View Full Version : Wrestling a Grizzly

J. Dillon
04-17-2006, 04:15 PM

A bit of a struggle but I won. Got the beast pinned down but had to get up 10 stairs in a house where the "tree grows" A buddy gave me this 275 lb beast model # G1538 16" band saw. All I had to do is come get it thru the wilderness of Brooklyn NY. This past week end was the time. I devised a special custom made hand truck with 16"wheels I picked up at a flea market . The hand truck could be no more then 27" wide to fit in the stair way and up the steps . I did have to disassemble the base & motor from the saw
A double & single block tackle pulled it up the stairs ok and enabled me to get it up a ramp to the tail gate of my truck. Lashed down for heavy seas and Easter traffic in the Metro area we were home in CT. Lowered it off the truck and down a hill to get the beast in the basement. Now to assemble it and fire it up. Any thing to look for in a saw that hasn't been run in 12 years or so ? In fact it hardly was ever used ?


Johanna poses with the tamed beast.


Dave Fleming
04-17-2006, 04:24 PM
Was blade left in machine under tension? If so perhaps an aftermarket tension spring might be needed.

Drive belt/s OK?

Wheel rubber OK?

04-17-2006, 04:43 PM
thats several hundred pounds lighter than the last griz I got....and probably nowhere near as downright p.o.ed........

J. Dillon
04-17-2006, 05:10 PM
Dave , the belts are like new. Don't know about the blade tension. How can I tell. Still have to place the saw back up on the platform or stand (it has locking rollers) then reconnect the stop start switch on the frame. Will have to make new holes and tap em for the switch as the nuts on the original fell off some place. :( My buddy said he hardly ever used it and as the images show not a scratch any where.


Dave Fleming
04-17-2006, 11:38 PM
Blade Tension, if there was a blade in the bandsoar all this time and it was tensioned aka tight then the spring just might be a tad bit past it's prime and in need of replacement.
If there was NO blade in the machine, no worries till you fire it up and finesse the tuning.

04-18-2006, 12:06 AM
That's the same band saw I bought about 20 something years ago, when grizzly was still a cub. It has been in storage the last couple of years, till I finished myshop. I just had to clean the motor and it worked great. Then I busted the upper saw guide block. I had to call tech support, we were on the phone for quite a while narrowing the old beast down. They found the part and sent it to me, shipping was more than the part. After that was working the magnetic switch went out. This part was $50 plus shipping. The saw starts real smooth now.
The only problem is my wife gets pissed if I let our 9 year old use it. I tell her he knows what he is doing, and only uses it with permission. He likes making toy swords for his buddys and him to play with.

Lew Barrett
04-18-2006, 11:59 AM
There's a tension knob visible in the photo on the right side of the machine. As Dave says, no blade equals no possibility of tension. If there was a blade, the position of the spring, visible on the side of the machine, will tell if the blade has been likely to have been under tension all the while. Bandsaws are pretty simple. The quality definers are in execution, not too much to go wrong; the stuff Dave mentioned, maybe a bearing or two, check the guides (probably fine) that's about it. Enjoy. Free was good.... Check set-up and tuning tips here:


Also a pile of articles by WBF sage, Bob Smalser.

J. Dillon
04-18-2006, 06:46 PM
Well had a little time to look at this great gift horse , oh I mean Grizzly in the mouth between applying multiple coats of varnish on my boat but that 's another story.

Took off the wheel covers and discovered the blade was about to come of the upper wheel. Adjusted that OK. A look behind the cover that shields the drive belts and discovered the motor had only two of the 4 bolts still in place. Replaced that. A look at the guide blocks and the roller bearing revealed it all needs adjustment upper & lower, so I attended to that. I'm beginning to think this saw was never used , hardly a trace of any dust any where.

To save weight I separated the stand from the saw. This involved removing the switch on the side and in the process lost two nuts that held the switch in place To fasten the switch back on I plan to drill and tap for the two mounting bolts. Turning by hand is safe but eventually the juice will have to come back on.

Thanks for the tips

BTW Mattl their are stepped pulleys to drive the beast what is the best speed for general work or rather which combination of pulleys :confused: ?


Dave Fleming
04-19-2006, 11:19 PM
Us old geezers would set the guides using a cigarette paper as a spacer from guide to blade.

As far as proper blade speed why not contact Griz and see if you can get a copy of the manual for the machine or post a request over on OWWM.

J. Dillon
04-20-2006, 08:34 PM
I got the beast all adjusted and turned on the juice. She seems to run OK but I think the machine has several design flaws as least to these eyes.


In the image the table and the rip fence a straight edge on the table and against the fence hits the adjustment clamp which doesn't enable the work to hit the table flat smoothly. Could it be assembled wrong or a design flaw. I guess a little work with a hack saw and flat file could fix that.

Another problem is the upper guide that regulates the height or thickness of stock to be cut . When you raise it up or down it will not stay perfectly in column. When you tighten down on the knob locking in the height you have to be careful to position the works so that the blade guide blocks keep away from the blade.

Dave I didn't have and cigarette paper but used .003 feeler gauge

I think my buddy never used this saw as when making a few trial cuts grease was deposited on the work.

BUT all in all still a good deal. Ya can't beat the price.

Now what schooner to build ?:D


04-20-2006, 09:18 PM
Any schooner you want!!
While you're at it you can build the schooner I want too!!! :D

Dave Fleming
04-20-2006, 09:50 PM
Geeze, how many times I gotta say this.....

Cultivate your friendly neighborhood machine shop OR find an HSM in your neck of the woods.

Either way things like this can be finessed quite easily.

Of course Mr.S. will say words to the effect, why a round and flat Mill Bastard file will have that casting ridge smooth in no time at all.:D

He's right but, I like walking around the corner with a six pack of Heindoggers for the fellows and seeing what they can do with a Bridgeport and old Reid lathe.;)

04-21-2006, 04:11 AM
A good file will remove cast iron as if it were cheese.......gently ,gently ....try and fit.

Dave Fleming
04-21-2006, 11:35 AM
Peter, there is a big IF in your statement.

If the CI is a good grade and not full of hard spots (carbon).


One or two hard spots and good by file, or so says I.:eek:

Bob Cleek
04-21-2006, 01:02 PM
Check out the Grizzly web site. They have most all of their manuals on line in Adobe format. You can print yourself out a brand new one for free. It's a great source of information on just about any sort of tool Grizzly sells or sold. As Grizzly sells a lot of Asian equipment, their manuals are practically identical to Jet or Harbor Fright or whoever else also sells the same offshore made stuff.

I have an identical saw, with the "Alltrade" label on it. Depending on what came on your saw, you may want to install fancy aftermarket guide blocks and a ball bearing blade support on it. That makes all the difference in the world, tracking and performance wise. Also, an aftermarket quick release blade tensioner would be a good idea. It is a pain to loosen the tension knob all the time and then reset it. (Don't ever leave the blade under tension when not in use.)

J. Dillon
04-22-2006, 06:34 PM
Ten minutes and two 90o cuts with a hack saw took off that raised lip shown above.

Thanks Bob but I think I'll live with the saw the way it is now and decide later if I need the fancy schmancy stuff. I'm sure Noah got along with less and look what he built ;)

Dave Fleming
04-22-2006, 07:55 PM
Ah JD, what the Cleekster was referring to makes sense.
A good set of guides CARTER for example, a new tension spring, with a spring release will be of great benefit to your soar.

Got to remember your machine is one of the earlier Griz type imports and lacks many of the later refinements added to similar machines.

If your soar has simple CI guide blocks with a plain backing piece you will spend a good bit of time tweaking the setup.
Recall the cigarette paper comment? Well that worked fine on big stuff like Tannewitz, Oliver, Stetson-Ross, Clement etc. whose CI guide blocks were sizable ie: 1 inch square or larger.

But, we did almost no resawing with those machines because the lumber mill yard bought from had that equipment and therefore it was not needed in the yards.

Most we did was use the big Oliver or Greenlee tablesaw to rip a 4x 12 rough into rough 2x4's and then gang plane them in the ORTON planer.

Use the machine for a bit and see if what Cleekster and I have said does not make sense to ye.

J. Dillon
04-22-2006, 08:09 PM
Dave the sailing season is here.:D "Carrianne" is ready to go over, I gotta a kayaking trip to be off on tomorrow :) so the Griz is gonna have to sit the way it is for now in working condition . When I'm considering some serious cuts next winter I'll heed your and Bob's counsel. Thanks again.

PS I eased off all tension on the blade.:)


bob goeckel
05-01-2006, 01:34 PM
just picked up a 20" grizzly with 5 new blades ball bearing guides.quick release. 2yrs old for 500.00 at a yard sale from a pattern maker. this thing is a monster next to my 14" craftsman. i'm going to need some practice. geez. thanks bob for the tip on the grizzly web site i need a manual.

bob goeckel
05-01-2006, 02:35 PM
hmm, grizzly website appears to be down.

Mike Field
05-02-2006, 08:43 AM
Wrestling a grizzly....


A priest, a Pentecostal preacher, anda Rabbi all served as
chaplains to the students of the University of Montana in
Missoula. They would get together two or three times a week for
coffee and to talk shop.

One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't
really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a
bear. One thing led to another and they decided to do an
experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear,
preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later they're all together to discuss the experience.

Father Flannery, who has his arm in a sling, is on crutches, and
has various bandages, goes first. "Well," he says, "I went into
the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him I began to
read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear wanted nothing
to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed
my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy God, he became as gentle
a lamb. The bishop is coming out next week to give him first
communion and confirmation."

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, with an
arm and both legs in casts, and an IV drip. In his best fire
and brimstone oratory he claimed, "WELL brothers, you KNOW that
we don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I
began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD! But that bear
wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we
began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and
DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quick DUNKED him
and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became
as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising
The Lord."

They both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital
bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IV's and monitors
running in and out of him. He was in bad shape. The rabbi looks
up and says,

"Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start."