Are you tired of getting inconsistent results or wasting expensive wood? In this article, we’ll provide you with valuable tips and techniques to help you achieve accurate and efficient resawing results. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you’ll be able to achieve consistent and precise resawing results. Start by reading this article carefully and taking notes on the key tips and techniques.
- Use a sharp blade: A sharp blade is essential for a smooth and efficient resawing process. Make sure to replace the blade if it’s dull or damaged.
- Adjust the blade tension: Proper blade tension is crucial for accurate and safe resawing. Adjust the blade tension according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Use a fence: A fence helps keep the board straight during resawing and ensures consistent cuts. Use a tall fence that’s perpendicular to the table.
- Take your time: Resawing requires patience and attention to detail. Take your time to ensure accurate cuts and avoid mistakes.
- Use a resaw blade: A resaw blade has fewer teeth per inch than a general-purpose blade, making it more efficient for cutting thicker boards.
- Use a slow feed rate: A slow feed rate helps prevent the blade from overheating and prolongs the blade’s lifespan. Use a consistent, slow feed rate throughout the cut.
- Use a blade guide: A blade guide helps keep the blade straight and prevents drift during resawing. Adjust the blade guide according to the blade’s size and the board’s thickness.
- Use a sacrificial fence: A sacrificial fence can help prevent tear-out during resawing. Attach a thin piece of scrap wood to the fence to act as a sacrificial face.
- Use a high-quality bandsaw: A high-quality bandsaw can make resawing easier and more accurate. Look for a bandsaw with a large table, strong motor, and precise blade adjustment mechanisms.
Choosing the Right Bandsaw Blade
In order to achieve accurate and precise resawing results with your bandsaw, it is important to select the right blade for the task at hand. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right bandsaw blade:
Blade Width and Tooth Configuration
The width of the blade and the tooth configuration will determine the type of cut you can make and the quality of the cut. A wider blade will result in a straighter cut, while a narrower blade will produce tighter curves. The tooth configuration can range from fine to coarse, with a finer tooth producing a smoother finish and a coarser tooth producing a faster cut.
Blade Tensioning and Tracking
Blade tensioning and tracking are crucial for the bandsaw to operate correctly. Proper tension ensures that the blade stays straight and doesn’t deflect during the cut. Tracking refers to the alignment of the blade on the wheels. An incorrectly tracked blade can lead to poor cuts and premature blade wear.
Blade Material and Thickness
Blades are typically made from either carbon steel, high-speed steel, or carbide-tipped materials. Carbon steel blades are affordable and can handle most general-purpose cutting tasks. High-speed steel blades are more expensive but are more durable and can handle higher cutting speeds. Carbide-tipped blades are the most expensive but offer the longest life and can cut through the toughest materials.
How to Select the Right Blade for the Type of Wood Being Resawn
Different types of wood require different blades to achieve optimal results. Hardwoods such as maple and oak require a blade with fewer teeth per inch (TPI) and a wider blade to prevent overheating and burning. Softwoods such as pine and cedar require a blade with more teeth per inch (TPI) and a narrower blade for smoother cuts. For resawing, a blade with at least 3 TPI is recommended to prevent overheating and burning, and a width of at least 1/2 inch is recommended for straighter cuts.
Setting up the Bandsaw for Resawing
Setting up the bandsaw for resawing is crucial to achieving accurate and safe cuts. Here are the key steps to follow:
Adjusting the blade guides and bearings
- First, ensure that the guides are properly aligned with the blade by adjusting them to the thickness of the blade.
- Then, adjust the bearings to be in contact with the blade without causing too much friction. This will help prevent the blade from drifting during the cut.
Setting the blade height and angle
- The height of the blade should be set so that the gullets (the spaces between the teeth) are just above the wood being resawn.
- The blade angle should be set to 90 degrees to the table, or slightly tilted back for thicker wood. This will ensure a straight and clean cut.
Proper blade tension and tracking
- Tension the blade enough to prevent it from slipping or bending during the cut, but not so much that it causes excessive wear on the blade or the saw’s bearings.
- Tracking refers to keeping the blade centered on the wheels. To do this, adjust the tracking knob or tilt the top wheel slightly until the blade stays in the center of the wheel.
Dust collection and safety measures
- Bandsaw resawing generates a lot of sawdust and debris, so make sure that the dust collection port is properly attached and functioning.
- Wear eye and ear protection, as well as a respirator mask if necessary, to protect against sawdust and loud noise.
To achieve the desired results when resawing, proper technique is essential. In this section, we will cover two important aspects of resawing: feeding the wood through the blade and proper hand placement and pressure.
Feeding the wood through the blade:
- Begin by ensuring that the blade is properly tensioned and tracked.
- Use a push stick or a push block to guide the wood through the blade, keeping your hands safely away from the blade.
- Apply consistent pressure as you feed the wood through the blade, using a slow and steady motion.
- Be aware of the sawdust buildup around the blade, as this can cause the wood to bind and kick back.
Proper hand placement and pressure:
- Keep your hands at a safe distance from the blade, using a push stick or push block as needed to guide the wood through the cut.
- Use a relaxed grip on the push stick or block, allowing the tool to do the work.
- Apply steady and even pressure, avoiding any sudden or jerky movements that could cause the blade to deflect or break.
- As you near the end of the cut, use a scrap piece of wood to support the workpiece and prevent it from splintering.
Using jigs and fences for accuracy:
- A resaw fence is a tall auxiliary fence that attaches to the bandsaw table and provides support for the wood being cut. This helps to prevent the wood from drifting away from the blade during the cut.
- A resaw guide block is a jig that attaches to the blade guides and helps to stabilize the blade during the cut. This can be especially helpful when resawing thin pieces of wood that can be difficult to keep straight.
- A taper jig is another type of jig that can be used to resaw tapered pieces of wood. This jig can be adjusted to match the angle of the desired taper and helps to keep the wood from rocking during the cut.
Tips for resawing thick and thin pieces of wood:
- When resawing thick pieces of wood, it is important to take your time and not force the cut. Let the blade do the work and make sure to use proper hand placement and pressure to keep the wood moving smoothly.
- Resawing thin pieces of wood can be challenging, as the wood can easily flex and drift away from the blade. Using a resaw guide block or a thin-rip jig can help to keep the wood straight and prevent it from binding in the blade.
- In general, it is important to pay close attention to the wood during the cut and make any necessary adjustments to the feed rate or blade tension to ensure a smooth and consistent cut.
Common Problems and Solutions
When it comes to bandsaw resawing, there are a few common problems that can arise during the process. Fortunately, most of these issues can be addressed with proper technique and a little bit of troubleshooting. Here are some tips for dealing with common bandsaw resawing problems:
Blade drift and how to correct it
- Blade drift occurs when the blade veers off course during the cut, resulting in uneven or angled cuts.
- To correct blade drift, adjust the angle of the blade to match the direction of the drift. This can be done by adjusting the blade guides or using a drift adjustment jig.
- It may also be necessary to adjust the blade tension or the placement of the fence or guide.
Burning and chattering during the cut
- Burning occurs when the blade is running too slow or the wood is being fed too slowly, causing the blade to heat up and scorch the wood.
- Chattering occurs when the blade is vibrating or bouncing during the cut, resulting in a rough or uneven surface.
- To avoid burning and chattering, make sure the blade is sharp and properly tensioned. Also, use a slow, steady feed rate and avoid twisting or bending the blade.
Preventing blade deflection and breaking
- Blade deflection occurs when the blade bends or flexes during the cut, resulting in a wavy or uneven cut.
- To prevent blade deflection, use a thicker blade with a lower tooth count. Also, avoid twisting or forcing the blade through the cut.
- Blade breaking can occur if the blade is too tight or too loose, or if it is damaged or worn. To prevent blade breaking, make sure the blade is properly tensioned and maintained.
Blade maintenance and sharpening tips
- To ensure the best performance from your bandsaw blade, it is important to maintain it properly.
- Clean the blade regularly to remove sawdust and debris, and apply a lubricant to reduce friction and heat buildup.
- Sharpen the blade when it becomes dull, or replace it if it is damaged or worn.
- Use a honing stone or diamond file to sharpen the blade, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper angle and technique.
Advanced Resawing Techniques
1. Cutting Veneers and Bookmatched Boards
Veneers are thin slices of wood that are used to cover or decorate surfaces. Bookmatched boards are created by resawing a board in half and opening it up like a book, creating a mirror image of the grain pattern on both halves. These techniques require precise and careful resawing to achieve the desired results.
To cut veneers, it is important to select a straight-grained board that is free of defects. The blade should be thin and sharp, and the wood should be fed slowly and evenly through the blade. A feather board or other jig can help to keep the wood stable and prevent it from shifting during the cut. The resulting veneers can be used for a variety of applications, such as furniture inlay, marquetry, or decorative panels.
Bookmatched boards require resawing two pieces of wood that have been glued together face-to-face. The blade should be set at an angle to create the desired bookmatched pattern. It is important to keep the blade at a consistent angle and feed the wood through the blade slowly and evenly. Once the two halves have been resawn, they should be planed and sanded to create a smooth surface.
2. Resawing Curved and Irregular Shapes
Resawing curved and irregular shapes can be challenging, but it is possible with the right technique and tools. A bandsaw with a narrow blade and a high blade speed is best for this type of work.
To resaw curved shapes, it is important to make a template of the desired shape and attach it to the wood. The wood should be secured in a jig or vise to keep it stable during the cut. The blade should be set at a consistent angle and the wood should be fed through the blade slowly and evenly. It may be necessary to stop and adjust the blade angle or tension as needed to achieve the desired result.
Resawing irregular shapes requires careful planning and a steady hand. The wood should be secured in a jig or vise to keep it stable during the cut. The blade should be set at a consistent angle and the wood should be fed through the blade slowly and evenly. It may be necessary to stop and adjust the blade angle or tension as needed to avoid breaking the blade or damaging the wood.
3. Cutting Thin Strips for Inlay and Veneer Work
When it comes to inlay and veneer work, cutting thin strips of wood is a crucial aspect of the process. Resawing with a bandsaw can be an effective way to produce thin strips of wood that are uniform in thickness. Here are some tips for resawing thin strips:
- Use a high-quality blade with fine teeth and narrow width.
- Set the blade height and angle to produce the desired thickness of the strips.
- Use a featherboard to keep the wood stable and prevent it from moving during the cut.
- Use a push stick to feed the wood through the blade and maintain a safe distance from the blade.
4. Resawing Green and Wet Wood
Resawing green or wet wood can be a challenge because the wood is softer and more prone to movement during the cut. However, with the right technique, it is possible to achieve good results. Here are some tips for resawing green and wet wood:
- Use a blade with larger teeth and wider width to accommodate the softer and wetter wood.
- Allow the wood to acclimate to the workshop environment for a few days before resawing to reduce moisture content.
- Use a featherboard to keep the wood stable and prevent it from moving during the cut.
- Slow down the feed rate to reduce friction and heat buildup that can cause the wood to bind or burn.
- Consider using a drying agent or sealant after resawing to prevent warping or cracking.
What speed should a bandsaw be for resawing?
When it comes to resawing with a bandsaw, the speed of the blade is an important consideration. Generally speaking, a slower speed is preferred for resawing thicker material, while a faster speed is better suited for cutting thinner material.
The ideal speed for resawing will depend on a number of factors, including the type of blade being used, the thickness and hardness of the material being cut, and the horsepower of the bandsaw itself.
As a general rule, it’s recommended to use a blade with a low TPI (teeth per inch) count when resawing, as this will help to reduce the amount of heat generated during the cut and prevent the blade from becoming dull too quickly.
If you’re resawing material that is less than 6 inches thick, a blade speed of around 1500 to 2000 SFPM (surface feet per minute) should be sufficient. For thicker material, a slower speed of around 1000 to 1500 SFPM may be more appropriate.
Ultimately, the best approach is to experiment with different speeds and blade types to find what works best for your specific needs and equipment. It’s also important to remember to keep your blade sharp and properly tensioned, as this will ensure clean and accurate cuts regardless of the speed.
Best bandsaw width for resawing
When it comes to resawing, the width of the bandsaw blade is an important factor to consider. The ideal bandsaw width for resawing will depend on a few different factors, including the size of the material you are cutting, the type of wood you are working with, and the specific bandsaw you are using.
In general, wider bandsaw blades are better for resawing because they are more stable and less likely to drift off course during the cut. A wider blade also allows you to make straighter cuts and achieve a smoother finish on the surface of the wood.
For most resawing tasks, a bandsaw blade with a width of at least 3/4 inch is recommended. This size blade provides enough stability to handle most resawing tasks, and is wide enough to minimize blade deflection and drift.
However, if you frequently work with larger pieces of wood, or if you are resawing harder, denser species of wood, you may want to consider using an even wider blade. A blade with a width of 1 inch or more can provide even greater stability and make it easier to achieve straight, clean cuts.
How much horsepower does it take to resaw a bandsaw?
The amount of horsepower required to resaw wood using a bandsaw depends on several factors, including the size and hardness of the wood being cut, the width and type of blade being used, and the speed at which the blade is moving.
In general, a bandsaw with a minimum of 1.5 to 2 horsepower is recommended for resawing. However, larger and more powerful bandsaws with motors ranging from 3 to 5 horsepower or more are also available for heavy-duty resawing applications.
It’s important to note that horsepower is not the only factor to consider when selecting a bandsaw for resawing. Other important factors include the blade speed, blade width, blade tension, and the saw’s overall design and construction.
In addition, it’s crucial to use the right blade for the job. A wide, high-quality resaw blade with fewer teeth per inch (TPI) is typically preferred for resawing thick stock. The blade’s TPI will depend on the thickness and density of the wood being cut.
Bandsaw resawing is an essential technique for woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts who want to create their own lumber from raw materials. With the right equipment, type, blade, and technique, resawing can yield beautiful and high-quality results that are not possible with traditional sawing methods.
For those looking to take their resawing skills to the next level, there are advanced techniques that can be used to create veneers, bookmatched boards, and thin strips for inlay and veneer work. With practice and experimentation, woodworkers can achieve the desired results and take their projects to new heights.
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