Hobart 6614 Meat Saw Blade Not Tracking

Hobart 6614 Bandsaw for Meat Cutting

When I installed the bandsaw and hooked up the three-phase power I ran it just long enough to demonstrate that it worked. But that wasn’t long enough to discover what we found out this week when we went to do our dry run in our new butcher shop.

Blade Biting

After we did the wash down and sanitization we did a much longer run run of the bandsaw and discovered that the blade is not tracking properly. Instead it is slipping forward on the pulley and biting into the metal with it’s teeth. That’s not good for the blade and not good for the pulley. In fact it was spitting micro fine particles of steel all over the nice stainless steel of the saw, the walls, the floor, me, etc…

I check the manual but it has nothing about this problem or how to align the blade. I tried YouTube videos and Googled intensely. I called the sales guy and he didn’t know although he had a few things to try. Unfortunately none of those worked and the tech he talked with didn’t have any ideas.

Disassembling the saw such that nothing was touching the blade except the pulleys proved that the problem had to be either the blade itself or the pulleys. My bet was the alignment of the top pulley was off but given that this is a brand new machine I hesitated to start hacking it without talking with with someone who might know for sure. $7,000 is $7,000 and I decided I could wait a little before taking it apart further.

After a little calling, phone tag and messaging I finally reached that right person, David at Hobart, and he said that while he had never seen this happen he thought the three alignment bolts on top of the shaft for the upper pulley might need adjusting. He said they take only a tiny movement, perhaps a quarter to a half turn. Unfortunately these bolts are not labeled in the manual and he couldn’t describe where they were – it was one of those very rare things that just doesn’t come up much.

So, I’m going to tell you this secret information just incase your meat saw ever goes out of alignment and starts eating bandsaw blades! Hush-hush, top secret – tell everyone! :)

Alignment Bolts for Upper Pulley Shaft

When I got off the phone with David at the cottage I hiked on down the mountain to the butcher shop. After some poking around I figured out which three bolts and reasoned out, correctly the first time(!) which two of the three to adjust. The odds were in my favor.

David’s suggestion was to use a 4′ level to bring the two pulley’s in line but the housing of the pulley’s made that difficult so I just tried it by eye a quarter turn at a time and hand spinning the pulleys – with the power disconnected of course! This worked like a charm and after 3/4 of a turn on the left most bolt and half a turn on the middle bolt the blade was happily tracking in the middle of the pulley.

Yeah for David at Hobart!

So, if you ever have your Hobart go out of alignment and it starts spitting carbon steel at you now you’ll know how to fix the problem.

May your pulleys ever be in alignment…

Outdoors: 71°F/57°F Sunny, 1/2″ Rain
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: You may be given a cactus but you don’t have to sit on it. -Anon

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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20 Responses to Hobart 6614 Meat Saw Blade Not Tracking

  1. Farmerbob1 says:

    Interesting, Walter. I’m guessing that there were three bearings on the shaft, one for each bolt? Or two bearings and something at the shaft-end farthest from the blade? Did you have to adjust so they were all at the same torque after you got the alignment right to avoid wear on the shaft or bearings?

    • The shaft is actually stationary and the bearings are in the pulley itself. According to Brian, the sales person, this is a relatively recent change – he didn’t give a number of years but I got the impression in the last decade or so.

      • Farmerbob1 says:

        Interesting. I would have thought they would have kept the bearings as far away from food prep as possible, to avoid lubricant contamination in case there’s a bearing failure. I suppose someone might have designed a bearing that makes this less of a concern.

  2. Jeff says:

    Sounds typical for industrial equipment unfortunately. You really start to wonder how much quality control some of these companies have.

    I work at a municipal water treatment plant and I have more than a couple stories just like that. Very expensive equipment comes in, and after running for a few hours/days/weeks something isn’t right. Come to find out it’s been that way from the factory and it was mishandled or no one thought to check it’s operation.

  3. am in the pm says:

    Be thankful it didn’t happen during inspector’s visit !

  4. David B says:

    Great that you were able to fix it and not have to call someone out (who may have not known how to fix it either) I’ve always found that you have to luck out and get the right person on the phone, or keep asking for someone higher up/more technical. I’m betting you have David’s number recorded for any future hobart tweaks :)

  5. Farmerbob1 says:

    One more thing, Walter. If you want to track the alignment of the pulleys without having to wedge a 4-foot level into the blade pulley housing, you might just try a piece of fishing string and a heavy weight.

    You don’t need a bubble to check alignment of one pulley against the other. The only issue is whether the line will hang in the same plane as the pulleys. Fortunately, this will also tell you if the pulleys are aligned parallel to gravity, which I understand can be a mite bit tricky where you live (though gravity alignment is probably a minor concern, it allows for pulley alignment with a line.) Two alignment issues with one piece of fishing string!

  6. Cary Howe says:

    Metal and wood bandsaws need constant adjustment. The fact they use different widths of blades and the sources are different, some people even weld up their own from long spools of blade, there’s no way for one setting to work so they have a wheel that adjusts the angle to keep it tracking right. Some cheap Asian made bandsaws can be impossible to keep the blades on, I had a few of those over the years to deal with. Usually the more expensive the saw the better they track. You got unlucky with a high end saw like that.

  7. Peter says:

    OK so woodshop for me was, oh, about 30+ years ago, but I read the title and the first thing I thought was “oh, maybe the things is out of line or the tensioner needs adjusting.” Guess some things really stick with you. :-)

    • Peter says:

      Actually, this sort of brings up an interesting question I’ve never thought about, which is how butchers generally prevent metal shaving contamination especially from the bandsaw — aside from the usual preventive maintenance of course! I’d think that the daily cleaning of the saw itself could introduce the possibility the saw gets justthattinybitoutofalignment…

  8. Rogers Chui says:

    Hi Walter,

    Thank You so much, I faced the same problems already few years, now I really know how can solve it!! I did call Hobart but seems nobody know what’s going wrong, eventhough their technician come to check it in my plant!!

  9. Hi I have a problem with the blade coming of the bottom wheel. I have adjusted the top wheel using the adjusting bolts so the blade is snug on the inside of the top wheel
    but the blade is still riding forward on the bottom wheel. What can I do now?

  10. rich says:

    I have a problem. on the upper wheel the blade is right in the middle but on the lower wheel the blade is offline and bitting on the front of the wheel. and suggestions ?

    • When I first got my Hobart bandsaw I had this problem but it was the upper wheel. Could be the same thing. The trick was to change the wheel angle. This is done with two screws on the back side (left as facing side of the blade like when cutting chops for most people). I ruined the first blade because of this problem. Perhaps during shipping it becomes unadjusted. Since then I have had no problem. And in five years I’ve only changed the blade once.

  11. Kevin says:

    Looking at refurbished Hobart 6614 for out small cut and wrap. Have you had any other issues with your saw? Any reasons you wouldn’t recommend it?

    • When I first got it I had to adjust it so the blade stayed on the wheel. At one point the power switch failed. Other than that all good. I like it. I do not do huge amounts of bone cutting and I use the knives to cut the meat.

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