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Forum topic by Alex Lane posted 04-07-2008 01:07 AM 16041 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alex Lane

552 posts in 4430 days

04-07-2008 01:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw drift wood-slicer resaw

Hello everyone!! I have been trying for several hours trying to get my big 20” bandsaw to resaw a board correctly. I have a crappy homemade “t-square” fence that pivots on a bolt so I can adjust for blade drift.

I have done several things I can to ensure the best bandsaw setup i.e., coplanar wheels, blade square to table, blade guides directly on the blade, and I have even attempted to set my fence at the proper angle to accomodate the drift of the blade. I have a Highland Woodslicer 3/4” blade. The only thing I can think of that I might not have right is the tension.

Here are some pics of my results…


My methods follow the directions recieved in Highland’s Guide To Successful Resawing
Please help! Any suggestions will be most welcome!! If there is another forum post about this, please refer me to it.

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

20 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4528 days

#1 posted 04-07-2008 01:23 AM

It’s either tension or feeding too fast I would think.

The curve means that the blade is flexing.

Set the tension higher.

Try drawing a line down the center of a board and cut it following the line.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4277 days

#2 posted 04-07-2008 01:27 AM

Looks like your tension is WAY too low and one must tension properly before trying to set the fence for drift. You might try getting info on the tension for the woodslicer you are using. I use carbide blades for the band saw and they use different tensions. It could be you have too many teeth on that particular blade. For re-sawing, I recommend a 1.5 to 2 teeth per inch blade. You must have enough space adn gullet depth for the material to pass through the wood. The more teeth the more heat build up. John

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Grumpy's profile


25788 posts in 4391 days

#3 posted 04-07-2008 01:34 AM

I had similar trouble until I saw a magazine article on how to make a resaw jig. Finished it yesterday and I cut a piece of 3mm veneer 10” wide as straight as you can get. If you would like a copy of the article send me a message. glad to do the same for any other jocks.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4414 days

#4 posted 04-07-2008 01:57 AM

I have been having the same problem. I got tons of great advice on my blog about my bandsaw frustrations. (Check it out).

If your blade is too wide you may not be able to tension it properly. Against your better judgment, a narrower blade may work better because you can achieve greater tension.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4562 days

#5 posted 04-07-2008 02:23 AM

When I finally pulled my 1” resaw blade and put on a new wood slicer the problem I was having disappeared.
It only takes one or two teeth to spoil your cut and.. your tension is too low regardless.
Try a new blade before you waste any more time.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4284 days

#6 posted 04-07-2008 02:23 AM

Tension is the curve problem. Make sure your blade is running in the center of the tire. Adjusting that will effect your drift. If you can get the blade right in the center of the tire/wheel you will barely have any drift.

View markrules's profile


146 posts in 4655 days

#7 posted 04-07-2008 02:26 AM

If you’re guide rollers are pressing against the teeth instead of the body of the blade, that can cause the cuts you see here. Low tension is probably to blame as well.

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

552 posts in 4430 days

#8 posted 04-07-2008 09:23 PM

Thanks everyone!! Blake, GREAT POST. That really has some good info.

I thought y’all would find it interesting that my B-saw HAS NO TENSION SPRING. It is an old Brodhead Garrett J-Line 20” bandsaw that I picked up from a high school woodshop. I practically dissected the thing before I tried to run it, and I was shocked to see that there is no spring in the wheel tensioning system. There’s just a big threaded rod with a wheel handle that threads into the upper trunnion (I think that’s the right term). You can see it below the upper wheel door in the photos.

Here is a picture of the MODEL of bandsaw saw I have—-THIS IS NOT MY SAW!! Mine actually has a table and runs…sort of.

Would anyone advise trying to add a compression spring to the saw’s tension system, or should I just leave it alone and try to find the correct tension anyway?

I’m worried that all the strain is on the blade, and if the blade encounters any extreme tension during a cut, there is nothing to absorb the strain, therefore….SNAP!…buh-bye to a $50 blade. There’s a big ol’ 3HP motor on the saw that runs 3450 RPM and transfers 690 RPM to the drive wheel via a 2” pulley and a 10” pulley. THE RESULTING TORQUE IS MASSIVE….. to say the least.

So I’m confident that my motor can cut anything I put in the saw, but will my blade do so under occasional extremes/shocks of high tension?

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 4415 days

#9 posted 04-07-2008 09:50 PM

Another, thought:

Sometimes, a dull blade will yield strange results; however, they tend to be less severe than what you show. Either way, a sharp blade, plus proper tension, will help to get you in the confort resawing zone.

If you have a little time, read some of the stuff I have written on my blog – you might already be familiar with most, or all of it.

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4714 days

#10 posted 04-07-2008 10:50 PM

If you’re serious about setting the tension in your bandsaw blade properly, then you should invest in a bandsaw blade tension gauge.

Otherwise, it’s just a guess (though it may be an educated and fairly accurate one in many instances…).

-- Ethan,

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4608 days

#11 posted 04-08-2008 12:30 AM

One way that helps is to score the cuts. I always use a marking guage to score the cutline on each side of the board. Another way is to use a tablesaw blade to take a very shallow cut on each side so that the even thinner bandsaw blade will follow. This isn’t so great for thin veneers as most TS blades don’t get much thinner than 1/8”.

Tension is my guess as well as far as your direct question. The blade is flexing. Can’t think of another way that a curved cut is possible. I’d slow down as well to eliminate that variable. Blade choice could be a culprit. As much as I hate changing blades, it is an absolute must when going from curved cuts to resawing or something of the like.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

552 posts in 4430 days

#12 posted 04-08-2008 03:22 AM

THANKS EVERYONE. I TRIED YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR TENSION AND CHANGED THAT 1/4” OF BLADE FLEX INTO ABOUT 1/16”. But it still flexes a little to the left, with the tension as high as I can set it. Maybe I need to angle my fence more to the right. Today I was cutting through 4” of qtr-sawn red oak and I couldn’t get a flat surface. The resultant boards were thinner in the middle along the length, and the blade still flexes in the cut. HELP!!! THIS SAW WILL BE USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR RESAWING.

So I’m probably going to start a big argument, but what would be everyone’s recommendation for brand of resaw blade? I’m not really in the market for carbide (unless you know of a place that sell them for less than 50 cents per inch—I need 12’ 4” or 148”) but I would like to know what works for different people. I am drawn to the Woodslicer because of the variable tooth spacing. It really makes a smooth cut surface that requires little more than sanding. But maybe it’s not the right blade for me.

Should I go with a 1/2” blade instead of 3/4”? Should I change to urethane tires? Where can I get shims to get my wheels to be coplanar? How do I get my top wheel to stop wobbling? (yes, I can spin the wheel by hand and watch the blade track from front to back of the tire as it turns). My saw is obviously not in as good of shape as I had thought or hoped….it is over 40 years old and was used by high school students ….yikes!!

Thanks for the great suggestions…KEEP ‘EM COMING

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4608 days

#13 posted 04-08-2008 03:47 PM

The only quality blades I’ve used are Timberwolf’s. Woodslicer’s reputation is enough for me to consider them in the upper echelon as well, but I haven’t used it myself. Number of TPI and the hook set are also key. Any manufacturer will have information in determining the pro’s and con’s of all their variables.

The wheel wobble is without a doubt and issue if you can visibly see a wobble. All saws are a little different in tuning this. I’d search the net for a model specific manual or forum. Changing tires never hurts, but might not be the culprit. Urethane is the way to go, I’m told. I would not go down to 1/2” from 3/4” unless the saw can’t handle 3/4”. The larger the better is a true statement until the point where the motor can’t handle the size.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10777 posts in 4592 days

#14 posted 04-09-2008 08:00 PM

Do you have the blade(s) tracking in the MIDDLE of the tires?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 4339 days

#15 posted 04-09-2008 08:27 PM

Is it at all possible that he (you) may be trying to run it thru to quickly?Your pictures show what looks like burning to me. A piece of clear packing tape on one side of the cut edge helps to prevent that even in band saws.If I just made a complete fool out of myself with this thought let me know I can handle it!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

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