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Thread: Who Stands with Alex Snodgrass on Drift?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Helensburgh, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by vince mastrosimone View Post
    Others folks are saying that it is nearly impossible for the average person to setup a bandsaw so it does not drift. They say you need to have a fence that can compensate for drift or use a pivot point jig.
    Those who think it can't be done need to learn that the table can be moved by releasing the bolts that hold it to the trunnion (on most saws). I think the greatest con in bandsaw land is the Laguna driftmaster fence and I wish I had thought of it.

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  2. #17
    Fact is nobody aligns their wheels in the first place, so no-one is on the same page,
    and unless one has accurate enough faces of the wheels, then it won't be possible to be sure about anything.
    That being co-planar under tension, but far more importantly wheel alignment concerning the east/west adjustment, for longevity of parts
    like wheel bores, but also worth noting proper wheel alignment won't nibble the apex of the tires.

    The scribing beam makes all that very clear to see.
    Scribing beam.jpeg

    And without having a pen on the end, then you won't get a true reading using any sort of straight edge.
    On the wheels of my 24" machine, the upper one had an unnoticeable to the keen eye, 0.5mm discrepancy (intentionally so if you ask me)
    I used this Shinwa 0.5mm thickness rule as a feeler gauge, and it was just about able to pass between the tram and the upper wheel,
    whilst the lower wheel had around a 0.3mm discrepancy.
    Checking wheel face.jpg

    Here's the variability what you'd see with the same sized machine, if you used a scribing beam to try take a reading, without addressing/checking the wheel faces...
    Timber and scribing beam.jpg

    Depending on where that beam is placed on the wheel, without it being within tolerance, (this method makes that irrefutable)
    then you'd not be in anyway able to trust the reading you took.
    i.e that being some 4mm of variability as seen below.
    Without trued wheel faces .jpg

    So there you go, Il gatto è fuori dalla borsa!

    Not hard to see why the spread of ignorance is rife in the bandsaw world, and the reasoning is obvious,
    that being "jobs for the boys".

    Yet we will keep seeing folks fighting tooth and nail on these issues of drift, and refusing to accept that everyone is indeed... not on the same page whatsoever.
    BTW, glad to be able help re-establish those online friendships again, and stop the squabbling on such matters.

    All the best

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Quote Originally Posted by vince mastrosimone View Post
    If I remember correctly, Alex said that as long as the blade stays in the middle of the top wheel, it doesn’t matter if your wheels are coplanar. The location on the bottom wheel doesn’t affect anything. Did I get that right?
    That doesn't work for a flat tire machine like the MM16 I use. Other than the rare use of a tiny 1/8" wide band, the teeth of the bands hang off the edge of the tires and do not run in the center of them. Centering is only possible on wheels that are crowned.

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

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    So Cal
    Instead of adjusting the fence I adjusted the table in my 20 inch saw. I stuck a 12 inch ruler to the side of my widest blade and aligned the miter slot with the ruler.
    When I had a pm14 I had to adjust the fence because the tables aren’t moveable. I aligned the fence once when I bought the saw.
    Good blades with a good welds Is the key in my experience.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries
    Also what Tom said . None of my bandsaws (or my friends bandsaws) drift. If you want to milk some more footage out of your blade and don't mind accounting for tooth wear and the associated tracking issues, no judgement here.

    Love Alex. Do not agree with his opinion on wheels being coplaner. We all tend to recommend what has worked for us. I align my saws with the wheels coplaner. I align the miter slot to the blade path. I change blades with relative impunity requiring only the guides to be adjusted for different blade widths and thicknesses. Find your happy place and do as you will
    "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg".

    – Samuel Butler

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    I watched the video that Lee mentioned, followed the steps and have no drift.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That doesn't work for a flat tire machine like the MM16 I use. Other than the rare use of a tiny 1/8" wide band, the teeth of the bands hang off the edge of the tires and do not run in the center of them. Centering is only possible on wheels that are crowned.
    My Hammer N4400 also has a flat wheel and cannot be adjusted according to the AS recommendations.

    It needs to be stated that drift is caused by a number of factors, and it is simplistic to reduced this to one or two items. For example, a Taiwanese 14" bandsaw is likely to be built to very different standards when compared with an Austrian or Italian 18" machine. The rigidity of the frame affects the stability of the guides. The stability of the wheels and their bearings relate to their coplanar setup. Mine have never needed to be adjusted in a dozen years. Blades ride differently on flat wheels and crowned wheels, and this cannot be adjusted. Belt tension affects power delivery. Dullness of a blade affects power delivery. Both will lead to a blade being pushed harder-than-desired, which leads to the blade drifting. A cheap blade is likely to be duller, but also have unequal set, and that will definitely cause the blade to drift. This is also a function of too little downforce.

    And it that is not enough, blades can be deflected by the grain, push away from the fence, and this is drift.

    It is amazing that a bandsaw can actually cut straight!

    Regards from Perth


  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Piercefield, NY
    We had a bandsaw mill at the farm for 15 years and I cut (at an estimate) somewhere between 120 and 150k board feet over that time. It had rubber 12" trailer tires and rims that the blade ran on, and I had to make it cut straight or I was wasting time, trees, and gas, and would have had unhappy customers. After that experience I can deal with a shop bandsaw more easily, so I have not generally found them intimidating. Earlier I said that I had never had a bandsaw I couldn't make cut straight, but that was not true. I was forgetting my first one, a 3 wheel 10" Delta that I got at the dump for $5 at the age of 14. One of the plastic wheels (the drive wheel) wobbled, it only took very thin 1/4" blades as I recall, and I could never get it to run long without the blade coming off the wheels. Looking back I can see why the person who took it to the dump made that decision, but I was able to use it to make some small cuts from time to time.

  9. #24
    Everything is movable, if need be, when you've got a datum line drawn from the upper wheel,
    as every machine made today is of dishonest construction, not being fully adjustable, which the line shows very clearly.
    That ain't knocking the components though, infact very much the opposite case, and testament to the quality of the Italian blueprint.

    It's worth noting, some manufacturers don't stick to this recipe! by cutting corners with their wheels, thus making wheel alignment doubly important,
    and then there are those other brands who's taking the wee completely, with terrible designs bringing things to a whole new level of "jobs for the boys"
    i.e not being able to match the lower wheel to suit the non adjustable upper one.
    something along the lines of below.
    Proving that the whole situation as it stands with every vendor, is a joke really.

    Question for the non far off that fixed datum line is tolerable?
    Are you happy to have vibration, loose belts, to rely completely on the blade running against the thrust guide whilst cutting tenons
    yada yada.

    Attachment 515337

    Now folks can pretend all day long, that wheel alignment ain't important,
    If they've got big fat wallets to be taking such a chance, as wheel bore wear is the result of ignorance/call it what you like.

    See stainless steel toaster sleeve bodge below, as I don't have an affordable to me, local machine shop which I can employ to fix.
    There are lots of ways to repair this without spending more than a week at it, and no worries thereafter compared.
    Attachment 515338

    And yet folks will be making excuses like my old machine likely "paid for itself" which is the objective of everything made today,
    (bar the three fully adjustable honest Italian saws out there, which they don't make no more)
    i.e the ones with foot mounted motors.

    The status quo that is, a jobs for the boys type deal, is fairly evident when you start looking at the machines when brand new,
    and then see how those machines fair up after being "ridden hard and put away wet" which get listed on the bay.
    Why anyone wouldn't be providing a video, is a bit of a hint aswell.

    I find it amusing that you can provide the proof of the shortcomings of anything, yet the relentless marketing sways the majority,
    that's mainly concerning the budget machines with the jelly tires, which further muddies the waters, in relation to this "drift" subject.
    Very much another take on the misinformation, which if going by the forums like this one, being that the Italian's have seemingly been telling similar fibs
    concerning the whole "flat tire" thing on their machines,
    like where/when did that rumour start?
    Thankfully they don't do that any more, (if they ever did)
    as the likes of ACM specifically mention their tires are "camber ground and balanced", and likewise with Centauro, who make replaceable tires, so one can honestly see the profile on an official spare.

    I know I've been irritating folks who say otherwise on this matter, and all I will say on that is, don't buy a narrow blade if you refuse to believe there is an apex/camber
    on these machines, as it's so very important for many reasons, which I've proven in detail.

    Though I have no sympathy for those who get shafted, as I make a point of the importance of good design,
    and keep it up, so it's down to the buyer to make a good choice.
    And just to finish up damning the cheaper options, to mention warranty's mean nothing, unless you can get a refund, which ain't easy, especially so with the budget machines.
    bought the t-shirt which was expensive.

    Well, until someone uses the scribing beam to prove the machine is indeed a lemon.
    I'd like to see a manufacturer try squirming their way out of that one!

    You might be wondering why I'm still writing on this, though I'm just being patient as of yet,
    and simply giving the good guys some time, (despite my opinions)
    After all they deserve it, compared to some who likely couldn't give a toss about human rights.
    Casting work being dangerous, see the new Lie-Nielsen video for example, (making little things like hand planes)
    and compare that with the Centauro Spa forge work, and question why we don't get to see the cheaper brands factories.
    Screenshot from Centauro Fonderia Centauro Foundry.mp4.jpg

    Hope that made some suitable bed time reading for you.
    Good night, and all the best.
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 02-10-2024 at 10:31 PM.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    SE Mass.
    On my Delta 14", I was constantly struggling with drift. On the LT-18 with a 1 1/4" Resaw king, it's not an issue, although the fence does have a drift adjustment.

  11. #26
    Carl, how did you sharpen the blade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    I had a blade that was drifting severely on me. I sharpened it and the drift went away.

    I would bet that if I wanted to, I could dull one side or the other and get it to drift again. While I wouldnt 'choose' to do that, for whatever reason that blade did it for me.

    No idea the implication just my experience.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I am not drinking the kool aid.

    1. Bandsaws DO NOT have/produce drift. Bandsaw BLADES are what cause the phenomenom. A narrow blade with 12 t.p.i. is gonna "drift" and a different rate than a wide blade with 3 t.p.i. And a wide 3 t.p.i blade from Laguna is gonna drift at a different rate than the same width blade from Lennox.

    2. Not all saws have miter slots. All miter gauges are quickly adjustable though.

    3. Not all saw tables have enough adjustment to allow for some blades' drift. Modifying them would be too time consuming, costly, or not possible.

    4. Every bandsaw fence I've ever seen is adjustable in extreme amounts to compensate for any amount of blade drift. Even the pre-war Craftsman I have - which pre-dated the "drift master" fence by at least half a century. Driftmaster's real claim to fame is not its adjustment for blade drift, but rather its ability to precisely and repeatedly move toward the blade via a acme threaded rod. Allowing for more convenient resawing.

    5. Not every saw has crowned tires or specifies running the blade in the center of the top wheel.

    My biggest issue with the AS way isn't whether it works. It's that it's not possible for every saw -and- that IT IS MUCH SLOWER for those saws that are then adjusting the fence. I also have a bit of an issue with the faithful failing to acknowledge that adjusting the fence does work and is a viable method on any saw whether it has a miter slot and/or fully adjustable table or not. That they think their way is better or they prefer the AS method doesn't bother me in the least. The adjustable fence works on any saw with any blade and is extremely quick to adjust.

    Like most woodworking tasks, there are almost always different ways to accomplish a given task and very rarely is one inherently better than another.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    Step one is to set the fence parallel to the mitre slot.

    Then put on a new blade on, maybe 3/4” wide, track it properly
    , either centered on the tire or with the set of the teeth just off the front of the tire, depending upon saw design.

    Adjust the guides properly, make a test cut, rotate table if required, done for life.

    Note that some saws have dowels that locate the table so you can skip that step.

    Regards, Rod.

  14. #29
    Making excuses like things being non-adjustable is asking for trouble, worn wheel bores suck, and not everyone is as lucky as others concerning the lottery..
    like my previous new machine, in which the UK technician and shop owner couldn't sort out,
    Full of confidence they were, and very condescending beforehand.
    Though I didn't know what I was at either at the time.
    I had to shell out for yet another blade, as they pooh-poohed my other blades, and stuck an oversized inch blade on it, out of frustration.

    They only sold that machine for a very short time... and the side hustle company is gone, wonder why...
    That shop up the road from me, by American standards that is... are selling something these days what's a much worse design
    It's like they are trying to go under.
    Checking for coplanar .jpg

    That company also sourced another heavier machine, which is about as close to a knockoff as you could make...
    Those Italian's better wake up and smell the coffee, what will their next one be like, they can make changes like underpants.

    And regarding the trunnion, ain't all too time consuming either, infact quite the opposite.
    I took off more than I needed when filing those holes, as I was still clueless about how to set up a bandsaw.
    Trunnion 2.jpg

    Pants idea I know, but I was just wanting to make it safe at the time, as the threaded boss had snapped off, (machine was in a rough looking state)
    Changed that to a more Centauro-like setup, though with an awful looking handle..
    (I didn't have the metal, nor an angle grinder at the time to make nicer, though I'll be copying the pleasing CO design when I get some solid round stock)

    Seems odd folks would scoff at the idea of commissioning a machine, once and be done with it forever,
    but yet think nothing of spending yonks cleaning their blades and the countless other maintenance jobs one does from time to time.

    All the best
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 02-11-2024 at 9:34 AM.

  15. #30
    Thank you to all who have contributed to this thread. I believe my new machine has a crowned tire so I am going to try the Alex Snodgrass method. If that doesn’t work I can always do Plan B.

    as long as the bandsaw works consistently, I suppose one could adjust to whatever they need to do to make straight cuts. Inconsistency and will drive you nuts chasing your tail.

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