Resawing Lumber Part 2

bandsaw photo

Yeah I know, the guy above isn’t resawing wood, he is just cutting a piece on the bandsaw. As lazy as it sounds, I just grabbed an image off the internet and slapped it up there to give an image of a bandsaw. My apologies, been so busy. Anyway….

A Leading Question In Stock Control

There are few things easier than cutting a straight line. All you need to do is figure out how the saw wants to do it and then follow suit. Although that sounds like a lark, we’re actually serious in that description. Bandsaw blades are meant to cut in perfectly straight lines – unless there’s something wrong, of course. The trick is that each blade will do things their own way, such as having its own “lead angle.”

Use a point block fence or a curved fence with enough height to hold your piece up if you only have to cut one or two pieces. Next you’ll want to mark a cut line along the length of the stock, making sure to leave a lot of room for error. Now you can set the point block where you want and cut it freehand. You may need to adjust the feed direction along the way. While the technique is imperfect, making you waste some wood and do some planning, you will still get the job done quickly.

Cutting more than a couple of pieces, though? You’re better off putting up a straight fence to get those cuts predictable. It will also increase your accuracy while minimizing your waste and how long it takes to finish.

Now you want to pay attention, because this is where things can go wrong: when you’re determining the feed direction for your blade, you only care about what cuts. After all, your miter slot isn’t what’s cutting the wood. Why would you set your rip parallel to the miter?

The table’s front edge does’t do it either, so don’t bother with your square. A bandsaw fence could be your friend if you can’t get your fence to go right or left about 1/2″ away from the parallel with the miter slot. Otherwise you can’t use it. An auxiliary face that is high enough to secure your resaw stock about 5″ or 6″ vertically is what you should outfit your fence with.

bandsaw photoHave a 8/4 piece of scrap wood that’s about 2 – 3 feet long laying around? Take it and joint one of its edges straight, mark a line parallel to that edge, and rip freehand along that line, making sure to adjust the feed direction so you make sure you’re cutting along a straight line.

Stop once the line has split to about 4 of 5 inches. Shut off the saw after holding down the stock to the table. Use a pencil to mark an erasable line along the saw table that uses the test piece’s straight edge as a reference. Now put your rip fence parallel to this new pencil line. This is only your approximation right now. Next is the fine tuning.

Next you want to create a short resaw cut either in your actual piece or in a similar test piece that is almost he same hardness and width. Stand a straightedge against the board’s resawn face when your cut is finished. Only lucky people won’t see that their blade bowed to the right or left while in the stock. Thankfully this bowing can tell you what you should do to fine tune your saw.

We all know that the blade can’t just go sideways in a piece of wood. These bowed cuts come from the teeth leaning to one side or the other. This happens in the wood because they’re free of any constraint from the lateral guides. You want your cut to stay vertical, so you should adjust your fence so it matches the direction the blade twisted. For example, if you’re bowing to the left, you’ll want to adjust the fence’s rear slightly to the right. It’s the exact opposite if it bowed to the right.

Finally, do another test cut and see how it went. You can take up to a few test cuts to make sure the fence is ready for precise sawing. But once you have it set, you’re good to go as long as you’re there cutting.

Photo by tsakshaug

Photo by Nadya Peek

Updated: February 16, 2017 — 11:56 pm
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