Bandsaw box advice! New to the Jocks and a please help ;-)

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Forum topic by Notsquare posted 05-10-2013 09:57 AM 2177 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 2360 days

05-10-2013 09:57 AM

Hi! My name is Danny, and I am a newer woodworker. I started my obsession a little over a year ago. I have very little experience with tools, and/or woodworking. I just got a new bandsaw a few weeks ago and I have been trying to set it up, and learn to make bandsaw boxes. I got a 14inch Rikon bandsaw. I also got a 10TPI 1/4 inch blade 0.25 thick (Its a timber wolf by the way) and so far its been anything but a smooth experience. I have watched a lot of videos on tune up and setting up the saw. My problem is it seems rather impossible to get tight turns on the saw. I tried to do a few boxes and I am having a really hard time following the plans. So I have a few basic questions but I am more or less looking for tips, hints, and maybe some beginner friendly plans. My 1st question is Do I have the right blade? At the time I got the smallest finest blade they had. I wanted to get started straight away. But I feel like a smaller blade maybe even some more TPI would work a lot better for what I would like to do. Also can anyone help out with tensioning the blade? Timber wolf blades seem a little odd and its harder for me to get it set. The stock blade I got dialed in instantly. Cut wise they look too similar for me to believe I got this one set up correctly. So if anyone has any thing helpful to say, I am all ears.. Or eyes. Whatever I am paying attention :-) thank you in advanced! Can’t wait to share some of my work!

-- "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"

10 replies so far

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3797 days

#1 posted 05-10-2013 11:53 AM


Welcome to Lumber Jocks.

Sounds like you’re basically doing everything right, since you’ve been doing your research on tuning your bandsaw, etc.

Bandsaw boxes can be a challenge to cut and it can be from a number of things.

Let’s start with the stock you’re trying to cut. The thicker the stock and/or the hardness of the wood can create it’s own challenges when cutting out your box. Example; if you’re using something like cherry, walnut or maple and it’s 3 to 5” thick, you will have to get a feel for your feed rate (pushing your wood) and will have to take it a little slower. If you try to feed your stock too fast (no matter the width of the blade), you will find it hard to follow a line even on straight cuts.

The width of your blade will also play a factor on how it will track and how tight of a curve you will be able to cut. I know a lot of guys that use a 1/4” blade, but it will limit how tight of a radius you can cut. An 1/8” blade will allow you to cut a lot tighter radius, but you will have a little harder time making good straight cuts ( again it will have a lot to do with your feed rate).

I’ve always like using a 3/16”, 10 or 12tpi blade when doing bandsaw boxes. It usually allows me to make as tight of a radius as I need and still gives me a little more control when cutting in general.

The biggest mistake I see most guys make with a bandsaw is not pushing the wood square into the cutting edge of the blade. Pratice a little with scrap wood and watch how you push the wood when you start cutting a curve. We have a tendancy to push to the side a little instead of pushing our wood straight into the blade. Once you push your stock a little to one side or the other you will notice that the blade will begin to flex and two things begin to happen and it’s hard to correct if you’re not paying attention.

Your blade will no longer be cutting your stock at 90 degrees and it will want to wonder off your cutting line and you will have to start forcing your cut trying to get back on line. The thicker the wood your trying to cut the worse the problem will be. It won’t matter if your saw is set up right or not.

Teaching band saw classes, this was the most common problem I found when they were having trouble trying to follow a line in a curve. The tighter the radius, the more we have a tendency to push our stock a little to one side or the other and the thicker the wood only compounds the problem.

Good luck and look forward to seeing some of your boxes. The only things that limits you on making band saw boxes is the size of your saw and the size of your imagination.

Have fun.

-- John @

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3833 days

#2 posted 05-10-2013 03:01 PM

I think John made some great suggestions. I would second the use of a 3/16” blade since it makes curves a lot easier to work than the 1/4” blade will. Also, make sure your blade and table are 90 degrees from each other. It’s just a simple thing that can get overlooked and will cause your drawers and other sliding parts not to fit correctly.
If you can find one of the bandsaw books by Lois Keener Ventura, either borrow it or buy a copy. They are well done and they address bandsaw boxes directly.
Best of luck, you’ve picked an addictive aspect of our hobby to get into.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4335 days

#3 posted 05-10-2013 03:27 PM

3/16 3tpi works the best with the carter stabilizer

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3202 days

#4 posted 05-11-2013 01:03 AM

You have received excellent advice from the above three posters but I would add that Dujinsky’s Bandsaw Book is a great resource for all things bandsaw and well worth the small expense and the time to read it.

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

View Notsquare's profile


50 posts in 2360 days

#5 posted 05-22-2013 09:50 PM

Well THANK YOU ALL! I appreciate the information! Sorry this post took so long, battled a nasty cold. But thank you. I will look into the books as well as blades! Any other suggestions on brand of blade? I have timber wolf so far

-- "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"

View bondogaposis's profile


5542 posts in 2863 days

#6 posted 05-22-2013 11:50 PM

The above is good advice, also stoning the back of your blade will help a little.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2810 days

#7 posted 05-23-2013 12:04 AM

you have to get the Carter Bandsaw stabilizer to cut good bandsaw boxes its a must to have it will solve all your problems stabilizer stablizer stablilizer stabilizer stabilizer

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View Notsquare's profile


50 posts in 2360 days

#8 posted 11-26-2013 06:57 AM

Yea so the Carter Stabilizer rocks! I am going to do a bit more research but wow, I am blown away by that product so far.

-- "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"

View Danpaddles's profile


576 posts in 2823 days

#9 posted 11-26-2013 01:21 PM

I wish I had a Carter stabilizer. BTW- Carter blades work well too.

I use cool blocks, when I went to set the blade clearance, side to side, I finally tossed the ‘rules’ aside, and just snugged the cool blocks against the blade, right over the teeth. Not tight- but none of this stuff with passing a dollar bill between the blade and the guide. I ignored the part where they say to set the death of the guides to the gullets. The teeth will cut their own path in the micarta. Blade twist diminishes, on that skinny little blade. Read somewhere to try that- it works.

Cool blocks can be re-finished on your disc sander, if they get too grooved, touch them up a bit. Nasty dust though.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11853 posts in 3940 days

#10 posted 11-26-2013 02:07 PM

As to tensioning, my method is turn on the saw, loosen the tension til you get a flutter, retension until the flutter disappears. Then it’s tensioned correctly to THAT blade. All blades, even from the same manufacturer, require slightly different tension.

-- 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

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