Tuning the Charnwood W730 – Part 3

After some tweaks last month I’ve been quite happy with how the W730 performs, but one thing that still annoys me is how loose the mitre gauge is in the T-slots.

Mitre slot wobble - left

Mitre slot wobble – left

Mitre slot wobble - right

Mitre slot wobble – right

There’s probably less than 1mm gap between the thinner section of the T shaped bar and the slot, but this translates into a degree or two of play.

I did a bit of googling and came upon a few potential solutions including a few layers of sticky tape or some slick tape, so I ordered some slick tape from Axminster a few days ago.

This evening I finally found some time to have a play and I quickly came to the conclusion that sticking the slick tape to the bar wouldn’t work and the 1mm thick tape is obviously too thick to use in the 0.5mm gap between the narrow section of the bar and T slot.

Testing the slick tape

There’s too little surface area on the wider section of the bar to get a good fixing and the tape doesn’t stick well to the metal bar in any case.

Packing both sides of the wider section of the T-slot with 1mm slick tape looked like it would work so I cut a couple of slivers to test this:

Testing the slick tape

It seemed to work pretty well so I had a think and came up with a way of cutting the 19mm wide slick tape into 5mm wide strips that could line the T-slot:

Cutting slick tape

The clamps, together with hand pressure in the middle of the steel worked well at keeping the slick tape in place and I was able to cut a couple of strips with minimal fuss and only one missing thumb tip!

Cut strip of slick tape

I cut the strips a couple of cm longer than necessary to give me something to hold at each end as I manoeuvred it into the slot.

The slick tape came in quite a tight roll and kept springing back into place, so I reversed the roll for a bit before cutting which seemed to take most of the spring out of it.

One of the links I read suggested using a hair dryer or heat gun could help with a stubborn spring, but this didn’t seem to warrant the extra effort.

I used the mitre gauge and a small wooden offcut to hold the slick tape against the sides of the slot.

Slick tape fitted

With slick tape on both sides of the slot the fit went from being much too sloppy to a little too tight.

I noticed when I held it against my straight edge that the bar of the mitre gauge was slightly bent, so I straightened it in my vice and then used some 240 grit emery paper wrapped round a wooden block to smooth it.

It’s a lot smoother now – still not perfect, but I’m wary of taking any more off in case I end up with it loose again.

I’ve trimmed the excess off each end of the slick tape at a 45 degree to hopefully make it a bit easier to get the bar into the slot.

I’ll give the other slot the same treatment if this tape lasts a few weeks and if it doesn’t then I’ll probably replace the metal bar on the mitre gauge with a wooden one that’s a better fit.

Update 13/04/2013: Added some photos of the magnets in place holding the spanner and allen key used to adjust the bandsaw.

Magnets Allen key Allen key and spanner

The spanner is held up by one of the new magnets. I already had a smaller magnet which will do the trick fine for the allen key.

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4 Responses to Tuning the Charnwood W730 – Part 3

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

  2. woodulove says:

    You’re just too fast for me John πŸ˜€ But all this info is great oh and don’t worry about professional thing for the first two years this band saw is most likely going to be for some selective ripping and I’m also to design and make a chair next year for college which I am hoping to do a lot of at home as only working at college is pure hell, the starting and stopping I just cannot get used to it, the kids think it’s hard work, I tell them wait till you get out there, then you’ll be crying to get back here.

    P.S. I don’t seem to be able to locate where you have talked about the magnets before, but I like how that works.

    • John says:

      Hi Kristian,

      I mentioned the magnets in passing in the following post on yet more purchases from Axminster & Rutlands, so I’ve thrown you a bit of a temporal loop, sorry! πŸ™‚

      Much as I sometimes wish my desk job produced something a bit more tangible I know I’d never cut it in professional woodworking – for one thing I have no great artistic desire to create and for another I’m sure I’d struggle to complete jobs in a decent timescale.

      I don’t recall where I got the magnet idea from but I think it was originally a trick for not losing the key for a pillar drill chuck.


  3. Pingback: Recent purchases | Aggravated Wood Butchery

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