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Bandsaw Operator Problem

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  • Bandsaw Operator Problem

    I'll admit it's the operator......because I'm tired of turning good oak into scrap oak. There, my ego is out of the way....I got a 14" woodtek bandsaw for Christmas. I have been trying to resaw 3" x 6" X 96" oak rough cut timbers into 1" x 6" x 36" stock. I have been trying to adjust for drift and resetting all the ball bearing guides, 5 times now. But the oak is still pulling away from the fence after I have made my cut and then it looks like a wedge, when I am done. Now I can't even get my blade to start a cut straight it tries to dip towards the fence on an angle and won't even cut with steady pressure. Got a tip I'm open to it?
    Measure twice...Cut once..I always forget that one!

  • #2
    First, I hope someone with experience with a 14-inch bandsaw jumps in here and gives you some of their experienced advice. I've only got a small 9-inch Ryobi, so "experience" is limiited to say the least. However, let's give it a shot from a textbook point of view.

    First off, how's your blade tension and the guide setup? Blade tension must be as tight as possible, to the point where there is little side to side flex. Some indication of proper tightness is that the blade should "ring" or "tone" when strummed. (you'll usually have to do that on the inside of the cabinet where the guides don't hinder the tone...MAKE SURE YOU ARE UNPLUGGED!)

    The guides should also be adjusted properly... midway on the sides of the blade, between the back of the gullet and the blade's rear edge. They should almost touch the sides, with clearance only about the thickness of a dollar bill. Finally, the thrust bearing should sit very close behind the blade. Not so close that it touches (it shouldn't spin when the saw is running free), but close enough so that the any pressure of the wood being fed into the blade the thrust bearing will stop the blade from pushing backwards.

    Also important is that you keep the guide assembly adjusted so it give maximum support while cutting. The top guide should be no more than an 1/8 inch or so above the wood as it does the cut. Certainly if you are resawing from a log or rough timber, you will need it higher to clear whateve variations may exist.

    Second, and perhaps most important, is the blade itself. OEM blades are notorious for their poor quality. Change to a Timberwolf blade and you will see a major improvement. Also note that for resawing, you need to use as wide a blade as your saw will take. The wider blades do a much better job and will not flex as much as a thinner blade.

    When installing a new blade, you should deburr the back edge. This is done with the saw running, so be extremely careful. To deburr the back of the blade use a small sharpening stone to round over the back edge. It doesn't take but a minute or two and this will make the blade easier in curves and will also ensure that there is minimal drag of the back edge as it moves through the kerf.

    One of the things that often confuse new users of the bandsaw is the misconception that the saw should cut parallel to the fence. This really isn't true as blades have a tendency to be faster cutting on one side than the other... especially cheap blades or worn blades. To find the path or angle of a particular blade, one would take a piece of scrap stock with one good edge. Draw a line parallel to it, about a half inch or so and then, with the fence removed, feed the stock into the blade, following the line by guiding teh stock free hand. After a foot or so, take a look at the angle of the stock in relation to the table edge. That's the cutting path or angle at which that particular blade is cutting. It will most likely be a couple of degrees or more from being parallel to the table or fence.

    Often for resaw work, you'll find many books suggest a single point or edge guide be used. This is basically a jig of sorts that consists of a vertical shoe or piece that has a single pointed or rounded edge that is vertically parallel with the blade. You adust it to the desired distance from the blade for the width of stock you are seeking. You then feed the stock using that single point as a guide, moving the stock at whatever angle the blade's cutting ability dictates.

    I hope this helps,



    • #3
      A friend of mine was going to get rid of his Delta for the same reason. I convinced him to try a timberwolf blade and with out changing any other adjustments I could resaw 6" maple thin enough to see through.


      • #4
        I have an old 14 inch band saw. As said before check the guides...mark sure the upper arm guide is not bent and sits square to the table and holder. I have used in the past two guides to both sides of the blade with a thick blade...this helps. Also when cutting the wood...try to find the cleanest will warp when cutting, putting pressure on the blade.
        "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
        ~Benjamin Franklin


        • #5
          Here's an article that gives some illustrated tips. CWSmith covered most of it. I also agree with Wayne: A new, high quality blade makes a world of difference.


          • #6
            I echo completely with what's been said so far. Having just taken possesion of a new BS14002, I recommend getting rid of the standard v-belt and replacing it with a link belt. I took 6 links out of a 4 footer and now she purrs. The other caused vibration akin to a washing machine waaay out of balance.
            Good luck!


            • #7
              I agree with Roy

              Going to get a replacement belt tomorrow for the BS14002. Right outa the box it shakes like crazy -- even backing off the tension to almost loose. The belt has been essentially bent in shipping. That wobble transfers to shaking the whole thing.


              • #8
                Loosening a v-belt too loose will only make the vibration worse. I do agree that once a v-belt has taken a "set" the only option is to replace it. Link belt is the best choice.
                "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


                • #9
                  I will try the Timberwolf blade. I have heard that on several occasions. I have been using 3 tpi 3/4" blades as tight as the tensioner will get them. I've been known to be tone deaf so strumming a blade doesn't do me much good but I'll give it a shot.
                  CWSmith, thanks for the thorough breakdown. I tore the whole thing down in frustration last night and reset all the upper and lower guides, cleaned the tires, tightened the motor to v-belt adjustment, releveled the table and recentered the blade on the tires. I adjsuted the guides to within a business cards width and ran the saw. It runs on the rear thrust bearing at one spot on the blade about where the weld is so I think a quality blade will solve this.
                  I'll let you know when I get a chance to try some more resawing on Monday.
                  Measure twice...Cut once..I always forget that one!


                  • #10
                    Lorax: What do you mean taking a 'Set"
                    Measure twice...Cut once..I always forget that one!


                    • #11
                      That is when a v-belt is permanently deformed and won't run smoothly.
                      "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


                      • #12
                        Along with the other fine suggestions, I have read, heard and experienced, that a 14" BS can not adequately tension a 3/4" blade. Suffolk confirmed this when I called to order a couple of blades.
                        If you tell Suffolk want you want to do and which BS you have, they will tell you which blades to order.

                        Also, get a new tension spring from Iturra Design:

                        Iturra Design
                        4636 Fulton RD
                        Jacksonville, FL 32225-1332
                        1.888.722.7078 voice
                        1.904.642.2802 fax

                        and get one of Louis's catalogs What he calls a catalog is a wealth of BS information. They are great folks to deal with.
                        Poplar Branch Wood Crafts


                        • #13
                          Return and Report!!!

                          I can't say enough good about the performance of the TimberWolf Blade. I called Suffolk Machinery and had them give a recomendation on the type of blade I needed. They sent me a 3/4" 3tpi PC blade for my 14" bandsaw. It was a night and day experience. The vibration was drastically reduced (Although, anyone looking at a bandsaw should seriously consider a cabinet base for reduced vibration). DRIFT what's that??? The drift angle test showed 0.000 drift. Last night I made another attempt at resawing the 3" X 6" X 36" Timbers. It was awesome. The cuts were remarkably improved. A little help in the planer and any warp was removed. (I don't have a joiner...yet, So I used a peice of 1/2" ply wood as a base and shimmed under the high spots with index cards to get the oak piece to plane flat, simple but it was effective.)

                          My Recomendation for any bandsaw user, by a high quality blade, set the tension properly, spend some time setting the guides, (with the table removed), Resaw till you run out of wood......
                          Measure twice...Cut once..I always forget that one!


                          • #14
                            new timberwolf blade

                            Just received a new Timberwolf, 3/4"-3tpi AS-S band. Am putting it on for a "real" re-saw of some 6" walnut. At the same time, I moved the motor to the back (away from the body of the saw) of the slotted mounting holes so I can get the bottom door open without banging into the motor housing. This allows unfettered access to removing the blade guard, BTW. One more link in the link belt and re-set of the pully makes that alright. Now to follow Suffolk's instructions for proper tensioning and we'll see how it goes!
                            More later,


                            • #15
                              Get a new T.W. blade!

                              Holy crow! Like this is the way it should be. Still not happy with the fine tune, but I can work on that when I get new tires and new wheels (still under warranty). No wander, cuts straight and true with a Kreg fence. And QUIET to boot. McCoy54 said it all.