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Old 02-24-2014, 07:14 AM   #1
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Default Blade tension and repositioning

The owners manual, for the EX-16, states that the knob on the back of the top arm, is used mainly to raise the top blade mount, as much as 1 inch, for the purpose of using a new section of blade when the first section used is worn out. The manual goes on to say the knob can also be used to "Fine Tune" the blade tension.
I'm a little apprehensive about turning this knob so much (to use a new section of blade), for fear I will not be able to find the correct starting point again for a brand new blade. Also, since blades are a fixed 5" length, wouldn't raising the upper blade mount move the arms too far apart to hold the blade properly?
Any thoughts or suggestions on this?
in Odenton, MD
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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Ed, I am by no means an expert, but, I have discussed this before with Ray @ Seyco and with others who use the Excalibur. The knob on the back is primarily used to raise the top arm. It should be parallel with the bottom at most times. I believe it is 2 3/4" from back to front. The vibration over a period of time will cause the knob to move back a little, so, I check mine every day to make sure it is level. Yes, you can tweek the tightness of your blade with the knob, but, remember, when you change blades, your arm is not level, so you must go back again to your "starting position". Since blades are not that expensive, I do not try to get extra usage out of them. I do not want to ruin a piece I have worked on for several hours just to save a few pennies. One trick I have learned is press down a little on the top arm when installing a blade and the tension is better and also, I sand the ends of the blade just slightly to remove any oils or residue and this keeps the blade from slipping. I also take a cotton swab with mineral spirits and clean the set screws and thumb screws on my blade holders and rub very slightly with a piece of 220 grit paper.

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Old 02-24-2014, 12:02 PM   #3
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Amen to what Tony said. Use the back knob only to adjust the saw arm so it is parallel to the table. Once that is done if you do not have a mark on the back knob, make a mark that is dead center with the saw arm as you are looking down the arm so you can always tell if the knob has moved and so you can rapidly readjust it. Do not use the back knob for additional tension or to get any additional usage out of blades as the back knob will also adjust the front to back movement of the blade and possibly mess up your cuts, especially the fine fret cuts. I do something similar to Tony to clean my blades. When I open a 12 pack (blades) I soak the ends in denatured alcohol and wipe them dry and then prior to using each blade I lightly wipe with 220 grit sandpaper and if I sometime get slippage I will then work on the thumbscrew and set screw to clean any residue (oil or dust) off of them and buff the ends with 220 grit sandpaper. If you clean the blade ends, you will seldom have to mess with the thumb screw and set screw.

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blade position, ex-16, tension

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