Newbie bandsaw questions

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Forum topic by groland posted 06-04-2012 02:15 AM 1920 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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183 posts in 3434 days

06-04-2012 02:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw setup

I just bought my first bandsaw. It is a used Delta 28-206. I spent a good deal of time today with the instruction manual and a magazine article on bandsaw setup. I cleaned up the saw, checked belt alignment, wheel bearings and other adjustments. I put on a 1/4” blade, adjusted tracking and tension, the upper and lower blade guides and blade support bearings. The blade tracks well in the center of the tires and the saw does not exhibit any unseemly vibration or noise.

I started out by cutting a piece of 1/4” plywood scrap which went well. Then I tried a piece of 3/4” pine and got a lot of burning. I tried straight and gently curved cuts and different rates of feeding but no matter what I did, the wood was burned.

I have the following questions:
1. Are the blade guides supposed to touch the blade or be slightly away from them?
2. The instructions say the blade support bearing is supposed to be 1/64” from the back on the blade. One setup video I watched said it should “turn a little” when the blade is running and not cutting. Thoughts?
3. What are the most likely causes of the burning? I do not know the condition of the blade r how to judge its condition. Should I get new blades?
4. What brand of bandsaw blades are best—I need 93 1/2 ” blades.

Many thanks,


11 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3671 days

#1 posted 06-04-2012 02:28 AM

the bearings should not touch the blade while not cutting. I use a piece of paper between the blade and guides when setting up the saw, and when you take the paper out this should be the space between the blade and guide while the saw is not cutting.

the burning could be due to several things, one bring the wood is pine, the other being that the blade is not of good quality. supplied blades with BS are usually pretty lousy, and a replacement is mandatory. however, before you do that there is one thing you can try that might give you some time before you have to run and replace the blade: take a diamond stone or a sharpening stone, and with the saw running touch up the BACK of the saw blade – sometimes blades back are not smooth and/or wider than the blade center which can cause some mayhem with cut quality – try smoothing out the back of the blade and round it off (you may get some sparks going on which is normal – just pay attention and be safe using light contact with the blade just to touch it up).

bandsaw best blades is very personal, and you’ll get many opinions all claiming to be the BEST. my personal choise are blades from

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2713 days

#2 posted 06-04-2012 02:33 AM

I set all of my guide bearings (Side and thrust) the thickness of a dollar bill from the blade. The burning is most likely due to a dull/dirty blade or a blade with too many teeth per inch. I like Timberwolf blades and you will find a lot of useful information in their catalog. They are also really good about answering questions on the phone re: all aspects of bandsaws. If you tell them what you want to do, they will tell you which blade works best as there really isn’t a one blade fits all. Hope this helped.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2211 days

#3 posted 06-04-2012 03:40 AM

Given that your workpiece is only 3/4” thick, the burning must be because of a dull blade (unless you’re feeding the workpiece super slowly, in which case maybe that would cause burning). With bandsaws, it’s good to get familiar with how many teeth per inch (TPI) a blade should have for a given thickness of wood. Way too many TPI and cutting with be slow and burning could well happen as the blade fails to clear sawdust from the kerf quickly enough. Too few TPI and the cut will be very rough and the saw will tend to “chunk” as it cuts – hard on the teeth too.

Being able to tell a sharp blade from a dull one is a skill that comes with experience. A new (sharp) blade will cut well and, over time, you’ll notice that you have to go more slowly not to force the saw – this is a good indicator that the blade is getting dull. Push it too far and you’ll end up breaking the blade. I also use a good 5x magnifier to look at the teeth. A good thing to do would be to compare the teeth on a new blade with one you know is dull and take note of the differences.

Another thing: a dirty bad will cut poorly and produce heat. This can happen pretty quickly with resinous woods where the pitch gloms onto the blade.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

85 posts in 2648 days

#4 posted 06-04-2012 03:45 AM

Did you make sure the blade is not up side down? This will cause burning in wood. For clearance I take a dollar and place it between the guides and the blade for clearance.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View Rick's profile


9701 posts in 3055 days

#5 posted 06-04-2012 10:59 AM

I agree with everything purplev said.

Lee Valley carries a “Bandsaw Blade Rounding Stone” Mounted on a Handle as shown below. They also have “Pocket Stones” that would work, also as shown below.

Or go to your Local Hardware Store and ask for a “Pocket Stone” BEFORE you buy the New Blade.




-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View groland's profile


183 posts in 3434 days

#6 posted 06-04-2012 12:31 PM


Thanks so much for all replies.

This morning, I mounted the 3/8” blade that I got with my band saw, and tried it out on that same piece of pine. Results? A smooth, clean cut with no burning. Guess that 1/4” blade is destined for the recycle bin.

Thank you again!


View coolerjack's profile


20 posts in 2205 days

#7 posted 06-04-2012 01:15 PM

Don’t throw that blade just yet, I had the same problem as you described after fitting a brand new blade :-(

I noticed the teeth were the wrong way and was ready to return the blade, them I found the tooth direction can be reversed by twisting the blade through itself in its full circle.

Correcting the tooth direction solved the burning and saved me looking silly at the shop :-)

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 2224 days

#8 posted 06-06-2012 04:30 AM

I got a good one for ya, I ordered a 2” wide blade for my re saw from blades direct, it came in with the teeth running in the wrong direction, have you ever tried to flip a 2” wide blade… it was all I could do to get it to turn inside itself. once flipped it works like a charm and is great for re sawing but what a chore.. They said if I sent it back they could flip it, but I didn’t want to have to wait.. thought I was gonna cut something off of me the first couple times I tried.. live and learn… enjoy your new saw, there is so much you can do with a band saw..

-- Papa...

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3073 days

#9 posted 06-06-2012 06:27 AM

A 1/4” blade has too many teeth for a cut in that thickness wood. Too many teeth in the cut with too small gullets restricts the blade’s ability to clear sawdust. The result is excess friction and burning of the stock. In addition, heat will cause the blade to wander as it distorts. The 3/8” blade has fewer tpi, therefor more efficient dust clearance and less heat. A 1/4” blade is intended for tight turns in thin stock. For general use on a 14” saw, a 1/2” 3 tpi skip tooth or 2-3 variable tooth blade is not only best, but will actually cut more smoothly than one with more tpi.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2636 days

#10 posted 06-06-2012 10:26 AM

good post George im new and learn a lot from it thanks

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View groland's profile


183 posts in 3434 days

#11 posted 06-06-2012 05:20 PM


Thanks for the feedback. I’m scoping out more and more online videos on bandsaws and the variety of blades available is rather overwhelming for a beginner. I am inclined to agree now with the view that the 1/4” blade that was causing burning was probably just too fine for the 3/4” pine I was burning. Fussy, your explanation makes a lot of sense!

I will definitely hang onto that blade for awhile for use with thin stock or where tight curves are in order.

Woodworker59—that’s a good one! I had no idea band saw blades come in such thicknesses (2 inch), but I can imagine trying to flip one would have the potential to be hair-raising! I watched Mark Spagnolo(?) on a Woodwhisperer video show how to flip one and he used a Sci-Fi vocalization to help fold the blade. I tried his method (without the vocalization) and got it! I really do not understand how this works, but it does, so I’ll just be grateful I can better store these blades.

This is such a great forum!


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