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Author Topic: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion  (Read 3455 times)

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Offline Crossroads

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Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« on: May 16, 2017, 01:26:45 am »
I have a 1984 lt30 that has a spring to tension the blade and I can't help but to think that has something to do with some of the dips and waves that happen on occasion. Has anyone converted the old spring tensioner over to the new hydraulic style?

Offline Ben Cut-wright

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 11:51:35 pm »
"dips and waves" can happen for numerous reasons.  Happily, checking band tension is one of the easiest factors to eliminate.  Converting to hydraulic adjustment has its benefits but I like the spring.  First, have you replaced the spring?  Next have you measured the stretch of the band to determine its proper tension?  After getting a baseline it is simple to add or subtract tension from measured stretch.  Adjusting tension may or may not alleviate the waves and dips, but getting proper baseline tension goes a long way toward eliminating one cause.  All that said, IMO, if you cannot overcome the wave and dip by properly adjusting the spring, chances are the hydraulic won't fix it either.   

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 10:07:06 am »
The wm hydraulic tensioner is a real neat piece of design work. Simple and elegant. The real plus is it has a gauge that shows the actual tension, and it will vary as the blade heats up. With a spring, you are just guessing at best..Building your own would be simple enough. Arnold113 came up with a homemade design using the cylinder and pump off a cheap floor jack. My mill has the hydraulic tensioner, if it didn't, I would be building one post haste..
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Offline Ben Cut-wright

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 11:20:15 am »
Happy Birthday, Sir!

Did you mean to state that the "hydraulic gauge shows the actual band tension"? 

If stretch-measurement of a particular band is correlated with either hydraulic gauge reading or spring measurement, one may use those indicators to set tension of this particular band. Please set me right if I am incorrect.     

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 12:19:01 pm »
This is what i use...

 

 
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 07:52:58 pm »
I've not done any band stretch measurements or replaced the spring. I have made sure that everything has been squared up as stated in the manual. I thought I had it pretty well under control, but did a job last week cutting some fir that was pretty dry. I ran 4* blades and it seemed like 8-10' into the cut it would dip or dive following the grain or going around knots. I'm pressure washing the logs so,they are clean and change blades regularly. I'm running straight water on the blade, but the dripper gets plugged with sawdust quite often. Could it be that my blades are getting hot and either changing the tension or flexing and changing the set on the teeth?

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 11:26:10 pm »
The wm tension  gauge is actually a 0-3000 psi pressure gauge with the recommended pressures high-lighted. Yellow arc for 035 blades, orange for 042, white for 045, The hydraulic cylinder has a bore of 1 inch, makes it easy to calculate the actual blade tension if you so desire..The real advantage is you can see the pressure drop off when the blade heats up and expands. Sunshine on the head frame will cause the frame to expand enough to cause the pressure, thus the blade tension, to rise.
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 12:27:11 am »
I looked in Arnold113 gallery and saw one picture of his tensioner, I need to look to see if there are any more pictures that show more of it. By the way pineywood my hydraulics are working great! The clamp and back stops being powered have sped things up a lot. The 6.5 hp gas engine runs the pump very well.

Offline york

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 11:32:51 am »
Albert

Offline D6c

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2017, 07:07:51 pm »
I have an '87 LT40 that I'm doing a number of mods to, and the hydraulic tensioner is one of the things I'm considering.  I did talk to WM a little about it and they seemed to think it could be done fairly easily.
Would be very interested to see how it goes if you decide to do it.

Offline Ben Cut-wright

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 12:04:21 pm »
I've not done any band stretch measurements or replaced the spring. I have made sure that everything has been squared up as stated in the manual. I thought I had it pretty well under control, but did a job last week cutting some fir that was pretty dry. I ran 4* blades and it seemed like 8-10' into the cut it would dip or dive following the grain or going around knots. I'm pressure washing the logs so,they are clean and change blades regularly. I'm running straight water on the blade, but the dripper gets plugged with sawdust quite often. Could it be that my blades are getting hot and either changing the tension or flexing and changing the set on the teeth?

Thinking it would be wise to find the cause of your complaint before buying parts that may or may not correct the problem.  Not trying to discourage you buying any component you desire.  The springs do become fatigued, a new one is cheap.  Even with a new spring or a hydraulically tensioned upgrade, the band should be measured for more exact tension. 

If you suspect the band is getting hot, stop and examine it at the moment when the cut becomes unstable.  If the band is hot, if your adjustment indicates tension is less, if the band has become coated, if your "dripper" is plugged,  then you have facts you can work with.     

Offline Crossroads

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2017, 01:45:35 am »
I've not done any band stretch measurements or replaced the spring. I have made sure that everything has been squared up as stated in the manual. I thought I had it pretty well under control, but did a job last week cutting some fir that was pretty dry. I ran 4* blades and it seemed like 8-10' into the cut it would dip or dive following the grain or going around knots. I'm pressure washing the logs so,they are clean and change blades regularly. I'm running straight water on the blade, but the dripper gets plugged with sawdust quite often. Could it be that my blades are getting hot and either changing the tension or flexing and changing the set on the teeth?

Thinking it would be wise to find the cause of your complaint before buying parts that may or may not correct the problem.  Not trying to discourage you buying any component you desire.  The springs do become fatigued, a new one is cheap.  Even with a new spring or a hydraulically tensioned upgrade, the band should be measured for more exact tension. 

If you suspect the band is getting hot, stop and examine it at the moment when the cut becomes unstable.  If the band is hot, if your adjustment indicates tension is less, if the band has become coated, if your "dripper" is plugged,  then you have facts you can work with.   

I totally agree, I guess that's why I've asked the questions so, I can learn what I don't know. I'll definitely do some measuring next time I run it. I don't have one of the fancy clamp on dial indicators like what's pictured above, but I have a digital caliper that I can clamp on like I saw in arnold113 gallery. Also, I'm going to add a pump to my watering system so, I can keep a consistent amount of fluids on the blade. The blade tensioner indicator is pretty crude so, measuring will definitely be a  lot better. I guess the next question is, how much stretch do I want? Thank you

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2017, 10:54:24 am »
Unfortunately there will be no updates to the arnold113 tensioner. Arnold passed away suddenly a couple of months ago. From his pics and personal conversations, it looks like a fairly simple deal. A cheap hydraulic floor jack and a 3000 psi pressure gauge is all that.s needed.
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 07:55:38 pm »
Unfortunately there will be no updates to the arnold113 tensioner. Arnold passed away suddenly a couple of months ago. From his pics and personal conversations, it looks like a fairly simple deal. A cheap hydraulic floor jack and a 3000 psi pressure gauge is all that.s needed.

But how does someone know where to put the pressure gauge ?
Collector and builder of many things.
I have a
machine shop
Wood work shop
And a Weld shop
And now a saw mill
and a bunch of new forum friends.

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2017, 08:49:05 pm »
Unfortunately there will be no updates to the arnold113 tensioner. Arnold passed away suddenly a couple of months ago. From his pics and personal conversations, it looks like a fairly simple deal. A cheap hydraulic floor jack and a 3000 psi pressure gauge is all that.s needed.

But how does someone know where to put the pressure gauge ?
S W A G  ;D If you mess up, can always plug the hole and try someplace else  ::)
Actually anyplace that taps into the base of the cylinder should work...







1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
100k bd ft club

Offline Crossroads

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2017, 10:03:02 am »
While searching for the picture I saw where Arnold113 had passed, that's to bad, he seemed quite creative. I'm going to measure the stretch this afternoon, how much stretch should be my target? In the first picture of a gauge above, I see the markers are at .031" is that the right amount of stretch? Thank you

Offline Ben Cut-wright

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2017, 10:43:49 am »
While searching for the picture I saw where Arnold113 had passed, that's to bad, he seemed quite creative. I'm going to measure the stretch this afternoon, how much stretch should be my target? In the first picture of a gauge above, I see the markers are at .031" is that the right amount of stretch? Thank you

Looks like he lived in the River Valley, just over the hill from me.  Wish I had known. 

This link should help you measure applied tension.   

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,7923.0.html

Offline Magicman

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2017, 02:34:53 pm »
Arnold113 was a very talented man and also a very Special Friend.
 

 
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2017, 03:11:07 pm »
I'm
Sorry for your loss magicman

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Re: Wm spring blade tensioner conversion
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2017, 03:51:37 pm »
Thanks but it was actually a Forestry Forum loss because he readily shared his expertise. 
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