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View dustie's profile

bandsaw drift

by dustie
posted 12-03-2018 02:46 PM


23 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1440 posts in 3243 days


#1 posted 12-03-2018 03:54 PM

I have been using a bandsaw now for nearly 60 years. My WW-2 vintage cast iron Walker-Turner bandsaw has flat tires and works beautifully. My position on all of this is let the blade find a stable position it likes on its own with the guides moved away from the blade. Then I move the guides up to the blade and adjust them to the blade, NOT the blade to the guides! Bandsaw “drift” to me is once the blade is running stably and smoothly, it seems to cut a slight bit off-square with the table. Not a problem. Just slightly adjust your fence angle to work with the blade “drift”. On the other hand, you can fight the problem and spend scads of time doing it with the likely outcome being no change in the end.

Now I know others will say this is wrong, but I happily go on accurately making things on my bandsaw with no problem at all while these “others” are still driving themselves nuts trying to correct something that doesn’t really need correcting. And one more thing. I rarely use a bandsaw fence. I have learned how to make good straight cuts to a pencil line. Not hard to do. But a fence is necessary for re-sawing a board or log. The fence still works fine for this when aligned with the blade cutting preference.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Steve's profile

Steve

1573 posts in 1065 days


#2 posted 12-03-2018 03:54 PM

what type of blade are you using? and what type of wood are you trying to resaw?

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

1175 posts in 2043 days


#3 posted 12-03-2018 04:13 PM

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

598 posts in 386 days


#4 posted 12-03-2018 04:21 PM

If the bandsaw was unused for nine years, you might consider the “tires,” the rubber or plastic bands on the wheels. They could be breaking down in a way that causes the drift. Otherwise I would suspect the blade guides. If the guides have ever contacted the tooth set of the blade, it could affect the tracking.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2431 posts in 2280 days


#5 posted 12-03-2018 04:55 PM

Always start with the blade. Get a new one and if that’s one is new gets a second one.
Its always the blade unless there is something horribly wrong with the saw.

-- Aj

View dustie's profile

dustie

6 posts in 293 days


#6 posted 12-03-2018 05:04 PM

All good advice, many thanks. There are conflicting videos out there about correcting drift but the consensus, like Planeman suggests, is to position the fence related to the direction the blade is tracking.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2828 posts in 1705 days


#7 posted 12-03-2018 05:08 PM

I have been using a Mini-Max 16” for over the past 10 years.
A lot of good info in the Snodgrass video!

The tires are crowned, just not very much. (the crown is cut into the wheels). For resawing I recommend at least a 3/4” blade set up so the center of the blade is centered on the tires. Narrow blades are fine, but more sensitive to where they ride on the wheels.
Get everything set up then try the free hand cut to get an idea of any bias in the cut. The fence can be adjusted for this.
Generally all the setup adjustments stay put on these saws and you can swap through blades without any changes.

View dustie's profile

dustie

6 posts in 293 days


#8 posted 12-03-2018 06:08 PM

Thanks Splinter. The tires do appear to be slightly crowned but it’s hard to notice. In the Mini-Max manual it says the blade’s teeth should extend slightly over the front of the top wheel. That is completely different positioning than the Snodgrass instructions. Why would the manual’s instructions be so different?
Also in his video, he says that even if the fence is 1/4” out of parallel it shouldn’t affect resawing.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4592 posts in 4225 days


#9 posted 12-03-2018 06:23 PM

I resaw on a Delta 14inch saw with a 1/2 inch 3-4 TPI blade.

I have had similar issues with it not tracking, to fix it, I start with the with the guides still set back and the thrust bearing not touching, just tweak the tracking until it cuts straight.
I find this easier than tweaking the fence, but I also regularly use some jigs that operate on the miter slot (Circle Cutter and a resaw sled), so I am more of a Fortune/Snodgrass follower.

Adjusting a fence is easy… tweaking all your jigs everytime you change blades… not so much.

Here is a 9 minute Michael Fortune, FWW video – - He makes a great observation, that may be affecting you, that when people move the saw around… they tend to grab it by the fence rails or table…so the table itself can be tweaked out of position.
https://www.facebook.com/finewoodworkingmagazine/videos/1791256594277530/

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2828 posts in 1705 days


#10 posted 12-03-2018 07:59 PM



Thanks Splinter. The tires do appear to be slightly crowned but it s hard to notice. In the Mini-Max manual it says the blade s teeth should extend slightly over the front of the top wheel. That is completely different positioning than the Snodgrass instructions. Why would the manual s instructions be so different?
Also in his video, he says that even if the fence is 1/4” out of parallel it shouldn t affect resawing.

- dustie

I run my wide (1-1/4”) blades with the teeth hanging over, but all my < 1” blades are more than 3 TPI so I don’t work too much about the tooth set being crushed out. If you have your 1/2” blades teeth hanging off the tire you might not be running the blade squarely since it all would be froward of the crown. Have you tried running it centered on the tire?

Also be sure you have enough tension. The gauge is notoriously inaccurate, I typically need to double the reading.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

347 posts in 2217 days


#11 posted 12-04-2018 02:39 PM

A lot of drift also has to do with the set of the teeth. Your blade may be very sharp, but if there is any variance to their set, it will wander. Blades aren’t that expensive. Can you purchase one from a well reviewed manufacturer and see if you still have the drift?

If the blade is not the issue, then you have a backup in case you accidentally snap one.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Robert's profile

Robert

3516 posts in 1963 days


#12 posted 12-04-2018 04:54 PM

Forget Snodgrass. You are not the only person he has frustrated with his “one way fits all” approach. For one things, not all bandsaws are made with coplanar wheels, and second they don’t all have crowned tires. Third, I wonder why the manuals for both my saws (Rikon and Jet) have a section called “Adjusting for Drift”.

[rant]So its no surprise that I totally disagree with the idea that a bandsaw should have no drift. It is not possible to adjust it out with Snodgrass’ methods with some saws, and second, so what? You just adjust the fence or table to it. I’ve been doing that for 30 years it takes all of 1 minute.

WADR, IMO it just hype for ww’ing shows. [/rant]

I think the best way is to adjust for drift is with the TABLE, not the FENCE. You do this by setting the fence parallel to the slot, then loosen the table from the trunnion and adjust the fence till you are sawing parallel to the blade track. With this method, a new blade can be tracked back into zero drift.

Michael Fortune has a video on this I recommend you check it out.

The wider the blade you use when doing this, the more accurate you will be.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1440 posts in 3243 days


#13 posted 12-04-2018 05:04 PM

An interesting approach, IF you can adjust your table that way. I don’t think my bandsaw table can do that, but I am going to check.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View dustie's profile

dustie

6 posts in 293 days


#14 posted 12-04-2018 05:54 PM

RWE, Yes I can loosen my table from the trunnion and have the placed the fence parallel to the mitre slot.

Your next instruction is to “adjust the fence until you are cutting parallel to the blade track”.

Sorry I’m so thick headed but please describe this process more carefully. And thanks for posting!

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2828 posts in 1705 days


#15 posted 12-04-2018 09:23 PM

The best thing in my mind about this is you preserve the illusion of the blade remaining parallel to the miter slot. Useful if you ever want to use the slot accurately.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1900 posts in 2666 days


#16 posted 12-04-2018 10:34 PM

I’m pretty sure in the Snodgrass video he specifically says NOT to worry about your wheels being coplaner. Get the blade tracking correctly in the upper wheel, and move on.

But yeah, I agree, the table should be adjusted so the miter slot (if you have one) is parallel to the cut, and then the fence (if you have one) should be adjusted so it’s perpendicular to the miter slot.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View dustie's profile

dustie

6 posts in 293 days


#17 posted 12-06-2018 05:07 PM

It turns out my drift problems were related only to a poor blade. Once I installed a 3/4” Wood Slicer and positioned the teeth just outboard of the top tire this machine now resaws beautifully!

Next question. On a MM16, can a 1/4” blade be used for small radius work without changing the existing guides?
The folks at Carter suggest replacing my guides with Stabalizers for bandsaw boxes, ect.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

10755 posts in 1621 days


#18 posted 12-06-2018 07:36 PM

You mean people at Carter want to sell you something? ;-)

I’m not saying it won’t help. But I have the stock guides on my bandsaw and use them with everything from 1/8” blades for scroll work to 1/2” blades for resawing. Sure, better guides would be handy for detail work. But the time it would take to change guides every time you change blades? Nope, not for me. I’m bad enough about resawing with a 1/4” blade because I’m too lazy to change the blade.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2828 posts in 1705 days


#19 posted 12-06-2018 10:20 PM



It turns out my drift problems were related only to a poor blade. Once I installed a 3/4” Wood Slicer and positioned the teeth just outboard of the top tire this machine now resaws beautifully!

Next question. On a MM16, can a 1/4” blade be used for small radius work without changing the existing guides?
The folks at Carter suggest replacing my guides with Stabalizers for bandsaw boxes, ect.

- dustie

Good to hear!, I run the 3/4” WS and really like it.
When I use a 1/4” blade I typically back off the side guides completely since I’m intending on doing curves.

I have bearing guides and they are a bit fat to be used anyway. The standard euro guides are too quirky for me.

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

598 posts in 386 days


#20 posted 12-06-2018 11:43 PM

One reason to re-adjust the guides when switching to a narrow blade is to avoid destroying the tooth set, a sure way to ruin the blade for tight curves.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4592 posts in 4225 days


#21 posted 12-07-2018 03:17 PM


Next question. On a MM16, can a 1/4” blade be used for small radius work without changing the existing guides?
The folks at Carter suggest replacing my guides with Stabalizers for bandsaw boxes, ect.

- dustie


You do not need to replace guides, just re-adjust so that you keep the guides behind the gullet of the blade.
Your blade is still centered in the wheel, so when you change from 3/4—>1/4 you will need to move the guides back or they will take the set and sharpness out of the teeth.

Carter is trying to sell you stuff… there stuff is good, but definitely not necessary.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View dustie's profile

dustie

6 posts in 293 days


#22 posted 12-07-2018 04:19 PM

I know the importance of adjusting the guides for each blade size. But the size and shape of MiniMax guides suggest they are awkward in positioning correctly with a narrow blade. I’ve read other comments about the Minimax configuration which prompted a discussion with Carter.
Anybody with a MM have an opinion?

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2828 posts in 1705 days


#23 posted 12-10-2018 03:24 PM

I took a shot of my guides (Carter) on my MM16:

I bought these guides second hand a number of years ago and really like them versus the originals (Euro).
They are sturdy, although could be better designed in my opinion.

Some people swear by the Euro style guides, others like me think they leave a lot to be desired.

This photo shows my usual setup with a 3/4” Wood Slicer. I made some dual side bearing extensions (the Carter price was just too crazy).

You should be able to run a 1/4” blade easily with these guides (the single side bearing version). I keep a 1/4” blade on a smaller 14” saw so I never need to put a small blade on my MM16.

I have considered switching to the Laguna ceramic guides but the Carters are keeping me happy for now.

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