another band saw question

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Forum topic by childress posted 12-28-2008 08:23 PM 996 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View childress's profile


841 posts in 3564 days

12-28-2008 08:23 PM

Just finishing cleaning and tuning my new 14” bandsaw (new to me). Just wondering about the different speeds. I have 4 speeds and am not sure what speed is best for what. Can anyone give advice on this?? I am mostly interested in doing resawing and got a 1/2” 4 TPI blade. Thanks!

-- Childress Woodworks

7 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3548 days

#1 posted 12-28-2008 09:16 PM

The speeds should be indicated on the inside of your saw cover. Slower speeds for hard woods faster for soft. For the blades more tpi for hard less for soft. ...or at least this is what I have learned.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3786 days

#2 posted 12-28-2008 09:35 PM

Check the the owners manual too.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#3 posted 12-28-2008 10:39 PM

I’ve never thought about using variable speed for cutting
wood with a bandsaw. Generally the speed control would
be to slow down the saw for cutting metal. When cutting
metal the higher speeds appropriate for cutting wood will
overheat the blade quickly and it will lose it’s temper.

So for wood I would tell you to use the fastest speed and
feed-rate you can. You will get the most life out of
your blade by making your cuts quickly. If you dawdle during
the cut and don’t push the wood quickly enough the teeth
rub on the cut wood and get dull.

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3695 days

#4 posted 12-29-2008 12:04 AM

Most bandsaws with 4 speeds are metal cutting. Is this a wood/metal bandsaw?

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3873 days

#5 posted 12-29-2008 12:14 AM

I don’t bother varying the speed of my saw. I would suggest you adopt a moderate speed, particularly one that does not result in jams & results in less wear & tear.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3564 days

#6 posted 12-29-2008 06:26 AM

no, marcb, it specifically says WOODCUTTING right on the cast table. It is a central machinery though…. and the previous owner had a metal blade on there, so, guess I’ll have to just play with it some.

-- Childress Woodworks

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3809 days

#7 posted 12-31-2008 03:45 AM

I have a 4 speed central machinery BS I also bought second hand (with riser). I am using a Timberwolf 1/2” x 4 tpi blade and run it at the max speed. I have resawn 8” black walnut, and 10” red oak with it. The feed is slow, but it cuts well. Dropping the speed to the next lower pulley set will give more power, but due to a loss of 30% of the blade speed, it will not cut faster. (Top speed is about 2578 fpm, and 2nd speed is 1683 fpm)

A couple of things I found:

1. As bought, the wheels were way out of coplanar (way too far to shim). If yours has a riser and is way out, try flipping the riser upside down. By doing that, I was able to get them coplanar with just a .030 shim on the lower wheel. The blades track much better and it cuts true, now. (One reason the previous owner got rid of it was he pushed the blade off the wheels when resawing. He bought a bigger saw and is happy, and I got this one for a good price and I am happy). It is well worth the effort to true up the saw so the blade runs near the center of both tires.

2. It is easier to get the correct tension on 1/2” blades by using the silicon steel blades (thinner material). If using T-Wolf blades, follow the tensioning directions included with the blade. More is not necessarily better.

3. With a couple layers of duct tape, a 2” vac hose will hook on to the dust collector. It (the vac) will help a lot when resawing which will generate massive amounts of fine sawdust. You will still have to clean out the area around the bottom wheel occasionally, tho.

4. When resawing, flatten the bottom of the board so that it does not twist as it goes past the blade. The twisting will bind the blade up to a stop quicker than over-feeding.

5. The table lock knobs will not tighten enough to support a lot of weight without the table tilting. I threaded a bolt into the black side of the table (there is already a hole in the casting) that works as a support on the saw frame. I put the heavier side of the wood inside the blade. Otherwise, have good infeed/outfeed support so the the wood does not cause the table to tilt.

If you don’t have the manual, you can download it from the Harbor freight web site (

Hope this helps


-- Go

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