Band saw wander

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Forum topic by Farrout posted 03-18-2014 12:22 PM 1906 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Farrout's profile


187 posts in 3427 days

03-18-2014 12:22 PM

I have a small Craftsman 10” band saw. Admittedly not expensive but it’s all I have room for.
The blade will constantly wander to the right when I’m cutting.
I’ve changed the blade, tried different tension settings, checked the guide bearings but no help.
Any advice on doing a straight cut with a cheap band saw?
I’ve watched as many videos on youtube as I could find.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius!

11 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile


2832 posts in 2569 days

#1 posted 03-18-2014 12:35 PM

If the tension is too loose or the guide and blocks are set too high and not close to the workpiece it will wander. If those things are in order I can’t offer any more.

View johnstoneb's profile


3080 posts in 2445 days

#2 posted 03-18-2014 12:56 PM

It is probably the blade. The set is stamped into bandsaw blades and it is very dificult to get the same set on both sides of the blade. This will cause the blade wander as you call it to one side or the other. If using a fence angle your wood until it is cutting straight turn of saw with out moving wood then angle fence to match angle of the wood. The saw should cut straight then. You may want to try a different or better quality blade that may help.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Farrout's profile


187 posts in 3427 days

#3 posted 03-18-2014 02:30 PM

Thanks for that.
Any recommendations on where to buy 70” bands?
I think I found the one I have on Amazon.
It’s not a popular size.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius!

View TheDane's profile


5592 posts in 3935 days

#4 posted 03-18-2014 02:35 PM

I had one of those saws … always had problems with the blades I bought from Sears.

Finally solved the problem with Timberwolf blades (see: ). Also had good luck with Woodslicer blades from Highland (see: ).

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View jfastman's profile


10 posts in 1803 days

#5 posted 03-18-2014 02:49 PM

I just purchased the Craftsman 10” about a month ago and have the same problem with the 70.5” Sears brand blades. My old Ryobi cut better than the Craftsman. I was looking for the same information. Thanks “TheDane” for the links.

View a1Jim's profile


117489 posts in 3850 days

#6 posted 03-18-2014 03:05 PM

follow the tips on this video and it should solve any problems you have with your band saw.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2719 days

#7 posted 03-18-2014 03:09 PM

Most of the problem with blade wandering on a bandsaw in my opinion is related to the blade itself,a bad weld would be the very first thing I would suspect,although it’s hard to visibly detect it but if you feel a small lump or an indentation at the weld,then you will most likely have a wandering blade.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View shipwright's profile


8224 posts in 3070 days

#8 posted 03-18-2014 03:11 PM

I’m really impressed with Diamond Sterling blades. Here is a blog showing how well one of them tracked on my 11” Shopsmith BS. They are sold by the inch. The one in the blog is 15 cents /inch. For you that’s $10.50.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View DrDirt's profile


4529 posts in 4015 days

#9 posted 03-18-2014 04:10 PM

I like Alex’s approach – - in the Video A1Jim posted.
I would look for gunk on the tires.

DONT try to make the wheels coplaner. the Top wheel tracking is the important one – the lower wheel is just to give the blade a path back to the top wheel.

it is the top wheel +top guide that determine what is happening on your workpiece. European bandsaws don’t even have lower guides.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Farrout's profile


187 posts in 3427 days

#10 posted 03-22-2014 06:58 PM

I ordered the 1406PC Timberwolf band saw blade from Suffolk.
I ordered the 70”, but should hve ordered the 70.5”.
It fit, but just barely.
I had a piece of 2” pine I had previously made a slice on, to compare.
Here is a picture.

I made two cuts with the new blade and am amazed at the result. I didn’t think my little saw would do it based on the last performance.

I cut a slice as think as I could and it turned out excellent.
Picture of stock.

Picture of slice.

end .047
middle .039
other end .042

This represents two cuts. I can live with that.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius!

View TheDane's profile


5592 posts in 3935 days

#11 posted 03-22-2014 07:16 PM

Farrout—I have seen new, high-end bandsaws with crappy blades that don’t cut worth a hoot. At the same time, there are a lot of guys with low-end bandsaws that are properly tuned and equipped with a quality blade that produce first-rate work.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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