Bandsaw Cedar Logs Straight Rip Cuts

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Forum topic by RossNC posted 05-21-2019 11:32 PM 610 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 29 days

05-21-2019 11:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw log resawing resawing question

So my grandfather passed away and nobody in the family wanted his old Rockwell (Delta) 14 series bandsaw, so I got it. I put it on a rolling base and took it apart some knocking off any rust and such so that it was usable again, familiarizing myself with how it functioned and so on. I checked the wheels and they were fine and not dry rotted at all, and I checked all the guide blocks and the drive belt as well making sure nothing was in disrepair. It wasn’t a tool I saw myself getting anytime soon and it just kinda fell into my lap. I bought good Timberwolf blades for it in a variety of sizes so that I would have what I needed no matter what project came up.

Turns out the first ‘project’ was some cut up cedar logs I had cut down a week before getting the saw all squared away. I have cut them into about foot and a half sections and I want to rip them into rough plank sizes to then use them for future projects. I’ve tried a few but hit a few hitches in the project.

I’ve checked the thrust bearing and the guide blocks and they are set properly as is my tension. The tension of the blade is set to as high as I think I am comfortable with on the back of the unit (just above 1/2” mark) without getting really hesitant to jack up the tension higher.

I am using a 3/4in 93 1/2” 2-3tpi VPC Timberwolf Blade (Item 3423VPC if it makes a difference)

1) I can’t seem to cut for very long without choking the bandsaw. I think this is because I am rolling the log on the table without thinking and choking out the bandsaw because it cuts fine for the first half or so of the log but definately has trouble on the last inch or so.

2) I can’t seem to make the perfect straight cuts I am looking for. I think this is because I choke the saw and have to lead it back wait for it to speed up and then proceed slowly.

Now I will say I am kinda maxing out the cut/throat space on the saw right now because it only has like a 6.5” throat space and I have that thing jacked all the way up and some of my pieces barely clear under the guide blocks at times.

Is there anything I should be doing or a jig that I should build in order to assist myself better?

17 replies so far

View TungOil's profile


1255 posts in 884 days

#1 posted 05-22-2019 12:23 AM

Build a sled that rides in the miter slot to hold log while you make the cut. The ones I’ve seen screw or clamp into the end of the log being cut. I’m sure you can find examples here on LJ, try the search function.

Welcome to LJ BTW.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View RossNC's profile


7 posts in 29 days

#2 posted 05-22-2019 12:46 AM

Didn’t see the search function up there TungOil, used it and OH MAN are there a ton of options. I guess my limitations are really the throat space of my saw (6.5”), it DOES have a miter slot so that opens possibilities a bunch. And it has a very sturdy fence on it that works well on everything except logs (due to the circular nature of logs). I think I will use that search function some more and build something this week and use it this weekend. I want to get these planks cut out ASAP so they can get stickered and drying.

View BobAnderton's profile


294 posts in 3179 days

#3 posted 05-22-2019 03:33 AM

If you’ve got a jointer making a flat surface on the side of the log to ride on the bandsaw table will help keep the log from changing its orientation while you’re making the cut. That said, a sled that the log is screwed to as mentioned above also works. My last comment is that those Timberwolf blades are designed to make a minimal kerf width, which is great if you are resawing perfectly dry and square boards. For what you’re doing you’d be better served with a blade with lots of set that makes a really wide kerf, like a green wood woodturner’s blade like this. It’s designed for wet wood, and being a 3/8” blade it’s easier to get adequate tension on.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View HackFabrication's profile


134 posts in 101 days

#4 posted 05-22-2019 11:12 AM

For a quick fix, you might try tapping in a wedge on the cut end of the log. Use a small wood shim (available at most big box stores). If the blade is binding in the kerf, it will cause the work piece to rotate.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View Lazyman's profile


3412 posts in 1777 days

#5 posted 05-22-2019 11:25 AM

Welcome to LJ. +1 on making a sled and make it long enough that you can use it on some longer logs in the future. You may want to look at the timberwolf blade selector to see if the blades you bought are suitable for milling green wood. You don’t necessarily have to use a blade specifically designed for green wood but the VPC blade you mentioned might not be the best choice for green wood, though I am not familiar with that specific blade. BTW, The rule of thumb is that you want at least 3 teeth in the wood at all times so keep that in mind, especially when cutting thinner stock. If cutting something 1/2” thick, you would need a minimum 6 TPI for example.

As for the tensioning the blade, with the Timberwolf blades in particular, you don’t need to really crank them down. I use the flutter test to set the appropriate tension. Basically, with the guides disengaged from the blade and the height set to maximum, simply tighten until the the blade no longer flutters and runs smoothly, then set the guides. Simple as that.

And if you haven’t already, everyone new to the bandsaw should watch the Snodgrass Bandsaw Workshop video. Lots of great tips to setting up and using a bandsaw.

Note that you can probably find an extension that will increase your cutting thickness by 6”, though you will have to buy longer blades if you do. When you wear these out, you might consider adding the extension at that time. Of course if the motor is underpowered, that might not work all that well but if you get it setup and use the right blade it could work okay.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View bondogaposis's profile


5401 posts in 2740 days

#6 posted 05-22-2019 02:06 PM

I think that a 3/4” blade is too much for that saw, try a 1/2” blade and you will be able to tension it properly and get better results.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5205 posts in 4350 days

#7 posted 05-22-2019 02:18 PM

1/2” blade is as wide as I ever use on my 14” saw. 3 tpi.

-- [email protected]

View RossNC's profile


7 posts in 29 days

#8 posted 05-22-2019 03:11 PM

I don’t have a joiner (not enough space in garage right now for anything extra), but I did toy with the idea of getting one straight cut on the bottom about an inch in since that would be waste anyway. And then I used that flat surface down on the table to then ‘square up’ the log against a makeshift log rip guide, plywood 5” tall screwed into the guide that I already have fixed into place using machine screws so it can be removed later. It helped but I still think my logs were rolling by the rubbing I was getting on the inside of the log.

Never would have thought about starting the cut then throwing a wedge in the back. That might keep me from having to buy more blades. But I may do so anyway just because I do have 6 or so more of these to rip and I want good results. Then I can coil up the blade for later knowing what its intended purpose is.

I bought a variety of blades first, and my understanding was the larger blades like the ¾” mentioned above were for resawing and such especially with green logs. I know it was basically maxing out the blade size for my bandsaw but I was under the impression that I needed it for what I was doing. Basically, the larger teeth and spacing between teeth was good for cutting and clearing out the sawdust when making these cuts in the wood. None of my cuts have been less than like 2” wide so I haven’t really had to worry about switching blades.

I thought about getting a spacer (is what I think it is called) to increase my throat space on the saw to 12” or whatever but I am pretty sure the motor would be grossly underpowered for that task. I’m just using the bandsaw now to see HOW I use it and if I like it I may go get myself a more modern model with some of the bells and whistles I am missing right now on this 20 year old saw. Especially since this saw cost me very little to go and get and so far I’ve only dropped like 200$ on it between the blades and the mobile base I bought for it.

I think the ¾ blade is tensioned properly using the flutter test mentioned above by Lazyman. And when I bought the blades the guy at my local woodworking shop said sometimes you don’t need the marked tension to get the results you want. I have purchased the below listed 4 blades all Timberwolf.
1) ¾” x 2-3 VARI PC .025” TPI 2-3 ITEM:3423VPC
2) ½” x 3 PC .025” TPI 3 Item: 1203PC
3) ¼” x 6PC .025” TPI 6 Item 1406PC
4) 3/16×10RK .025” TPI 10 Item 31610RK

I know I need to use the first or second one to do these log cuts, bought the later two for work later. Timberwolfs blade selector ( lists the following for the ¾” as (Hardwood) 3” – 12” (Softwood) 3” – 10” Kiln and air dry, and the ½” as (Hardwood) 3” – 10” (Softwood) 3” – 8”. Looks like Timberwolf sells a green log blade listed as ½” x3AS .032” Hardwood and Softwood 3”-12” may have to get my hands on one of those.

Another thing that bothers me about this saw is that the guide blocks are metal and that just rubs me wrong (no pun intended). The guy at the shop gave me a pice of oak and told me to cut myself some new guideblocks for the top and bottom out of it and set the metal guides aside. Is this accepted or even suggested by any of you guys here?

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11578 posts in 3818 days

#9 posted 05-22-2019 03:38 PM

I used oak guides, soaked in used motor oil, for years until I got the carter guides. The nice thing about the oak guides is that you can set them against the blade. And for the smaller blades, you can set them tight and, let the blade cut a recess. Helps with tight curves.
I agree with bondogaposis. A 3/4” blade is to much for that saw.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Lazyman's profile


3412 posts in 1777 days

#10 posted 05-22-2019 04:35 PM

I didn’t catch that you were using a 3/4” blade. I agree with the others that you will probably get better results with 1/2” blade on that saw. 3/4” might be tough to get centered properly. Also, watch the Snodgrass video mentioned above for the proper way to center the blade on the wheel. When I moved mine back to the position he noted, it was a game changer for me, especially for milling green hardwood.

Lots of people use hardwood glides for their saws—the harder the better. You often see them use some sort of exotic or tropical hardwood that has lots of natural oils in the wood.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View ibewjon's profile


566 posts in 3182 days

#11 posted 05-22-2019 06:58 PM

I use 3/4” blades on my 14” saw with no problems. A 3/4” blades bends around a 14” wheel with no problem. The load on the saw comes from the thickness of the wood and the number of teeth imbedded in the cut. Highland Hardware has some great blades. I never use the tension guide on my saw. I have always been told the guides are not accurate, just a place to start.

View RossNC's profile


7 posts in 29 days

#12 posted 05-22-2019 07:15 PM

I agree Carter Guides would be the way to go, although the ones for the Round Delta (Rockwell) posts run about 200$ and right now the saw seems to function well enough for my liking to get the job done.

Why all the back and forth about a 3/4 or 1/2 blade? I have a few ppl saying the 3/4 isn’t needed and others saying that the 3/4 should be fine. I don’t have any issues centering the blade on either the crown of the top wheel or in the table itself. The 3/4 seems to run just fine to me, I think my issues personally stem from not having a proper log guide and or sled when cutting these cedar logs.

I will admit I am new to bandsawing so I could know nothing about this, fair point. And I am pretty much maxing out the throat space on my saw so I was under the impression that I wanted fewer teeth in contact with the log (especially since these logs are green and hardwood), in order to reduce load. I’m not looking to go fast, I’m just looking to get the job done with a clean straight cut that is somewhat square so when I finish the pieces on a planer that I don’t have to cut them down too far and can still have some thick pieces.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1360 posts in 1883 days

#13 posted 05-24-2019 06:54 AM

+100 That 3/4 inch blade is too much for most 14” saws. Use 1/2” with 2/3 TPI.

I think that a 3/4” blade is too much for that saw, try a 1/2” blade and you will be able to tension it properly and get better results.
- bondogaposis

1/2” blade is as wide as I ever use on my 14” saw. 3 tpi.
- Bill White

I didn t catch that you were using a 3/4” blade. I agree with the others that you will probably get better results with 1/2” blade on that saw. 3/4” might be tough to get centered properly.
- Lazyman

+1 Follow the blade selector at Timberwolf or Lennox.
If you are re-sawing wet lumber, need to get right blade with wider kerf than that used for normal hardwood

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View RossNC's profile


7 posts in 29 days

#14 posted 05-24-2019 06:27 PM

ok so based on what you guys have told me here I placed an order on the Timberwolf website for the following Timber Wolf® 1/2” x 3AS
Listed to saw green wood. This should give me time to build the sled and to get the wood ready to get turned into planks. So I will let you all know how that goes once the blade gets here and I have a better plan in place for what sled I plan to build to make this all happen.

Thanks for all the input!

View Horus's profile


39 posts in 57 days

#15 posted 05-25-2019 02:49 AM

I built a scalable router flattening sled/planer that works well on round logs. One of the motivations for that was to square up wood in prep for further milling like redrawing. I have that posted on . It’s a quick easy jig with a lot of uses. I’ll try to post a link when I get to a computer.

Flattening the log first will eliminate the roll when resawing.

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