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Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273179 by donpol » Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:58 pm

I am trying to determine why I have "wandering" cuts on my bandsaw with a 1/4" blade.

I normally cut tenons on a tablesaw, but today I tried cutting them on several bandsaws; with mixed results. I have three bandsaws, an 11" Shopsmith, a 14" Delta, and a homemade 16" (Woodgears plan). I setup a straightedge as a fence on each saw and tried cutting 1" long tenons on 3/4" x 1 1/2" stock. I used several different blades including a 1/2" x 3 Teeth, 1/2" x 4T, a 3/8" x 6 T, and a 1/4" x 6T. Each blade worked fairly well. However the 1/4" blade on the Shopsmith would 'wander' and I couldn't cut a straight line. These were Shopsmith brand blades and I tried another identical size with the same results. They were tensioned at the 1/4" mark on the saw. Other blades on the Shopsmith cut straight, and the blades on the other saws, (including the 1/4") cut straight tenons.

The Shopsmith brand blades are somewhat thinner gauge than the aftermarket blades. I'm not sure if this thinner blade would wander easier than a thicker blade but there's only a few thousandths difference. Also, I believe the Shopsmith blades are pretty decent.

Cutting tenons on a bandsaw seems like a fairly simple operation. Several woodworking articles have suggested the 1/4 x 6T blade for cutting tenons. Not sure why I can't get these 1/4" blades to cut straight. Any advice is appreciated. Also, for those that cut tenons on their bandsaw, what is your preferred blade?

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Re: Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273343 by wmichaelb » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:14 pm

I've never solved this problem myself; I in fact just purchased a used bandsaw that I'm in the process of blueprinting to get ready to use. I did find the following links:

https://www.rockler.com/solving-band-saw-blade-wander

https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/stop ... saw-blade/

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/troublesh ... 73689.html

https://www.yardworkhq.com/why-does-my- ... de-wander/

Hopefully, one or more of these will provide some help. Since I'll probably be dealing with this same problem in my future, please post your efforts and results.

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Re: Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273352 by bainin » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:00 pm

Not having any specific experience at tenon cuts on a bandsaw, my gut tells me
I tend to get straighter cuts with wider blades.

Is there a need to use a 1/4" blade for 1" cuts?

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How to Tune a Shopsmith Bandsaw

#273353 by Chad » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:42 pm

I suggest starting here:



"Your wheels need to be co-planer" "Your tires are crowned" "The top wheel tilts forward and backward" "The blade rides in the center of the wheels". All myths. At least when we are talking about the Shopsmith Bandsaw.

In the video, we'll continue our chat about the Shopsmith bandsaw and give you a couple tips on how they work and what you might need to do to keep yours tracking properly.

Visit http://www.MyGrowthRings.com
Follow on Instagram @MyGrowthRings
I also blog at http://www.tool-hunter.com/shopsmith-... and http://shopsmith-tool-hunter.blogspot...

---

Chad
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    1963 Shopsmith Mark V "Goldie" 1-1/8 hp Serial # 379185
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    1994 OKUMA LB15 II OSP7000
    2017 OKUMA LB3000 EXII SPACE TURN MY OSP P300

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Re: Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273356 by thedovetailjoint » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:46 pm

The wandering you are describing is what Shopsmith and most of us call “drift”. Despite what a lot of videos will tell you, the Shopsmith bandsaw is going to drift, so the secret is to adjust the fence to accommodate the drift. I use a method that is similar to the one Doug Reid shares in this video.
[youtube] https://youtu.be/cCq9lv__UnQ[/youtube]

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Re: Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273357 by thedovetailjoint » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:47 pm

I’m a Gold member and I still can’t figure out how to post a video!

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Re: Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273361 by Hobbyman2 » Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:10 pm

through the years I have found many believe it is the saw when it could be the set up ? if the wood is too thick or the blade tension is too loose or the wrong size blade is used drift can be worse .how thick is the wood ? what blade are you using ? teeth per inch and the blade size ? and what speed are you running the saw ? these can also cause drift as well as the rollers and alignment . just my .02

---

Hobbyman2 Favorite Quote: "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)

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Re: Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273362 by jsburger » Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:22 pm

I don't think I would cut tenons on that size stock with a 1/4" blade. 3/8 0r 1/2 inch would be better. However, since you only have this problem on the SS with a 1/4" blade (am I correct?) I suspect the blade. A dull blade will create this problem. Trust me, you don't know how dull your blade is until you get a new one.

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John & Mary Burger
Eagle's Lair Woodshop
Hooper, UT

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Re: Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273364 by Chad » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:14 pm

thedovetailjoint wrote:I’m a Gold member and I still can’t figure out how to post a video!




No worries Scott. I got your back on this one. You had a space between [youtube] and the http that didn't belong there.

---

Chad
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    1963 Shopsmith Mark V "Goldie" 1-1/8 hp Serial # 379185
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    1994 OKUMA LB15 II OSP7000
    2017 OKUMA LB3000 EXII SPACE TURN MY OSP P300

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Re: Causes of bandsaw blade 'wandering'?

#273370 by Erik » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:07 pm

I always had issues with bandsaw blade drift. A couple months ago I upgraded my backup bearings with the LDL approach (two bearings rather than one http://shopsmith.com/ss_forum/woodworki ... t1648.html) and replaced my cool blocks with Carter guides (https://www.carterproducts.com/band-saw ... th-bandsaw). While making those upgrades I also did a complete alignment that appears to have solved the drift problem.

The first thing I did was replace the backup bearings. Next I aligned the fence to the miter slot. Once I had that squared away I then aligned the table to the bandsaw blade. To do that I used a new 3/8" blade and the Carter FAST jig to help better see the orientation of the blade (https://www.amazon.com/CARTER-F-A-S-T-F ... B01N2ARQXR). This step was a little fussy, but after a couple of tries I was able to nail the alignment.

I then installed the new Carter guides and the saw cuts perfectly every time. For the first time ever I can resaw accurately and my cutoffs using the miter gauge are virtually perfect (as good as with my table saw). I've had my bandsaw since the summer of 1996 so it took me a few years to get to this point ... the Ahaaaa moment for me was the realization that I wanted the fence square to the table first and then the table square to the blade. Once the miter gauge, fence and blade were all parallel to one another the drift problem disappeared.

Naturally because I did three things in series (new back up bearings, new alignment procedure, new Carter guides) it is hard to know if the improvement I am seeing is due to one thing or several things cascaded together. Whatever the answer, I am very happy with the result. Perhaps this approach will help others.

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