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Posts Tagged ‘bandsaw’

Bandsaw Won’t Cut Straight – How To Fix It Once and For All

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Bandsaw Fix won't cut straight blade drift

Believe it or not, it’s the nature of a bandsaw to drift either left or right of being perfectly parallel with the bandsaw fence.  It doesn’t have to do with the quality of a bandsaw. But it’s not necessarily the quality of the blade, either: if you swap the bandsaw blade with a new quality blade, the only thing that changes is the angle at which the blade drifts. Rest assured, it still won’t cut straight with the fence. Being a happy bandsaw owner (and user) has a lot to do with your approach to coping with the fact that a bandsaw simply will not cut straight, or, in the sage words of veteran woodworkers, “adjusting for drift.”

The trick is in adjusting the fence, not the blade.

powermatic bandsaw fence

The Powermatic 14" bandsaw uas 4 bolts on top of the fence. Use these for adjustment to make the saw cut straight

While adjusting for drift is a process you’ll have to do every time you change the blade, it’s a very quick and painless exercise as long as your fence has some adjustment to it. And it may not be obvious. Even the top performing 14″ bandsaw on the market, Powermatic’s 14 Bandsaw 1791216K, comes with a no-frills fence with 4 bolts on top rather than easy and obvious thumbscrews or knobs that say, “Adjust me here!”

The tried-and-true method to adjusting for drift goes like this:

  1. Take a board about 20″ long and mark a straight line along the length, parallel with (and about an inch from) the edge of the board.
  2. Turn on the bandsaw and begin to cut that board, following the line as perfect as you can (note: freehand, not with the fence.
  3. Stop the cut about halfway through the board
  4. There’s your angle. Using a pencil, trace the edge of the board on the table top
  5. Adjust your fence to match the line you drew on the bandsaw table. Now the fence is aligned to cut straight with that blade set up

Our demonstrator, Joe, came up with this auxiliary bandsaw fence that uses his factory bandsaw fence that didn’t have any adjustment to it.  Making the bandsaw cut nice and straight with this fence is a snap. The only tool required for adjusting is a screw driver.

Materials Required:

  • 1 x 4 hardwood suitable for new fence.  Length slightly longer than bandsaw table width.
  • Round Head Machine Screws –  2pcs –    ¼” x 20 x 1 ½”
  • Flat Washers –  2 pcs  –    ¼” flat washers
  • Dowel –  3/8”  approximately 4” long

Making the Fence:

  • Cut 1 X 4 material slightly longer than bandsaw table width.
  • With router cut a shallow channel across wooden fence approximately aligned with the bandsaw blade.  Use ½” core box bit
  • Use 7/8” forstner bit to countersink screws in face of wooden fence
  • Drill wooden fence with 9/32 bit for screws
  • Mark holes on factory fence
  • Drill and tap factory fence to accept 1/4 x 20 machine screws  – drill with 7/32” bit and tap with ¼ x 20 tap.
  • Assemble with ¼  X 20 X 1 ½” screws through fence with dowel in the groove.  Note:  dowel could be glued in place, but I chose to keep it loose in case I want to use a smaller or larger dowel in some situations.

auxiliary bandsaw resaw fence fixes drift

 

 

A Better Way to Clamp Jigs to Your Bandsaw Table

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

After hours at our stores this month, we’ve been hosting a series of  seminars called How to Get The Most Out of Your Bandsaw (info). Our demonstrator, Joe, has a pile of smart jigs for doing operations like pattern cutting, repetitive curve cutting, log slicing, and so on.

But what really caught my eye was this smart clamping block:

Clamping block with a rare earth magnet

(click to zoom) The underside of a bandsaw table isn't smooth but has ridges, which makes attaching a clamp a small chore. These blocks cut to fit within the recesses on the bottom also have a magnet to hold them to the table. wah-la!

magnetized clamping blocks

See that? The Rare Earth magnet is recessed into the block flush. Since it'll stick right to the bandsaw door, you'll never lose it. And since it'll stick to the under side of the table, you can dedicate both hands to snugging down your clamp rather than fidgiting with it all and wishing you had a third hand.

The serious work of woodwork

The easy clamping block makes jig set up a much simpler action. And now.... on to the real work of woodwork.

Making Thin Wood: Resawing Lumber with a Band Saw

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Resawing to make thin wood is simple in concept, but it comes with a few challenges as well.

Resawing to make thin wood is simple in concept, but it comes with a few challenges as well.

So you want 1/8″ thick exotic wood, or maybe thinner? Or slice a 3/4″ thick board into some 1/4″ thick pieces? It’s a common question from our customers.  “Can you slice a thicker board into numerous thinner boards?”  It’s a sensible question because it seems like a big waste of wood to plane a 3/4″ thick board to 1/4″.  So, sure, resawing is no problem.

Well . . . sort of.

Check out this great video from The Woodworkers Guild of America about resawing with your band saw.
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