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Newb bandsaw question - cutting curves

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Forum topic by AliceAforethought posted 11-23-2020 08:28 PM 389 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AliceAforethought

23 posts in 2246 days


11-23-2020 08:28 PM

Hi Everyone,

Just bought and adjusted my new bandsaw, Rikon 10-3061. I am using the factory 3/8 inch installed blade for now, as I am new to bandsaws and just want to get used to the saw, and learn what it can do. My first attempt to do a gentle “S” curve cut on the saw (on 3/4 inch pine board) resulted in the blade coming off the wheels. I thought it was tensioned enough, but I guess not!! Live and learn…

Anyway, I re-adjusted the tension, and my second attempt did not have such drastic results, but I noticed the blade still turned as I rounded the first “S”. It was apparent that the blade was straining again, so I stopped.

Is a 3/8 inch blade too wide for cutting curves? Folks on YouTube make the cuts look so effortless. Or, is my technique wrong?

I hope I provided enough information, and thanks in advance for your replies.


12 replies so far

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

1636 posts in 577 days


#1 posted 11-23-2020 08:42 PM

I can’t remember where I saw it (probably a blade selection guide) that lists the maximum radius curve for each size bandsaw blade. You need to also have the right amount of flow while turning as you are cutting. Look up Alex Snodgrass Bandsaw Reindeer in YouTube to get an idea what’s possible.

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

1249 posts in 879 days


#2 posted 11-23-2020 08:43 PM

It depends on how sharp a curve you are trying to cut. In general, you should let the blade determine how tight a curve it can take. If it resists you are taking too sharp a turn.

FYI – many of us use a 3/16”- 4tpi blade for general bandsaw cutting.

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

View Charlie81's profile

Charlie81

10 posts in 118 days


#3 posted 11-23-2020 08:46 PM

Hi Alice!
I hope someone answers you because I have the same problem.

-- Charlie J81

View OldBull's profile

OldBull

309 posts in 271 days


#4 posted 11-23-2020 08:54 PM

I am new and learning as well.

This is woodcrafts explanation page for blades and list the 3/8 as a 1 – 7/16” radius.
https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/choosing-the-right-bandsaw-blade

Alex Snodgrass’s video for setup will teach you as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

896 posts in 2438 days


#5 posted 11-23-2020 09:17 PM

Everything you really need is right here in these two links. Start with the Alex Snodgrass video. It is a great video and will have your saw tuned perfectly.
Then the info on woodcraft is good too.
With a 3/8th blade coming off. Could be the saw is not tuned proper. Or you were forcing it to cut to tight of a radius.
Also if you Google band saw blade radius chart. You will get endless info.


I am new and learning as well.

This is woodcrafts explanation page for blades and list the 3/8 as a 1 – 7/16” radius.
https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/choosing-the-right-bandsaw-blade

Alex Snodgrass s video for setup will teach you as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU

- OldBull


-- John

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MrUnix

8361 posts in 3175 days


#6 posted 11-23-2020 10:02 PM

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3599 posts in 2774 days


#7 posted 11-23-2020 10:25 PM

I would like to suggest getting a new blade . The blades sent out with many different saws are usually junk. Not just Rikon .
I use Olsen blades on my small saw.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View AliceAforethought's profile

AliceAforethought

23 posts in 2246 days


#8 posted 11-23-2020 10:36 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies! I’ll start by watching the Snodgrass video first.

View AliceAforethought's profile

AliceAforethought

23 posts in 2246 days


#9 posted 11-23-2020 10:56 PM



It depends on how sharp a curve you are trying to cut. In general, you should let the blade determine how tight a curve it can take. If it resists you are taking too sharp a turn.

FYI – many of us use a 3/16”- 4tpi blade for general bandsaw cutting.

- Phil32

Just curious, what size balde do y’all use as you “go to” blade for routine cutting (not resaw)?

View jkm312's profile

jkm312

66 posts in 379 days


#10 posted 11-24-2020 12:39 AM

Alice

The Alex Snodgrass video on tuning up a bandsaw will take a lot of the guess work out of it. His message is to center the gullet of the blade on the upper wheel. Most of us use 3/16, 3/8 and 1/2 wide blades on 14” bandsaws. There is not a one size fits all, for all projects. TPI, teeth per inch plays into the equation as well. Olsen, Timberwolf make good blades. Carbide blades exist, but they are expensive. They last longer, you will have to chase that tiger’s tail on your own to know what is right for you.

Your saw guides are adequate for now, but they will wear out. When they do consider a set of Carter guides for your saw. I have wanted to change mine for a long while but waited until the saw told me it was time to change. I just did that within the last month, made a noticeable difference. It took about 20 minutes of reading thru the instructions and about 20 minutes of changing out the old guides. Two of the bottom bearings were seized. It is time, effort and money well spent. No regrets.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

929 posts in 362 days


#11 posted 11-24-2020 12:40 AM


It depends on how sharp a curve you are trying to cut. In general, you should let the blade determine how tight a curve it can take. If it resists you are taking too sharp a turn.

FYI – many of us use a 3/16”- 4tpi blade for general bandsaw cutting.

- Phil32

Just curious, what size balde do y all use as you “go to” blade for routine cutting (not resaw)?

- AliceAforethought


I have a 3/8” on as a matter of course on my 17” saw. Have never tried a 3/16” and only rarely 1/4”. For most curves, it works great. For tight curves, I go to 1/4” but tight curves mean different things to different people. I use Viking/Timberwolf blades mostly along with a few Olsen’s.

-- Darrel

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Davevand

231 posts in 1812 days


#12 posted 11-24-2020 04:57 PM


Just curious, what size balde do y all use as you “go to” blade for routine cutting (not resaw)?

- AliceAforethought


For that small saw I would use a narrow blade, 1/8, 3/16 or 1/4 with a 10 or 14 tooth count.
For my saw the 1/8 inch blade tend to break to easily so I use a 3/16 14 tooth blade for all my small projects

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