Band saw NEWBIE needs assistance re: achieving a smooth cut with a band saw.

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Forum topic by DocSavage45 posted 06-15-2013 01:48 AM 15534 views 1 time favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9071 posts in 4176 days

06-15-2013 01:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw question tip milling

My first forum post! Need some assistance. Just put a riser on my 1 hp 14 inch grizzly and put the blade they included on the saw. Read that tension should be light on the blade. Did some practice cuts attempting to get the smoothest cut.

Cutting 3/4 fir plywood and making a thein baffle. Increased and decreased the tension but I continue to get a ribbed edge on my cut?

It’s a 1/2 inch w @ 7 tpi. (close approximation.)

Reading advice and getting the general idea of feed and tension. I did use a straight edge to make sure the upper and lower wheels were in line, and the blade is in the center of the wheel

Not sure about the roller guides on the machine. Have them in close proximity.

Planning on doing some re sawing. Maybe some veneer work, but not with such rough a surface?

Lots of experience with circular and saber saws. This is different, and although easy to do cutting I am looking for a smooth cut.


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

41 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4024 days

#1 posted 06-15-2013 02:14 AM

Doc, If your cut is straight but rough, this is characteristic of bandsaw cuts. More TPI will smooth cuts but will cut slower.

If your cuts aren’t straight, that is another matter.

Maybe some pics of your cuts would help determine if your cuts are outside of “normal” bandsaw parameters.

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

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4176 days

#2 posted 06-15-2013 02:44 AM

See what I can do. Just that I’ve observed people re sawing and making veneers?

I did cut the top and the insert out and they are square to the surface.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4637 days

#3 posted 06-15-2013 02:54 AM

doc i dont own a bandsaw as of yet, but from what i have seen on the site is that the blades that come with the saw are not very good, you need to buy a few quality blades, and im sure if you do a search on the site, you will find blogs or forums where folks recommend the blades they like..dont know if any of this helps, but its all i know….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4176 days

#4 posted 06-15-2013 03:12 AM


I have a ripping blade but I wanted to get some practice time in and it is a new blade from grizzly. I have done some checking in the LJ’s back files. where I read that Micheal Fortune had suggested tensioning down the blade. I will post some pictures of the cuts I made for review tomorrow as I have cat feeding chores tonight.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4024 days

#5 posted 06-15-2013 03:14 AM

Doc, Most of the people cutting veneer are using carbide tipped blades with little or no ‘set’ to the teeth. These are about $200+ blades and even then some blade marks will need to be sanded out.

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

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4565 days

#6 posted 06-15-2013 03:28 AM

I use my 14 inch Grizzzly to cut stuff with a 1/8 inch blade – 14tpi. The cuts are pretty smooth. I have been cutting out letters and numbers, thus the 1/8 inch blade…Olsen mfg from Highland Woodworking.

Still got to sand if you want a smooth finish.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4176 days

#7 posted 06-15-2013 03:36 AM

$200 dollars!!!!!! LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4176 days

#8 posted 06-15-2013 03:39 AM

MT_Stringer Will be more precise in measuring TPI and I will try to get some clear close photos. Gotta go do the cat chores.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jte9999's profile


25 posts in 3436 days

#9 posted 06-15-2013 04:10 AM

For resawing I’ve been using the wood slicer blade from Highland, 1/2” 3-4 tpi configuration on a 14” delta w/riser block, and it works great. In my opinion it lives up to it’s advertised claims and nearly eliminated the ripple effect you described. I also like to position the blade so that the midpoint between the tooth tip and bottom of gullet is centered on the tire. Since the tire is very slightly convex, I feel this better supports the part of the blade which does the cutting. Hope this helps.
—jay KCMO

-- --half full, half empty? How about twice as big as it needs to be?

View BrianWells's profile


25 posts in 3268 days

#10 posted 06-15-2013 05:30 AM

Hey Doc, I agree with jte and gfadvm with aligning blade on wheels, and with less set, will produce smoother finished cut. If you have checked, wheels are coplanar, If carter wheels(bearing) guides set, I always set distance by folding dollar bill in half pressed to blade as gauge , tension on blade 1/4” or less deflection, feed rate should be slow on a 1hp machine, pushing the blade deflects it and will cause it to create side drift trying to catch up with the feed pressure. Setting for “blade drift” is the most crucial when re-sawing veneers. Good luck too ya

-- BWells,NY

View MrRon's profile


6256 posts in 4577 days

#11 posted 06-15-2013 04:17 PM

The first thing you should have done was to toss the blade that came with the riser kit. Get a Timber Wolf or Starrett “Woodpecker”. You will never get a smooth cut as with a table saw, but a new blade will help a lot.

View JAAune's profile


2088 posts in 3650 days

#12 posted 06-15-2013 04:24 PM

Since you installed a riser block, make sure you haven’t accidentally twisted the upper half of the saw out of alignment with the lower wheel. If they are twisted the blade will have to do a funny twisting motion as it travels around.

Drop the 7tpi blade and stick with 3tpi. The additional sawdust extraction ability of the 3tpi blade will lead to smoother cuts – especially when you resaw. Overheated, fine tpi blades can do funny stuff. I doubt that the Grizzly blade is a very good one either. It needs a good weld joint otherwise you’ll have a blade that bounces and rattles around as it travels through the cut. A good weld joint can be verified with a straight edge. Everything should be perfectly flat and aligned on both sides of the weld.

You didn’t mention if you were doing your test cuts freehand or with a fence. If freehand, your problem could be user error. When doing freehand cuts, feed the wood at a slight angle and use the back edge of the blade as a guide against one side of the kerf. It’s works on the same principle as a pivot pin on a router table. Just don’t apply much pressure or you’ll risk flexing the blade.

The rear bearing should be close to the back of the blade but not actually touching until you start cutting. The side blade supports need to be as close as possible without touching. A .001” would be about perfect. You’ll have to have a blade with a perfect weld for that to work though. Get a good blade.

If your side bearings are roller guides, you may be out of luck. Trying to get those things perfectly aligned and tight up against the blade is such a hassle it’s better to stick with the blocks. I’m sure with enough fussing you can get them set up somewhat but it’ll likely never be perfect.

Keeping the blade on the center of the upper wheel eliminates drift. You’re doing that part right.

If the saw has vibration in it that will cause problems too. Find the cause and eliminate it so the tool hums like a sewing machine.

-- See my work at

View Loren's profile


11369 posts in 4982 days

#13 posted 06-15-2013 04:29 PM

You’re stretching the capacity of the saw and
expecting a lot.

Fortune’s original stuff on resawing and bandsaw
setup wasn’t done with a riser block and with
a non split-frame saw. Thickness was under 6”.

Wide blades work better for straight cuts.
Blades over 1” wide are better, imo, because
they don’t lead as readily as they get a little
less sharp.

Keep resaw heights minimized and you’ll find
it’s easier to get nice parts out of the saw. Wide
boards tend to cup anyway when resawn.

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4176 days

#14 posted 06-15-2013 05:42 PM

jte9999, Brian ,MrRon, JAAuune, and Loren

Thanks for the feedback! Did notice some blade deflection, and I would hear a thump, thump sound. Rechecked last night and found 8 teeth from inch mark to inch mark.

I’m thinking I’ll make some cuts in some 2×8 material to show what GFADVM was asking for.

I have a well rated 3 tpi 1/2inch blade . Olson 105’’ Band Saw Blades 1/2’’ x 3 hook

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3752 days

#15 posted 06-15-2013 09:28 PM

I concur with the others that suggest using a blade with 3 TPI. I have a similar (import/made in China) bandsaw (the Busy Bee tools version) with a riser block. There are always some blade marks when cutting. That give me a reason to use my hand plane. For resawing I use a 1/2 blade with 3 TPI. Each time you change the blade make sure to take some time to set-up the saw. I took a set-up your bandsaw seminar at Lee Valley and the instructor basically follows the same process described in Michael Fortunes FWW article. Having everything set-up properly really made a difference. There are also some other useful FWW archives articles: issues 189 and 159

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

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