Setting Bandsaw Thrust Guides

When adjusting the thrust guides on a bandsaw, the aim is to set them just a few thousandths of an inch behind the blade. The principle is that the back of the blade should touch the guides only when the blade is cutting–not when it’s freewheeling. The typical approach is to hold a dollar bill against the rear of the blade and then move the bearing up against the bill. This is great in theory and would work fine if the back edge of the blade was dead-straight, but it very often isn’t, and wavers fore and aft during the cut.

I find that a much better approach is to first bring the bearing up lightly against the blade while slowly rotating the bandsaw wheels by hand (with the saw unplugged). Then, while observing the bearing, back it off until it stops spinning and then continue to back it off just a hair more. If it’s hard to detect the rotation of a bearing, simply strike a few lines across its edge with a thick marker. After locking in the bearing’s location, double-check that the locking screw didn’t shift the bearing forward. Done.

—Paul Anthony, senior editor

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