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Recently purchased a craftsman tilt head 2 speed bandsaw and when I turn the top blade wheel by hand, the pulleys don’t move. However, when I turn the pulleys by hand, the blade wheels move. Could this be associated with the issue I’m having where the blade wheels turn intermittently when the bandsaw is powered on and when they do move won’t cut through a piece of wood? One the wood is placed against the blade, the place stops but the pulleys are still turning.

Update
It was the key as Caleb suggested. It was missing. I ordered a new one and gently (very gently) tapped it in with a hammer. I also replaced the set screw. Then I turned it on and was able to cut a piece of wood no problem.

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  • Have you used a band saw before (how technically experienced are you with machinery)? I am unfamiliar with this type of band saw, but it sounds like a tensioning issue in the drive assembly or the blade itself.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 22:49
  • Never had a bandsaw before and last time I used one was in wood shop 28 years ago haha. Commented Nov 6, 2022 at 2:00
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    @RonaldMillar If Caleb's answer solved your problem please accept the answer below by clicking on the checkmark. That's how it's done here.
    – gnicko
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 13:30

1 Answer 1

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Recently purchased a craftsman tilt head 2 speed bandsaw and when I turn the top blade wheel by hand, the pulleys don’t move.

You're missing one or both of the keys that lock the pulleys to their respective shafts, and/or the key that locks the wheel to its shaft. The set screws that are supposed to keep the keys in place may also be missing. There's really no other explanation. If the pulley can move while the shaft doesn't, the key is missing. If the wheel can move while the shaft doesn't, the key is missing.

Let me suggest that you take a look at the exploded parts diagrams on pages 44 and 48 of the user manual for your saw. You'll see on page 44 that the part numbered 45 is a 15/16" long, 3/16" square key that fits into a keyseat on the lower wheel shaft. On page 48, two parts numbered 33 and identical to the other key lock the pulleys to their respective shafts. These joints look like this:

keyed shaft

You can see that they key fits into both the keyseat (the recess on the shaft) and the keyway (the recess in the hole that fits onto the shaft) and prevents the part from rotating on the shaft.

Could this be associated with the issue I’m having where the blade wheels turn intermittently when the bandsaw is powered on and when they do move won’t cut through a piece of wood?

Yes. This is so closely associated with your saw not cutting that I strongly considered voting to close this question as a duplicate of your other question. The missing keys may not be the only problem with your saw, but they're surely the reason that the motor's power is not being transferred to the blade.

The fix is probably simple. These keys are fairly standard parts: you can probably find appropriately sized key stock at your local home center or hardware store, or buy from sources like McMaster-Carr. Don't forget to also get the set screws if those are missing so that you can prevent the problem from occurring again. Just cut pieces of the key stock to the length you need (again, 15/16") with a hacksaw, remove any burrs with a file, put the pulley or wheel in place with the keyseat and keyway aligned, insert the key into the square hole that they form, and tighten the set screw to hold the key in place.

However, if you've been running the saw without the missing keys, or if the previous owner did, the inside surfaces of the pulleys or wheel may have become worn, and that would complicate matters. You can probably buy a set of replacement pulleys without too much trouble, but if the wheel is worn, you might need to hire a machine shop to fix it.

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  • This is what I was thinking it had to be so I'm glad I wasn't missing something obvious.
    – Graphus
    Commented Nov 7, 2022 at 18:56
  • "Start by..." WHAT?????? Don't leave us hanging like that!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 18:52
  • @FreeMan Sorry about that! I have no idea what I was going to say there. I'm sure it would've been fascinating. ;-) Deleted.
    – Caleb
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 20:24
  • LOL. Oh well. I guess the world will never know.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 14:33

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