A question on resawing

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Forum topic by DrJosh posted 10-18-2010 09:05 PM 4590 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 2920 days

10-18-2010 09:05 PM

Hey fellow lumberjocks:
Over the summer I purchased my first “real” bandsaw…a 12” JET bandsaw. This is a real upgrade from the 9” Delta benchtop model I used to have. The benchtop model was too underpowered to resaw any lumber, so I had to either plane lumber down thinner for small projects or purchase thin lumber from various retailers (Woodcraft, Rockler, etc) which was a either a was of good lumber or a waste of good money. Now that I have a badsaw that is big enough and powerful enough to resaw thicker lumber, I want to get the saw set up. I purchased a 1/2” wide 3 tpi skip-tooth blade, the widest my saw can handle, from Woodcraft the other day and now I have to think of a fence option. My saw didn’t come with a fence, so I will need to either buy and aftermarket fence system or build one. Now one to my question:
1) Would you build or buy? If you would buy, which fence system do you recomend?
2) With either type of resaw fence, do you resaw with the board flat against the fence or using a pivot point on the fence.
Thanks in advance for the advice.

-- Nashville, TN

16 replies so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3486 days

#1 posted 10-18-2010 09:20 PM

best BS fence option out there

-- San Diego, CA

View jplhomes's profile


12 posts in 3061 days

#2 posted 10-18-2010 11:33 PM

The one thing that helped my resawing was purchasing a resw blade from Highland Hardware atlanta ga. It cuts wood like butter and makes resawing a breeze. Give it a try I don’t think you will be dissapointed

-- John

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#3 posted 10-18-2010 11:41 PM

I would try out your shop built for a while and see how you feel about it.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TheDane's profile


5448 posts in 3690 days

#4 posted 10-18-2010 11:48 PM

There’s nothing wrong with the shop-built fence Dahlgren posted … it should work just fine. If that doesn’t work out for you, then you can look at after-market options.

No matter what you do, a decent blade (like the Highland WoodSlicer) is a solid investment.

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

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3298 days

#5 posted 10-19-2010 12:02 AM

I think a built fence is the way to go for sure. You can make the fence fit your saw rather then vice versa. My saw has the slightest tendency to drift a bit at the end of the cut (or it is me getting tired at the end of the feed)...needless to say, I have adjusted my fence and jig to allow for this and to keep my cut straight. It has made my resawing much more accurate….and keeps me from alot of extra planning (planner knives are much more expensive then bandsaw blades).

I also use the woodslicer…and I echo the above recommendations….this blade is one of the best I have used for resawing. It is reasonably priced….and makes a clean burn free cut even when I have fed in some extremely hard woods.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3102 days

#6 posted 10-19-2010 12:28 AM

I really prefer to use a resaw bar as a pivot point. I would recommend making your own fence and adding a resaw bar. It makes it easier to compensate for any drift.

I also recommend finger boards that help keep the wood flush against the resaw bar. I have rigged up a jig that allows me to use 2 finger boards – one at the bottom and one further up.

Be advised that a 12” bandsaw is capable of resawing but if you are trying to resaw some hard lumber, you will need an ample dose of patience. Try to use slow, steady pressure on the wood and try not to stop. Be prepared to switch to a push stick for the last couple of inches smoothly (without stopping, if possible.)

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2825 days

#7 posted 10-19-2010 03:13 AM

I resaw a lot of veneer like this:

I find that you usually have to adjust the angle occasionally due to hardness and grain variance. This setup allows for adjustment but controls thickness of cut very well.

Paul M

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View _Steve's profile


85 posts in 3054 days

#8 posted 10-19-2010 04:33 AM

I have 18 years as owner and millwright in the sawmill industry. I started out with a circle mill and worked my way up to a large band McDonough Headrig and linebar resaw. I have retired from the sawmill industry, but what I have learned from large bands also applies to small bands. Once you have fine-tuned a resaw to cut straight and maintain your guides, a band will cut straight as an arrow until something changes, dull saw, frozen material, worn guides, inconsistent feed speed, etc…
I recently purchase a used Delta 3/4hp open stand 14” bandsaw at a garage sale. The bandsaw looked like new and the owner stated it was used only three times. I purchased it at $.30 on the dollar of new. I could tell the reason he sold it was because the way it was tuned it could not cut straight at all.
First things I did was the following… Purchased a riser block, purchased a 1/2” WoodSlicer from Highland, and cool blocks saw guides.
The Woodslicer is a variable pitch saw that takes out the harmonic vibrations during the cut. I can’t express how this helps with feed speed and smoothness of cut. Cool blocks are made from the same material that was used on McDonough Bandmills. On these large Bandmill, only 1 guide is used above and below the cut. You may be wondering how that could work?? The guides are placed inside the band with the wheels and push the band outwards out of line with the wheels. The tension of the saw keeps it tight to the guides without heating the band.
After tuning in the bandsaw making sure the wheels were co-planer, the saw was running center on the wheels, guides were perfectly in line with the wheel faces and tight to saw without any pressure.-just touching, and the saw properly tensioned. I used a long straight edge and adjusted the angle of the top guide block holder parallel to the miter slot.
Then after everything above was in order, I then found a scrap board of 3-4’ long, marked a straight line full length parallel to a straight edge, I stated the bandsaw and free handed cutting on the marked line. After I was positive it was sawing dead on the line, I stop feeding without moving the stock, shut down the saw and marked a full length line on the table. Surprising enough, it was almost perfect with the miter slot.
I used a shop made fence at first and was very pleased on the results. The saw never needed a resaw guide for drift and have had perfect results with material over 9” thick, it sawed straight to the mark on the table. I have since purchased a Kreg bandsaw fence along with a micro-adjuster and is the best thing on the saw. I can now resaw exactly the thickness I need. My last project was a glued up veneer 4” wide by ¾” thick stock. I yielded 8 pieces of .055” veneer with no variance under .053” on any of the eight.
All that from a bandsaw some might consider sub-standard. Hope this helps. -Steve

-- McMaker Woodworks, Where you can give directive for a pending antique.

View DrJosh's profile


50 posts in 2920 days

#9 posted 10-20-2010 12:18 AM

Hey gents:
First off, thanks for all the good advice and suggestions concerning resawing. I haven’t yet had the time to build a resaw fence for my Jet 12” bandsaw, but I did purchase a good 1/2” 3 tpi, skip tooth blade by Timber Wolf. I installed the blade and went through all the tune up procedures. I did a few test cuts and, I must say, I am very pleased with the power of the saw and quality of the blade. I was able to resaw 7/8” oak with no problem. I just drew a center line and resawed freehand. The thinner boards would still need a quick pass through the planer, but otherwise a great cut. I’ll post agian once I build the fence and test try it out.

-- Nashville, TN

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2804 days

#10 posted 10-20-2010 06:48 PM

One thing I learned the hard way was to watch the guides, tension, and center of the blade. If the blade starts getting loose or off center, it can cut the wood in an arch from top to bottom. Drove me crazy for the longest time. The whole thing was because a guide bearing seized and the blade got hot and stretched – just a touch, throwing everything out. When it works, does a great job.

On a second note—be very careful feeding the band saw – they get hungry. I had a family member when feeding a piece of wood into the blade grab the piece. It pulled in very quicky and with it his thumb slicing a good piece out of his thumb. Only took a half a second. These toys are good at what they do.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View DanCo's profile


66 posts in 2926 days

#11 posted 10-20-2010 07:04 PM

Hey Dr.,
I would try out a shop built one. I actually took off a Jet fence and replaced it with one I made. It came off a 14 in. so I don’t know if it would work for yours. If you want to try it I’ll send it to you if you will pay for shipping. I am much happier with the one I built though. PM if interested.

-- Daniel

View DrJosh's profile


50 posts in 2920 days

#12 posted 10-24-2010 03:30 AM

I went out to my garage shop this afternoon to start buidling a resaw fence for my bandsaw. As I started to cut some 3/4” plywood, I noticed a tall auxiliary fence that I had made for my router table. As I looked, I thought…I wonder if that would work on my bandsaw, so I gave it a shot.
I did a few test cuts in white oak and sugar pine. The fence did a great job, the Timberwolf blade cut the stock like a knife through butter, and the saw was tracking wonderfully. I checked the cuts with a good combination square and my calipers. The cuts came out very square to the jointed, milled edges and the thickness was very consistant. A quick pass through the planer would remove the saw marks and even out the minor variations in thickness. I’m very pleased.

-- Nashville, TN

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3045 days

#13 posted 10-24-2010 05:06 AM

I use a piece of 4” square aluminum tubing for my re-saw guide and clamp it to my band saw table. Works great and free for me from scrap bin from welding shop. Need a taller one for thicker re-saws.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View lgarrone's profile


5 posts in 2567 days

#14 posted 07-06-2011 03:18 AM

can you order online for the resaw blades from Highland in Atlanta?

-- larry G Norton MA

View lgarrone's profile


5 posts in 2567 days

#15 posted 07-06-2011 03:23 AM

anyone have any advice on tuning up an old reliant bandsaw for resawing?

-- larry G Norton MA

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