Braxton Wirthlin is a maker from the Las Vegas area. On his YouTube channel, Wirthlin’s videos cover projects in a variety of areas, from woodturning and woodworking to building a simple fire pit in your yard. His most recent video covers an important topic that is a source of frustration to many makers: how to properly set up a bandsaw for peak performance.
The process starts with changing the tires. Bandsaw tires are made to be snug, and they need to be stretched in order to get them onto the wheels. Traditional rubber bandsaw tires can usually be stretched with a little elbow grease, but Trying to stretch urethane tires by hand is a good way to sprain something, so Wirthlin applied heat to make the tires easier to stretch. “I knew heating the urethane would help soften it up and make it stretch on to the wheels and I thought a heat gun would be a little safer than my blow torch,” said Wirthlin. “I knew it would gently heat the urethane in a way that was easy to control and predictable, without having to worry about accidentally scorching or melting the tires.”
Wirthlin’s video also shares a tip about blade alignment. As anyone who has used a bandsaw can testify, blade drift can be incredibly aggravating. Wirthlin explained why proper blade alignment can reduce or eliminate drift. “Bandsaw wheels have a slight crown in the center,” he explained. “Aligning the gullet of the blade in the center of the wheel allows the cutting edge of the blade to be supported by the crown, versus aligning the center of the blade on the wheel and having those teeth hanging out in mid air. This will help to reduce drift in your blade, especially when combined with proper guide bearing/bushing set up.” As for the bearings, you want those close to, but not touching, the blade. That will help you keep your blade on track without impeding its movement.