Author Topic: bandsaw blade tension gauge...  (Read 1424 times)

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Offline estley

  • Posts: 92
bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« on: June 19, 2017, 09:35 PM »
anybody have experience with these?


http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/monarch-gauge-promises-simpler-band-saw-blade-tensioning/


seems more of a reference for repeatability than anything else...


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Online Bob D.

  • Posts: 579
Re: bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 10:17 PM »
I had a fan belt tension gauge many years ago that works on the same principle.
Seemed to work OK.

I thought Carter had one of this design too, or did theirs measure the 'stretch' or
tension of the blade. I looked on their website and didn't find it but I know they
sold one in the past.

As long as the measurements are repeatable then it can serve as a reference when
setting up a new blade after you have found the ideal tension for that same make/model
blade (meaning same steel, TPI, temper, etc) and the work you are doing.

Since their 'Monarch number' by their own admission has no value or relation to tension
on the blade it can only serve as a reference it would seem to me.


-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Pike_101

  • Posts: 10
Re: bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 10:36 PM »
It does look like a simple and elegant device, just not something I'd use.

Tensioning a band saw blade to me is like tuning an instrument. Once you have the ear for it, it comes naturally. For someone that doesn't have that experience or struggles with a band saw (as I've found many do) this could be a good tool to eliminate at least one variable in the set-up. I feel most overthink the setup, or have gotten bad advice along the way.

Nothing like a smooth accurate band saw-- my favorite tool in the shop.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1683
Re: bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 01:40 AM »
I haven't ever felt the need to use a tension gauge for bandsaw blades. I just test the tension by pushing on the side of the blade with my thumb. When it can be pushed inward about 1/4" or so without making my thumb white, that seems to be the the right tension. While tensioning is important for resawing, there is enough information out there that indicates tension gauges don't provide any improvement in the end result. Carter has a booklet out (or DVD) which details the steps for resawing setup. Since I've followed that with the hints given, I have no problems resawing.
Randy

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 715
Re: bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 12:31 PM »
Yep, just another reference device to help one achieve some level of "repeatability" when setting bandsaw tension. Doesnt help figure out of the tension is correct for a specific blade, but a true tension gauge that does that costs a lot more. If you want that functionality check out the Lennox Bandsaw Tension Gauge or keep an eye on eBay for the Starrett 682EMZ. I was able to score a brand new Starrett for $170 earlier this year.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3268
Re: bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 10:29 AM »
I was able to score a brand new Starrett for $170 earlier this year.

That's a great deal...these things are usually for sale in the $450-$500 price range.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 715
Re: bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 05:39 PM »
I was able to score a brand new Starrett for $170 earlier this year.

That's a great deal...these things are usually for sale in the $450-$500 price range.
Set an alert in the eBay app. I see them pretty regularly for $200-300 in brand new to like new condition.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3268
Re: bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 12:50 PM »
Set an alert in the eBay app. I see them pretty regularly for $200-300 in brand new to like new condition.

That's a good idea...I forgot about eBay.


Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1683
Re: bandsaw blade tension gauge...
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 06:28 PM »
While tensioning is certainly important, it is likely not the most important factor in getting good resawing results. Getting the tension close is acceptable. Regardless, there probably really isn't a hard number which is right for every brand, type, and size blade, so I don't get the need to spend even $100 on a gauge. I wish I could find the article I read several years ago on just this topic. There was a good discussion of tension and how to get it close enough. If the tension doesn't seem high enough turn it up a little till the blade doesn't vibrate and the result is good. The next blade you put on, even though the same brand, might require a little different tension than the last one.
Randy