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Saturday, November 3rd 2018. | Bandsaw

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A bandsaw blade has to be matched to the job in hand and to a lesser extent to the size of the bandsaw. You would not try to rip a 2" board with a tenon saw nor crosscut plywood with a greenwood saw. You would select the right blade for the job and the same is true for a bandsaw. Just because the machine is powered does not mean that one blade will cut everything it wont. So we need a selection of blades dependent on what we are doing. Fortunately despite there being a vast array of blades to choose from we can do 99% of our normal work with just two or three different blades. Blade width Given that the challenge with a bandsaw is to get it to cut straight it is easy to think that the wider the blade the better and to a certain extent this is true. You are likely to get better results with a ½" or ¾" blade than a ¼" one. But the temptation is to go as wide as the wheels will take. Which is an inch or more.

As is most things in woodworking it is a matter of measure twice and cut once. Remember that the left over sections of log can often be brought back to the bandsaw to made smaller bowls or squares. One of the great secrets in woodturning is the use of the bandsaw with its capability to make curved cuts easily and safely. In cutting green wood it is the use of a narrow band with wide spaced teeth that makes the cuts work. To get the best out of your bandsaw one must start with a properly adjusted blade guide blocks thrust bearings and a squared up table. It is very important to check each of these factors every time you use your saw change your blade or when your blade and blocks show some wear. A properly adjusted bandsaw is a delight to use. However if improperly adjusted it can be a major frustration. There are five simple steps one must perform in sequence to assure a properly tuned bandsaw. 1. Tension the Blade To do this you use the "blade tightening" knob that protrudes above the case of the top blade wheel. Some saws have indications for different blade widths.

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If a sawyer runs the band too hard or too dull he will distort the front. Then when he sends it out for repair the sawfiler has no choice but to distort the middle and the back to make the blade equal everywhere. He can make the blade saw and appear as if it is restored it to original but it is not. Of course the tooth sharpness can be restored but I am speaking of the body distortion. Now after 3 or 4 runs the band has been distorted by the sawyer and then distorted by the sawfiler and the molecules pulled apart (cracks in the gullets) and the sawyer or owner asks what is the sawfiler doing wrong. It is not the sawfilers fault. It is a matter of stressing the blade more than it can stand. If you want this cracking to stop then you have to lower tension which in turn makes you slow down and pull the band for sharpening more often. Or leave the tension the same and just sharpen much more often. All in all keep the tooth load lower.

See that the fence as well the blade are at 90-degree to table. Choose a section of straight wood of up to three feet length. Draw a line in the center. Cut by hand down the line while maintaining the cut along the center line. Keep feeding at the usual speed. Once you get it straight clutch the wooden peace on the table. Switch off the machine. You already got the desired lead angle of this blade! Using a pencil draw a line straight on the table of bandsaw along the length of wood. With the help of a wrench loosen the bolts on the fence. Adjust angle on the fence alongside the pencil mark of the cut. Tighten the bolts. Now the fence is ready for the right lead angle of your blade. It delivers straight cuts. Fix it once once and keep going.

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