Bandsaw alignment

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by bluchz posted 06-18-2009 01:15 AM 1433 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK i bougt a rockwell 14” bandsaw used. Everything isinworkingorder but i can’t seem to get the fence ligned with the blade. The “drift” i think it’s called isout about 3/4” or the width of the miter slot,if tyhat makes sensce. Didi i bend the table when i moved it? i can’t find any adjustments to get the mitre slot ligned up with the blade. anyone have any suggestions?

-- flash=250,100][/flash]

8 comments so far

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3752 days

#1 posted 06-18-2009 01:31 AM

Maybe a stupid question here but do you mean with the machine turned off?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3819 days

#2 posted 06-18-2009 01:50 AM

One thing that came to mind is the condition of your blade. If the blade is dull it will drift much more so than normal. There have been a number of blades reviewed here but the general consensus is that Timberwolf and Woodslicer blades tend to have superior performance. But with a bandsaw some drift is inevitable. In gnereal the smaller the blade width, the greater the drift. Here is a video on setting up and tuning a bandsaw.

Another point, that is addressed in the video, is the tension on the blade. Unless it is properly tensioned the blade will exhibit drift.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1285 posts in 3734 days

#3 posted 06-18-2009 02:14 AM

I will agree with Scott. I own 2 Rockwell 14” bandsaws and a friend has one. They all track quite well. It usually is some minor adjustment or alignment that is lacking. You could also have a weak tension spring and/or old wheel bands. You should be able to resolve this issue. Keep us posted on what you find.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Ampeater's profile


440 posts in 3744 days

#4 posted 06-18-2009 02:56 PM

If I understand the problem, you are trying to align the mitre slot to eliminate the drift that you are getting. Drift is caused by the set of the teeth on the blade as well as the location of the blade on the wheel bands and the tension.

It sounds like you are trying to rotate the table to align the mitre slot with the drift. There are no adjustments to do this. There are two things that you can do to align the drift and the fence.

1. Take the drift out and use your mitre slot and fence. This one can be very difficult to do. The blade needs to have an equal amount of set on both sides and then you need to align the blade on the wheel bands until the drift is aligned with the fence. This takes a lot of experimental cuts.

2. Forget about using the mitre slot and align the fence with the natural drift of the bandsaw. Start by drawing a line on a board that is parallel to the edge of the board. Then cut along the line until you have cut halfway through the board. Stop the band saw and without moving the board, draw a line on the table using the edge of the board. Remove the board and clamp a fence to the table so that the fence is either on the line or parallel to it.

This should resolve the problem.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3338 days

#5 posted 06-18-2009 03:15 PM

all of the above , it’s in the adjustments to the blade or the blade itself .
some rip guides have a drift angle adjustment ( losening and moving the back out of parallel to either side ) .
if yours dosent you will have to come up with a way to dothis by adding shims to either side of guide as you tighten it , or clamping a stop at required angle to blade , for cross cuting i use a sguare scrap block off of the rip guide not
the table slot .
mostly check tool adjustments and blade sharpness , as 99% of your problem is usualy there .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3882 days

#6 posted 06-18-2009 04:55 PM

I got this book as a bonus when I purchased a Kreg BS Fence at a wood working show, The Bandsaw Book by Lonnie Bird,
It’s great book it covers all aspects of bandsaw tuning, alignment etc., you’ll love it.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3331 days

#7 posted 06-18-2009 10:30 PM

Some time ago I read an article by Michael Fortune the renowned Canadian studio furniture maker. In the article he mentions that he has never had to adjust his fence for drift because he gets the blade properly centered on the wheels. I found this interesting because I had never gotten the blade drift situation under control to my satisfaction. I decided to give his way a try. I carefully measured the thickness of the wheel and determined how much wheel would be exposed with the blade centered. While doing this I discovered my blade was well off the mark even though it looked centered from my view angle. I think that other folks might be having the same problem. Once centered via measuring I tried it out by cutting some veneer pieces to give it the most challenging test. It worked! and is continuing to work three years later doing the same thing with every blade change, proving there is more than one way to skin a cat. I expect a lot of disbelief about these comments, but I swear it’s true. Also a sharp blade with not too many teeth per inch make a big difference as already mentioned.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bluchz's profile


187 posts in 3371 days

#8 posted 06-19-2009 12:08 AM

Thanks for all the help. This is the second blade i’m using, the first one broke, it tracks about the same as the blade that came on the saw. but now i am off to try some of the advice given. thanks again and i will tell everyone what worked when i get it straight!

-- flash=250,100][/flash]

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics