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I got a bandsaw for my Christmas/ birthday


I have done a bit of experimenting with it and have some questions


one of the future uses is to rip planks, cut frames and such out of plywood.


I setup the fence and sliced of a few planks


what I got was planks that started at 2 mm thickness at the end that widened to 4 mm


I assume this is because the bandsaw belt bends outwards with the pressure.


I tightened the belt as much as I could before hand


is this normal on bandsaws and if so how can I avoid this.


as you can tell I am totally new in using power tools so any help would be appreciated :)


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A bandsaw takes getting use to each one runs a little different. On the one at work we use a rip fence and take into account the drift for the blade will want go with the grain. This can be alleviated by proper tensioning of the blade for ripping. For the accuracy you are looking for I doubt you will get that. A table saw will do a better job for accuracy. At work we demand a plus or minus 1/16 of an inch for bandsaw dimensions we can get closer but it is a problem.

David B

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Bandsaws can be used for ripping planks as well as doing scroll work.  First thing you need to do is tuneup your saw.  No saw comes from the factory ready to go.  There are several websites and some very good books on the subject.  Next think about your blade.  A thin blade will wander more than a larger one.  I use a 1/2 blade for ripping.  A skip tooth design seems to work better than a regular blade.  Last but not least you need to match your cutting speed to your wood.  Pushing the wood through to fast will garanatee a poor result.

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Hi Adrieke, prior posts are good advice.  


For me, I run a Delta 14" band saw and put a wide blade on it for ripping.  Wide means 1/2" with about 8 teeth per inch.  My band saw has only one speed setting so I adjust my feed rate to what the saw and blade can handle.  Tension the blade per owners manual and check it during the cutting as it will heat up and expand.  


I do not bother with a rip fence becuase of the wander.  I plane the bottom of the my wood so it is flat, sometimes the top too, run a pencil line along the top; and then saw to that, adjusting the wood so the blade stays at the pencil line.  


When I want multiple planks, I will rig a home made fence which is a 3" tall piece of wood cut to a narrow, almost pointy edge set just forward of the teeth. This acts as a fulcrum.  Keep the wood stock against this fulcrum.  It lets me prvot the wood so the blade stays on the pencil line and provides the same width for each plank.  (I will post a photo after I find my digital camera.)


Even when I get the planks the same width, wihch is rare, the planks are too rough to use on a model; they need planing in a thickness planer or thickness sander, or hand planed, what ever you have.  



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I suspect it could be your setup.  From my engineering experience, a bandsaw that has the supports spaced wide apart will tend to create an irregularly (i.e. not straight) cut.


As per HSE guidelines, the upper support of the bandsaw (= the two rollers where the blade runs in between) needs to be as close to the workpiece as is practicable.  That way the working part of the blade (i.e. that part of the saw where the actual cutting takes place) will be as small as possible and therefore as stiff as possible.


Having said that, I am uncertain of many hobby bandsaws offer that option.

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You need blade tension to be what is recommended and no tighter. Tighter will not stop wander, but it will shorten the life of your blade.


Make sure that you take the tension off of your blade when you are done for the day.


Here is a resawing guide:   http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/library/Slicing%20Wood.pdf

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We use both a rail and we do it free hand to a line.  For the thick stuff we would lay out a cut line and run it through the bandsaw.  For  railroad bridges we would cut 20ft lengths of 1/2 to 1 inch shock pad and we never use a rail or a fence.  I would start out at a right angle to the blade but would end up sometime 15 to 20% skew to it when finished.  The end product would be inspected plus a 16 minus 0. any closer and I would say it cannot be done  A bandsaw is not a precision tool.  There are many factors involved.  Feed rate material blade size tension and sharpness.  After two parts I would replace the blade because it would dull out and start over again.   For what you are doing a small table saw would be best.  Most of the timbering I did for my Latham was done on my Preac.  small but accurate.  A bandsaw has a place in a shop but not for finished lumber.

David B 

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If you want to learn how to set up your bandsaw properly, take a look at this you tube clip of Alex Snodgrass:



I watched this, took notes, then went and applied it to my bandsaw (I'm a complete bandsaw neophyte too), and it worked a treat. Very simple and easy to follow.


As for ripping planks - I would think you would need a re-saw blade for this. From what I've read, this is what the serious woodworkers use for cutting veneers on the bandsaw.


That said, I agree with other advice that a table saw is a better choice for this task.

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thanks all off you


i will take in your advice and do some more testing


grant thanks for the video link , i will give that a go this weekend (i hope) . hopefully i can do all the adjustments on my saw


what i noticed , but wasn't mentioned that the insert is pretty tight. the plastic one that comes with mine is pretty open so i might need to make one myself 

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It really is easy. I knew absolutey nothing about bandsaws but was able to understand and apply this easily. I made myself a set of written step by step instructions from the video so that I could work through them without constantly replaying the video. After watching the video (several times) I found that I actually understood what I was doing when I went to apply it in practice. I was put onto this video by the guys on the woodwork forum who all raved about how good it was.

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I don't mean to hijack your tread but I have another bandsaw question. On my bandsaw there is a problem where the blade doesn't track properly on the bottom wheel, what I mean is that the blade will be in the right position on the top wheel but will be at the very front of the bottom wheel sometimes to the point of the teeth hanging of the front of the wheel. When I first got the saw this didn't happen but with the last two blades has been getting worse. I have tried adjusting the alignment but it always does the same thing. Any thoughts? Thanks.






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Jud: If you are asking my if the bearings could be going bad my bandsaw is not all that old I have had it for about 5 years but don't use it all that much so I don't think that wear on the bearings would be the problem unless they were lemons from the start truth be told I wouldn't doubt it as it is a cheap banwsaw but there is no play in the wheels or noises that are normally attributed to bad bearings.





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Hi All,

I have just made a post in my build log that covers how I stripped some planks for my Tug.

I will copy it in here as it may be useful.


O.K, I experimented with stripping down the Huon pine.
I started with a block about 2" sq and slightly longer than the hull. After some careful setup with my bandsaw (all the guides adjusted and a good clean) and a new 14tpi blade fitted. I stripped two strips 12mm wide, then the remainder 6mm wide.
Then I fitted a low fence to my saw so I could lower my top guide to minimal distance above the work piece. After testing the thickness it was cutting on some scrap, I preceded to cut the 12mm down to 1.8mm thick strips.
I was impressed with the way the Huon cut. For those unfamiliar with this wood, it is a very slow growing timber found only in certain parts of Tasmania. It is reputed to be the best wood for wooden boat making worldwide and Tasmania has a quite a history for making wooden boats from this timber. In those days they pillaged the forests for it and now days it cannot be logged and only a limited number of people are allowed to recover non-growing timber for specialty woodworkers and craftsmen. It is also reputed to not rot and has a natural ability to take bends very nicely. I am just lucky to have inherited a nice stash from an uncle who had a keen eye for recycling wood.
I chose to strip to 1.8mm wide in the hope that I may be able to pull off a single layer hull. If not, I have the Walnut veneer to use as a second layer or I have tried stripping down to 1mm successfully and could possibly do two layers in the Huon.
Here is a pic of the Huon strips so far.
And of the saw setup.



This is a very basic overview of how I did it, but the main thing is, I managed to achieve very satisfactory results without the need for thicknessing or planing. Also my saw is only a very cheap unit, so don't think you need an expensive machine to get good results. It is more in the careful setup and blade choice (new blade if possible).

Here is a pic of some Myrtle planks that were stripped the same and only needed a light sand after planking.


Hope this gives people more confidence to try their own.

Cheers, Scott.


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  • 1 year later...

Hi Adrieke,

Sorry for the late reply, as an old nut with 3 band saws this info might help. Blades wander since the majority of teeth are stamping machine cut. This process leaves a burr one the opposite side which is normal dealt with by offsetting the fence. Like all industrial processes there can be some margin (play) in manufacture. Since blades are mass produced output cost is a major factor in blade quality along with blade stock.

Just like cars higher quality, tighter margins, materials used, workmanship, are factors in final cost. Stamped teeth are fast to make so usually command a lower price. If you desire a better quality blade consider a precision ground one. These blades are still stamped cut, additionally a precision diamond grinder is used to insure the blade teeth are very consistent, and REALLY SHARP wear gloves, also blade stock much better. The teeth are then heat treated to harder Rockwall numbers so should cut more footage before regrinding.

Personally I use a metal detector before resawing since striking metal can damage any woodcutting blade.

I have no interest in these blades but, are a good starting place:


If you wish to educate yourself on band saw’s I recommend getting this catalog (bible) which will explain how to reduce saw problems to near zero, because no blade can compensate for an improperly align saw:


Pardon the lengthy reply, and happy sawing. Ed


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