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Thread: new bandsaw wont' cut straight

  1. #31
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    I changed out the 1” Woodmaster CT resaw blade the other day. Replaced it with a 1/2” 3 tpi blade for general work. It cut straight. No wandering, but one side of the cut was burned wood. I checked alignment and all the other set ups. I have been using this Hammer N4400 bandsaw for 10 years now and never experienced anything similar. I re-sharpened the blade … a touch better, but still burning one side. That said to me it was not tracking. Off the fence the results were much better. A closer look at the blade … it was an old Woodslicer … I dislike these blades as they wear quickly. Changed the blade for a bimetal of the same size (which I thought I had placed on the saw in the first place). All good now. It was the blade.

    Change the blade.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  2. #32
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    Bandsaws are such simple machines yet so much misinformation continues to be passed as gospel. There is a tracking mechanism on every bandsaw I've seen. It's purpose is to adjust the attack angle of the blade so that it cuts straight as Lee or someone else showed in a graphic above. It doesn't matter if it's a skinny blade with lots of teeth or a wide one with few, that tracking mechanism is used to adjust it so it cuts straight. So, yes, the table can indeed be adjusted so that the miter slot is parallel with the blade, ONCE, as Mr. Fortune says, and all blades will cut parallel forevermore. No miter slot on your table? Fine, don't worry about it. Just set your fence parallel with the blade and leave it there, forevermore. Fences that adjust for drift are a means of companies to separate people from their money who haven't been able to adjust their saws to cut straight. The only time you would adjust for drift is when the blade is dull on one side or the set is different and needs to be changed but you don't have another blade. You do it as a short term band aide to get the job done, not a permanent solution.

    Blade guides and even thrust bearings are of almost no need to cut straight if you have enough tension on the blade and it's been set up to cut properly. Saws that can't apply much tension benefit from guides but they still are secondary to proper alignment of the wheels and blade.

    To suggest that narrow blades can't cut straight is just plain wrong. I have cut veneer at least 8" wide on a dinky 14" cast iron Delta with riser block with a 1/4", 4 tpi blade and a fence. It's slow but the cuts are straight. My larger 17" Grizzly makes cutting veneer fast and effortless. Such is the advantage of a wider blade and higher tension, but both saws can do it.

    To those who have never been able to get their saw to cut straight and read here that others claim it's possible, rather than deny, rationalize, and criticize, maybe you should try some of the suggestions that have been offered. It is indeed possible.

    John

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Gon View Post
    Sorry I am a bandsaw noob, so I already need a new blade although the current one is brand new? 
    I'm sure you've figured out by now that bandsaws are one of the more voo-doo prone topics on the forums. I am not discounting anyone's comments, methods, preferences, etc. Here's my deal. I have the 10-305 which is the lessor, prior, model to yours. The 306 spawned from the popularity of the 305 (with good reason) and responded to the weaknesses of that model . . . primarily the fence IMHO.

    So here is my machine sans fence since the included fence was near useless to me.
    Rikon 10-305 re-saw (1).jpg

    I made a fence out of a milled piece of poplar. It is shaped to provide a tall and a short fence with a couple of grooves to accept a small clamp to hold it in place. There is a thread on this on here somewhere.
    Rikon 10-305 re-saw (2).jpg

    I did not mill my material as I happened to find a piece of scrap that already had perpendicular faces. This is imortant so make use of your jointer (and planer).
    Rikon 10-305 re-saw (4).jpg

    I eyeballed the fence for about 1/16". This is a 1/4" Timberwolf blade and IMHO it is not too narrow for use with a fence.
    Rikon 10-305 re-saw (3).jpg

    With this setup I was able to make this cut without issue.
    Rikon 10-305 re-saw (5).jpg

    Looks pretty consistent but let's check.
    Rikon 10-305 re-saw (6).jpg

    At the beginning of the cut.
    Rikon 10-305 re-saw (7).jpg

    Somewhere further along.
    Rikon 10-305 re-saw (8).jpg

    Certainly having someone show you a good result does not in itself help you when you are having poor results. The point here is that I have done nothing magical to this machine. I did center a decent blade on the wheels which were reasonably coplaner out of the box. There is no crown to speak of on the tires so the setup went something like so:

    Setup the machine per the manual.
    Put on a decent blade and tension it with Suffolk's (Timberwolf) flutter method.
    Align the miter slot with the cutting path (this is optional as a lot of folks don't use the miter slot on their bandsaw. I have not had to re-align it since the original 2018 setup. I just change blades and adjust guides.).
    Eyeball the fence and clamp it down.
    Feed the material evenly while maintaining control against the feed path surfaces (the table and fence in this case_.

    Opposing positions on the value of bandsaw setup and use processes can lead to endless discussion. I can only tell you how I do it. Feel free to PM or ask in your thread if I can clarify anything that might help.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 05-24-2022 at 8:28 PM.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  4. #34
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    Bandsaws are such simple machines yet so much misinformation continues to be passed as gospel. There is a tracking mechanism on every bandsaw I've seen. It's purpose is to adjust the attack angle of the blade so that it cuts straight as Lee or someone else showed in a graphic above.
    and this is one those

    Problem is John , not all subscribe to center tracking. While many/most do, some prefer coplanar tracking and don't use the crank to adjust the top wheel at an angle to position the blade. The wheels are aligned co-planar and left there. The blade is left to track where it tracks. That blade will have drift (or lead) and it will need to be compensated for. Which ain't gonna be accomplished with your tracking mech.

    So, yes, the table can indeed be adjusted so that the miter slot is parallel with the blade, ONCE, as Mr. Fortune says, and all blades will cut parallel forevermore. No miter slot on your table? Fine, don't worry about it. Just set your fence parallel with the blade and leave it there, forevermore.
    Another red herring. That will work for the blade you adjusted for - until it wears out or gets only one side of its teeth dulled. It'll work for the co-planar crowd, til they change the blade or it wears unevenly. Then it's not going to track the same. And when you change the blade - its drift will have to be assessed and adjusted for.



    And which way is it ? Your "all saws have a tracking mechanism that adjust the attack angle of the blade so that it cuts straight " so Bobs you uncle ?

    - or -

    Adjust the table/miter slot or fence (which one ?) and leave it forever ? Which begs the question...............why would I need to adjust the tracking wheel if I could set the table or fence to the blade ?

    That brings me back to a question I posed earlier......

    Fences that adjust for drift are a means of companies to separate people from their money who haven't been able to adjust their saws to cut straight
    Really ?

    Seriously ?

    So every saw from a $99 harbor freight to 5 figure Northfield and all those in between are all in cahoots overcharging their customers for adjustable fences ? Get real. And if you know this secret about only needing the tracking wheel to account for drift - don't you think they do too ? And if so, why don't they all save the manuf. cost dropping the adjustable fence for a fixed one and make even more money ? You'll note.............. not a single pioneer in this area. Are they're all ignorant of this new knowledge; or scared to implement it in the name of increased profits ? Get real.


    And what say you of the bandsaw gurus I mentioned earlier that tell us adjusting the fence is fine and dandy ? Or luthier and educator Nick Engler that says adjust the fence too, not a one an done forever solution ?

    Are they all ignorant, stubborn, albatrosses in league with the corp. adjustable fence cabal perpetuating a fallacy on bandsaw setup ?

    Yea, right
    Last edited by Dave Sabo; 05-25-2022 at 9:55 AM.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    Bandsaws are such simple machines yet so much misinformation continues to be passed as gospel. There is a tracking mechanism on every bandsaw I've seen. It's purpose is to adjust the attack angle of the blade so that it cuts straight as Lee or someone else showed in a graphic above. It doesn't matter if it's a skinny blade with lots of teeth or a wide one with few, that tracking mechanism is used to adjust it so it cuts straight. So, yes, the table can indeed be adjusted so that the miter slot is parallel with the blade, ONCE, as Mr. Fortune says, and all blades will cut parallel forevermore. No miter slot on your table? Fine, don't worry about it. Just set your fence parallel with the blade and leave it there, forevermore. Fences that adjust for drift are a means of companies to separate people from their money who haven't been able to adjust their saws to cut straight. The only time you would adjust for drift is when the blade is dull on one side or the set is different and needs to be changed but you don't have another blade. You do it as a short term band aide to get the job done, not a permanent solution.

    Blade guides and even thrust bearings are of almost no need to cut straight if you have enough tension on the blade and it's been set up to cut properly. Saws that can't apply much tension benefit from guides but they still are secondary to proper alignment of the wheels and blade.

    To suggest that narrow blades can't cut straight is just plain wrong. I have cut veneer at least 8" wide on a dinky 14" cast iron Delta with riser block with a 1/4", 4 tpi blade and a fence. It's slow but the cuts are straight. My larger 17" Grizzly makes cutting veneer fast and effortless. Such is the advantage of a wider blade and higher tension, but both saws can do it.

    To those who have never been able to get their saw to cut straight and read here that others claim it's possible, rather than deny, rationalize, and criticize, maybe you should try some of the suggestions that have been offered. It is indeed possible.

    John

    This needs to be repeated often and loudly.
    Thank you for spelling it out John.
    I have been trying to convey the same message for the past 20 years but bad habits run deep.

    I am still perplexed as to why people insist on adjusting the parts that should be fixed, like the table and fence and ignore the part that is designed to be adjusted. (hint, it's the tracking)
    The entire myth of the blade being exactly in the center of the tire is bordering on ludicrous, especially when everyone views the center at the 3 o'clock position, where the blade is leaving the wheel, not at 12 o'clock, which is the center of the contact.

  6. #36
    Just providing an update, I bought a new blade and now it cuts straight pretty well.

    Thanks everyone for the great input, I appreciate it!

  7. #37
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    Yes, seriously. There are solutions for problems that don't exist at every turn. Adjustable bandsaw fences being just one. Sort of like the new driver, or putter, or ball that will take 8 strokes off your score.

    Why would bandsaws have a tracking adjustment if none were needed? No where have I ever read to just let the blade ride where it wants to.

    You adjust the blade to cut straight with every blade change. That is what allows you to leave the table in one spot, forever, along with the fence. Seems like a simple and straight forward concept to me. Yes, if the blade gets dull on one side it won't cut straight anymore. That's no different if the fence originally was set parallel with the miter slot or the fence was adjusted for drift when the blade was new. When it gets dull things change. And that's when you change the blade.

    Everything I have discussed here is covered in the manual to my Grizzly G0636X bandsaw. For some reason they think it's possible for their saw to cut straight. For some reason they say you should adjust the tracking with each blade change. For some reason, they say to align the table with the blade during initial setup. For some reason they say to align the fence parallel with the miter slot. For some reason they say it's OK to adjust the fence for drift when the blade is dull but you don't have another and just have to finish the job. For some reason they say the wheels need to be coplaner in order for the saw to cut straight. What reason could it be? Maybe because it works. It does for me.

    Believe what you want, it makes no difference to me. But I hope others reading this thread will see that it is possible to set up a bandsaw to cut straight, and that it's a simple, straight forward process.

    There's nothing more to be said.

    John

  8. #38
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    If you have a sharp blade, it will cut straight even if you approach at a slight angle. Fortune argues that it’s not worth it to keep using a dull blade, and that’s why setting the tracking to cut parallel to the miter slot works well. All the other stuff about lead angles is so people can cut with dulling blades. Notice the OP fixed the problem with a new blade.

  9. #39
    I respectfully disagree.
    There is nothing to suggest that a new blade cuts straight, regardless of angle
    A blade cuts straight if it is adjusted to do so. Just being new and sharp does not automatically cure all other alignment issues.

    While a new blade helped the OP, cutting "pretty well" is not the same as perfectly straight.

  10. #40
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    Fort Wayne, IN
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    If you think about it, where the blade is in relation to the crown of the tire affects the angle of the blade to the wood.

    When I put a new blade on my saw I take a hunk of plywood and slice off a quarter inch strip. If the cut angles to the right I adjust the tracking one way. Cut another slice. If it cuts less to the right, adjust the tracking a little more in that direction. If it cuts more to the left, I adjust it the other way. I repeat, adjusting the tracking appropriately until I get consistent straight cuts. Yes, I try to imagine how moving the blade to the left or right of the crown changes the angle of the cut, but it's easier to look at the result and adjust accordingly. This let's me dial in the cut so the saw cuts straight every time until I change the blade. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.

    Cliff
    The problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
    Charles Bukowski

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weber View Post
    There is nothing to suggest that a new blade cuts straight, regardless of angle
    That is not what I meant to suggest. The angle needs to be pretty close for the sharp blade to make the difference.

    New is very different from sharp.
    Last edited by Alan Schwabacher; 05-25-2022 at 7:12 PM.

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    ...There's nothing more to be said.

    John
    For those who still don't understand that, new or used, sharp or dull:

    a) wide blades are for cutting straight
    and
    b) narrow blades are for cutting curves

    it is pointless to spend any more time trying to convince them.

    Over and out.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Gon View Post
    Just providing an update, I bought a new blade and now it cuts straight pretty well.

    Thanks everyone for the great input, I appreciate it!
    Great. Thanks for circling back.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    Yes, seriously. There are solutions for problems that don't exist at every turn. Adjustable bandsaw fences being just one. Sort of like the new driver, or putter, or ball that will take 8 strokes off your score.

    Why would bandsaws have a tracking adjustment if none were needed? No where have I ever read to just let the blade ride where it wants to.

    You adjust the blade to cut straight with every blade change. That is what allows you to leave the table in one spot, forever, along with the fence. Seems like a simple and straight forward concept to me. Yes, if the blade gets dull on one side it won't cut straight anymore. That's no different if the fence originally was set parallel with the miter slot or the fence was adjusted for drift when the blade was new. When it gets dull things change. And that's when you change the blade.

    Everything I have discussed here is covered in the manual to my Grizzly G0636X bandsaw. For some reason they think it's possible for their saw to cut straight. For some reason they say you should adjust the tracking with each blade change. For some reason, they say to align the table with the blade during initial setup. For some reason they say to align the fence parallel with the miter slot. For some reason they say it's OK to adjust the fence for drift when the blade is dull but you don't have another and just have to finish the job. For some reason they say the wheels need to be coplaner in order for the saw to cut straight. What reason could it be? Maybe because it works. It does for me.

    Believe what you want, it makes no difference to me. But I hope others reading this thread will see that it is possible to set up a bandsaw to cut straight, and that it's a simple, straight forward process.

    There's nothing more to be said.

    John
    Agreed, in fact many saws have locating dowels for the table so alignment is built in.

    The blade will cut parallel to the fence and the mitre slot until the blade needs replacing.

    This method of alignment is crucial for ripping, cutting tenons or bridle joints or cross cutting.

    People are always amazed when I hold band saw courses how accurate and repeatable a good saw is.

    If I had to realign my sawmill every time I changed blades it would be heading for the scrap dealer…..Rod

  15. #45
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    I agree with the above - wider blade, maybe not completely correct setup, maybe a better new blade. However, the Rikon model number you gave indicates a 10" bandsaw with a 1/2 HPmotor, While I'm sure you can resaw and/or rip with this saw, I think it's safe to say it has its limitations. One would be how fast you feed the wood in combination with the thickness being ripped, the wood your ripping, and, for resawing, if the board is near the saw's capacity. I used to own a 12" bandsaw with a 1/2 HP motor and resawing, even ripping, was a challenge especially with wider or thicker or harder wood boards. You might check this video from Michael Fortune, which I believe addresses your problem, to see if any of his setup process solves your problem:https://youtu.be/vNdrkmx6ehI

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