Resaw question for those with more experience

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Forum topic by Hotpuppy posted 12-14-2013 10:51 PM 2664 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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69 posts in 2751 days

12-14-2013 10:51 PM

Hi guys, I am still new to woodworking, and still setting up my shop. I am considering the differences between a table saw and a bandsaw. I have already made the investment in a planer and a jointer. I will be purchasing my lumber in unfinished or rough condition. What I’m curious about is what is the safest and most efficient way to break down the lumber.

For example, for example, I have it use of lumber that is 7.5” x 2” by several feet. It is hard maple. Is it more efficient to cut to length and then divide it, or is it more efficient to re-saw and then cut to size? What I mean by cutting it to life and then dividing it would be this. First I would cut it to 36 inches long, then I would cut it to 3 1/4 inches wide, then I would run it through the table saw and re-saw it.

The other way that makes sense to me, is to cut it to length, 36 inches. Then to restart on a bandsaw or a table saw, and then to cut it to width after planing it. The advantage to me of the first method is that it will accommodate more work and twist of the wood with less waste.

I originally was planning to use my tablesaw for resawing. However, I am concerned that this might not be very safe. I had thought about purchasing a bandsaw, and the one that I want is a G0555 series from grizzly. I’m also considering a G0513 series from grizzly. Both saw seems like they would be capable, my worry is that the 513 is more expensive, and the 555 looks like it’s something that I might outgrow rather quickly.

So I wanted to find out how other woodworkers reseller lumber and what others have found to be the safest practices for resawing. While saving money is important, my fingers are priceless. I have always been very careful with power tools and as a result I’ve not had any serious accidents or injuries. I would like to keep it that way! It seems like a bandsaw is a very safe way to resaw with minimal waste. When I purchased my lumber for the current project I plan on taking 8/4 down to approximately 3/4. I plan that I would lose roughly a quarter of an inch between the saw process and the planing. Is that a reasonable amount to assume for loss?

17 replies so far

View Jered Allcock's profile

Jered Allcock

8 posts in 2635 days

#1 posted 12-14-2013 11:16 PM

Bandsaws are useful, but tablesaws are more so in my opinion.

If you try and resaw 7.5” hard maple you’ll blunt your bandsaw very quickly. If your tablesaw has enough torque, i’d absolutely cut it on there, do it in a few passes though.

If it were me personally and had no other option I’d plane one face and both edges, ripsaw it to 1/4 of the depth of cut from both edges, raise the blade again to cut to the middle of the timber. Use push sticks, take your time and have some wedges to hand if the timber starts to bind on the saw you can drive them into the saw kerf to separate it better to stop it from jamming on the blade.

You’ll struggle to get 3/4 inch out of 2 inch maple, after you resaw timber it doesn’t stay flat. This is because you loose moisture from the face that you’ve just cut, which means a lot of planing to get it flat again. It might be ok, and stay reasonably flat, but you’ll still be looking to take off a good amount on the planer. A good tip is to leave it to settle for a couple of days after you’ve cut it to let acclimatise because if you plane it flat straight away the chances are that it will move after you’ve planed it.

The most preferable solution is just to start out with 1” timber.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12300 posts in 4433 days

#2 posted 12-14-2013 11:18 PM

Safest? Bandsaw.
Best use of wood? Bandsaw.
Get the G0513. You’ll only cry once.
With a bandsaw, you should be able to get two ea. 3/4 thick boards after planing. Of course, that will depend on how rough it is and how much it’s twisted.
I’d cut it to length plus a skosh first. Then resaw and plane. Finally, cut to final length.
You’ll need a good resaw blade for the bandsaw. Stock blades that come with machines are notoriously bad.

-- 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 nwbusa's profile


1023 posts in 3291 days

#3 posted 12-14-2013 11:26 PM

For resawing, a bandsaw in generally the preferred machine to use, as it will handle wider stock (up to the resaw capacity of the saw, motor power and blade quality permitting) whereas a 10” tablesaw is limited to a bit over 3”. The kerf of a bandsaw is also less than that of a tablesaw, resulting in less waste, although this advantage can be negated by the fact that boards cut with bandsaw will often require more cleanup after cutting.

You should be able to yield two 3/4” boards from 8/4 stock in most cases. Good luck!

-- John, BC, Canada

View BArnold's profile


175 posts in 2837 days

#4 posted 12-14-2013 11:28 PM

I bought the G0513 many years ago and never regretted it. After a couple of false starts with other blades, I bought a 1/2” Woodslicer that made resaw much easier. I could saw 3/16” veneers off a 12” board, then plane it to 1/8” or less.

I always analyze my project carefully, then cut rough lumber to oversize lengths first. Next, I resaw to thickness as needed and let it rest overnight. Then, I plane to final thickness, rip and crosscut to final size.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

View Hotpuppy's profile


69 posts in 2751 days

#5 posted 12-15-2013 12:22 AM

Great responses…. which is what I love about this site. :)

First, my table saw is a 3hp, 3ph Unisaw, so it probably can cut anything I feed it. To me it’s about safety and efficiency.

Second – It sounds like most of you would cut to length and then resaw raw stock. Ie. cut to 36 inches by 7.5×2 and then resaw to two boards before moving on to smaller pieces.

My “right now” project is a bunch of cabinets. I don’t need huge width right now.

Am I wrong to think that if I am making cabinet frames with this material that I would cut to length, joint a face, joint a side, rip to 3.75”, resaw to get down to rough thickness, and then finish from there?

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3492 days

#6 posted 12-15-2013 12:46 AM

Unless you have 3.75” cutting capability on your unisaw, you’ll still be much better off resawing first.

For safety if nothing else.

Remember, the tablesaw is going to try to throw the back of the piece up and at you because it is lifting.

The band saw always cuts downward, negating that problem.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View bigblockyeti's profile


7073 posts in 2725 days

#7 posted 12-15-2013 12:50 AM

I bought a tablesaw first, planer second, bandsaw third and jointer fourth. Your first method would be better due to twisting, warping, cupping and crooks in boards that would yield less finished wood if resawn at full length, then cut to length. It’s also safer trying to manhandle a 3’ – 4’ board than a 8’ – 10’ board. The only thing that might make sense to resaw first is when you take planer snipe into account, if it’s bad you could have 3” at the beginning and 3” at the end of each board that would have to be added to the finished cut length. A bandsaw is more efficient and safer for resawing lumber than a tablesaw.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Hotpuppy's profile


69 posts in 2751 days

#8 posted 12-15-2013 12:52 AM

@Dallas – exactly what I am afraid of… I have a great deal of respect for power tools. A good strong tool that slices metal or wood will just as easily slice fingers!

The comments pretty much confirm that a bandsaw needs to be on my agenda. Now the questions are:

Would the 555 work? and what would be the type of work that would outgrow it?

If I put the riser kit in the 555 would that fix it?

Or do I need to pony up for the 513 ?

Can I make the resaw fence or am I better off with the resaw fence that Grizzly makes?

For what it’s worth, I like the fence on the 513….

I think at the end of the day this is a $250 difference between comparably equipped saws…. still that’s real money not monopoly money… :)

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3603 days

#9 posted 12-15-2013 12:58 AM

Better to get the bigger capacity and motor. Less hassle than riser block, better value in the end. You have 3ph power? So going bigger than 110 shouldn’t be a problem right? Why are you not buying 4/4 or 5/4 lumber and bypassing the resawing/planing step? Sorry for all the questions.

View Hotpuppy's profile


69 posts in 2751 days

#10 posted 12-15-2013 01:20 AM

@Shane – yes I have 3ph power…. and lots of it. However, I’m not going into the cabinet business… although it darn sure feels like it… my credit card thinks I’m in that business already lol.

On a more serious note, I still want to be able to re-arrange my shop as various projects take shape. I also want to chase a dream of being able to make my own cabinets and furniture.. :) I do tech work during the day and it’s nice to do something with my hands when I’m not working.

To be honest, I guess I could have bought S4S lumber and moved on, but for my first project it makes more sense to save $15 and make my own lumber. My first project is a 350 Gallon built in aquarium:

Not the best picture, but the idea is to make some panels that look like a built in aquarium stand. They will be maple frame cherry center. The panels are not structural and do not need to support weight. The lower front will be fixed, all others will be removable using button-fix to hold them in place.

This puts the aquarium away while still facilitating access for cleaning, maintenance, etc.

I don’t think the panels need to be 1 inch thick. I actually am thinking of like 1/2” panels with 1/4” plywood. While S4S is nice, I don’t like the finish on it anyway… why pay for it when I’m going to cut it off?

What I noticed at the lumber yard was that 8/4 was better quality.. IMHO. I also like the accomplishment of being able to say that I bought a 12 foot piece of lumber and turned it into so many smaller pieces for my project. Maybe it’s wanting to be self-sufficient, maybe it’s being a glutton for punishment…. :)

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 2903 days

#11 posted 12-15-2013 03:38 AM

If you are going to do a lot of resawing, get a bandsaw for sure. I have timber on my place and I also barter for windfall trees. I have them sawn locally to 5/4 for drying. With that thickness, I can resaw them for boxes or plane them to a full one inch for furniture. I prefer a full one inch or at least 7/8 when making most styles of furniture. It just has a more substantial look to it, especially for table tops.

If you get a bandsaw, get Wood Slicers from Highland. They’re great. Buy a Grizzly at least, more if you can afford it. I would not buy a big box brand under any condition. Just my opinion. If you buy a substandard to too small a bandsaw, you’ll pay the “stupid tax” of getting a bigger/better one as soon as you begin working with it.

If you don’t intend to do more resawing, do it on the table saw. Use a rip blade, not a combination. You’ll lose more wood, but you don’t need a bandsaw for just one batch of free wood.

BTW, there’s usually no such thing as “free” wood.

-- --Dale Page

View Hotpuppy's profile


69 posts in 2751 days

#12 posted 12-15-2013 03:54 AM

I ordered the Grizzly 513, resaw fence, and a couple of Timberwolf blades to go with it. :)

I will cry for a few months while I pay for it, but it will help me avoid the stupid tax as you so correctly put it… I’ve paid that tax a few times.

View MrRon's profile (online now)


5990 posts in 4248 days

#13 posted 12-15-2013 07:55 PM

The best bandsaw will fail miserably at resawing if you don’t have the very best blade. I can’t speak for the Timberwolf blades, but I get good results using Starrett “Woodpecker” blades. I don’t get any blade “drift” and I’m even using a Ridgid BS, not the highest quality BS around. If you have a good blade, you don’t need to buy a fence. A 2×4 clamped to the table works just as well.

View Hotpuppy's profile


69 posts in 2751 days

#14 posted 12-16-2013 12:27 AM

Good to know, didn’t realize Starrett made blades… they make fantastic tools. I will look for them when it’s time to buy another blade.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3695 days

#15 posted 12-16-2013 01:59 AM

My favorite resaw blade is the 3/4” 2/3 tooth bi-metal from Timberwolf. Not cheap but excellent cuts with my 17” Grizzly Extreme Series saw.

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

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