Bandsaw for resawing 3.5" lumber

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Forum topic by SuSpence posted 05-01-2014 06:03 AM 1435 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1487 days

05-01-2014 06:03 AM

I’m trying to build a bike frame using bent lamination and am struggling to find the wood I need. After looking around, I think my best option would be to resaw my own. The widest piece I need is 3.5” wide but about 4’ long. I’ve been looking at band saws on craigslist and am curious if a bench top bandsaw would be adequate for this job. Everything I have read about resawing suggests a full size bandsaw but talks about pieces much wider than 3.5”. I am still in school so I’m not looking for a big investment. I really just want something that will get me through this project this summer and introduce me to the world of bandsaws. Any or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

11 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10401 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 05-01-2014 11:50 AM

You’ll find it simpler to get good results resawing that wood
on a 12” table saw.

It’s a might tricky to get good resawn laminates off a higher
end band saw. If you mind gaps in your finished laminates
you’re going to want to plane, thickness sand or have a
pretty nice finish right off the saw. A band saw doesn’t
deliver this consistently unless you really know what you’re

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2370 days

#2 posted 05-01-2014 01:13 PM

How much space do you have in your shop? I know you said you want a benchtop and are on a budget, but a decent used 14” bandsaw can be had for $125-$175 if you have time to keep your eye out.

If this is a one time thing, I would heed Loren’s comment. You might not need additional equipment over what you have now. Even a 10” tablesaw will do what you want, you just might need to make a pass on both sides, leaving 1/16” in the middle, and then snap or handsaw the piece off. That’s how I did it before I got my bandsaw. If youuu don’t have a jointer or planer to flatten the faces, the tablesaw will give you better results.

Do you have a jointer, planer, or hand planes? If I were doing this on a bandsaw, I would make a cut, then run the cut edge of the large block on the jointer, then cut the next strip, repeat. If you don’t have a jointer or planer, hand planes would work. This would give all of your strips one good flat face. I’d then send them through the planer on a carrier board with some double sided carpet take to take care of the rough face.

If you have a tablesaw and no bandsaw, I’d say just do it on the tablesaw. If you have niether, I’d say get a tablesaw first, since it’ll be more useful on future projects than a bandsaw. If you want a bandsaw, I’d keep my eye on craigslist. What you want to do can be done on a smaller bandsaw, but if you’re thinking woodworking is for you, you’ll probably find yourself wanting to upgrade later anyways.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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7 posts in 1487 days

#3 posted 05-01-2014 02:00 PM

THe shop I have is plenty big, it just depends on how much space my parents will let me have ha. I think after your suggestions, I will look at table saws. Right now all I have a basic hand power tools so no planer, jointer, or hand planes. I am keeping an eye out on craigslist for some hand planes though. Is it possible to safely cut completely through with two passes or will that throw the board?

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Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2922 days

#4 posted 05-01-2014 02:00 PM

I re-saw a lot of 8” wide, cedar and maple boards on my GO555 band saw but when re-sawing smaller stock , like 4” wide I use my 10” table saw and do it in two cuts. I use a thin, ripping, saw-blade in my table saw and it gives a very nice finish. If it is not perfect a quick pass through my planer fixes it.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2370 days

#5 posted 05-01-2014 03:52 PM

I would advise against cutting completely through the board. It can be done with the correct push block, but IMO it’s safer to just leave a very thin strip, so you don’t have the piece becoming separated during the cut. When I did it, I left 1/16”, then used this saw from harbor freight. It’s $8.99 before the 25% coupon, and actually works extremely well (I just used it the other day to -cut some drawbore pegs after installation). Without a planer, the remaining ridge can be quickly taken down with a #4 plane, a block plane, or sandpaper (I would put them in that order from easiest to least). I picked up my first #4 for around $10 at a yard sale, I think.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1949 days

#6 posted 05-01-2014 05:10 PM

I recently re-sawed about 70-5 1/2” x 8’ cedar deck boards on the TS. I used the cheapest 10” 24 tooth blade I had. I set the blade at full height and plowed right through. I also had the planer next to the TS. As soon as they were ripped in they went, and I was ripping the next one. I didn’t leave anything in the middle. the blade is buried in the board, just be aware of the blade and there is no danger.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5121 posts in 1721 days

#7 posted 05-01-2014 05:25 PM

I’ve never had good luck trying to resaw more than a few inches on a small bandsaw. The power and blade capacity just aren’t there. On my bigger saw I have a 1 1/4” blade that my little bench top saw wouldn’t have the power to spin even if I could somehow get a blade that thick mounted on the wheels. Even with the big saw, the surface left is such that it needs to be lightly planed. Between the kerf lost in resawing and planning, it’s very close to the .120” – .135” you’d loose in a single pass one a 12” tablesaw with a ripping blade mounted. I’d see if you can find someone in your area with a right equipment.

View Jetmugg's profile


1 post in 1487 days

#8 posted 05-01-2014 05:59 PM

This sounds like a cool project. I assume that you are talking about a bicycle frame, not a motorcycle frame. I’m “into” bicycling (MTB, Cyclocross, a little bit of Crit / road racing).

I’m on board with the guys who recommend a 12-14” bandsaw, possibly with a riser kit, for your resawing needs. A dedicated re-sawing blade for use on the bandsaw will minimize the amount of material lost due to cutting, will minimize the amount of finish sanding/planning that would be needed after the cuts are made as well.

Have you started on your project yet? If you have, can you post a link to any photos?

View SuSpence's profile


7 posts in 1487 days

#9 posted 05-01-2014 06:24 PM

I haven’t started construction yet. I wanted to figure out how I would get the lumber I needed before I tried starting anything. I have a few hand drawings that I’m trying to draw up in cad before summer so I can start building right away. I can send you some pictures once I start in a few weeks.

View BikerDad's profile


347 posts in 3601 days

#10 posted 05-01-2014 11:26 PM

A better bet for you, given that it sounds like your space situation is subject to change, is to go old school. Simply get a decent bow saw. Tools for Working Wood has one:, or you can find info on the web for making one. Pick up a decent used or new Jack or Smoothing plane and you’ll be on your way to bent lamination heaven. All without the noise, dust, and space requirements of powered tools.

Yes, the bow saw will be more work to use than a band saw, but you’ll be able to do the work almost anywhere, at anytime of the day or night.

Just a thought.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2836 days

#11 posted 05-02-2014 01:01 AM

Look forward to seeing the results. I have plans to make a cross bike using wood. Do you have head tube and BB inserts yet?

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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