Bandsaw Blade Speeds and Pulley Ratios
Figuring out how to adapt a motor to an old bandsaw. December 9, 2010
I have an old band saw (Babbitt bearings) that I would like to get running. The saw is in great shape but it needs a motor. I have a 3450 rpm motor that I would like to use but I think that it will be too fast. I can't find the book that I know I have somewhere that has the formulas I need but from memory I calculated a blade speed of1805 fpm blade speed. I have a two inch pulley on the motor and a 12 inch pulley on the saw. The saw has 20 inch wheels. Does that number seem right? Also, what should the blade speed be?
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor J:
If I remember correctly, you want to be between 700-800 fpm. You'd be good with a 1725 motor I think. I had a 30" saw, 4" pulley on the motor, and 12" on the saw with a 1725 rpm 5 hp Baldor. It ran great.
From contributor A:
Bandsaws always use 1725 rpm. The 3450 rpm are way too fast.
From contributor R:
Depending on the size of the wheels bandsaw blade speeds can vary between 2000 SFPM to over 4500 SFPM. In the case of a 20" bandsaw I would shoot for something in the 3000-4000 SFPM range.
From the original questioner:
Thanks to all who answered. I have it running and found the formulas I was looking for. The speed seems about right but I think a slower motor with a bigger motor pulley might give the saw more torque.
From contributor R:
Your assessment of a slower motor with different pulleys would yield more torque is correct. You should have twice as much torque with a 1725 rpm motor than 3450 after you adjusted for the speed difference using pulleys.
If it were my saw I would look for a 2-3 hp 3 phase motor and power it with a VFD. It should be about the same cost as a single phase motor. It will give you better control over the speed of the blade.
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