Bandsaw thrust bearings

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Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Mark Wybierala » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:32 pm

I have a Rigid 14" bandsaw and the thrust bearings behind the blade are questionable. I replaced these once years ago and the ones that are installed are from ereplacements.com. These don't seem to be available anymore from either Rigid or those who have assumed responsibility for replacement parts.

However, the bearings I have are only shielded and not sealed. You can see the balls through a narrow gap. Typically I'll inspect them and find that either they're not easy to turn of they're unable to turn. I can clean them out with electronics spray cleaner and lubricate them with a light oil and they spin fine. I can't see that these are the right bearing if they let sawdust into the races.

The bearings installed are a 6200ZZ. I can find 6200RS bearing on ebay which are the same size but sealed on both ends. Any suggestions for bearings or am I just fine ordering any 6200RS?
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Bob Gramann » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:42 am

Every city seems to have a bearing shop. In my town, it’s called American Bearings. If I take any bearing in to them, they measure it and come out from the back with an exact replacement. Only once in years did they have to order it. Find your bearing shop and you’re done.
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Paul Montgomery » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:47 am

I would lube them with a heavy grease. Light oil is good for cleaning but doesn't stick around very long.
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Daryl Kosinski » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:44 pm

They are cheap enough on Amazon 10 should last a lifetime. When they get sticky or noisy replace them.
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby David King » Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:36 pm

You definitely want more than a shielded bearing. 6200RS would be a minimum level of protection in such a high dust area. I get most cheap bearings off eBay. If I need a harder to find bearing then I'll go to https://www.vxb.com/ . If I need a top shelf ABEC 7 or 9 spindle bearing from a reputable manufacturer I'll go through https://www.ebatmus.com which has great pricing generally and the bearings come drop shipped from the manufacturer in a couple of days.
I used to use the local bearing house all the time but realized they were selling me $.99 bearings from China for $10. They were handy because they would remove and press the bearings on but they destroyed a very expensive motor shaft due to inexperience so I stopped going altogether.
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Steve Sawyer » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:59 pm

One last suggestion (though the local bearing shop is usually a good source, but can be $spendy for inexpensive bearings) is McMaster-Carr. You can look them up by dimension as well as part number. You're right that you want sealed, not shielded bearings. Buy a 10-pack and you'll never need to hesitate about replacing a bearing that has gotten stiff. McMaster isn't cheap, but will probably get to you real quick (they're in Ohio). You can go with the light-duty bearings, as you're not looking at either high speeds or high loads:

https://www.mcmaster.com/standard-ball-and-roller-bearings
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Mark Wybierala » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:43 pm

$3.99 (and less) on ebay for sealed bearings. I found myself overthinking this problem. I really don't like this bandsaw. Its a 14" saw that seems fairly well built and I purchased it new but a little 10" Craftsmans that was recently given to me cuts so much cleaner and is so much easier to keep on the line. Maybe I'll start a new post to help me figure out why this saw is so unfriendly. Maybe I've just been too cheap with purchasing blades.
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Steve Sawyer » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:46 pm

Mark Wybierala wrote:$3.99 (and less) on ebay for sealed bearings. I found myself overthinking this problem. I really don't like this bandsaw. Its a 14" saw that seems fairly well built and I purchased it new but a little 10" Craftsmans that was recently given to me cuts so much cleaner and is so much easier to keep on the line. Maybe I'll start a new post to help me figure out why this saw is so unfriendly. Maybe I've just been too cheap with purchasing blades.

Band saws are pretty simple devices, despite the people that seem to have made a cottage industry out of books and articles about "tuning" band saws. If the blade is square to the table, and runs true (no bumps or wobbles) then the saw itself is probably good to go. All the talk about checking and adjusting co-planarity of wheels is bunk, and I have had that confirmed by a world-renowned furniture builder that lives and dies by his band saws. "Drift" too is made to appear to be some arcane thing, when it's just a matter of getting the tracking adjusted so that the blade cuts straight when using a fence. Real simple.

The Ridgid band saws would never be considered to be "top of the line" but I know a lot of guys that use them all the time with great results. Again, not a complicated machine.

Band saw blades are so inexpensive (compared to so many other woodworking and luthier tools) that it really doesn't make sense to buy cheap ones. A good blade will likely make a huge difference. I've been really happy with a 1/2" Wood Slicer for re-sawing, but it is much pricier than most, and from what I've seen, you can get very good blades without spending that much. Even so, $30-$40 isn't much to spend for a good blade. The criticism I've seen from some is that the Wood Slicers don't hold up well. I don't do a ton of re-sawing, so may have not come up against that. Also, be sure you get the right tooth count for the job. The rule-of-thumb is you want to have at least two teeth in the cut at all times. For re-sawing, 3 to 4 TPI or one of the blades that varies from 3-4 TPI should do the trick. Counter-intuitively, coarser blades will give a smoother cut all other things held constant. They have larger gullets for removing the waste. If the gullets are too small, the waste has to be forced around the blade, causing it to twist back-and-forth making for a very rough cut.

There was another thread here recently discussing band saw blades and some have recommended the blades from Highland Woodworking (who also sell Wood Slicers).

If the blade is square to the table both from the front and the side, then I would invest in a good blade and you'll probably be happy as a clam!
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Mark Wybierala » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:55 am

Steve, I thing you're right on the money. Its not a great machine but its not a bad one either. I don't trust the tension spring indicator.

Any thoughts about blade tension if the spring and indicator is suspect? If I over tension smaller blades, the result will simply be breakage yes? ...lesson learned. Example: 1/8" blade tightened to the 1/4" mark.

The 3/8 blade (new) I was using was 6TPI and I'm cutting 2" thick mahogany which should cut like butter. I spent twice as much time setting up the guides and thrust bearings than one usually would and even refaced the guide blocks. I set the upper guide height first. The cutting line is significantly off angle by more than seems right. The cut is rough and the blade seems to initiate wander. The blade, as its going through the upper guide looks fine but immediately after it exits the guide it starts to vibrate visibly like a guitar string as soon as it contacts the wood and resettles when the wood is backed off. My guess is that there are 4 or 5 teeth out of alignment. I may try to inspect the blade it I can set up a simple slotted jig but for the $9.99 I spent at Home Depot, I'm probably going to toss it. I installed an 1/8th" old blade blade I have and its a night and day difference. I got a ton of old blades and its time to go through them and toss away the ones that are worn out or messed up. I'm going to order some new blades from one of the links in that blade post at around the $20 level. A good blade should last a while and no more $9.99 blades from Home Depot or Lowes.
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:26 pm

As to spring tension, another area that is shrouded in excessive mystery. Use the tension guide on your saw unless you have a problem (excessive breakage or "flutter" of the blade under no-load conditions). The saw will function perfectly well with a broad range of tension values. I think you're correct the blade behavior you're seeing under load is a function of a problem with the blade. The blade (assuming everything is square) should not do anything but run smoothly when in contact with the stock.
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Daryl Kosinski » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:49 pm

Rounding over the back of the blade with a course sharpening stone will improve the smoothness of the cut.
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Re: Bandsaw thrust bearings

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:02 pm

Daryl Kosinski wrote:Rounding over the back of the blade with a course sharpening stone will improve the smoothness of the cut.

True, but only on very tight-radius cuts.
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