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Tip #156
Bandsaw Tune-Up

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Tuning your Shopsmith Bandsaw for optimal performance:

The Shopsmith Bandsaw is one of the most frequently used tools in many shops. To maintain its optimal performance, certain maintenance procedures are required. Here's what we suggest:


  • Your Bandsaw has several parts that require periodic lubrication. The following parts should all be lubricated using powdered graphite and NOT oil or grease. The reason being...oil & grease attract sawdust, where dry, powdered graphite will not.
    • The Blade Tensioning Screw inside the Cover
    • The square Upper Blade Guide Post
    • The Upper and Lower Blade Guide Adjusting Screws
    • The Work Table Tilt Trunion
  • Grease the Upper Wheel Bearings. Following the instructions in your Manual, remove the Upper Wheel Shaft Retaining Ring and the Fiber Washer...wipe the Shaft with a clean rag to eliminate dust and dirt and apply a very, very small amount of cup grease or furnace bearing grease. Replace all components.

As you work with your Bandsaw, dust and pitch will accumulate on the Tires, Blade Guides and Blades, affecting your machine's performance. Fine sawdust will dry out bearings and cause them to wear prematurely - and pitch on Blades, Blade Guides and Tires.

We recommend that you use a stiff bristle brush (discarded "firm" toothbrushes are ideal for this) and mineral spirits to remove impacted dust from Tires, Guides, Blades

As-Required Maintenance:

  • Blade Sharpening - No saw blades will last forever. Eventually, your blades will dull to the point where they will have to be sharpened or replaced. Your Manual includes step-by-step procedures for proper Blade sharpening (or you can have them sharpened professionally).
  • Resurfacing Guide Blocks - Through use, the Guide Blocks on your Bandsaw will become worn or scored. We suggest that you use a flat-surfaced grinding or sanding tool such as a Belt Sander, Strip Sander, Disc Sander or whetstone to re-surface the guides to their original shapes.
  • It's important that you maintain their current angles and remove as little material as possible in the process. If the long Blocks become shorter than 1-3/8" - or the short Blocks shorter than 3/4", replace them.
  • Tire Replacement -- If a Bandsaw Tire becomes torn or damaged...or its surface is rough or uneven, the Tire should be replaced. These Tires are available through the on-line catalog and include complete, detailed, step-by-step installation instructions.

Maintenance Schedule:
Here is our suggested maintenance schedule for your Shopsmith Bandsaw. In all cases "Hours" means hours of running time:

If you notice an unusual noise or vibration, stop the machine immediately and check the Blade, Guide Blocks, Back-Up Guide Rollers, Table Trunion and other components for proper alignment and tightening. Do NOT operate your Bandsaw until you have corrected the problem.

  • Every 5 hours of running time, brush/blow out the Bandsaw completely
  • Every 10 hours, Repeat previous steps - plus - check all alignments and adjustments. Clean all pitch from Blades, Blade Guides and Tires. Lubricate the Trunions, Blade Tension Screw, Blade Guide Post and Blade Guide Adjusting Screws. Coat the Work Table Surface, Miter Gauge Slot and Insert with a high quality furniture PASTE wax and buff. This will help your workpieces glide more easily and smoothly across the surface during operations and protect metal surfaces from the formation of rust.
  • Every 50 hours, Repeat previous steps - plus - grease the Upper Wheel needle bearings, check all Guide Blocks, Back-Up Blade Rollers and Tires for wear.

If you're having problems with your Shopsmith Bandsaw, start by referring to the Troubleshooting Chart in your Owner's Manual. If you are unable to find the solution to your problem there...or of you don't have an Owner's Manual, please feel free to call our TOLL-FREE Technical Services Hotline at 1-800-762-7555 for assistance.

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