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Author Topic: HM126 Drive Belt Tension  (Read 1322 times)

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Offline Johnkeller1979

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HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« on: November 17, 2019, 11:26:46 PM »
Hello, although Ive used this site many times for cross reference and has been a big help, this will be my first time asking a question.
Ive had this HM126 for about six months, it ran well when I first set it up and slowly it has acted up more and more over time. The problem being the blade popping off. I noticed that when I would re tension the drive belt, it would run better for awhile, but I would have to go back after a couple blades and re tension the drive belt again and again. I came to the apparent conclusion yesterday that the blade was riding on the metal drive bandwheel and figured it was the diesel I had been using as lube was deteriorating the belt. It probably has about 20 hours, so maybe the diesel had softened it enough in that amount of time, I guess. 
So I replaced the drive belt today, bearings too, just because I wanted to eliminate that as being a possible issue as well, replaced the follower belt.. \
Set the tracking, set the tension and fired it up. Upon fully engaging the throttle, it started to vibrate quite a bit. I shut it down and checked everything once again. I noticed that the drive belt was loose. So when the tension is off the blade, the drive belt is tensioned and tight, once I tension the blade, the drive belt  becomes loose (or looser) 
Is this normal? or am I over analyzing? Im honestly afraid the running the *DanG thing thinking Im going to damage something beyond repair. Yet Im trying to keep faith in this green machine. 

I also noticed the blade is tracking back and forth when I spin the wheel by hand. Three different blades, same back and forth action. 

Any help would be much appreciated! 
HM 126 Learning..

Offline adirondacker

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 06:52:36 AM »
Check your engine alignment with the band wheel AFTER you tension. You may have to realign engine. Also..... make sure engine mounts bolts are tighter than all get out.
Do not let saw blade ride on edges of band wheel. IF necessary go to a slightly deeper V-belt. Maybe...just maybe you have wrong size belt right from get go.
Also....run your roller blade guides about 1/16" from back of blade after fully tensioned. Once everything is perfectly aligned....that baby should just sing to you.
One other thing......I don't know how you tension your saw blade.....make sure your T-Handle ....or whatever, is not backing off tension as you saw. Vibrations from mill will cause that...I had same problem with my mill brand new. I designed my own anti-vibration lock.
Look for simple little glitches....that is 90% of troubles.
Good Luck!

Offline btulloh

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 08:29:33 AM »
The drive belt tension definitely shouldn't change when you tension the blade.  X2 on the deeper V belts.  One of these days I'm going to get my pulleys turned down so I have a little more belt exposed.

I haven't had the problem you're having and I've been running the HM126 for over three years, so something is up with your mill.  Probably something in the various adjustments.  These can be hard to track down, but if you go through everything it should be right when you're done.  I found the adjustment of the drive pulley to be a little fussy, but once it was done and running well it stayed that way.  My biggest issue is my belts wear out pretty quick.  I think that's from running cheap belts plus I get a lot of pitch/sawdust buildup on the belts.  I just haven't found the right formula for keeping them clean when sawing.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.  Keep us posted on your progress and questions.

Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 10:32:01 AM »
Thank you! 
I got off the phone with a very helpful guy from Woodland Mills, I think with a combination of everyone's input, Ive got a plan. Im going to double check the follower belt is completely seated. I also got some advise on how to straighten the motor while trying to put tension on the drive belt at the same time, seems the trick is to remove the belt then adjust the motor, then replace belt. 
I really feel good about learning a little bit more about this machine and look forward to helping someone with the same issues in the future. 
Thanks again, Ill let ya know if this solves the issue(s) 
HM 126 Learning..

Offline btulloh

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 10:38:12 AM »
We're all learning every day.  All part of the game.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about removing the belt before adjusting the motor.  I usually slack off the motor, install the drive belt, then tension.  I'm not sure how to do it otherwise.  Maybe I just misread your post.

Anyway, the support is usually real good from those guys, so it sounds like they gave you some useful advice.  Happy sawing.

Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 11:30:34 AM »
Hello, although Ive used this site many times for cross reference and has been a big help, this will be my first time asking a question.
Ive had this HM126 for about six months, it ran well when I first set it up and slowly it has acted up more and more over time. The problem being the blade popping off. I noticed that when I would re tension the drive belt, it would run better for awhile, but I would have to go back after a couple blades and re tension the drive belt again and again. I came to the apparent conclusion yesterday that the blade was riding on the metal drive bandwheel and figured it was the diesel I had been using as lube was deteriorating the belt. It probably has about 20 hours, so maybe the diesel had softened it enough in that amount of time, I guess.
So I replaced the drive belt today, bearings too, just because I wanted to eliminate that as being a possible issue as well, replaced the follower belt.. \
Set the tracking, set the tension and fired it up. Upon fully engaging the throttle, it started to vibrate quite a bit. I shut it down and checked everything once again. I noticed that the drive belt was loose. So when the tension is off the blade, the drive belt is tensioned and tight, once I tension the blade, the drive belt  becomes loose (or looser)
Is this normal? or am I over analyzing? Im honestly afraid the running the *DanG thing thinking Im going to damage something beyond repair. Yet Im trying to keep faith in this green machine.

I also noticed the blade is tracking back and forth when I spin the wheel by hand. Three different blades, same back and forth action.

Any help would be much appreciated!
Hey, welcome to the forum lots of good helpful folks here

I don't think the drive belt tension is a huge issue in my experience (so far) drive belt tension loosens up as the belt wears and stretches I only tighten it if its excessively loose like and 1" deviation or notice the blade slipping (this has only happened once)...but with WM they all seem to have their quirks..

Yeah worn belts will cause you lots of trouble.. I figured that one out the hard way...your belts should always sit proud of the bandwheel and thus so should the blade...this caused me many problems with tracking and wavy cuts...this may be why your blade was popping off...btulloh gave me some helpful advice to straighten this out few months back 8)

Just curious if your side to side adjustment on your drive side band wheel (the two horizontal bolts) are loose...you are suppose to loosen those when you set the tracking on your drive side then re-tighten when you're done.  the jamb nut could be tight but the bolt might not be contacting the stem that hold the bearing allowing the whole wheel to move....don't know just a thought...

Keep us updated...


Do today what others wont, so you can do tomorrow what others cant.

Kubota MX5200 / Norse 366 / Stihl MS361

Offline btulloh

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 12:00:01 PM »
Excellent point about the tracking on the drive side.  I found that to be my biggest learning curve when I got the machine.  The adjustment is a little fiddly and wasn't easy for me to comprehend at first.  Eventually I got it through my thick head and haven't had to touch it.

Offline goose63

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2019, 12:05:26 PM »
Welcome to the F.F. where are yoy from ?

There are a lot of us on here with the same mill you have maybe one of us a re close enough to you to help you out
goose
if you find your self in a deep hole stop digging
saw logs all day what do you get lots of lumber and a day older
thank you to all the vets

Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2019, 05:50:51 PM »
Btulloh - Hey there, I was having an issue when I would tension the belt using the horizontal tension bolt, once it would start to near the reccomended 1/4" tension, the motor would start to twist. 
Mitchstockdale - I am wondering about the drive side tracking as well, I wish I understood better how it worked. I first aligned the motor perfectly square. Then I used the horizontal bolt/nuts on the drive side to adjust side to side until the belt rode perfectly on the idler pulley (as I turned front and reverse) so I guess thats it?? haha. I put a blade on and there was a lot of back and forth movement while tracking by hand, then upon start up it was I could really see it going in and out, but it didnt fall off and I made 3 cuts. Then it started shaking more and more, 4th cut, fell off. So I thought maybe i didnt have the new follower belt seated properly, it did seem kinda wanky.. re seated it and put another blade on, seemed to not move back and forth as much. Made one cut, released the throttle and after in wound down, bam! if fell off again. At this point Im just finding it amusing. 
The blades I used today were all blades that have popped off before and didnt have a broken tooth on them so I sharpened them on the Woodland Mills sharpener, but I dont have a setting so they arent re set. Ive got a box of WM Double Hard blades on the way and Im curious to see if they will work better now that I believe I have everything set, tensioned, aligned, squared and new. 
goose63- Thank you, everyone has been really helpful! Its amazing how much there is to learn getting into this, inch by inch. Im from Western Nebraska, Scottsbluff. 
HM 126 Learning..

Offline btulloh

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2019, 06:14:57 PM »
Ill be curious to hear how those doublehards work for you. 

Ive been using Kasko 7 degree exclusively after the initial box of Lennox tens. Happy with the kasko but always wondering what might be better. Timberwolf blades have a good reputation too.  I was not in love with lennox blades. 

So you got it tracking right and the blades stopped popping off?

Well done. The learning and tweaking never ends, but thats one of the attractions. 

Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2019, 07:22:32 PM »
I'll let you know how the double hards work out, with what little experience I have to compare. I did notice the teeth were off quite a bit at the welds, not sure if that's just a normal thing. 
I did get a few passes, but it popped off twice. I'm hoping it's the blades, for they are old blades that I re sharpened. 
HM 126 Learning..

Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2019, 07:33:16 PM »
Adirondacker - I was thinking about your suggestion about checking the tension as am cutting, I havent tried that, but that might be part of whats happening, thanks for the suggestion! 
HM 126 Learning..

Offline btulloh

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2019, 07:48:15 PM »
Check your current blades for any bends or a mis alignment at the weld. If you dont see any problems they should track even if they dont saw well after all the popping off has fouled the teeth. 

Something you said about aligning the drive pulley didnt sound quite right. Check the manual for the procedure and follow carefully. Turning by hand will confirm correct tracking. Even a couple revs of the band will show a tracking problem.  It should center up and stay in one spot on both pulleys. Front overhang should be equal on both pulleys. About 3/8 in front. Be sure to have the guides backed off from the blade while youre adjusting the tracking (youre probably doing that, but i just want cover all the bases).

On the drive pulley, make sure the vertical tilt is correct!  The do the horizontal adjustment to be right with the idler.  Dont adjust it in relation to the clutch pulley. I believe this is all in the manual, although there have been some changes since my manual was printed. 

I wouldnt want to put a brand new doublehard on until the tracking was right. 

Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2019, 09:49:45 PM »
I may need to call woodland and get something on how to align the drive pulley. There is nothing in the manual and a sticker on the adjustment housing that reads "dont adjust, factory set" haha, but then I didn't listen of course. I might have possibly wanted to believe that a new blade would help.. but yeah, deep down I know Im not done with adjustments. And youre right, the current blades, even though they are old, are not misaligned at the weld and no kinks. I am backing off the guides, thats become second nature now from previous issues. 
Do you have any suggestions on how to adjust the vertical tilt? I think I have the horizontal tilt figured out, I suppose its the same for the vertical? But how to i gauge its accuracy? A level maybe? I dont feel measuring off the sheet metal is a good base? 
And thanks in advance! 
HM 126 Learning..

Offline btulloh

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2019, 10:25:02 PM »
I dont have my manual handy to see how they explain the procedure but the objejective Is for both the drive and idler pulleys to be exactly co-planer.  Then the horizontal tilt can be tweaked slightly to achieve proper tracking. If all things were ideal, tracking would be correct when the pulleys are in the same plane, but we dont live in a perfect world, so theres some adjustment required. 

The vertical tilt (in a horizontal band saw) needs to be the same on both pulleys. Drive and idle.  If not, it would not be possible to achieve decent tracking, plus the band would have a slight twist. So bad on several counts. 

It sounds like they set the vertical tilt at the factory and locked it down. So maybe its ok. Worth checking though, because traveling by motor freight can change almost anything. Put a band on and tension it. Use something like a digital angle gauge and a straight edge to compare the vertical tilt of the drive and idle pulleys. This is a little more difficult with the band in place, but easier if you use a straight edge that just fits the diameter of the pulley. A real straight edge, not just some stick. 

Hopefully they match and you can move on to normal tracking adjustments. If not the adjustment works the same (I think) as the horizontal adjustment. 

With all that correct, the clutch pulley should line up correctly. It can tolerate a slight misalignment, but the big pulleys cannot. 

I hope that helps. 


Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2019, 11:02:57 PM »
Thats really is helpful! Sounds like a good foundation type of setting that needs to be right to operate, otherwise I'm just tinkering with temporary fixes. I'm going to find a digital angle finder and check it out. Thanks again! 
HM 126 Learning..

Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2019, 10:55:52 AM »
from your initial post you mention the vibration started after you replaced the bearings in your band wheel?  Did you get that bearing seated properly if not that could be causing your wobble

Someone mentioned checking your tension after a cut..i second that thought...your tension springs could be bad..WM should easily send you new ones if youve only had the mill 6 months
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Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2019, 07:31:06 PM »
Hello, although Ive used this site many times for cross reference and has been a big help, this will be my first time asking a question.
Ive had this HM126 for about six months, it ran well when I first set it up and slowly it has acted up more and more over time. The problem being the blade popping off. I noticed that when I would re tension the drive belt, it would run better for awhile, but I would have to go back after a couple blades and re tension the drive belt again and again. I came to the apparent conclusion yesterday that the blade was riding on the metal drive bandwheel and figured it was the diesel I had been using as lube was deteriorating the belt. It probably has about 20 hours, so maybe the diesel had softened it enough in that amount of time, I guess.
So I replaced the drive belt today, bearings too, just because I wanted to eliminate that as being a possible issue as well, replaced the follower belt.. \
Set the tracking, set the tension and fired it up. Upon fully engaging the throttle, it started to vibrate quite a bit. I shut it down and checked everything once again. I noticed that the drive belt was loose. So when the tension is off the blade, the drive belt is tensioned and tight, once I tension the blade, the drive belt  becomes loose (or looser)
Is this normal? or am I over analyzing? Im honestly afraid the running the *DanG thing thinking Im going to damage something beyond repair. Yet Im trying to keep faith in this green machine.

I also noticed the blade is tracking back and forth when I spin the wheel by hand. Three different blades, same back and forth action.

Any help would be much appreciated!
Hey, welcome to the forum lots of good helpful folks here

I don't think the drive belt tension is a huge issue in my experience (so far) drive belt tension loosens up as the belt wears and stretches I only tighten it if its excessively loose like and 1" deviation or notice the blade slipping (this has only happened once)...but with WM they all seem to have their quirks..

Yeah worn belts will cause you lots of trouble.. I figured that one out the hard way...your belts should always sit proud of the bandwheel and thus so should the blade...this caused me many problems with tracking and wavy cuts...this may be why your blade was popping off...btulloh gave me some helpful advice to straighten this out few months back 8)

Just curious if your side to side adjustment on your drive side band wheel (the two horizontal bolts) are loose...you are suppose to loosen those when you set the tracking on your drive side then re-tighten when you're done.  the jamb nut could be tight but the bolt might not be contacting the stem that hold the bearing allowing the whole wheel to move....don't know just a thought...

Keep us updated...
Ahhh, just figured out how to comment on someones post haha. I did check the drive side, something tells me the issue is there. The bolts are tight, but its not in plane vertically with the follower bandwheel. I put a level on the drive pulley, pretty close to level. Put a level on the follower pulley, its about 3/8 of an inch off. Do you think this would be an issue? I talked to woodland mills and they said thats normal??
HM 126 Learning..

Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2019, 07:39:17 PM »
I dont have my manual handy to see how they explain the procedure but the objejective Is for both the drive and idler pulleys to be exactly co-planer.  Then the horizontal tilt can be tweaked slightly to achieve proper tracking. If all things were ideal, tracking would be correct when the pulleys are in the same plane, but we dont live in a perfect world, so theres some adjustment required.

The vertical tilt (in a horizontal band saw) needs to be the same on both pulleys. Drive and idle.  If not, it would not be possible to achieve decent tracking, plus the band would have a slight twist. So bad on several counts.

It sounds like they set the vertical tilt at the factory and locked it down. So maybe its ok. Worth checking though, because traveling by motor freight can change almost anything. Put a band on and tension it. Use something like a digital angle gauge and a straight edge to compare the vertical tilt of the drive and idle pulleys. This is a little more difficult with the band in place, but easier if you use a straight edge that just fits the diameter of the pulley. A real straight edge, not just some stick.

Hopefully they match and you can move on to normal tracking adjustments. If not the adjustment works the same (I think) as the horizontal adjustment.

With all that correct, the clutch pulley should line up correctly. It can tolerate a slight misalignment, but the big pulleys cannot.

I hope that helps.
Hi there, so I checked the vertical plane of each bandwheel. The drive sits level, or plumb. The follower bandwheel sits in on the bottom about 3/8 of an inch. I had asked the woodland mills tech about that today while I was on the phone and he said that was normal, when I would ask him how to adjust the drive side, he said to not touch the drive side adjustment. haha
He most likely believes its in the correct position and doesnt want me getting in deeper with issues, but that cant seem right that they are in two different planes vertically?? 
He also said its normal that they are not in plane horizontally. And they arent.. when i put a straight edge across the front faces of both bandwheels, they both tilt "inward" towards the motor.  
Any suggestions would be so appreciated! 
HM 126 Learning..

Offline Johnkeller1979

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Re: HM126 Drive Belt Tension
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2019, 07:43:32 PM »
from your initial post you mention the vibration started after you replaced the bearings in your band wheel?  Did you get that bearing seated properly if not that could be causing your wobble

Someone mentioned checking your tension after a cut..i second that thought...your tension springs could be bad..WM should easily send you new ones if youve only had the mill 6 months
Yes, noticed vibration after replacing the drive belt, follower belt and both bandwheel bearings. The vibration has gone down a lot, I think back to normal. But that came from re seating the follower belt, it was kinda sitting in there a little wanky. 
HM 126 Learning..


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