Cut just off the line and sand to the line

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Forum topic by Jim Ganley posted 11-05-2009 06:05 AM 1190 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Ganley

49 posts in 3132 days

11-05-2009 06:05 AM

this is what I have been told and for the most part I practice this except on the bandsaw, I continually gravitate towards the line, today I was cutting some intricate curves and a bunch of them, and I kept getting into the line all the while telling myself stay off the line. I do have to admit that I have a back-acher band saw (Craftsman 12”)that was made in a short peoples country so I am bent over all the time and I do really need to get it up off the floor, but what is the trick to cut close but not on the line.

-- Jim - Cushing, WI

8 replies so far

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4052 days

#1 posted 11-05-2009 06:11 AM

The same way a pianist gets to Carnegie Hall.

Practice, practice, practice.

Only Shroeder plays the piano on the floor.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3860 days

#2 posted 11-05-2009 06:14 AM

Jim – lots of tricks. The first is making sure your band saw is properly tuned up, the blade tracks correctly, it’s tensioned correctly etc. It also helps if it is a new blade and good a sharp. Also speed of feed is important – let the saw do the work and don’t push it. The blade may drift a bit from the line – a pivot point fence will help with that. A properly tuned saw should not drift much at all. (Some say a properly tuned saw won’t drift at all – but I’m not there yet.)

You say you are cutting “intricate” cuts. I’m assuming you have then a small blade on the saw. A 1/2” blade does not do intricate cuts.

Hope that helps a little

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4365 days

#3 posted 11-05-2009 06:23 AM

Parctice as been stated before. and no fast cuts make the curves smooth

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View DrDirt's profile


4423 posts in 3707 days

#4 posted 11-05-2009 07:30 AM

I have not tried this but one of the tricks ive heard about out there is to draw two lines and keep the blade between them. Why that should matter is a mystery – but I guess it fools the brain enough to stay out of trouble…Might give it a try, not going to cost ya anything


-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18246 posts in 3640 days

#5 posted 11-05-2009 08:13 AM

Getting it to a comfortable position is probably half the trick :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3249 days

#6 posted 11-05-2009 04:46 PM

Jim, All the above. Get your saw to a comfortable height for you. Make sure you have the right size blade for the type cutting you are trying to achieve and that it’s sharp. (A band saw blade doesn’t last as long as we think.) Make sure your bandsaw is clean and tuned. Your guide blocks (top and bottom) need to be square and adjusted properly and the tension on the blade is important. Your stop bearings need to be adjusted properly and running smoothly. Another thing that is seldom done, but will have an affect of the way your saw performs is making sure the rubber is in good condition and “clean” on both your top and bottom wheel…....and one of the hardest things is to “relax” when cutting. Feed rate is important. too fast and you’re pushing the saw and that can force the blade to wander and too slow you will end up with rough cut lines, both causing a lot of sanding. I love making bandsaw boxes, so I’m always cutting curves, following lines and working with thick wood ( 3 to 6” thick) using a 3/16” blade. I have to keep my bandsaw tuned or it will ruin a piece in a heart beat. Hope this will give you some ideas and last but not least…..pratice, pratice and pratice.

-- John @

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Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3251 days

#7 posted 11-06-2009 12:18 AM

First, tune up bandsaw, check blade—width, type and sharpness.

Next—Relax. Have you ever tried to carry a full cup of something hot while focusing on the cup. You’ll spill it almost every time. Now, relax and walk normal without worrying about the cup.. You rarely lose any. Or try driving down the road working at staying in the middle of a lane. You’ll be all over your lane and then some. I’m not saying don’t look at your work, just don’t force it. You will have a tendancy to over-correct, and then have no control. Youll probably wonder all around the line.


View Jim Ganley's profile

Jim Ganley

49 posts in 3132 days

#8 posted 11-06-2009 12:28 AM

I can only tune up this old Craftsman 12” to a point, I just thought I would see if anyone else out there was like me, guess not so I just cut a little further out and than sand on the oscillator till the line is almost gone then finish by hand. One thing I am not making and that is a watch. .

-- Jim - Cushing, WI

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