hey all... seems i dont have a way to cut a clean, close and accurate straight line...

i was going to cut a practice "A" type strummer, cut strips up the bottom , looks like a fork.. know what i mean?


anyway, please read and if you know what might be the problem PLEASE REPLY.  this could be a game ender for me as i planned to make a lot of my cuts wth this.


Heres the story:



I bought a 12" Craftsman bandsaw/sander. Has a 1/4" blade on it 4 or 5 tpi. 1/2 hp.

I need to use it t cut 1" thick maple by 2 inch. I have to cut a 1/8 strip straight down both sides, like legs, or like a fork. Understand?

So my blade guide has the wheel behind it top and bottom, and adjustible side posts or stops on both sides top and bottom... pretty standard. I made sure to loosen the blade side posts so it was free and then brought the posts in to about 1/32" away from the blade, both above and below the table. Everything spun smooth.

So, i measured for 1/8 cut from the side, set my fence and tightened it. Made sure blade, table and fence were all 90 degree angles.  Turn on and start. First 1/2" down was fine, the rest kept tracking right off the side og the board, no matter how much i turned the wood to compensate.

When i looked at the blade turned off and wood not removed, the blade was seriously bend, pushed out frm the wood, as if the blade was trying to bend around the wood thickness.  And yes, i even had the guard nearly ontop of the wood so it would not bow.

Not only that but where the cut was 1/8" from the side of the wood on top...the bottom of the wood was nearly cut through the side, like 1/32" from the side.

I tried freehand to follow a line 1/8 from the edge. Little better luck without the fence, but it verred off to the edge too and only slightly corrected if i turned the wood at almost 30 degree angle.

Understanding what im trying to explain?

I just dont understand what is screwd up here

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hey T-- i know, the thing is, we are talking 1/8 inch wide and 1 inch thick hard wood both sides.  thats some serious cutting mate


and there are other cuts i want the bandsaw for.


if anyone can see whats wrong, please lmk



im slow to reply because i dont have my computer, just a small tablet.




Band saws are notorious for wandering all over the place, but usually the wider the blade, the easier it is to keep it going straight. I have never been able to use a fence and have it work, I cut everything free hand.


The blade guides that ride on the side of the blades have to be positioned correctly. Close enough to the teeth without actually hitting them. And the tension on the blade has to be set right as well, you can't have it too loose.


Have you searched around the web for tutorials on setting up the saw correctly?


Yes, check the tension and check often. Blades tend to stretch as you use them. If your blade is loose- it will wander. Also go slow when you cut.



Google will save the day.

Google "how to set up a bandsaw".

Cured 94.3% of my trouble.



"I bought a 12" Craftsman bandsaw/sander."

Unfortunately, that's your problem right there. I have a similar small bandsaw which has a similiar problem. I googled how to set up a bandsaw too. What I came up with was use a bigger blade (3/8" is as big as mine will go) and tension the blade until it "sings" when you snap on it with your fingernail. It should sound kind of like a musical note or bell-like.This is a much higher tension than described in my bandsaw's instructions.

The best blade I've ever had for mine was a metal/wood blade which I got from McMaster Carr. Better than the wood blades from the local hardware store. It costs more and and unfortunately seems to break quicker, but everything is better cutting wise. You will still probably have to freehand the cuts without a fence and angle the wood to get a straight line.

Back when I was using bigger bandsaws in a pro shop (1/2" blades), wandering never seemed to be a problem and you could actually use a fence. A 1" board would cut like butter, whereas on the 12" saw it's a struggle.

When my current saw breaks, I will be purchasing a larger saw.

Good discussion. I would direct you to Fine Woodworking Magazine. Their online site has a tutorial on bandsaw set up by Michael Fortune. Michael is one of the most accomplished woodworkers in the world. He continually teaches as well as builds. (A good friend of mine actually took a couple of classes from him, and said he can make any bandsaw preform as promised) I have a couple of bandsaws myself a Laguna 16hd and a craftsman 10". I love them both I keep a small blade on the Craftsman and use it for everything except resawing.  Michael can get you moving in the right direction.   Another option might be to checkout Mark Duginski's book on bandsaws.  I have a copy from back in the 80"s (I think)... The nice part about FW-online sight is you can see the video.... both are good resources.   Best of luck

I'm no expert on badsaws, only having had one for a few months, but I have learned that even when they are set up pretty much bang-on they are still prone to "drift" -i.e. cutting at an angle on long rips (sounds like that's what you are experiencing) , and you may need to set the fence to compensate for this. 


I had this when I set up my used 13" Record...I fiddled with the tension and guides had little improvement. I replaced the blade and that pretty much sorted it. A blunt or damaged blade (you only need to nick a nail when resawing old timber and that will harm the blade) really wont help. That's a pretty skinny blade for long true cuts..better for tight curves perhaps, but maybe a new 1/2" blade might be better?

ive had the sam problem and found that a bigger blade will not bend or bow when ripping wood
I usually freehand my cuts a little from the pencil line then sand or plane the rest. Here is a link to a woodworking page that might help on bandsaw drift. www.newwoodworker.com/bsblddrft.html
thanks all
im finally back on a computer
i bought a 1/2" skip tooth blade and will be resetting the saw in the next couple days.
l will let ya know how it works out !


Once I got my saw sorted I found it so useful. Tedious and inaccurate cuts with a handsaw were quick and clean with the bandsaw.


For the odd guitar, you really don't need a bandsaw...I built around 250 guitars without one, it just takes a little more time and effort doing it by hand. It's all too easy to rely on powertools, so personally, I'd learn to use handtools first before acquiring any big shop tools...proper hand-working skills will always be essential no matter how many powertools you've got.


Seems to me that 5tpi might be a little fine for cutting 1" thick material.  A 3tpi would give you deeper gullets, and allow the sawdust to clear easier, which would affect  the "thick to thin" problem you're having. 




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