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Vertical adjustment of lower guides on bandsaw

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  • Vertical adjustment of lower guides on bandsaw

    I am seeking advice from bandsaw users regarding the need for (or benefit of) adjusting the bandsaw lower guides on the vertical axis.

    I have done some reading and there seem to be at least two main schools of thought:

    1. guides should be as close to the work surface as possible; this suggests adjusting the lower guides up and down, based on the position (angle) of the table.
    2. position of guides does not really matter since the tension put on the blade essentially takes care of the blade "performance"; this suggests that the vertical position of the guides is not "mission critical".

    The background for my question is a retrofitting project on my Minimax S400P (MM16) bandsaw. I wish to replace the guides that came with the saw (Carter micro-adjust) with euro guides. Although the Carter guides are a good product in an industrial setting, I am looking for something somewhat more "user friendly". I am a hobbyist who owns only one saw and I want to be able to switch blades more easily than is currently the case.

    I have a feeling my decision will spur some debate in this forum on the pros and cons of euro guides compared to other products, but this is not the intent of this thread.

    Specifically, I need to determine if vertical adjustability of the lower guides is needed, since designing the mounting bracket is much easier if no vertical movement is required.

    The upper guides are not an issue in terms of installation. The worst case scenario is that I may lose some resaw height capability (one inch maybe?) but this is nothing that will hinder my ability to make the projects I have in mind.

    So the questions are:

    - do you change the height of the lower guides on your bandsaw?
    - if so, have you been able to quantify or qualify a difference in performance between lower and higher position?

    Regards,

    Jacques
    Egon likes this.
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  • #2

    Re: Vertical adjustment of lower guides on bandsaw

    Change the height to the height of material to be cut. Leaves the minimum blade exposed possible.

    My my thoughts are the guides may help keep the blade straight or at ninety degrees to vertical and horizontal.
    Egon
    from
    The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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    • #3

      Re: Vertical adjustment of lower guides on bandsaw

      Egon:

      I am not sure if I interpret correctly your input.

      My understanding is that the lower guides would be positioned at the high point when the table is horizontal (0 degrees) and then lowered as required when changing the angle is required.

      In the case of the lower guides the exposed blade has safety considerations, although the bottom of the table is relatively well protected.

      The horizontal reference in your post would likely stem from flexing narrow bands by virtue of a "longer unsupported segment" if the guides are lower than maximum.

      Did I get this right?

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      • #4

        Re: Vertical adjustment of lower guides on bandsaw

        Jacques, I think Egon did not interpret your question correctly. His advice would apply if you were asking about the upper guides. My Rockwell Delta does not have vertical adjustment for the lower guides. That said, I would agree with the first school of thought, the guides should be as close to the workpiece as possible. Since the table pivots very close to the vertical plane of the blade I don't think any adjustment is necessary.

        If I recall Jack Forsberg incorporated the lower guides on one of his saws into the insert in the table.
        Last edited by Doug G; 02-04-2019, 07:40 PM. Reason: added last sentence

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        • #5

          Re: Vertical adjustment of lower guides on bandsaw

          Originally posted by Jacques Gagnon View Post
          Egon:

          I am not sure if I interpret correctly your input.

          My understanding is that the lower guides would be positioned at the high point when the table is horizontal (0 degrees) and then lowered as required when changing the angle is required.

          In the case of the lower guides the exposed blade has safety considerations, although the bottom of the table is relatively well protected.

          The horizontal reference in your post would likely stem from flexing narrow bands by virtue of a "longer unsupported segment" if the guides are lower than maximum.

          Did I get this right?
          I misread the original post. My comments are not applicable.

          Sorry for the confusion.
          Egon
          from
          The South Shore, Nova Scotia

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Vertical adjustment of lower guides on bandsaw

            Doug: thanks for the info.

            Egon: no worries!

            Comment

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