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Thread: Ripping 8/4 red oak on the bandsaw: how fast do you feed?

  1. #1
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    Ripping 8/4 red oak on the bandsaw: how fast do you feed?

    Assume a new 1/2" 3 or 4 tpi hook pattern standard (not carbide) blade.....

  2. #2
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    Generally speaking I know the blade can handle the cut if it’s not being pushed against the thrust bearing.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  3. #3
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    I would practice using a 2X4 stud. You should figure it out quickly.

  4. #4
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    Hi, thatís a narrower finer pitch than I would use.

    I would normally feed about 12 to 15 feet per minute...Rod

  5. #5
    I've always thought feeding speed was best done by ear, feel, and smell. There is just too much variation in wood for any real predictable rules.

  6. #6
    You are not stipulating the size and power of your saw. 8/4 red oak on a 1hp or better saw with a reasonably fresh blade should not be a problem as long as you arenít not jamming it through at breakneck speed.

    The feed rate is more critical when resawing.

  7. #7
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    I had several roughly 6 inch wide 8/4 air dried oak boards given to me a long time ago for helping clear some land. They had been cut from the center of smaller trees and were checked or cracked badly more or less right down the center. During a shop cleanup, I thought about just pitching them, but they were fairly straight so I decided to cut off and save the roughly 2x2 quarter sawn grain portion from each edge. Bandsaw is typical Delta 14 inch, 1 HP, well tuned. I've ripped tons of thinner stock on it, but haven't done a lot of 8/4.

    I was more interested in speed than getting a high quality cut, so I experimented with feed rate a bit. I've read that you need to feed fast enough that the blade is making chips, not dust, but not so fast that the gullets can't clear the chips. I guess I ended up at about 2 feet per minute. The saw was working hard but wasn't straining, but I was definitely using more feed pressure than I am accustomed to, and the blade was certainly against the thrust bearing. No sign/smell of burning. The cut was as straight not wavy or bowed.

    If I used less feed pressure, the cut slowed way down (I'd still be there) and more seemed to start to bog the saw, so I think I found the sweet spot, but wanted to compare notes with those of you that do this more often.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by johnny means View Post
    I've always thought feeding speed was best done by ear, feel, and smell. There is just too much variation in wood for any real predictable rules.
    +1, I have found this being the best method, let the machine tell you how much to feed

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F Franklin View Post
    I had several roughly 6 inch wide 8/4 air dried oak boards given to me a long time ago for helping clear some land. They had been cut from the center of smaller trees and were checked or cracked badly more or less right down the center. During a shop cleanup, I thought about just pitching them, but they were fairly straight so I decided to cut off and save the roughly 2x2 quarter sawn grain portion from each edge. Bandsaw is typical Delta 14 inch, 1 HP, well tuned. I've ripped tons of thinner stock on it, but haven't done a lot of 8/4.

    I was more interested in speed than getting a high quality cut, so I experimented with feed rate a bit. I've read that you need to feed fast enough that the blade is making chips, not dust, but not so fast that the gullets can't clear the chips. I guess I ended up at about 2 feet per minute. The saw was working hard but wasn't straining, but I was definitely using more feed pressure than I am accustomed to, and the blade was certainly against the thrust bearing. No sign/smell of burning. The cut was as straight not wavy or bowed.

    If I used less feed pressure, the cut slowed way down (I'd still be there) and more seemed to start to bog the saw, so I think I found the sweet spot, but wanted to compare notes with those of you that do this more often.
    2'/minute seems way too slow. With a sharp 3 TPI it should be at least twice that, even with a low power saw.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by John Gulick View Post
    ...let the machine tell you how much to feed
    This.

    When your blade gets dull you will feel the increased pressure required to maintain the same speed.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  11. #11
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    When you see sawdust left in the kerf of the cut, you are going to fast. Nice and clean, just right. The left over sawdust comes from the gullets of the teeth being filled and not clearing out the dust.

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