Taming bandsaw drift with a jig

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Project by footprints posted 573 days ago 2195 views 14 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a 1956 DoAll bandsaw (picture 2) with no miter slots or fence which makes resawing veneers impossible without a custom jig. The key features are a miter slot 90 degrees to the blade and another slot parallel to the blade that holds a wheel in place. The distance between the wheel and the blade is the desired thickness of the veneer. Notice that the veneer is cut on the RIGHT side of the blade. Any errors in thickness for veneers cut on the LEFT side of the blade are cummulative unless the setup is perfect which rarely happens for me. I wanted idiot proof.

The miter and fence combo make adjusting for drift easy. Scribe a line parallel to the left edge of a board. Cut on the line without the fence and let the drift occur (picture 3). After cutting 3/4 of the distance, turn off the saw, loosen the miter/fence and bring it up to the board. Retighten the miter. Picture 4 shows the drift and picture 5 shows that with this particular blade it is about 3 degrees left.

Picture 6 shows a 10” wide uniform veneer. To make the second one, loosen the screw holding the miter in its slot and move the stock to the right until it touches the wheel. Lock the miter/fence and cut again.

-- Ray, Phoenix, Maryland

9 comments so far

View stefang's profile


12857 posts in 1958 days

#1 posted 573 days ago

That looks like a great jig and if gives you the result you want that’s all that really matters. BUT, I and many other woodworkers believe that blade drift is caused by the following conditions:

1. The blade is not perfectly centered on the wheels.
2. The wheels are not aligned.
3. The guides aren’t adjusted correctly.
4. The wheel tires are dirty or need replacing
5. Over tensioning is warping the frame putting everything out of wack.
6. dull blade

I learned the above in a FWW mag. article by Michael Fortune a few years ago and I have found his advice to be correct. I never have to adjust my fence for blade drift since.

That said many do rely on fence adjustments and jigs and that works too. All roads lead to Rome.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dusty56's profile


11643 posts in 2312 days

#2 posted 573 days ago

Mike , I agree with you and have no issues with my JET BS since setting it up correctly : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View sbuckle's profile


50 posts in 662 days

#3 posted 573 days ago

Nice jig!!
Stefang mentioned an article by Michael Fortune and I believe this is a link to that article in PDF format if you or anyone else is interested!

-- Thanks for looking! Steve B.

View a1Jim's profile


112008 posts in 2201 days

#4 posted 573 days ago

Good looking band saw table.

-- Custom furniture

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 1607 days

#5 posted 573 days ago

nice table

View blackcherry's profile


3153 posts in 2447 days

#6 posted 572 days ago

I built one of these jig and it worked perfect but I got tired of having to put the jig on and on…so I did the last thing on my list of fixes and replace the band saw tires and now I’m cutting so straight that I mad at myself for not doing it sooner….

View sras's profile


3813 posts in 1753 days

#7 posted 572 days ago

Nice twist on the use of the miter fence – very creative!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View footprints's profile


38 posts in 1732 days

#8 posted 572 days ago

I agree with all the comments on tuning up the saw but it is difficult to get parts at a reasonable price for a 1956 saw so this was a more economical fix. DoAll wants $50 PER GUIDE for an 1/8 ” wide blade and four are needed. Maybe time to buy a new saw?

-- Ray, Phoenix, Maryland

View b2rtch's profile


4304 posts in 1672 days

#9 posted 572 days ago

I made a similar table a while ago and it works very well for me.

-- Bert

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