5 Top Tips on How to Resaw Effectively

There is no other type of sawing that tests out your bandsaw quite like resawing. Some bandsaws are well equipped to deal with the strain of resawing.  Larger bandsaws generally have larger motors and heavier components. And the additional power this provides certainly benefits when you are taking on significant cutting projects.

However, power counts for little if you don’t get the basics right.  So, before you start your next resawing job, the following tips should help ensure that you are getting the best possible cutting results.

1) Have you got the right blade?

There are lots of different blades available out there.  Choosing the right one when it comes to resawing will probably be the single more important decision you make.  Basically, you need the right blade to get the finish you’re looking for.

There is a real science to how resawing actually works.  The video below really explains how important it is to choose the right blade when it comes to resawing.

In terms of blade width, you’re probably looking at blades from ½ an inch, which will be sufficient for light weight resawing and is probably the maximum width for your smaller bandsaw.  Most 14-inch bandsaws will take a ¾ inch blade.

For resawing you want to choose a blade that has 3 to 4 teeth per inch (or TPI).  Any more than this and your blade will start to get clogged up with dust.  This is when you start to get the dreaded blade drift and uneven cuts.  You can select blades with a lower TPI, but be aware that this will give you a rougher finish. 3 to 4 TPI is just about right in achieving smooth finishes and ensuring you don’t have so much work to do on your project.

2) Is your blade sharp?

One of the main reasons why many have difficulty with resawing accurately is that the blade has become dull.  This means that the once sharp edges of the blade have become rounded and no longer cut into the wood.  This can mean that the blade heats up which can bend the blade leading to a barrel effect or scorching of the wood.  Not good!

If you’re not keen to buying a new blade, then you can sharpen it yourself and it really doesn’t take as long as you think.  Matthias Wandel has posted a truly excellent video on YouTube that show how anyone can save money by sharpening your own bandsaw blades.

3) Is your bandsaw all square?

We’ve all been frustrated at one time or another, when for example you’re cutting veneers and the thickness is uneven.  Get your square out and made sure that your blade is 90 degrees square to the blade.  Goes without saying that you should make sure that your fence is also square onto the table, particularly for the higher capacity cuts.

This minute long video from the Woodworkers journal shows you how you can quickly tell if your bandsaw blade is cutting square.

 

4) Are you blade guides adjusted correctly?

This golden rule applies whenever you are using your bandsaw: Ensure that your blade guides are set up correctly.  They should never actually touch your blade, but be as near as dammit!!  A well supported blade will help ensure it doesn’t buckle under the pressure of the cut and goes a long way to ensuring that you get true and clean cuts.

American Woodworker editor Tim Johnson shows how to properly adjust your bandsaw blade guides

 

5) And Finally…..Let the blade do the cutting!

Don’t force the wood onto the blade.  Again, this will potentially result in in the blade heating up, causing the blade to deflect and making it more prone to drifting.  If your blade gets too hot it will cause your wood to have scorch marks and end up with you spending more time finishing off your project.  Let the blade do the work at its own pace and your save time in the long run.

 

We hope that you found this article helpful.  Please feel free to leave your feedback and comments below.  And let us know if there are other things that you do to make sure you are resawing efficiently.

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Derek - August 28, 2016 Reply

To add to your point about blade sharpness…
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a blade has lost its sharpness. It will still feel sharp to the finger and it might not get overly hot while cutting.
For me, the number one sign that a blade is dull is that it stops cutting straight. It will start the cut straight, but after a bit it starts veering off to the left or to the right.

    Team PTQ - August 29, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Derek. Always keen to hear what real users are saying as it is their opinion that counts the most. I guess that knowing what you need to do to avoid drift and get precise, accurate cuts, is key for any bandsaw user. Failure to ensure that your saw is set up correctly will lead to frustration, often with the saw being blamed for things going wrong. Having a good blade is of course another contributing factor, so it is useful to know the tell-tale signs that indicate that your blade is not up to scratch. Thanks again for your post.

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