How does one get a straight cut with a bandsaw?

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Forum topic by hjt posted 06-29-2012 02:41 AM 26358 views 1 time favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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850 posts in 3166 days

06-29-2012 02:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

Is it me or does everyone have problems cutting straight with a band saw? (Mine does not have a fence) I make my mark, draw my line and then line that line up to the blade. As I push the wood through I find myself having to move the wood left and right in order to keep the blade on (or at least NEAR) the line I’m trying to cut. What pray tell am I doing wrong??

-- Harold

31 replies so far

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2800 days

#1 posted 06-29-2012 02:43 AM

This was linked in another bandsaw thread .. it’s an amazing amount of information

I plan on going through all the motions to set up my bandsaw like he shows as soon as I get some free time away from work.

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#2 posted 06-29-2012 02:44 AM

I do not have problems cutting straight with a band saw.

Getting the results you want is a matter of understanding how
the machine works and setting it up to do the task diligently.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2216 days

#3 posted 06-29-2012 03:32 AM

To put some flesh on Loren’s reply:

A well-tuned bandsaw with a good, sharp blade will cut straight and give a good finish. In my experience the quality of cut does not reach that of the top-end blades available for table saws, but you can come close.

You won’t be able to cut as straight freehand as you can with a fence so that’s your first job. It would also be a good idea to read up on bandsaw setup as there are a lot more things to set/adjust/worry about on a bandsaw (compared to a table saw) and you won’t be able to cut well until you get a handle on that stuff.

Good luck !

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

View hjt's profile


850 posts in 3166 days

#4 posted 06-29-2012 03:32 AM

Thanks Jeremy, I’ll ckeck it out once I get home. My work computer does not have sound.

MC – I’m sure a fence would help out el’mucho. I’ll have to see if this saw has a fence option.

-- Harold

View jtbinvalrico's profile


37 posts in 2399 days

#5 posted 06-29-2012 04:56 AM

Centering the gullet of the blade on the wheel as opposed to centering the entire blade on the wheel is new to me…..anyone else have luck with doing that?

View jmos's profile


839 posts in 2397 days

#6 posted 06-29-2012 12:23 PM

Harold, don’t think you have to buy a fence. You can, of course, and it will have a lot of advantages, the biggest being quick to adjust. But you can make your own and clamp it to the table.

-- John

View Derakon's profile


89 posts in 2195 days

#7 posted 06-29-2012 03:46 PM

I just asked this same question recently in this thread . You might find some useful information there. Good luck!

View Heisbert's profile


34 posts in 2207 days

#8 posted 06-29-2012 04:03 PM

Here’s the jig you need to produce nice, straight cuts. Begin by cutting pieces and assembling them. Once you have all the parts assembled, position the fence on your bandsaw, and tighten the handle to secure the fence in place. Test-rip on a piece of scrap, and alternately loosen one machine screw and tighten the other until the fence is parallel to the cutting track of the blade. Be sure to loosen and tighten the screws the same amount to avoid bowing the fence. But if you work without fence, you may do it with your own convenient way as long as you feed the wood on a right track, though it would require good control when you feed the wood.

View jim454's profile


35 posts in 2441 days

#9 posted 06-29-2012 04:56 PM

Here is link on how to How to Set Up a Bandsaw by Michael C. Fortune. How to Set Up a Bandsaw

View pintodeluxe's profile


5706 posts in 2841 days

#10 posted 06-29-2012 04:59 PM

Try using a fence, and adjusting the fence for drift. A sharp blade helps.
Actually I only use my bandsaw for rough cutting, like taking the bark edge off a wide plank. Then its over to the jointer to true it up.
Same with curves. Rough cut to shape at the bandsaw, then pattern rout or sand to final shape.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2542 days

#11 posted 06-29-2012 05:41 PM

Jeremy, just watched the video. Learned a LOT of little things I was close on, but not dead on. Will cut better this weekend for sure! Thanks!!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

975 posts in 2262 days

#12 posted 07-01-2012 12:44 AM

The Snodgrass video on You Tube soleved all of my drift problems.

-- Jerry

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8208 posts in 2605 days

#13 posted 07-01-2012 12:48 AM

Good thread Harold, and thanks for the video Jeremy, and the link Jim454

View Alongiron's profile


648 posts in 2721 days

#14 posted 07-01-2012 12:56 AM

You can have all the jigs and fences and videos you want but if you do not have the right blade…your in trouble. Get a wood slicer blade from highland woodworking and your bandsaw experience will change forever!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View hjt's profile


850 posts in 3166 days

#15 posted 07-01-2012 01:01 PM

WOW! So many wonderful LJ’s willing to help a “rough cut” guy like me. This is so humbling and a major reason I LOVE Lumberjocks. Thank you all so much for your time and advice.

-- Harold

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