Bandsaw Resawing with Cherry

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Forum topic by wbrisett posted 07-07-2012 04:55 PM 3749 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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205 posts in 3803 days

07-07-2012 04:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resaw burn cherry

I found somebody who had to take out a Texas Edwards Plateau cherry tree from his ranch. He got a local sawyer to mill it, and I bought the whole lot from him. The wood has been naturally drying for two years, and moisture content is nonexistent thanks to our heat and draught. ;)

I bought the Highland Woodslicer blade for my bandsaw. I took a small piece of wane this morning to see if I could play with resawing and squaring this wood. After putting on the blade and making what I consider the proper changes for the bandsaw blade, I joined one side of the wood, so I had a flat surface to use. Once I started pushing the wood through the blade though, I almost immediately started seeing smoke and black specs from the wood as I pushed through it. i stopped the saw a few times pulled out the wood and noticed what looked like black pitch on the blade. I was able to finish up the cut, but with lots of smoke and black ‘pitch’... I was able to get a nice piece of wood out of it by joining, planing, and sawing on the table saw. However, it took my about 30 minutes to clean the blade up using mineral spirits and a shop rag. Once I finished, I used table wax on the blade to prevent rust.

My questions are:

1) Should I be seeing this much burning?
2) Is it just that species of wood that burns?
3) I’ve spent a while adjusting and readjusting the blade and tension, but could it still be an incorrect setup?

I haven’t done a lot of resawing, and definitely not any on raw trees/lumber. Are there some recommendations folks have?


15 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7480 posts in 3948 days

#1 posted 07-07-2012 05:04 PM

I think you have some “drift” in your band saw. There are a lot of folks who swear that once a band saw is completely and correctly/accurately tuned you will not have drift. I am not one of those guys…since I could never get mine to saw without correcting for the drift. It’s not hard to do, but your fence must be adjustable (an alternative would be to use a single point fence). There is a lot of info on the web about this, but take a look here and see if this might help. Good luck, the woodlsicer is a great blade and the one I use for resawing.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5368 posts in 5415 days

#2 posted 07-07-2012 05:37 PM

There are a lot a “sugars” in cherry and maple, so any heat from a blade will burn the wood. Sometimes a wider set in the teeth of a resaw blade will solve a burning problem. I, too, have had good success with the Woodslicer. You might want to experiment (if ya don’t have any drift) with a more aggressive blade.
What blade width are you using? The one I’ve used is a 1/2” variable tooth Woodslicer. I will use a 1/2” 3 tpi blade for more resenous/sugary woods. Not as clean a cut, but no bad burning. Got to have a deep gullet to clear the dust from the cut to prevent the burn.

-- [email protected]

View Don's profile


2 posts in 3604 days

#3 posted 07-07-2012 05:45 PM

Get a set of Cool Blocks for your bandsaw, if drift is the issue, you can actually run the blade snug between them without burning up the blade (it does a number on the Cool Blocks). Another possibility would be to use two bar clamps to steady the wood and make sure that your blade guide is very close to the wood with as little clearance as you can manage.


View wbrisett's profile


205 posts in 3803 days

#4 posted 07-07-2012 05:45 PM

Thanks Bill… I’m using the 3/4” blade 105” in length. I opted for the 3/4 over the 1/2 since I was going to be doing a lot of resawing. I’m going to recheck and set things up again later tonight and give it another go.


View whitewulf's profile


456 posts in 4392 days

#5 posted 07-07-2012 06:11 PM

Which way are the teeth pointing? should be down toward the table.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1312 posts in 3689 days

#6 posted 07-07-2012 08:03 PM

Try a 1/2’’ 3 tpi blade. My Delta 14’’ cuts with out drift after I watched Alex Snodgrass’ viedo on YouTube. Watch it and tune up as he recommends. I also added, among other things, a sturdier tension spring so proper tension is achived at the scale shown on the tensioner.

-- Jerry

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4776 days

#7 posted 07-07-2012 10:46 PM

Although drift is unlikely to be your root problem I’ll take a seond on it. Drift can be cause by one or both of two major areas. Either the saw itself can impart drift or the blade can impart drift. I properly set up saw can cause drift but usuallly once the saw is initially set up and stays that way the blade is what is causeing drift. Poepl that claim once the saw is set up correctly they never see drift are either very lucky or aren’t looking hard enough. Most blades with set teeth (as opposed to ground teeth like a carbide blade) will drift, some very little and some a lot. In either case one needs to set the table (most saws don’t allow the proper table adjustments) or the fence to account for the drift. The number one cause of blade drift is imperfect tooth set, either from the factory or by damage.

Cherry species are one of the woods that exhibit a high degree or burning so one must take care to prevent it.

My guess is your issue is the blade, the Woodslicer and the other bands also make from Atlanta Sharptech stock have very little set and will have a higher propensity to burn wood. I would get a low TPI hook tooth blade (3tpi or less) and I think all your issues will go away, the finish will not be as smooth as a Woodslicer though. I don’t know what saw you have but no wider than 1/2” if you have a 14” Delta or Delta clone.

@Gerald With the higher spring rate spring just be careful you don’t destroy the tracking arm, that is the achilles heel of that saw! Also understand the scale can’t always be correct since a thinner gauge band needs less tension than a thicker gauge band of the same width and the blade type can vary the required tension by as much as 100%. The problem is the gauge only measure absolute pressure not the correct actual metric which is tension on the blade, usually expressed in PSI.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 4453 days

#8 posted 07-07-2012 11:54 PM

I would also jump on a spring, assuming that with a 105” blade that it is a 14” saw with a riser block. I had a hard time with my saw when I put the riser block on until I upgraded the spring.

A lot of people really swear by the Woodslicer but I have not had good luck with them. I have had more consistent results with Timberwolf blades. I also use roller bearings that fit in the stock blade guides.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View wbrisett's profile


205 posts in 3803 days

#9 posted 07-08-2012 01:06 AM

I want to look at several things to double-check my alignment, but AHuxley, since you asked, this is on the Grizzly G0555, which according to the manual can handle 3/4-in. blades. Still, I may put on a 1/2” blade I have to see if it helps. The spring seems fine, in fact if anything I’m guessing I tend to run the saw a bit tighter than recommended, but I’m going to reset it for 1/4-in. deflection and see if that helps.


View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4776 days

#10 posted 07-08-2012 01:14 AM

@David The Woodslicer is a very limited use band, it can only be used for cuttiong straight, mainly a resaw blade. Properly used it will give the best finish of all the non-carbide tipped blades due to its lack of set. But is does have its limitations, like the OP’s use.

View wbrisett's profile


205 posts in 3803 days

#11 posted 07-08-2012 01:45 AM

And the winner of “Is Wayne really an idiot?” goes to: whitewulf!


Yep, funny thing is I spent a lot of time dinking around with the settings and it hadn’t dawned on me that I had uncoiled the blade so it was facing the wrong way. No wonder it didn’t work! Changed the blade direction, reset the thrush bearings and tension and like magic, I was slicing the cherry like butter and without the smoke, and black specs. ;)

Thanks everybody!

Wayne (your resident idiot for the evening).

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4145 days

#12 posted 07-08-2012 02:05 AM

At least that was an easy fix!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 3688 days

#13 posted 07-08-2012 02:14 AM

If you are still struggling when resawing very thick wood try ripping a groove with a thin kerf blade on the tablesaw from both edges before you resaw. This effectively reduces the thickness by about 6 ” . I find it also reduces the blade wandering .

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View whitewulf's profile


456 posts in 4392 days

#14 posted 07-08-2012 02:30 AM

This happens a lot Most will not admit it happened to them. It is so easy to do 50/50chance when a blade is uncoiled. I do a lot of internal sawing, meaning I cut the blade, put thru hole in part, reweld the blade saw out inside details.

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View dkg's profile


30 posts in 4540 days

#15 posted 07-08-2012 04:54 AM

For deep cuts 6-12” get a blade that has some depth (1-1.25”), 1.5-3TPI, and preferably carbide tipped (pricey). Shouldn’t matter what wood you are cutting. The blade of destruction has cut at least 400 bd ft of Amazon rosewood, Koa, Nip, Acacia mangium, Koa formosa, etc.

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