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Thread: new bandsaw wont' cut straight

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    McKean, PA
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    14,255
    I agree with the others, factory supplied blades aren't very good. I used to have a problem with my Delta 14" band saw not cutting straight. After carefully adjusting the saw per this video with a new timber wolf blade my saw cuts straight each and every time, using the fence as a guide. Make sure you pay attention to centering the blade on the upper wheel as that make the most difference. I can also now use my miter slog and get square end cuts.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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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? 
    Different configurations of bands for different purposes is the name of the game...also the bands that tend to be "in the box" with mass market bandsaws typically are not, um...the best quality bands, either.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
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    576
    Lots of good advice, but I disagree that a bad blade or a thin blade would cause this problem. I've been using the same 20 year old blades that came with my used Rockwell Saw and they work fine. The best advice I can give is to watch this video "Tuning up your band saw for the anally retentive." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DzbJYIPPNE Sharp and square solves all problems.
    Regards,

    Tom

  4. #19
    okay, here is another update,


    Changing the blade position does not change much(if anything), i was putting the the deepest part of the gullet with the center of the top wheel, and moving the blade to the front to the upper wheel does not help either.

    Blade to table alignment also can be ruled out, as I angled the table all the way to the right, then all the way to the left, both time the result is the same.

    I will go ahead and order a new blade, any recommendation?

  5. #20
    Thinner blade needs to be tensioned properly and need to have guide just above the work piece. There also could be tension in the wood, but maybe something with the grain structure of the wood (basically blade is following the grain). Generally a bad blade will lead to this.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
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    27,942
    Forrest,

    Most bandsaws have wheels that are crowned. For those bandsaws, the blade typically needs to be centered on the upper wheel.

    Most more expensive European bandsaws have flat wheels, and, on those saws, most blades are aligned with the gullet resting on the front edge of the wheel. I have read of some who center a narrow blade on their European bandsaw. I hang mine off the front of the wheel.

    Using and aligning bandsaws is like a lot of other skills. There is a learning curve. Find different methods, follow each one explicitly and find which one works for you. It will take time.
    Ken

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    ...lower the guide to within ¼” of the workpiece...
    This is not possible when cutting narrow strips because the guide will hit the top of the fence.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  8. #23
    I am not terribly experienced with bandsaws either although I am on my second. My first was a home made 12 inch I used for maybe a decade before moving and throwing it away. It cut OK on curves but was useless for resaw work. For a straight cut, it needed the widest blade it could tension. I sometimes used 1/2 on it but it couldn't really tensio them very well.

    My current saw is much nicer, a steel box frame Jet 14 inch. I have resawn cherry up to 8 or 9 inches wide so far on it (13 inch capacity). I was a bit frustrated with it using a 1/2 inch blade but when I went to a 3/4 blade it cut much better in a straight line. Both these blades have 3 or 4 teeth per inch.

    I think I got the blades I'm using on my Jet from Blades.com. They are not great blades in my opinion but they were reasonably priced and work OK. I used a Wood Slicer on my old saw once, it was a good blade but more expensive.

    So I think you should try as wide a blade as your saw can tension and one that is pretty coarse toothed, like 3 or 4 teeth per inch.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Atlanta
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    Did you re-adjust the fence for drift ?

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    This is not possible when cutting narrow strips because the guide will hit the top of the fence.
    Make a low fence addition to use in conjunction with the factory fence. Then it is possible.
    Ken

  11. #26
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    Feb 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sabo View Post
    Did you re-adjust the fence for drift ?
    If you adjust the saw so the miter slot is parallel with the blade and the per the video, the fence should be aligned with the miter slot and the miter slot is parallel to the line of cut. The band portion of the blade is centered on the upper wheel. By doing the test cuts you can then check the table alignment to the blade. This eliminates drift, so there is no need to adjust the angle of the fence.As the video says, you generally only have to do this once. We all tune up our table saws, yet we don't generally do that with band saws, but we should.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 05-23-2022 at 6:39 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    My advice

    In this order:
    - Buy Mark Duginske’s book: https://smile.amazon.com/New-Complet.../dp/1565238419 Forget youtube - much is horribly confused.
    - Start with a sharp blade.
    - Set proper tension for that blade. Insufficient tension is a big problem, depending on how you use the saw. DON’T use the tension indicator on the saw - use a tension gauge. Beg, borrow, or buy one (from Iturra design) and your life will be more satisfying. Improper tension is the biggest problem, especially for thicker and harder wood. If a gauge is unavailable, set the indicator to the next higher mark, i.e. set to 3/4” for a 1/2” blade and hope for the beat. IMO Snodgrass is a charismatic salesman and shyster, there are several problems with his setup and tension advice. Read Duginske and/or Lonnie Bird instead.
    - Adjust the wheels so the blade rides in the center of the BOTH tires. Many saws have adjustment on the back of the cabinet for this, behind the lower wheel. Read the manual.
    - Set the the guides properly, upper and lower. The books will explain. Lower them close to the wood. Make sure the guide post is properly aligned vertically or you will be eternally frustrated.

    Drift is the next big problem after tension and guides.
    - Check for drift: back off the fence. Draw a straight line down the center of a rectangular board, say 6”x15” or so. 3/4” pine or plywood is perfect. Without using the fence, cut down the line freehand, turning the board as needed to stay on the line. STOP when half way down the line and turn the saw off, being careful to not move the board. (Maybe tape the board to the table to keep it from moving.) While holding the board tight to the table slide the fence up close. If the fence is not perfectly aligned with the board either adjust it or loosen the bolts under the table and rotate the table until the fence is aligned. There is usually enough shop in the bolt holes to allow this adjustment. If you started with the fence parallel to the miter slots rotating the table is the best solution.

    I have tuned up a number of bandsaws with this method. I also like to make the wheels coplanar under tension but some people get by without doing this unless the saw is seriously out of whack.

    Another thing that can cause drift is the teeth of the blade dull on one side and sharp on the other.

    JKJ

  13. #28
    The blade is new and while there may be other blades that are superior, I find it hard to believe that the issue is your blade. Rather, it is far more likely that you have incorrectly set up the saw or that you are over-feeding the blade. Also, higher tension can help some blades cut more cleanly, but it isn't necessary to tension a bandsaw blade super tight to have it cut adequately. These are things I learned from Michael Fortune who is, arguably, one of the biggest users of bandsaws -- he has more than 8 in his shop that he uses extensively in his woodworking.

    Loosen the guides so that they are not in proximity to the blade, then make the cut that Michael uses to align the table/fence to the blade (feed against the fence into the blade) and turn the saw off. Where is the back of the blade in the kerf? I'd be willing to bet that the back is NOT centered in the kerf. If it is centered in the kerf, the bandsaw will not pull or push the cut but will cut in a balanced fashion.

    It could be that you do not have the guides set properly. They should not touch the blade -- rather there should be a gap about the thickness of a dollar bill between the guide and the blade. The thrust guide on the back of the blade also should not be touching the blade when the saw is running without load.

    A bandsaw is a simple machine -- there's not that much that can go wrong. It does take a while to learn how to set it up properly, and there's lots of conflicting information on the internet that can have you making things worse. Realize there is a difference between bandsaws with crowned wheels (which, from what I read in the Rikon manual it appears your bandsaw has) and flat wheels (most if not all European saws), but you should be able to determine what type of saw you have by putting a straight edge across the surface of the wheel. If it is flat, the teeth go off of the front of the wheel, if it is crowned, the blade should be centered on the wheel.

    If you still have problems, get someone from your local woodworking guild/club who has more experience with a bandsaw to come over and help you set it up.

    BTW, I suffered from an improperly setup bandsaw for a couple of decades before I had the opportunity to take a two week workshop with Michael Fortune where I not only learned how to really set it up, but also all sorts of innovative ways to use a bandsaw. Now I have 2 and if I had more shop space, I'd probably acquire a third...

    Mike

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    963
    Is your tension quick-release set to draw tension?

    It is pretty easy to damage a blade by running the teeth into the guides. This can cause the type of issue you're seeing. Getting some replacement blades is a good idea -- they wear much faster than you might be used to from using a carbide tablesaw blade.

    How is the saw cutting if you aren't using a fence?
    E.g., draw a straight line and try to cut to that.
    You can get a feel for how the saw is cutting with your feed rate.
    Do keep fingers and thumbs away from the blade, particularly at the end of the cut.

    Matt

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    If you adjust the saw so the miter slot is parallel with the blade and the per the video, the fence should be aligned with the miter slot and the miter slot is parallel to the line of cut. The band portion of the blade is centered on the upper wheel. By doing the test cuts you can then check the table alignment to the blade. This eliminates drift, so there is no need to adjust the angle of the fence.As the video says, you generally only have to do this once. We all tune up our table saws, yet we don't generally do that with band saws, but we should.

    Sorry Lee , but it does not eliminate drift. While it may work for you and Mr. Fortune and or the same blade - it IS NOT a new revelation or a good guarantee. Nor is it what I'd advise a first bandsaw owner.

    Blades all have unique drift angles - especially if they're worn. A new 1/8" - 14tpi scrolling blade tracks differently than a 1/2" - 3tpi blade and neither has the same angle as a 1" - 1.3tpi carbide re-saw blade. As they wear the drift angle can change, sometimes significantly. This fact really isn't up for debate. Which makes a set it once and forget it notion on either a table or fence, a pipe dream. And what happens when you have get a blade who's drift exceeds the eccentricity of your table's mounting holes or slots ? Fences have a lot more wiggle room via the nature of their design. Funny that, huh ?

    For a newbie, adjusting the fence is a heck of a lot easier and faster than messing with a table. I don't know who Mr. Fortune is - but i do know Lonnie Bird, Mark Duginske, and Louis Iturra are regarded as the experts when it comes to bandsaws. You know what they ALL have in common ?

    That's right - their bandsaw bibles don't suggest , show, or advocate aligning the saw's table to the blade. Not a single one of them ! They align the FENCE to the blade's drift angle. Bird is famous for just using a straight scrap of wood clamped to the table at the drift angle. No tools required.

    Furthermore , not all saws have a miter slot, and some that do (Italian ones) have a non-standard size which won't accept a U.S. miter gauge - making aligning it to anything in a semi- permanent fashion a waste of time. And wouldn't it be cheaper to manufacture a fence that doesn't adjust ? The table has to have mounting holes so over sizing them adds little or no cost. A non adjustable fence is much cheaper to manuf. and you know bean counters would love love nothing more than to trim out an unnecessary cost center. There's a reason why this hasn't become a "feature" on bandsaws ; be they made in America, China, Europe, or Asia.


    A bandsaw is not a tablesaw, but tuning up your tools is sound advice. One will get more mileage out of making sure their wheels are co-planar and their guides adjusted properly than they will from aligning the table to a blade's drift. Even learning how to choose the correct blade for the job is going to yield more/better results than messing with the table. Rounding the back of the blade is a good practice. So is aligning and balancing the drive train. And before I spent time aligning my table I'd go chasing vibration in a minutely eccentric wheel. Of these, I'd only recommend a newbie study how to choose the correct blade and round the back of those blades until they've got some time in the saddle with a bandsaw.

    But hey , if the new take seen first on the youtoob works for you - great. There are almost always several ways to skin a cat. I'll stick to the tried , true and proven method shown by the seasoned industry gurus and savants over an upstart who thinks he's smarter than everyone else . I'm also suggesting newcomers do the same.

    YMMV







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