Resaw Bandsaw - Saw Your Own Tops and Backs
If you plan on resawing a lot of thick stock on your bandsaw, you need to have your setup perfect. Read about setup tips here.
Depending on the stock thickness, a bandsaw blade will shave out an incredible about of waste.
To get rid of this waste there has to be room between the teeth to store this waste until the tooth emerges from the stock.
For reasonable feed rate shoot for a blade with about 3 teeth per inch (tpi), which will easily handle the waste generated during the cut.
A blade that I have used for re-sawing for years now is the Wood Slicer blade. I find that it is the smoothest, quietest, smallest kerf blade available anywhere.
Is often thought that the wider a saw blade is, the tighter it can be tightened and the straighter it will cut.
The width of the blade is not the only factor that contributes to a straight cut though.
The thickness of the coil stock of most bandsaw blades in .035", which does not included the set of the teeth.
The Wood Slicer's total kerf, including the set is less than that.
It has been my experience that most 3/4" or wider blades cut quite a bit coarser as well and you need to do a lot more planing or sanding to smoothen the plates.
These wide blades put too much load on the smaller band saws (14" and less) and this is clearly not the directly you want to proceed.
You should only consider a 3/4" or wider blade if you have an 18" or larger bandsaw.
If your feed into the blade is less than flawless, it is much easier to keep your stock centered and reduce blade flutter with proper blade tension.
The proper tension setting is really very easy to do.
Back off the thrust bearings and lateral guides before you install the blade. These are located above and below the bandsaw table.
Let's get started in the blade tensioning process.
First of all be sure your saw in unplugged. Next install the blade and crank in some tension on the blade. About midway between the wheels, apply sideways pressure on the blade with your index finger.
You should be able to deflect the blade sideways a bit and then you will feel like you have "hit a wall". You will be able to deflect it slightly more with considerably more pressure, but you can definitely feel the point a which it deflects rather easily.
Keep cranking in tension on the blade until you achieve sideways deflection of between 1/4" and 5/16" on saws with a 6" deep cut, and 3/8" to 1/2" sideways deflection on saws with a 12" depth of cut. Wait until you are finished before you look at the saw's built-in tension gage.
Our goal here is to do this by "feeling it" rather than following an arbitrary number on the gauge. After you have achieved some expertise in tensioning a blade by "feel", go ahead and mark the setting on your saw tension gauge so you can use it as a point of reference to speed up the tensioning process.
Once the tension setting is complete, set the blade tracking knob so the teeth of the blade run consistently just off the tire of the wheel.
As important as blade tracking and proper tension are, there is another operation that we have to tackle to really get the saw in tip-top cutting shape.
However before we tackle this, let's check out the blade tracking.
Plug in the saw and close the wheel covers.
With the saw running up to full speed adjusting blade tracking as needed with the tracking knob.
Next, take a close look at the blade while it is running at full rpm's. Looking straight-on at the teeth, and if it appears a bit blurry, you should adjust the blade tension either up or down a bit until the blade is clear and in focus.
Also listen to the saw. Does is sound smooth and quiet? It should. Fluttering of the blade is the source of rough and uneven cutting of the blade and it will cause you undue frustration.
So shoot for a rock-solid blade setting while running at full rpm.
Finally we are ready to adjust the blade capturing devices, being the thrust bearing and the lateral guides.
First of all, does your saw have traditional steel blade guides, or do you have the far superior roller guides?
If your saw has the steel guides, you can increase the cutting accurate, blade tracking and life of your saw blades by installing a set of Cool Blocks on your saw.
These guides are graphite-impregnated phenolic resin. You can snug these guides right against the blade on either side and they will capture the blade very securely and give you a much more stable cutting blade.
Also, they will practically eliminate friction that is caused by steel to steel contact, so the blade will run much cooler and far quieter than the metal guides.
Cool Blocks will pay for themselves in a very short period of time in blade life and stock savings.