there a third one sitting on top of the blade to stop the blade riding up.

Martin P

John Haine28/02/2021 22:47:07
4259 forum posts
251 photos

Well, sounds like the Femi was broke when you got it. Several votes for them here including from me. Buy cheap, buy twice.

Nicholas Farr28/02/2021 22:48:41
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3040 forum posts
1382 photos

Hi, the clunking could be as simple as the set of one tooth sticking out a little more than the rest, I've seen that on a big industrial band saw and it very often disappears with use.

Regards Nick.

Bill Phinn28/02/2021 22:59:43
598 forum posts
87 photos
Posted by martin perman on 28/02/2021 22:30:41:

Bill, your saw has two bearing guides either side of the blade, is there a third one sitting on top of the blade to stop the blade riding up.

Martin P

Martin, yes, the third one is top right.

I suspect my problem is a combination of the first blade having a marginally too thick weld area and one pair of guide bearings [before and still] being marginally too close together.

If I can loosen off the screw going through one of the bearings that are too tight, will this allow me to retighten the screw with a bit more clearance? I ask because I can't really get to the bearing screws with the saw mounted on the pivot arm, and after the trouble I had mounting it in the first place [having to do the work practically one-handed] removing and remounting it isn't something I look forward to with relish.

Robin Graham28/02/2021 23:22:52
884 forum posts
265 photos

I had a very similar problem with an Axminster saw, supplied with one of their supposedly 'top notch' blades. After tearing my hair out trying to fix it I eventually bought a bimetal blade from Tuffsaws. The problem just disappeared. Still a faint click when the weld goes past, but no kick - which in my case was sometimes severe enough to unseat the blade.

Robin.

Bill Phinn28/02/2021 23:32:21
598 forum posts
87 photos

Thanks for the further replies.

Robin, disturbing to hear about your Axminster saw - puts my problem in perspective.

I'd got Tuffsaws earmarked even before the present saw arrived.

Sadly, at the moment, I'm getting the following message on all pages of their website:

"Due to experiencing higher than usual levels of orders, the website is currently offline while we catch up but will be back up shortly.

Please check back later or email us at sales@tuffsaws.co.uk"

Windy28/02/2021 23:33:41
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876 forum posts
185 photos

I bought an Aldi Workzone portable bandsaw in 2019 apart from the vice which works better now after a few mods have been pleased with it.

The blade with it worked well and cut 100mmØ ally and en24t 50mmØ plus lumps of rectangular ally bar that stretched it to its size limit.

The cut finish was equal to a friends professional metal bandsaw.

After many cuts had to replace the blade as it broke as a cut piece moved it was a 2 metre lump of 50mmØ en24t.

Had bought a pack of 3 better quality blades as spares replacement blade had that annoying blade weld click but has not altered the quality of cut.

Did wonder if should try to smooth the blade weld but decided to leave alone.

Martin Kyte01/03/2021 08:19:41
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2597 forum posts
45 photos
Posted by Robin Graham on 28/02/2021 23:22:52:

I had a very similar problem with an Axminster saw, supplied with one of their supposedly 'top notch' blades. After tearing my hair out trying to fix it I eventually bought a bimetal blade from Tuffsaws. The problem just disappeared. Still a faint click when the weld goes past, but no kick - which in my case was sometimes severe enough to unseat the blade.

Robin.

To be fair to Axminster, Their saws come supplied with the manufacturors blades. Their own brand which they make are superior.

regards Martin

AJW01/03/2021 10:11:16
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359 forum posts
135 photos

Interesting post as I have only just ordered the bandsaw from Aldi which could be arriving today.

Viewing reports/reviews of this and similar I have basically assumed that the device will need some 'fettling' to allow it to produce what I'm after. These things are made down to a price but I think the engineer in us expects things to be right.

Nearly bought one a while back but resisted although since then I can't believe how much hack sawing I have been tackling!

Alan

Leo F Byrne 101/03/2021 10:11:46
8 forum posts

Don't mess about - use Tuffsaw blades. I email, the chap sends me a PayPal invoice and the blade arrives very promptly. I have no connection etc etc.

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