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Band Saw Drift

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Forum topic by End_Grain posted 1668 days ago 2527 views 3 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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End_Grain

95 posts in 1721 days


1668 days ago

Why does a band saw exhibit this? From all my research on the internet there seems to be a consensus that all bandsaws will consistently drift to one side of the other no matter with a new or old blade and no matter how well it is tuned. I’ve learned how to compensate for it but I’m just curious to why. I was taking some practice cuts on wide scrap stock in preparation to cut some veneer. I’ve learned how to compensate for it but just wondering.

TIA

Frank

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.


7 replies so far

View pickles's profile

pickles

68 posts in 1997 days


#1 posted 1668 days ago

It’s the blade not the saw that causes the drift. Therefore, tuning won’t eleviate the drift. When a band is formed and one side is altered (teeth formed) it cause stresses that slightly distort the blade.

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2575 days


#2 posted 1668 days ago

You can eliminate drift by getting the blade to ride on the wheel properly.

http://www.ccwwa.org/NEWSITE/plans/BandsawTuneup1.pdf

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3628 posts in 2247 days


#3 posted 1668 days ago

I have one of the lower-priced Craftsman saws, and I can eliminate the drift if I tinker enough with the wheel alignment, but it is hard to keep it on the money.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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End_Grain

95 posts in 1721 days


#4 posted 1668 days ago

Damian,

Thanks! That is one of the best band saw tuning info I have read. I always thought .003 for the side guides was way to much and using the tracking adjustment to compensate for blade drift is one of those, ‘Butt kicking, why didn’t I think of that while I was staring at my band saw’, simple ideas. I would have never made the connection between blade tracking and blade drift no matter how long I stared at the saw. Thanks a lot. There aren’t any new problems to solve, just old problems we think are new that others have already solved. I can not wait to get after that saw tomorrow.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

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Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2575 days


#5 posted 1668 days ago

Yeah it’s a great article and was originally from Fine Woodworking (not sure how legal it is for that guy to be hosting it) and I had the same ‘of course!’ feeling reading it too.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View dburch's profile

dburch

5 posts in 1667 days


#6 posted 1667 days ago

Bandsaws, like routers and scroll saws, tend to cut at a single point, unlike table saws where you have to stay aligned to a spinning disc. To me, accepting drift is accepting that something isn’t right. A bandsaw is very simple so why shouldn’t it cut straight?
The Michael Fortune tune up article kept my bandsaw in my shop. It was headed for the scrap heap. It is interesting to note how many saws have the little bump on the fence to allow for drift. This really bites into the throat depth. Also don’t assume bands are weld properly. I ordered 3 3/4” 3TPI bands last year and they all were welded crooked. Symptom – the band reciprocates. Depending on the degree of inaccuracy, the teeth lunge into the work, then retract giving a very inconsistent cut.
I of course assume it was the saw. Other experts told me I should not be using 3/4” bands on a 14” saw.
The exercise gave me the opportunity to get inside my saw and change out the flimsy original rubber tires for urethane, some seized guide and thrust bearings. None of these changes affected the cutting action.
I took the bands to a local blade sharpening/repair shop. The band was laid on its side so it looped up in the air, weights placed about 36” apart. A straight edge placed across the weld revealed a divergence of 1/8” in 24”.
Once rewelded all was well. Those 3/4” bands just purr now.

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End_Grain

95 posts in 1721 days


#7 posted 1667 days ago

WOW, what a difference a bit of adjustment at the right place on a bandsaw makes. I started by backing off all the guides, set the fence square with the miter gauge and started resawing on some scrap. Adjusted the tracking cut again. Reversed the initial adjustment by half and cut again. (Never knew all the USMC artillery training bracketing a target with 105’s would be used for adjusting a band saw) Add half of the half of the initial adjustment back in, cut again and had blade drift in both directions. Dropped the guide posts, reset lower and upper bearings and I was cutting 1/8 veneer with no blade drift whatsoever. Anxious to get the right blade now and see how it works.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

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