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Carolina Bandsaw Set Up

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Kaylee Frye

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#1
Hi all,

I've been working on upgrading our old Carolina HD10 band saw. I know some might say the machine is junk, but I've also heard a lot of people refer to this saw lasting them decades. I decided instead of trying to convince my boss to spend the money on a shiny new bandsaw, I'd fix up this old one-- however now I'm thinking maybe it is a piece of junk after all? I'd be really appreciative to know what you think.

I'll walk you through my process. I got a new fence on there, set up the hydraulic descent cylinder, and set up the coolant. Easy. Next I proceeded to spend hours trying to square up the blade, but I couldn't seem to get the vertical axis square at all. I tried adding an insert to the saw bed, didn't work. I tried adjusting the blade guides, which should have been straight foward-- yet still! Crooked cuts. I'm beginning to think here, the blade is sliding while cutting, it doesn't matter how I adjust the blade guide. Maybe the bearings are worn out and not holding the blade tight enough? Also at this point, I noticed the blade guide, the first one where I have attached my coolant nozzle, seems to be moving and shifting while cutting, so I pushed it back into the back panel and locked it as tight as possible so it couldn't shift, even though it's pretty far away from the site of cutting now. And still! Crooked cuts.

And now after all that, I see it, that it's not the blade that's crooked or sliding. It's the entire saw not descending straight. Like, if the saw is an arm, it's messed up in the elbow. The "elbow" is simply constructed by a pivot shaft, a longer support leg (which looks bent, no need to even measure it to make sure) and a smaller angled leg.

So my question is, do you think it's worth it replacing these parts? Would that solve my crooked cuts or be wasted time? Is this something that's worth fixing? I haven't lost hope, I know I can fab up some new parts but I'm not sure if it's a goose chase, you know? Is this a usual problem fabricators come across with horizontal band saws?
So sorry the photos all came out horizontal, I don't know how to make the upload stop that.

IMG_6608.JPG

IMG_6623.JPG
IMG_6725.JPG
IMG_6726.JPG
IMG_6735.JPG <-- this is the bend support leg attached to the pivot shaft
IMG_6737.JPG <--this is the angled support leg on the other side
IMG_6749.JPG
 

JimDawson

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#2
Welcome Aboard Kaylee!

Given everything you have done to set up the saw, it sounds like the blade is the problem. I would get a new blade and try that first before I started replacing parts on the saw.

If the blade is worn a bit more on one side, nothing you do to the saw will make it cut straight.
 

tweinke

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#3
I agree with Jim, also if you set a square on the table against the blade does it move away from the square when you raise the head? I would think that would prove the pivot being good or bad.
 

Bob Korves

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#4
Make sure that the teeth of the blade are not touching the wheel surfaces. If they do, the teeth will flatten on that side only, and the saw will never cut straight, even with a new blade after a couple minutes. Make sure the wheels are not tipped too much to the back at the farthest apart points to help keep the blade on. Does the saw have rubber tires for the blade on the wheels? Some saws are made to use them, some not. If only one has a tire, the other one probably should as well. The tires can also protect the teeth from bending flat, losing their set on one side. It is even possible for the blade guide bearings to damage the blade teeth. Check closely for problems along those lines. If the "knee" does not lift the frame up squarely, that is definitely a problem. First, is there play in the knee? If so, that must be dealt with. If there is an adjustment for the knee, adjust it square. Also make sure the blade is properly tightened. It needs to be quite tight, with a musical pitch. When properly tight, again check the wheel tracking for parallelism. There are plenty of ways for band saws to cut poorly, these are just a few. Looking closely for how things fit is a big part of the process of getting it right.
 

Sandia

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#5
Welcome Kaylee,

I have the same saw, purchased new probably 15 to 20 years ago. It has cut a lot of material and I have replaced the blade about 3 or 4 times since I have had it. Put a new motor on it a couple of years ago as well. It has always been dependable but never would cut a square cut no matter how you adjusted the guides. Changing blades didn't help either. I bought a new saw last year but still use the Carolina for rough cuts.

I got to looking one day trying to figure out what the problem was and discovered when you tighten the vise it warps the whole beam the vise bolts to. That beam is only .125 metal. I discovered if I didn't bare down on the vise it would do a lot better. I don't know how you would fix that. Wish you good luck. I just always left enough material to true it up on the mill or lathe. It was always very aggravating when cutting 45* mitres when build something and always had big gaps in one place or the other that you had to deal with when welding it up.
 

pineyfolks

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#6
I've never had a problem with mine. I did make a few modifications to it. I made longer vise jaws that extend out very close to the blade. Once I had the blade running square with the bed of the table I adjusted the vise square and drilled a hole through the back jaw so I can set it back to 90 degrees easily. The main frame on my saw is 1/4" thick and I've never had problems with it twisting. Setting the guides as close together as possible will help a lot as well as using a blade with the correct number of teeth for the material you're cutting.
 

gwade

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#7
I purchased a used HD10 about 6 months ago. Put on new power cord, drive belt, bi-metal blade, paint, and casters. It has always cut square and I'm pleased for the price.
I do not use coolant. I would like to make longer vise jaws as was mentioned above.
 

Kaylee Frye

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#8
Thank you all for your thoughts! It's definitely is helping sort what I want to do next.
Unfortunately, it is not just the blade (though I will check for if the teeth are touching anything and getting sanded away!), the saw is definitely crooked in the way that when you lift and lower the arm, you can see it move away from the square. I couldn't figure out how to upload my movie file to show you guys.

I haven't lost hope yet, I will check a couple of things with the blade and and guides. It's annoying though, that the guides seem so unsupported and wiggly when I do move them closer together, but maybe I can weld or bolt something extra on there to stiffen it. And I may try and replace the long support leg since it's so bent. If that all fails well... I'll get a belt sander for the metal shop to true up my cuts! My hope was that I could rely on this thing for cutting i-beam and c-channel, preferably with nice squareness because we make furniture, and I hate having to grind at crooked cuts. But a lot of times with furniture you can get around perfect preciseness. I also wanted to cut out stacks of square tube, four at a time, but we'll see, won't be worth it if all four come out different sizes!

Thanks again, everybody!
 

JimDawson

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#9
It sounds like your saw might have multiple problems. If the pivot shaft is not square to the vice, then the only fix for that is to adjust the angle in both the horizontal and vertical planes. This would require making an adjustable bearing plate for one side so you can move it around a bit to adjust before it's welded in place. It looks like there is enough room on the right side to do that.
 

rgray

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#10
I have one of those saws. Very nice looking saw. Just doesn't work as nice as it looks.
I have an old craftsman (probably atlas) that is so far superior it isn't funny.
To stand back and look at them a person would go to the Carolina first every time, then after using them both the Carolina does not get used again.
 

Kaylee Frye

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#11
Hi all,

thought I'd check in to share with you that the bandsaw fix up was a success in the end!
I thought about what Jim Dawson here said, that if its crooked in the pivot you can really only adjust for the horizontal and vertical planes. Fixing the pivot is a lot of effort and probably wouldn't work well in the end either. Going back to the saw, I finally noticed that the small little platform at the cutting site on the saw bed was welded on just crooked enough to be completely fouling it all up! I can't believe this wasn't something I noticed and fixed at the beginning of this project! Now it was clear that this crooked platform was giving me two different readings depending on where I put the fence and messing up my attempts at adjusting for crooked pivot. So I carefully cut that thing off, and welded it back on flush with the saw bed. Now I could adjust the horizontal plane, and I spot welded a small cut of 3/16" flatbar (not shown in photo) to the now corrected platform. Now, adjusting the blade to cut straight was a easy, even if it is crooked and weird, it's at least cutting square to itself. In the end, it was such a simple solution. And, it's been awesome actually using this bandsaw for work! Not to mention the rest of the shop is pleased the metal shop is a little bit quieter than usual!
 

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hman

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#12
Congrats on the diagnosis and fix! But please be careful of language.
 

markba633csi

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#13
Good job Kaylee-more grrls should do "guy stuff". Is that your cat? Mine has a snipped ear too. Can't tell from the photo but the right one is clipped.
1106161119-01.jpg
Mark S.
 

34_40

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#14
Just wanted to say Thanks to all who responded and offered assistance to Kaylee as I just brought home a used HV12 Carolina and used the info here to help do the setup and perform the checks to get a good "tune-up" on my saw. I got the saw from a friend of a friend who's step dad had passed last year, he was a backyard mechanic and tinkerer.. while searching for info I found much "bad press" on those other sites and I was worried I was getting a pig in a poke if you will.. I just kept thinking that it's a machine and I'll just fix what's wrong and make it better. But using this thread and watching out for the problems mentioned, I was able to easily complete a cleaning and setup with great results and it still has the original blade (I think). I cut a 3" piece of steel and the cut was within a 64th of square so I am thrilled to say the least.

Again, thanks to all for sharing in the discussion and thanks to Kaylee for starting the thread and posting the final solution, it certainly helped me!
 

Kroll

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#15
I also have the HV12,so reading these post has inspired me to do a tune up on my saw and maybe weld piece plate on the bottom side to stiffen it up some.Thanks for posting,very good subject-------kroll
 

Birder

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#16
I sold an HD10 recently after years of tinkering and trying to improve its performance. I bought a DoAll full size saw, and am happy. The Carolina saws have a number of problems: from bad pulleys, to blade supports that are in the saw axes but not the blade axes, to lack of stiffness in the main C-member. Just before I sold mine, I went through the saw and realized, in my case, that the saw was chucking blade teeth because of stiffness issues in the main member. I put an indicator on the base, and touched the blade supports. And I measured the deflection of the supports as I tensioned the blade. Yes, you should expect this to move the supports. But I was seeing very large deflections (.100") of the non-pivot support relative to the vise as I tightened the blade. I clamped added stiffening straight across the 'C' of the saw, and got to MUCH better cutting. If you can support the ends relative to each other, the C will not 'roll up' as you tension the blade. And once the saw loads up into the cut, the 'C' will not flex/catch in the cut, causing issues. Jim
 
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