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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    East Ballina
    Posts
    195

    Default A few bandsaw questions (BP 355)

    Hi guys,

    I have had my bandsaw for a while yet have only just had the room to set it up. Its a Hafco BP 355. Setting it up and using a bandsaw for the first time I have a few questions ( some of them quite silly I am afraid).

    I have two functions I want to achieve with my saw- the odd resaw and some finer work like mucking around with a few bandsaw boxes etc....
    I have set it up as per Alex Snodgrass...

    1. The Hafco has two drive speeds - fast or slow, and adjustable belt/wheel system to accommodate this. For basic woodwork functions if I want to leave it most of the time without mucking around, how should I set it- Fast or slow? The specs note 50Hz: 12;10 or 60 Hz 14;12 ( not sure what the latter part refers to?)

    2. I played around with the drive belt tension (not blade tension) in the lower chamber when setting it up ( the same belt I can adjust on the pulley system above to change speed)--- anyone have idea how firm this should be? My understanding is too tight it will wear too quickly, too loose it will fly off-- I currently have it quite tight so that it won't fly off if I push on it it might give about 5mm either way.

    3. Made a resaw cut with the stock blade and it burnt the timber quite badly.. Now I plan to get new blades anyway, but any other reason for this?

    4. As above- I know its an age old question but plan to get two blades or one all purpose blade that will accommodate finer work and resawing- at this stage from reading the forums here I think I will call Henry Bros and ask them, but for the record, any other recommendations on blade suppliers/which blades to buy?

    4. The Resaw I achieved first go on the Hafco was not bad- 3mm more or less seems to have no drift, but am curious if there is any better aftermarket bearings/thrust bearings as they are quite hard to adjust on the stock model. I have read about carter- anyone tried any aftermarket products that work for them with this specific bandsaw?

    5. Does anyone know if the stock rubber tires are glued down to the wheels on this saw or do I need to glue them down?

    Now a couple of less specific dumber questions;

    6. When I power down the saw it clunks like crazy clunk clunk clunk and is very noisy- it almost sounds like somethings is not in line or is about to fly off ( but I can't see any issues)- maybe I am biased after watching high end saw videos on youtube but...is it normal? Especially for this model, or should it run quietly and smoothly?

    7. Finally another stupid question re drift and bandsaw fences; How parallel to the blade does a bandsaw fence need to be?
    The reason I ask this is simple; you ask anyone about a tablesaw fence and it is very important it is parallel and fine tuning the fence to the blade to 3-5000/inch is often recommended... However every bandsaw video I watch people don't put as much emphasis on the fence being parallel to the blade- even Alex snodgrass in his example video chucks on a carter magnetic fence, squares it to the blade *by eye* then resaws a piece of wood. My stock fence wobbles at the outfeed side and therefore unless I start measuring distance from the mitre slot to the fence on both indeed and outfeed sides of fence before every cut, I can not ensure it is parallel.

    All and any help for this bandsaw newbie is appreciated. Sorry some of these questions are pretty basic.

    Cheers

    Andrew

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Posts
    135

    Default

    G'day
    I am no bandsaw expert but have had the same saw for 6 months

    1 I have the drive belt untouched from as it came so far as speed
    The like the belt tension to have about 12mm deflection when pressing on it with one finger moderate pressure

    I used the Snodgrass method

    The best thing I can suggest is buy a quality bimetal blade it makes a HUGE difference

    I hear the same clunking as well

    I am using the stock quick clamp fence and since changing to a better blade it cuts very straight

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,925

    Default

    Re point 6, my BP355 powers down with a smoothly declining noise - no clunking noise at all.

    Rest of the questions - I'm looking forward to the answers too.
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,925

    Default

    Re point 7. Just checked my saw, the (stock) fence has zero wobble at either end when engaged. I think yours may need checking.

    The BP355 is not exactly top shelf but there are really no fundamental faults with it so if something isn't up to scratch then don't hesitate to call H&F.
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    23,131

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hellofellow View Post
    1. The Hafco has two drive speeds - fast or slow, and adjustable belt/wheel system to accommodate this. For basic woodwork functions if I want to leave it most of the time without mucking around, how should I set it- Fast or slow? The specs note 50Hz: 12;10 or 60 Hz 14;12 ( not sure what the latter part refers to?)
    Start with slow and the move to fast. Most wood working bandsaws a too slow but starting slow is a good idea till you get the handoff

    2. I played around with the drive belt tension (not blade tension) in the lower chamber when setting it up ( the same belt I can adjust on the pulley system above to change speed)--- anyone have idea how firm this should be? My understanding is too tight it will wear too quickly, too loose it will fly off-- I currently have it quite tight so that it won't fly off if I push on it it might give about 5mm either way.
    It won't fly off but it might slip. On a belt that size the belt should be able to be moved easily sideways by hand about the thickness of the belt.

    3. Made a resaw cut with the stock blade and it burnt the timber quite badly.. Now I plan to get new blades anyway, but any other reason for this?
    Pushing too slow, blade too blunt but most likely to high a TPI ?

    4. As above- I know its an age old question but plan to get two blades or one all purpose blade that will accommodate finer work and resawing- at this stage from reading the forums here I think I will call Henry Bros and ask them, but for the record, any other recommendations on blade suppliers/which blades to buy?
    Some users who don't cut curves get away with one 12m wide 3(?) TPI blade but if you want to cut tight curves you will need at least a 6mm wide blade. While wider ripping blades will stay on track a little better especially as a newbie. The other variable is TPI - the wider you cut the lower the TPI is needed t clear sawdust. If you want to do a lot of fiddly fine work e.g. thin ply and for cutting plastics etc a higher TPI gives a better finish.

    6. When I power down the saw it clunks like crazy clunk clunk clunk and is very noisy- it almost sounds like somethings is not in line or is about to fly off ( but I can't see any issues)- maybe I am biased after watching high end saw videos on youtube but...is it normal? Especially for this model, or should it run quietly and smoothly?
    It should run smoothly, look for something like resin or sawdust lumps sticking to the wheels. Have you checked the motor running without the blade - this will tell you if its the blade or the drive train.

    7. Finally another stupid question re drift and bandsaw fences; How parallel to the blade does a bandsaw fence need to be?
    I don't fuss too much about this.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Caroline Springs, VIC
    Posts
    1,507

    Default

    I have a bp355. Its pretty good, though I do use it sparingly. I use it for sawing work that the panelsaw cant do, or for any ripping work where I need to use the thinnest kerf blade available to me, which is my 0.9mm bandsaw blades which have a 1.1mm kerf.

    two drive speeds, use the fastest speed.

    drive belt tension. there is probably a fancy technical way of doing it, but I just tighten vee belts to be tight enough so they don't slip under load and then tighten a little bit further than that. This has served me well over the years with different machinery.

    burning timber while resawing. Did it actually burn the timber? or is there just some black marks along the cut face. often, especially when cutting curves, you get a bunch of black marks along the cut face where the sides of the blade have rubbed against a fresh cut face. as the timber is cut, it often makes alot of moisture evaporate. steel and moisture on timber always leaves black marks. The stock 5/8" blade which comes with the machine is horrible.

    my bandsaw doesn't clunk on startup or on power down. it just powers down as you would expect it to do, just spins slower and slower until it eventually stops.

    regarding drift. The body of the blade should be parallel to the fence or close to "in theory", i just eyeball it when setting up. Then ill adjust tracking forwards or backwards to slightly twist the blade one way or the other so that it matches my fence direction. testing each adjustment with an actual cut, no measuring tools needed. if you need more adjustment that what appears to be available. loosen the 4 bolts which hold the table to the trunion, and rotate the table. The bolt holes are much larger than the bolts so it gives a fair amount of movement.

    The stock fence clamps on the front and back of the table. Probably just need to adjust the allen screw in the back to get it to lock a bit tighter so stop the wobble.

    I dunno if the tyres are glued down, but you don't need to do anything to them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canberra ACT
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Hi Andrew

    I have a different Bandsaw, but can help with Item 7. regarding blade drift.
    I had issues with this and once I learned how to deal with it, I find the whole experience much better.

    The Fence needs to be adjusted each time you change the blade. This is normal, the fence will have adjustment bolts somewhere.
    I know if sounds silly, but the fence on a bandsaw is not like a table saw and does not need to line up with the mitre slot.

    This guy explains it really well in this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZThUPOr_Ug

    Once you have done this, you should find that when resawing you get a cleaner cut as the teeth are cutting where they should be and the back of the blade will be running in the gap created by the cut and not rubbing on either side. This could be why you are experiencing burning etc.
    Also, when installing a new blade, I place a small sharpening stone on its edge and nudge it up against the back of the blade on both sides while it is running.
    Very carefully mind you as you don't want to go anywhere near the teeth at the front.
    This files away any burr that could be on the back edges of the blade. Helps with cleaner cuts too.
    You only need to do this the one time with a new blade, but you will find you will need to adjust the fence everytime you change over blades.

    Also, do this last.. after you have installed the blade and got it running correctly etc.

    Cheers
    Rod T

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