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Thread: Who Stands with Alex Snodgrass on Drift?

  1. #1

    Who Stands with Alex Snodgrass on Drift?

    I have my first bandsaw on order, so natually, I've been watching many bandsaw videos. Mr. Snodgrass and others says that if your saw is setup correctly, it will not drift. He says it is not THAT difficult to do.

    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.

    What do y'all Creekers think? Who is right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    None of my bandsaws drift with a good/new blade on it. Only when a blade starts to get tired does it want to argue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    What Tom said. A properly setup saw with a new, quality band will not drift. Initially. Once the band starts to wear... . 'Nature of the beast.

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

  4. #4
    Non straight welds are the only thing Iíve seen cause drift .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKean, PA
    Blog Entries
    I had problems with so called drift I tried the Snodgrass guidance after attending several woodworking shows and never got it quite right nor repeatable. Then I watched and I followed the instructions in this video. Since I aligned my table to the blade I can put on any blade and center the band on the upper wheel and get drift free cuts, both cross cut and resawing.

    If you think about it we spend lots of time on our table saws aligning the blade and the fence to the miter slots. Why wouldn't you do the same thing to a band saw?
    Lee Schierer
    USNA '71
    Go Navy!

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    I should have stated that I have no idea what the snodgrass methods are.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Piercefield, NY
    I am firmly in the non-drift camp. I have had several band saws and have been able to pretty easily get them all to cut straight with a new or newish band. For the work I do being able to cut straight is important.

  8. #8
    I do "stand with Alex Snodgrass" when it comes to the concept that if you have a miter slot on a bandsaw, the fence (and blade) should be parallel to the miter slot.... meaning you should not adjust the fence for"drift" in a way that creates fence and miter slot not being parallel.

    I do buy into the idea that the fence and blade should be parallel and the way to do that is rotate the table vs adjust the blade tracking which changes the angle of the blade front to back.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Columbus, OH
    I had a bandsaw that drifted. It turned out the wheels were out of plane. Once I added a riser block and aligned the wheels, it had no drift issues. In that process, I also learned I could fine tune my blade alignment based on drift.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Myles Moran View Post
    I had a bandsaw that drifted. It turned out the wheels were out of plane.
    If I remember correctly, Alex said that as long as the blade stays in the middle of the top wheel, it doesnít matter if your wheels are coplanar. The location on the bottom wheel doesnít affect anything. Did I get that right?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    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. #12
    I can't stand the A.S. video, although I can agree on some things
    I agree that the fence and miter slot should be parallel. On a properly set up saw, the blade can be further adjusted via the tracking mechanism IF necessary.

    If the blade does not run parralel to the miter slot, it makes using a miter gauge and/or sled all but impossible, which drastically decreases your saw's capabilities.

    I should also say in all fairness, that I never understood all the confusion regarding blade drift. For me, it's a straight forward mechanical concept of how the machine operates. Easily diagnosed and easily fixed.
    ANY (crowned tire) bandsaw can be made to cut straight and true, it's not that difficult, IMO

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    New Westminster BC
    You can set up your bandsaw perfectly with the fence and miter slot parallel to the blade and achieve zero drift but one little nick from a nail or screw or hard knot in the wood and it will drift, DAMHIK.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peoria, IL
    I'll just say, throw the factory blade away when you get the saw. They are notoriously horrible. I've never watched a second of Snodgrass advice. I learned how to use a bandsaw 55 years ago.
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 02-10-2024 at 6:06 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    NE Iowa
    Add me to the list. Properly set up, with a blade that isn't dulled more on one side than the other, a bandsaw will cut straight and true, parallel to the plane of the wheel axes. You adjust everything else to that. I'd also say that in my experience at least, by the time the blade is dull enough to be a drift problem, it's too dull for resawing and anything else where you need a smooth, accurate cut, anyway. If your saw has measurable drift, put in a new blade, and adjust the saw until it doesn't, and the fence, miter slot and blade are all parallel.

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