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If you’ve ever wondered how to resaw on a band saw, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll learn about Feed rate, creating a bearing surface, and changing guide blocks to bearing-style guides. Before you get started, however, you should know what to avoid and what you should never do. Here are some tips to make your bandsaw run smoother.
Choosing a blade
You need to choose a bandsaw blade for the task you have. Various projects will require different types of blades. Depending on the type of material you are working on, you may need a straight or curved blade. The equation for deciding what type of blade to use is easy to understand. All you need are some numbers and the right type of blade for your project.
Choosing a blade for your bandsaw is the first step in resawing your work. You can either resaw the work at hand, or resaw a scrap board of similar width and hardness. Once the resawn board has been cut, you can look at the bow of the blade to fine-tune your fence. In order for the blade to resaw wood, it cannot move sideways through the wood. Its teeth must point to the free side of lateral guides. The lateral guides will help the blade twist through the wood.
Choosing a blade for a bandsaw depends on the material being resawn. The TPI of a blade determines how smooth and fine the cut will be. If the blade is too thin, it may cause metal fatigue and tension issues. High TPI blades are best for cutting thin materials. Thicker materials require thicker blades. Fortunately, most bandsaw resaw blades come with low TPI configuration. A Starrett chart will help you decide what type of TPI is appropriate for your material.
In order to properly use a bandsaw, the feed rate must be set appropriately. Larger machines typically use hydraulic fluids to control feed rate, while smaller models use springs. If the hydraulic fluid isn’t full, air can get into the line and compromise feed consistency. Check the pressure settings of your bandsaw before using it to prevent contaminated fluid. Most bandsaws have digital readouts or gauges that can be set accordingly.
The feed rate on a bandsaw will determine the machine’s production rate and its machine-ability. It is measured in square inches per minute or SFM. An optimal feed rate is dependent on several factors, including blade TPI, band speed, and chip load. The higher your feed rate, the greater your productivity. However, it will also significantly decrease the life of your blade. For optimum productivity, you should compromise between feed rate and blade life.
Feed rate on a bandsaw is an important consideration during break-in. A proper break-in period increases the life of your blade and the efficiency of your cuts. Band saws are generally folded for shipping and should not be dropped onto a hard surface. If the band saw is dropped, the blade could crack and result in damage to the blade. It can even cause stress fractures and tooth breakage. As a result, it is important to follow all instructions carefully.
Creating a bearing surface
Resawing is a process for reducing thick wood stock to thin pieces. This method cuts the wood parallel to the grain and creates a thin piece with an identical width and thickness. The kerf on the blade wastes the thickness, so you can use the piece for another project. Resawn pieces are usually book-match pieces, and can be used for cabinet making or veneers.
To create a bearing surface when resawing, track the blade on the upper wheel. This will align the deepest part of the blade gullet with the centerline of the tire. After aligning the bottom bearing, adjust the blade guides. These guides are located near the blade. Proper blade tensioning will help your resawing results. Once you have adjusted the bearings, adjust the guides on the side of the saw.
Resawing generates a great deal of dust, but it’s usually fine and not harmful. Bandsaws often don’t have good dust collection attachments, so you’ll need to clean them using mineral spirits. Regular cleaning will help your bandsaw run more smoothly. If you’re worried about the weight of debris, make sure to sand the bearings thoroughly before resawing.
A bandsaw’s blades need to be properly tensioned to ensure smooth cutting. Use a gauge to determine how much you should tighten the blade. The blade should deflect at least one-fourth inch before it returns to its original position. For a bandsaw with a depth of six inches or more, you’ll want the blade to deflect no more than half an inch.
Changing guide blocks to bearing-style guides
When replacing the blade guides on a bandsaw, you may want to change to a ball bearing guide. This is a common replacement, and is also an easy way to increase accuracy. Many of the modern bandsaw models come with ball bearing guides. Changing to a ball bearing guide will not only increase the speed of your saw, but will also allow you to cut wood more accurately.
First, you should raise the guide post a couple of inches above the table. Then, bring the guide assembly forward until you can see the blade gullets. Then, spin the top wheel by hand and press it against the opposing guide block. Finally, tighten the lock screw. Make sure to spin the blade to check that the blade is running smoothly and without resistance. When you’re done, adjust the guides so that they’re lined up with the blade.
After you have fine-tuned the lower guide assembly, install the upper guide assembly. It’s important to position the thrust bearing first, as this will help prevent the blade from slipping off the wheels. The blade should be at least a quarter-inch above the guide post to prevent it from binding during the cutting process. To make sure that the thrust bearing is correctly positioned, turn the saw wheel slowly, checking it for binding and spin.
Adjusting the fence to the natural cut angle of the blade
To set up the bandsaw correctly, you need to know how to adjust the fence to the natural cut angle of the saw blade. New blades cut straight ahead, but as the saw wears the blade starts cutting at a slight angle because the tires bend the blade’s teeth. Start cutting on the board about an inch from the edge, and make sure that the fence is set to match the angle of the blade’s lead.
Once you’ve adjusted the fence, you can now install the blade. Before installing the blade, check that the teeth are pointing down. If your blade has a grit edge or a knife edge style, you’ll need to change its direction. You can also adjust the fence if you’re using a horizontal blade. If your blade’s teeth point down, flip it inside out.
When you’re cutting straight lines, you should try adjusting the fence to the natural cut angle of the saw blade. Even if you don’t want to create a bowed cut, you can use a point block fence. This will help you hold your stock straight while leaving the direction of feed up to the operator. Just make sure that the stock isn’t overlapping the fence, or else the saw will get bogged down.
Taking your cut from the outside of the board
Resawing a board begins with jointing and planning the stock. Once this is done, mark the cutline with a pencil or combination square blade. You should resaw your stock at about 1/64″ thicker than you intend to make your panel from it. This will allow you to plane away the saw marks later. For example, a 3/4″ thick board can be halved to create two pieces each a quarter inch thick.
Before resawing, use a feather-board or another piece of scrap wood. If your board is very thin, it is safer to cut on the outside edge, aka “waste” side. A feather-board is helpful for measuring the cut accurately. While resawing, do not stop mid-cut. The blade may catch in between the fence and the board.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of milling, re-sawing is your next step. This process requires a new blade and a fine-tuned saw. For more information, read “Taking your cut from the outside of the board to resaw on a bandsaw” e-book, which contains a variety of related articles.
After aligning the fence and blade, the next step in resawing is to clamp the fence to the board. Make sure the fence is set to the proper angle and distance from the blade before starting. This step is crucial as you’ll need the fence to keep the board in place as you resaw it. If it is set too far away from the blade, you may find your cut becomes less straight and is uneven.