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Changing bandsaw blades on 6x4 bandsaw

One of the first things you need to do with a new 6x4 bandsaw is go and buy some decent bi-metal bandsaw blades and fit one to your bandsaw. Fitting a new blade to the bandsaw is easy for two people, but a bit of a trick with one person.

The best place I have found in the uk for buying blades for my 6x4 bandsaw is Dragon Saws Ltd who have always been reliable and offered good service and value for money.

Here is a quick guide for single handed bandsaw blade changing.

Changing bandsaw blades

marked positions of bandsaw blade cover screws

LEt us start by saying that bandsaw blades are nasty sharp things... so you should arm yourself with some nice thick gloves before you start.

The first thing to do is remove the blade cover which is attached by three bolts (marked in red)
bandsaw blade cover removed showing broken bandsaw blade

Once the cover is off we must be very careful of the old broken blade. Pull it away from the bandsaw and try to fold it up. I gaffer tape the broken blade in cardboard before throwing it into the rubbish.

Next remove the red covers - these are held in with one screw each. Look closely at them before removing, so you know what way they go back on, as it is not obvious.

You might also take this opportunity to remove some of the build up of rubbish inside the bandsaw.
bandsaw blade from supplier

A new bandsaw arrives in a nice neat coil. This coil is a spring! If you do not take care, it will *snap* open and slash your arm or face in the process. I have never found a good safe way of opening one of these blades. My preferred method is to find an empty room with a door. Stand outside the door and hold the door open about 1/2 an inch. Slide the coiled up bandsaw blade through the narrow gap and it will *ping* open inside the empty room without taking a chunk of flesh out of your face. position of top hand when changing bandsaw blade
position of bottom hand when changing bandsaw blade

Next we fit the blade to the bandsaw. First push the bandsaw blade into the pairs blade guide bearings. It should stick here of its own accord.

Next, loosen off the tensioning hand nut at the top to its maximum point - just before the threaded rod disengages with the top wheel axle.

What happens now is you try to hook the blade onto the bottom wheel, and then hook the blade onto the top wheel. Whilst you are trying to hook the blade onto the top wheel it will fall off the bottom wheel. The trick is to use your left hand to hold the blade onto the bottom wheel. Keep your left hand holding it in place and then use your right hand to hook the blade over the top wheel.

Now, with most of your fingers holding the blade onto the top wheel, use your index finder to turn the tensioning hand nut. Keep turning until there is enough tension to stop the blade sliding off. Then you can let go, and make sure the blade is pushed onto each wheel so it is snug against the shoulder on each wheel.

Now you can tighten the tensioner properly. Use one hand and do it up as tightly as you can.

Then replace the red guards and the black bandsaw blade cover. Finally power it up and make sure it still works!

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