Tuning the Charnwood W730 – Part 2

I made a start on this yesterday and gained an understand of how the two blade guides work.

Yesterday It seemed like both the blade guides had to be mounted at an angle in order to ensure both side bearings touched (or were at least close to) the blade.

Today I had another look and I realised that although the blade was entering the insert in the table centrally, it wasn’t running centrally in the guard that runs down to the upper blade guide.

W730 blade in guard - before

I slackened off the blade tension and the 4 bolts which hold the upper wheel assembly in place and adjusted things so that the blade ran centrally in the guard, then re-tightened the bolts:

W730 blade in guard - after

Because the blade is now centered in the guard, the upper and lower blade guides no longer needs to be at an angle (although it no longer enters the insert centrally I’m less bothered by this)

Upper blade guide

I was unable to mount the upper blade guide as far forward as I would have liked due to a radius on the guard:

Upper blade guide

I removed the blade guide to give easy access:

Blade guide removed

Then having covered the table with newspaper to catch the filings, I filed the corner square:

Squared corner

Update 21/04/2013: I have now done similar to the sliding section of blade guard on the other side – see Part 4 for details.

I then used the two screws which hold the blade guide to the guard to get it roughly in position so I could use the adjustment of the guide only for fine tuning:

Blade guide mounting screws

The guide can now sit exactly where I want it:

Blade guide after filing

Adjusting the guides in situ is pretty fiddly, particularly the lower one, although tilting the table to 45 degrees helps for some actions.

Lower blade guide

I also found that tightening the thumbscrews (top) or allen bolts (bottom) to fix the side bearings can move them slightly, so I used a piece of folded paper to ensure the blade wasn’t being pinched when I did the final tighten (I think I saw this on the Workshop Essentials DVD).

I adjusted the table so it was square to the blade:

Blade square to table

Recently several people on UKWorkshop have asked about the W730 and one wanted to know if it was up to cutting 8″ beams.

The largest lump of wood I have in my workshop is an 8″ x 2″ offcut of Beech I got in January with some nice grain.

I’ve been saving it while I wait for inspiration on what to do with it, but it has a check in the end I don’t feel so bad about using that end for a test cut:

Beech offcut

Even with the supplied blade fitted (about a 4 TPI) the W730 had no trouble cutting through the board up on edge (so about 8″ depth of cut):

Beech offcut with cut

I don’t think I’m completely finished tuning the saw, as the blade is slightly further forward at the bottom than the top when viewed from the side, but it’s certainly ended up a lot better than I expected at times yesterday!

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8 Responses to Tuning the Charnwood W730 – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Tuning the Charnwood W730 – Part 4 | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  2. woodulove says:

    I am going to keep my eyes peeled for part 3, the bandsaw is back in stock next month and I just don’t think I can find a better deal. I really appreciate you taking the time to post some info as I am completely new to woodworking machinery.

    • John says:

      Hi Kristian,

      Part 3 is already up – I posted it on Saturday – https://aggravatedwoodbutchery.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/tuning-charnwood-w730-part-3/

      I’m unlikely to ever be anything other than an enthusiastic amateur and will almost certainly never reach the limits of this saw, but I’ve been catching up on your blog and it looks like you’re intending to use this professionally so I’m worried you may end up in the “buy cheap, buy twice” trap and blame me!

      That said, if you really need a bandsaw now and are facing a choice of this or nothing I think it’s a very compelling spec for the money.

      Good luck with your choice and if you’re ever in Sussex I’d be happy to show you the saw.

      John

  3. Pingback: Tuning the Charnwood W730 – Part 3 | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  4. woodulove says:

    It’s nice to see this review as I am really thinking about getting this bandsaw, unfortunately they seem to be out of stock everywhere even charnwood. I really appreciate the time you took to review it though because at first glance this bandsaw just looks to good to be true for the money and thats all the money I have 😀

    I also bought the magazine last weekend and I walked away feeling like they sat on the fence a little with the review.

    • John says:

      I can’t say I was very impressed with the magazine review either.

      One of the reasons I started this blog is that I’ve struggled to find the information I wanted when researching a new purchase, so I felt I should give something back by putting some more information and photos out there.

      (This was particularly appropriate with my SIP 01552 planer thicknesser, which only seemed to have 2 manufacturers photos and a 1 page review as part of a group test in The Woodworker magazine to show for itself!)

      As mentioned, the W730 blade guides aren’t great and I suspect the frame of the machine won’t be as rigid as some more expensive machines, but it’s currently an unbeatable spec and price combination and I hope Charnwood do well out of it.

      I reason that I can probably replace the blade guides and can certainly replace any of the cheap plastic knobs and bristol levers if they fail. I don’t expect to reach the limitations of the machine other than that, but if I do then I will have a good reason to spend 2-4 times as much on a replacement! 🙂

      I’ll hopefully get some time over the weekend to test a theory I have about how to fix the wobbling mitre guide and will post part 3 when I’ve done this.

      If you have any questions I’ve not covered in my various posts on the W730 then please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.

      John

  5. Pingback: Bandsaw delivery | Aggravated Wood Butchery

  6. Pingback: Poll – Bandsaw choices | Aggravated Wood Butchery

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