View Full Version : Bandsaws

Keith Sinclair
07-21-2013, 05:12 PM
Woodcraft had a sale on 10" Jet bandsaw.I have been using it some to cut calls into scales + cutting scales to shape.The plate has some vibration,I went thru the manual & addressed the causes,but still some.When I cut thru wood,there are small ridge marks on the face of the cut.It is no big deal since I sand them off.I was wondering if changing to a better saw blade would make a difference?

Dream Burls
07-21-2013, 06:45 PM
My understanding is that the stock saws that come with just about any bandsaw can be improved upon. But if you're getting the saw marks from a misalignment a better saw won't solve the problem. Any vibration could contribute to that. If your alignment is true a better blade will help minimize marks. Make sure the blade is just higher than the piece you're cutting. Air between the entry point and the guides should be kept to a minimum. There a whole science to bandsaw blades. Do some googling and you will come across a lot of tutorials about choosing the right one for you and what you cut.

07-21-2013, 07:30 PM
I am using a near 40 year old cast iron bandsaw I bought off craiglist in my own garage shop. When I got it it was nearly ready for the scrapheap (in appearance) and It had similar cutting issues - actually much much worse. After rewiring, cleaning off some rust and using youtube to guide me on setup/alignment. It now cuts like a dream.

Short of it is: bandsaws can be finicky. Rarely do any of them perform to their potential out of the box (short of maybe some of the big budget behemoths)...but they're also pretty simple and very durable. There are a ton of DIY tweaks people do to "tune" them/ In your case, the ridges you mentioned could be from the vibrations or blade, but more than likely they are result of either alignment of the wheels or the guide blocks. both can cause some tracking issues and cause a blade to wander. You can test a lot of these setup issues with a level and a square -- and a little bit of youtube browsing. There's tons of good info.

One tweak I'd recommend regardless - You can replace the stock guideblocks with some of the aftermarket ones (Cool Blocks is the brand I know). These are inexpensive and generally help you get a smoother, cleaner cut by reducing friction.

As Dream Burls mentioned, there is also a lot of science to blades. Here, the blade probably isn't your issue - but which ones you choose will matter for accuracy, durability...and for any curves you cut..so it may be worth looking into. The blade science stuff focuses on what material you are cutting (hardwood, softwood etc), type of cut your are making (resaw, ripping, curves/scrolling) and durability of the blade. You'll see references to different teeth per inch, blade width, tooth pattern , cut finish (rough/smooth) etc

Keith Sinclair
07-21-2013, 07:41 PM
Thanks I will do some research.

07-21-2013, 07:57 PM
Some stuff is inevitable, a lot can be tuned out. A bandsaw will never cut as smooth a tablesaw, but careful setup will return rewards.
I use a ShopSmith that is very old and gives pretty good results!

Marko Tsourkan
07-22-2013, 01:19 AM
Some stuff is inevitable, a lot can be tuned out. A bandsaw will never cut as smooth a tablesaw, but careful setup will return rewards.
I use a ShopSmith that is very old and gives pretty good results!

I use a ShopSmith as well. Great band saw.

Burl Source
07-22-2013, 02:28 PM
I use a 14" Jet Bandsaw with some upgrades.
The roller guides are way better than the friction guides.

Different woods and grain orientation are going to cut differently.
My advice is to keep the tension and tracking adjusted correctly.
Cut slow and when a blade seems dull, replace it.
I use 3/4" wide bi-metal blades for cutting stabilized and extra hard woods.
Kind of spendy though at $50+ per blade.

08-29-2013, 09:44 AM
I have been looking at bandsaws for a while now and I have been thinking of buying a Grizzly 14 inch for my home shop. I figure that I will be doing some resawing, but mostly cutting curves, etc. It comes with a 6 inch resaw capacity, which I think will be plenty for what I normally do (I figure that if I need to, I can get a riser block kit). Any coments or suggestions on other models?

08-30-2013, 03:39 AM
I got my delta off craigslist. Best $40 I ever spent on a tool.