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Bandsaw - Ripping down

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Wilf.T02/04/2019 11:01:05
20 forum posts
2 photos
Am I expecting too much of a bandsaw?
I'll admit I'm new to using one but have used a Table Saw for years. As part of downsizing my 'Toyshop' (Workshop - but the wife says it where I go to play with 'big boys toys'!) I've bought a Bandsaw.
So whilst it will cut curves pretty good and I find it invaluable for cutting Tenons when I try to rip a length of timber I am unable to get a straight cut. The blade seems to wander or pull the timber away from the fence. I've spent hours fettling the machine up; fence is parallel with the blade (set using a ruler with the edge in the gullet of the blade), set the clearance on the blade guide rollers to a couple of paper thickness's either side (and check or reset after I move the blade guard).
I even tried a new blade kept especially for straight cuts. Taken the machine back to the factory to let them look at it. At the factory it cut straight over a 12inch piece of deal but once home it's still no better, wandering when trying to cut a 4 foot piece. It's both frustrating and wasteful.
I believe I have the blade tension correct ? a 'sharp' tone when the blade is plucked.
Have to admit I'm about at the point of buying a cheap Table Saw just to get over this problem.

Edited By Wilf.T on 02/04/2019 11:01:20

Edited By Wilf.T on 02/04/2019 11:06:31

Edited By Wilf.T on 02/04/2019 11:07:01

Derek Lane02/04/2019 14:55:44
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Moderator
3204 forum posts
990 photos

Check the blade tracking this will effect the way the blade cuts. You will need to readjust the roller guides at the same time as they may not sit where they should once the tracking is moved

Ron Davis02/04/2019 19:41:46
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1607 forum posts
201 photos

The upper set of guides should be as near to the wood ass possible, there is normally a knob on the side which lifts and lowers it.

All bandsaws wander a bit, use your push sticks ,(two of them!) one to push and one to hold the wood to the fence, the second one goe behind the blade.

Ron

derek willis 106/04/2019 10:10:58
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99 forum posts
12 photos

Keep a separate blade for ripping, when a blade has been used for shapes etc.

it will not follow a straight line very easily, this is what I have always done, 3teeth

to the inch, as wide as you can use, and start off with a new blade, you shouldn't

go far wrong, I have ripped dozens of metres of old Oak (which is what I used

mostly,) like this.

derek willis 106/04/2019 10:11:30
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99 forum posts
12 photos

Keep a separate blade for ripping, when a blade has been used for shapes etc.

it will not follow a straight line very easily, this is what I have always done, 3teeth

to the inch, as wide as you can use, and start off with a new blade, you shouldn't

go far wrong, I have ripped dozens of metres of old Oak (which is what I used

mostly,) like this.

Paul Bodiam09/04/2019 17:05:57
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100 forum posts
45 photos

Hi Wilf

Ripping on a bandsaw is an inexact science, and wandering blades is a problem. As others have said, keep a wide blade just for ripping.

I used to have a Dewalt DW100 3-wheel bandsaw which would never rip reliably without wandering around. Eventually I traced the problem to the main casting on the frame which holds the slide to raise and lower the top blade-guide. It had a small amount of casting flash left over from manufacturing, so the top guide was always twisting the blade very slightly. After a bit of fettling the blade was reliably parallel to the fence and things improved a bit, but I didn't really get reliable rip-sawing until I traded the DW100 up to a big Axminster BS350 bandsaw - and even then I still have to take it gently and keep a "ripping-only' blade.

I am a guitar maker and often have to rip very expensive pieces of wood down to around 4mm thickness. Any blade wander is likey to result in onother piece of expensive fire-wood.

Cedric Wheeler10/04/2019 13:18:16
148 forum posts
28 photos

Hello Wilf

Here are a few extra ideas that might help with your problem.

Firstly buy a good quality blade as cheap blades are often a problem. There are quite a few blade manufacturers just google it and they will come up. I use a 3 tpi skip tooth 1/2in blade. Any thing less than 1/2in wide will always track.

Try increasing your blade tension a little at a time as that can make a big difference. Also make sure that you do not force feed the wood into the blade, let it cut at its own speed. It will invariably run off if you push it too hard.

Make sure that the rear blade support is set so that immediately you start to cut it engages with the back of the blade & that your side guides are set just behind the teeth to give maximum support.

If all this fails you can do away with the parallel guides and make up a hardwood wooden vertical fence about 20mm wide. radius this slightly, an then position it at right angles to the blade and slightly forward of the cutting edge so that it guides the wood into the blade. You can then control the cut by moving the wood slightly left or right to counteract any tendency to track off when cutting.

Hope that this helps.

Cedric

Wilf.T28/04/2019 15:21:33
20 forum posts
2 photos
Thanks Chaps. Whilst I knew and employed many of the useful comments you have all made I guess I was/am expecting just a bit too much.
I had made the decision to use blades from ?TuffSaws' not long after I bought the machine and do keep both 3/4 variable TPI blade for thick stuff and 6TPI for thinner stock solely for making straight cuts (ripping down). When I adjust the upper guides for the timber thickness I make sure they aren?t flexing the blade in any way - even adjusting the individual rollers if/as necessary.

Again Thanks for confirming I was and am doing all the right things.
Ron Davis28/04/2019 17:27:41
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1607 forum posts
201 photos

I use Tuffsaws and they wirk well for me. As for the uperguides, I have a Metabo 317 Precision, a clone of many other saws. and i checked the upper guides by putting a spirit level against the main frame and the casing on the opposite side. They were not true to each othe with the guides moving 2 to 3mm to the side as it was lowered.

There seems no answer to this except to readjust the guides whenever you move them up or down.

The best way to rip with a band saw is to hold the wood firmly on the fence by pushing with a pushstick in one hand and hold the wood to the fence with the other, behind the cutting edge. and gos slowly.

N matter what you will need to plane to get it trule straight

Ron

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