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Thread: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

  1. #1
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    Default Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    I have a Jet 3HP 18" band saw.
    Owned it 8 years, never used it. Mostly use my Powermatic 14" with a riser block but not for larger stock re-saw.
    Now wishing to re-saw some of my instrument stock stash using the 18" Jet.

    I have researched some of the available aftermarket re-saw fences and am undecided.

    What are your recommendations both for the re-saw fence and for blades.

    Thanks

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    I use a board and two clamps. Doesn't adjust very fast, but it does the job for little money.

    Use a blade that your saw frame can tension fully. In other words, you don't need blade width necessarily for resawing, and since wider blades require more tension to run straight and true, we often get better results resawing with a blade that is well under the width capacity of the saw. My saw will accept a 1 1/2" blade, but a 3/4" blade does all of the resawing that I need to do; up to about 12" stock.
    Fewer teeth is easier for the saw in terms of power and accuracy, but you can get a bit rougher cut. I use 3/4" tooth spacing and it is a breeze for the 2 HP saw, but the surface of the cut is a bit rough.

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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    I was fortunate enough to inherit my dad's Laguna 14bx. (He didn't pass away, just aged out of "big" woodworking projects.) It came with a collection of blades. I found the Laguna brand blades to be acceptable. But I really like the Timberwolf resaw blades. I use a 3/4" blade as well. I think it only has 3-4 tpi. It's a 2.5 hp saw and I've never had a problem with it cutting.

    The fence I use came with the saw. It has a good, high side on it. But like John I often attach a taller board to the fence using clamps to get me some extra support up top. I also purchased a special "featherboard"-like accessory for resawing (I forget what it's called...) that has come in really handy on big jobs.

    I never get a super-smooth surface on resaws, so whatever I end up with has to go through the planer at least a big before I'm comfortable using it for anything.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Hook-skip blades are supposed to leave a smoother cut, or that used to be the advice. Check for blade lead on scrap and either adjust saw or change blade. If there is a lot of figure, using a single-point fence (a high one!) may be necessary as the blade will lead into the softer direction. New blades should be very good, but sometimes a blade will need a tiny bit of truing against a stone to track well. Check for bowing in the cut, which can happen for many reasons.
    A new saw is going to need a bunch of setup to do its best.
    Duginske wrote a particularly good book on band saw setup and use. Fairly complicated subject.

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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    ...If there is a lot of figure, using a single-point fence (a high one!) may be necessary as the blade will lead into the softer direction. New blades should be very good, but sometimes a blade will need a tiny bit of truing against a stone to track well. Check for bowing in the cut, which can happen for many reasons...
    These are the things that sufficient blade tension helps, and the reason blades narrower than the capacity of the saw frame can improve performance. (See my first post in this thread.) Bowing in the cut is almost always a symptom of a blade that is not optimally tensioned, or an operator applying too much force against the blade (because the blade is dull, the operator is impatient, the tooth count is too high, the hook and rake angle are inappropriate, etc.. As Richard500 said, complicated subject.)

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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Thanks for the reply.

    I watched this video by Les Stansell, guitar/uke maker in Oregon.

    I called him today and he is still using the same set up and very pleased with it.

    About $700.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifW30tIJQMg&t=16s

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  10. #7

    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    For $20 in scraps and hardware you can make a re-saw fence that will perform as good as anything you can buy under $1000. Good re-sawing is more about patience and skill than a fancy aftermarket tool bolted to your saw. A novice can easily make mistakes on a $700 fence and a skilled person can make exceptional fine cuts with a 2x6 and two clamps. I've owned many of the finest saws and fences made ($$$$$), yet I choose to use a shop made fence, even for re-sawing giant upright bass sets.

    I can get .050" slices at 17"+ wide with my $20 setup and a $50 blade; no need for anything more....
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    Spruce dork

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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Thanks for the reply.

    Have you owned , and used, the Laguna Driftmaster?

    Les Stansell's cuts are smooth with no obvious saw marks.

    Given the value of what I am going to cut, I would like all the precaution, preparation and precision I can get.

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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    Les Stansell's cuts are smooth with no obvious saw marks.
    That has much to do with machine set-up, blade type and quality, and operator skill. It has very little to do with the fence.

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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    I talked with Les, he says that operator skill is extremely important, as is the set-up and blade type, but adds that the fence does, in fact, make a difference.
    Not only did/does he cut for his own use but for over a decade cut Port Orford Cedar and Oregon Myrtle for instrument makers and wood dealers across the country.

    In conversations with a professional instrument wood sawyer and also a former furniture maker, flamenco/classical guitar maker, both believe that the fence is also critical.

    All three cite the Laguna Driftmaster as the system of choice.


    Thanks for all the responses.

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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    I once saw a vid on YT that was about bandsaw setup and the guy (representative of some company producing saws) explained about geometry of the wheels and the rubbers (tires?) being even more important than the blade itself. Something like when you have that setup correct even (slightly) dull blade won't wander. He talked about necessary crown in the tires (cheap saws have simple flat piece of rubber on the wheels) and adjusting geometry so that the tension is applied (mostly) to the toothed side of blade and the rest is following that in cut etc....
    But since I don't own bandsaw I visit my friend who has one (relatively cheap and sometimes misused) and do basic setup, new blade, clamp block of wood or RHS which is plentiful around his metal shop and cut slowly and steadily. Works for mandolin sized wood.
    Adrian

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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Thanks Adrian.

    This may be the guy.. Snodgrass.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU&t=4s

  19. #13

    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    To be uncharacteristically generous, I imagine that some very specialized manufacturing processes could or do use micrometer adjustable bandsaw fences, and that such items can be easily shop-made when desired, but the century of history in smaller woodworking saws has not addressed such a need. However, it does give one some ideas, jiggy ones, of course.
    Also makes one appreciate what it took in the days of hand-sawn veneer...

  20. #14
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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Use a blade that your saw frame can tension fully. In other words, you don't need blade width necessarily for resawing, and since wider blades require more tension to run straight and true, we often get better results resawing with a blade that is well under the width capacity of the saw.
    I think I experienced this exact problem this week. I've always gotten great results resawing maple with my standard 3/8" blade on my Walker Turner 16 bandsaw. This week a friend brought over some Purple Heart and Jatoba, so I slapped on the big 3/4" (or maybe even 1") resaw blade, and it drifted like crazy. I did notice that no matter how hard I cranked on it, I never could get the big resaw blade really tight. After reading your post, I'm thinking that maybe the inability to get proper tension was the culprit.

  21. #15

    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Re-sawing purpleheart is no easy task given the coarseness and mineral content of the wood. Blade dullness would certainly cause drift. When we cut lignum vitae in the shop on a Yates 36” machine, it took 9 blades to cut 1000 lbs of 2x4x6” blocks. The cut was only an arc on each 4x6” face.
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  22. #16

    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    I think I experienced this exact problem this week. I've always gotten great results resawing maple with my standard 3/8" blade on my Walker Turner 16 bandsaw. This week a friend brought over some Purple Heart and Jatoba, so I slapped on the big 3/4" (or maybe even 1") resaw blade, and it drifted like crazy. I did notice that no matter how hard I cranked on it, I never could get the big resaw blade really tight. After reading your post, I'm thinking that maybe the inability to get proper tension was the culprit.
    Yes, in addition to the suggested tension being beyond the saw’s capacity, allowing the blade to deform, the saw frame itself may deform, and if the type where a compression spring sets the tension, if the spring is bottomed out, the saw loses necessary compliance for out of round wheels, etc., and also goes bad. It is very common advice to use a wide blade for resaw, but the saw may not be capable. ‘Real’ resaw blades can be 5” wide, but you can bet the saw is pretty sturdy too!

  23. #17

    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    When I worked at the mandolin factory, five of us got into quite a heated argument one day. I had a big beam of African Blackwood and asked the saw operators to cut some sets for me using the $30,000 Stenner resaw with a 3" wide blade. They nearly broke the saw from being so clueless and messed up a big section of my expensive beam. After several words were exchanged, I walked over to the $500 cheap import saw with a $25 blade and proceeded to very delicately saw out four guitar sets from the same big beam.......


    Big saws and fancy blades help, but 95% of it is operator, not the $700 fence or the $30,000 saw.

    Half of this pile of cocobolo was cut with a $300 Lennox blade (left side) and the other half was with a $43 blade (right side).
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    Spruce dork

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  25. #18

    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Laguna makes nice stuff for sure. I think the real advantage of that fancy fence would be if you wanted to do multiple passes producing veneer slices of uniform thickness. You didn't mention species or thickness. Resawing spruce and rosewood are very different experiences. Practice is the one sure way to get better results. I have way less experience (and a lower quality saw) the the other contributors here. In my amateur experience, these are the lessons I learned the hard way:
    • a sharp blade made for the job is paramount. You're fortunate to have two saws, leave the smaller one set up for curves.
    • determining drift once the saw is set up for the thickness, and setting the fence to it is important. Drift for a given blade and set up changes as the blade gradually dulls, so you may need to recheck it if doing a long run.
    • as others have noted, technique is the biggest determining factor once you have good equipment. Matching your feed rate and pressure to the saw's capabilities produces the most consistent results. I'm sure there's some good video's out there on this.
    • on your first cut opening up a board, go heavier than you think you should. Some wood has unseen tension in it and you can't see what the blade is actually doing in the middle of the cut. The wider the board, the more of a factor this is.
    • enjoy the adventure (and protect your lungs).

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  27. #19
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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    Something I did not mention: I professionally built furniture for 20 years.
    I specialized in styles from No European immigrants to the US and Canada between 1850 and 1950.
    This to include Mennonite, Hutterite, Ukrainian, Russian, Doukhobor, Gustavian, Swedish and some Shaker (who copied the Swedes) , Spanish Revival and Monterey.

    I will admit I do have limited skills, and re-sawing my cocobolo and my other rosewoods I would prefer to have all the equipment and other advantages
    possible.

    I have a professional shop, I am not a hobbiest.

    I know my limits.

    Thanks again for all the comments and advice.

  28. #20
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    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    "Half of this pile of cocobolo was cut with a $300 Lennox blade (left side) and the other half was with a $43 blade (right side)."

    Appears to be Panamanian cocobolo.

    As to the quality of either of the cuts, our standards differ.

  29. #21

    Default Re: Band Saw Re-saw Fences

    @Rob Roy “And protect your lungs..”
    Don’t know how much this is discussed, but most of those wonderful woods survived in the buggy tropics by being more than a little poisonous, and the general woodworking world deals with less-harmful trees, so the recommendations for dust collection and the hardware tend to be a bit inappropriate for people working in ‘fancy’ stuff. Power tools, the primary threats to lungs, may not be notably safer if a dust collector passes the small particles and mostly traps the big ones, so if possible, exhaust should be outdoors. It is no benefit to take a local concentration of particles and, using a collector, redistribute the worst ones to the entire room!

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