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Bandsaw problems

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  • Bandsaw problems

    Hi Guys,

    I'm kinda new at this so please excuse my stupidity.

    I have a Ridgid 14" bandsaw. I build longrifles and need it to cut out stock profiles in cherry, maple and walnut.

    At this time, I am totally scared to begin the process of cutting up a$300 piece of wood, because of the inconsistency of my saw.

    Here is my problem.... I have tensioned, adjusted and done everything according to the book on the rollers and blade guides, but I just can't make this thing follow a line. As I push the work into the blade, it gradually pushes off to my right and at an angle so that it's almost impossible to control. I find that I'm eventually pushing the stock into the blade at a 15 to 30deg angle just to get it to follow the line. Also, the bottom of the blade seems to deflect to the left as I proceed and my cuts will no longer be square with the sides of the wood.

    I need good square cuts to maintain the squareness of the stock contours.

    Any help out there????

    In His grip,


  • #2
    Hello, Dane!

    With any bandsaw, you'll find the blade will track off the line if you try to keep it parallel. It's called "blade drift". What most do is to account for that by not sawing right on the line. keep out about 1/8" at least. Then use a template and a trim bit on a router to clean it up. If you notice the blade is warping in the cut, you might want to try a thicker/wider blade. The tradeoff to that is you can't cut deep curves.

    Welcome to the forums. I hope you can post some pics of the rifles! I've been considering getting into that myself. I love the look and feel of the old longrifles. They're really works of art.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


    • #3

      Right now I'm using a 3/8" blade. There are some definite curves I'm going to have to go to a smaller blade yet to get to.
      So, would you suggest a 1/2" for the straight lines, then go to a 1/4 or 3/16 to just cut out the curves??

      If I can figure out how to attach an image, I'll send a photo with this.

      This is a Lehigh Valley that I finished a few months back.

      In His grip,


      • #4
        That's beautiful, Dane!!! Really nice work on the stock. The finish is beautiful. I love the carving you did. It's subtle, and looks like it should be there.

        That's gotta be a lot of work. Congratulations!

        I know with my Ridgid bandsaw, cutting maple will leave me with a very rough and uneven cut. It's just a doggone hard wood! I think any bandsaw is going to warp and drift on it. I'd just let it do it's thing, guiding the cut outside the line but enough to get the rough shape.

        Where I've gone to get some of my more figured woods, they sell the longrifle kits. I've watched them cut their stocks out on their industrial bandsaw. They always keep the bandsaw blade off the line. Then they'll take the roughcut piece to the router with a template. From there they'll start working on smoothing the edges and getting the stock to the final shape. A bandsaw of any description just can't achieve a straight, even cut on that much wood!

        It's important to note that the amount of drift will be directly related to the amount of pressure you exert pushing the wood through the blade. At least, that's what I've noticed.
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.