Trying To Tame A Bucking Old Craftsman 12" Bandsaw (2024)

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New tires, new Vbelt, and carefully balanced wheels have only marginally reduced the shake, rattle and roll of my 40 year old cutter. While the outcome of these improvements was worth the time and the end, I'm still not really satisfied with the result. See if you agree with my assessment of the fundamental problem. Here's my unbalanced story, and I'm sticking with it!


Well sports fan, I've got another little project going here, I'm going to try to clean up my very old 12-inch, sears craftsman band saw I bought this new about 1972, 73 something's in that range.

And I used it many times over the years, but not so much anymore.

Um it's gotten pretty trashed up I'll show you the balance is horrible, um that's.

What that little cup is over there? So I'm gonna go over and turn this thing on, uh, I'll, move the camera.

So you can get a close-up view of the little water bucket that's sitting on there.

And uh, here it is here I'm going to turn this on and be a little bit noisy I'm.

So stand by and three two one, yeah, you can see that it, uh, jerks around quite a bit when it starts.

It jumps jumps around off quite a bit when it's running, and it jerks around even more when it stops.

So if you're interested in this particular subject, no doubt, you've already watched a bunch of videos on, um guys, refurbishing these old things, which typically they'll get from a friend for free, or you know something like that for twenty dollars at a swap meet well.

This is mine, originally so I'm, purely to blame for the miserable state that it's in.

And I know for sure that a couple of things have to be done.

The first thing is I'm going to change the tires on the on the drive wheel and uh, the drive wheel down here and the idler wheel up here.

These are original tires, they're rubber.

And they just they're a mess, they're slipping off and all kinds of stuff.

So that's part of it.

And also the wheels need to be rebalanced.

Um, I've taped nickels and dimes and stuff like that on them over the years to try to keep them balanced.

And obviously, I've lost some money up there somewhere.

So I got to rebalance the wheels, put the new tires on, uh, for sure I need a new fan belt, and I can visually see that it's not running.

Well and part of it is because this sits here so much, I don't use it a whole lot.

And all these belts develop a memory after a while they sit in the same spot that happens on a lot of my sanding belts on my other machines.

If they sit too long, they you know, get a big bump in them while they go over the dry wheels and the idler wheels.

Well, it goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway, because if you're doing something like this, and you've never done it before you really should get somebody else to do it, um.

But if you've got one of these things, um I'm, assuming oh, that's, dangerous, uh that you have, at least some idea of some basic safety things.

And the first thing of course, is you need to take the key out of this thing.

And then the second thing you need to do is unplug.

It pete's sake.

Should I have to tell you that? I would hope not, but I just did I'll get back here get this out of there.

So I've got it safely unplugged, even the safety switch is off.

So I can take this apart one of the things, um, even when I first got it that I found not particularly helpful was this cover it's just plastic and this one, and I don't know if they all do this, but this is part of the noisy, the rattling part because this is kind of flexed up some fixed that, um.

And the way this comes off is these little clippy things here.

So you pull the clip on the top and the bottom that's one on each side because I'm moving around my camera here, and it comes off it's just plastic.

I guess that's.

Okay, because uh, it's been running that way for 30 years, 40 years.

I can't remember anymore.


So now we've got to the wheel.

So the next thing I got to do is get the blade off of here.

And you do that, of course, by first taking the tension off the blade.

I like this little lever here.

It tells you how much tension you have more or less it's, pretty close.

I think but like everything else, if you don't do the maintenance all the time, the little thing hangs up and gets dust in it.

I I vacuumed this out just a little while ago just so I could not have it falling all over the place as I take the the blade off everything's kind of stuck all right.

So I think I've got most of the tension off of this thing all right got it loose I'm going to take some of this stuff off.

Yeah, it takes a little while so now I know you can't see this, but the belts are so sloppy on here.

I shouldn't say, the belts, the tires are really really bad.

It has come right off.

Um, pretty bad.

I like those all right, it looked pretty good and see my balance.

What that's like.

Well, the top one came off really really easy.

But the bottom one actually is still pretty tight so I'm going to attempt to get it off with my high-fangled widget.

So I'll kind of get under it like that and get another one just like changing a bike tire, which I've done many times pull this little puppy off there, it's, pretty well, trashed that's for sure looks like I need a little bit of uh sandpaper or something to get some of this stuff off right here.

So I've got to put the new tires on.


This one up here looks pretty good.

And the reason it does look pretty good is because it's been slipping, obviously, it's well, polished here on the surface.

And I think I'm, pretty close I'll rebalance this.

Um, after I put the new tires on because it's not stopping at any particular spot now it's working pretty well.

So I think I'm really close shouldn't have to move it much so onward and upwards to the new tires.

Well, houston, uh, I ran into a problem.

I haven't seen anybody else do this? Yeah, that's my dog's, protecting the house, uh, here's, my new belt right here.

But this uh lamp and switch part is so close to the wheel that I was attempting to put the this down this way.

But it won't go that way.

So basically I was left with, uh, one option.

Now you would say because a lot of people do this is they take the wheel off? Well, certainly that's an option.

But in this case, it's using these little snap rings right here, which is not a problem.

I have the tools to do that.

But if I did that, I still have to pull the wheel off the shaft.

And because this bar right here is so close I'm, pretty sure I can't get the wheel off without first taking this off.

So I decided to go ahead, take it off, and that gives me the opportunity to vacuum inside here.

So it appears that to get this off.

You got to take that off and to get this on.

You got to take that off.

So guess what I took it off, uh and it's never been off ever.

And so it didn't want to come.

I had to use a pair of vice grips and screwdriver and stuff to get that off so I'm going to clean this out I'll be right back with, uh, the first attempt at putting on the new bandsaw tires, well, after several attempts to put the tire on with the wheel.

Still mounted, I it kept rotating, and it was really hard to hold.

So I decided to go ahead and take it off in order to get this one off.

You have to have a pair of these.

I haven't used these since I did the video on how much I like them and they work great.

So you could take the little snap ring off and then there's a a.

I guess it's like a pressure washer under it.

And then you can just slide this off with a little bit of a persuasion.

So I've got it over in the vise now.

Well, here we go again.

I I I didn't show you all the times I messed up trying to figure this out.

I think I may have it let's see let's, see if I'm going to have a success or another failure.

So I put the wheel up on a, um, I think this is half inch.

3 8, I don't know, I put it up here.

So it's, it's, it's, uh, solidly, mounted.

I try to put this just in the vise by itself, that's, too dangerous, it's too easy to break the casting.

So I've got it on a pivot point here, right? But I really don't want it to pivot.

So I put this in here like that.

And I clamp the tire on at least two places here, and then I'm gonna use plagiarize one of the guys I found that can do this or did this by using this with a washer on it.

So start, if I keep the washer on it once again, so I'll start here with putting this in here, like this, stretching this a little bit and then going in the correct direction.

And then I have to keep pushing this down into the groove.

And then when I get a little bit further on now reach down here with the other hand and put another clamp on it to hold that.

So it doesn't jump out.

And then so that I have a little bit of working space, rotate put the stop device back in and then start again, making sure I push this down because it wants to jump out.

It really does now I'll move one of these clamps over here, try to make sure it doesn't jump out I'm continuing on, oh, no, no, no.


I'm gonna have to back up clamp it up a little closer.

I think don't know if I could back it up, oh, right.

Ah, okay.

Now I gotta do is get that out of there.

I need to get out of there tool so that I can pull this one out, you gotta be careful.

I don't pull that out of there.

Then this one should come out a bit easier all right now.

I gotta get that down in the groove.

So it doesn't come popping out.



Here comes the bottom wheel.

Let's, see if I can get it this time without backing up.

So I've got my three clamps on I'll.

Start pulling this around got my little stopper wrong way.

Ah, trying to get this down there again, making sure it stays down there, bring this one up? Maybe I got that that's stuck down there now that I really need that.

Okay, I'm pushing it down again.

All right? Okay, I think I've got it.

All I gotta do is get this out of there? Okay, it's the next day after yesterday, what day is it, I think it's saturday, um, so I put the new tires on.

And then I spent a whole bunch of time, balancing the um wheels.

And the way I did it was, I didn't have any weights on this at all.

I just let it spin until it found its heavy spot.

And then I said, okay, there's the heavy spot right there.

So I moved it over here.

So that it's, uh, horizontal to this line.

And then I just treated it like a teeter-totter.

And I kept messing around with the weights and moving them around moving them around until it would stay balanced like that.

Well, I couldn't let it go.

So I decided to try this almost friction free bearing, because I think that's probably what's going on because I'm, not getting a good swing when it's attached to the um bottom, the drive bearing.

So with this there's, almost no friction, and you can see it looks like I've over compensated a bit down here.

If I bring it up like in here, it's going back down again, so it looks like what I've done is a bit of overcompensation on the weight.

Well, I think I've finally got it about as good as I'm ever going to get it.

I've been out here for about 20 minutes, messing around with these things moving them.

So such a small amount it's, unbelievable, how incredibly sensitive this thing is to a tiny little amount these things hardly weigh a gram.

And as you move them around, it makes a difference.

I think I've got it now no matter where I put it.

It stays hit the block because it rolls back and forth.

Of course, well, I put it all back together again.

You can see.

I left the little clips on here that the wheel is definitely, uh, weight, balanced, um.

So I put it all back together again, use my really small eighth inch blade and it uh it's much better than it was there's.

No question, balancing the wheels has helped a lot now v-belt new tires, all that has helped a lot it's it's usable at this point, it's, just not what I'm looking for.

And I know it's down here.

And I know that the wheel is bent either that or the shaft is bad, because I checked it again, uh, turn it on and ran it with a little feeler, gauge right next to this and it's really off about that much as it comes around.

And when I run it with nothing on just the wheel here, you can see, you can actually see the table shaking around.

And then you multiply that with the blade.

And then this the one up here at the top, of course, we'll kind of go into sympathy with it, uh.

And you end up with about about this much shape.

So I know, it's this one down here, it's, giving me this, much shape.

And then the fact that the the top of this thing starts flexing because there's no mass to it.

So it's, definitely this and it's, definitely causing that problem.

You can see it shaking as it slows down.

There, there's, no economic reason why I will chase this any further because I need to change the shaft.

If that's the problem, I don't know, but for sure the wheel is not running true.

So I probably have to replace all of it.

The two bearings the shaft and the wheel, which would cost more than this things work.

So the economics of it says, uh, I've finally reached the end of fooling with this thing and I'll just make do with the way it is until I hit the three-quarter billion dollar lottery.

I think it's gone this weekend.

I don't know you can tell I don't buy the tickets very often.

I may do it this time though one never knows do one.

Trying To Tame A Bucking Old Craftsman 12" Bandsaw (2024)


What is the cutting depth of a Craftsman 12 band saw? ›

1 1/8 Horsepower motor. 6″ Cut depth.

What size blade does a Craftsman 12 bandsaw take? ›

Band Saw Blade Length Reference Page
ATimber Wolf blades available
CRAFTSMAN 12" 22432 1HP801/8" - 1/2"
CRAFTSMAN 12" 22400 3/4HP89 1/21/8" - 1/2"
CRAFTSMAN 12" PRE 1991801/8" - 1/2"
CRAFTSMAN 14"93 1/21/8" - 3/4"
174 more rows

How deep can a 12 blade cut? ›

Diamond Blade Cutting Depths
Maximum Blade Cutting Depths
12"3 5/8"
14"4 5/8"
16"5 5/8"
18"6 5/8"
41 more rows

How thick can a 12 table saw cut? ›

A table saw depth determines how deep your saw can cut into the wood. This vital feature of table saws helps get those perfect rips every time. An example of this is a 12-inch blade that can cut through four inches of thick wood, and a 10-inch blade can roughly cut wood that is about three inches thick.

Can I use a 10 blade on a 12 saw? ›

No, you cannot use a 10-inch miter saw blade on a 12-inch miter saw. Miter saws are designed to accommodate a specific blade size, which is determined by the diameter of the blade. Using a blade that is not the correct size for your miter saw can result in compatibility issues, safety hazards, and inaccurate cuts.

What is the most useful bandsaw blade size? ›

If any blade could be considered all-purpose, a 3⁄8-in., 6-tpi, hook-tooth, high-carbon-steel blade would be it. This blade has enough width to handle most ripcuts in material up to 2 in. thick without deflecting but is narrow enough to cut mild curves. It's also good for quick crosscuts.

How tight should a bandsaw mill blade be? ›

For carbon steel toothed blades (cutting blades) this is typically 15,000 to 25,000 PSI. Slitting type blades typically are tensioned in the range of 12,000 to 20,000 PSI. In general bandsaw blades are never tensioned past 35,000 psi.

How long is a 12 bandsaw blade? ›

It is also used for straight-line cutting operations such as crosscutting, ripping, mitering, beveling, compound cutting, and resawing. The Craftsman 12" Bandsaw-Sander takes an 80" blade or an 80", 1/2" wide sanding belt.

Where is the model number on a Craftsman bandsaw? ›

The Model Number will be found on a plate attached to the frame assembly, accessible with cover removed. Always mention the Model Number in all correspondence regarding the CRAFTSMAN BAND SAW or when ordering repair parts.

Why is my Craftsman band saw not cutting straight? ›

When the band saw cuts crooked, a dull blade, improper feeding, loose blade tension or not using a work piece guide could be the cause. Use the rip fence or miter gauge to guide the work piece uniformly through the cutting blade to make straight cuts.

Why does my bandsaw cut to the right? ›

Blade is Dull

Related to selecting the correct blade is making sure it is sharp. Unsurprisingly a dull blade will not cut as well as a new sharp blade. You might expect that a dull blade would cut more slowly, but it is also more likely to cut crooked.

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