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Bandsaw setup: Snodgrass vs. typical obsessions

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Forum topic by MarcRochkind posted 06-27-2014 at 04:12 PM 487 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MarcRochkind

11 posts in 71 days


06-27-2014 at 04:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

Watching the excellent, well known video, “Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGbZqWac0jU), several things stand out for me:

1. His rejection of the importance of getting the wheels co-planar.

2. His straightforward, almost casual approach to setting blade tension. (Similar to what Michael Fortune recommends in several older Fine Woodworking articles. Fortune strongly recommends a looser tension than is commonly recommended.)

3. His simple approach to setting the blade guides and thrust bearing. (Fortune goes even further, suggesting that the lower bearings be backed out, as the saws he’s used in Europe don’t even have lower guides.)

On the other hand, he does at one point emphasize that nobody knows the bandsaw better than the manufacturer, and my manufacturer, Grizzly, recommends a LOT of attention to #2 and #3, although they do seem to suggest worrying about #1 only if the blade won’t track.

I’m very tempted, as I guess most viewers of the video are, to go with Snodgrass. As I’m new to bandsaws, I’d be interested in how closely more experienced woodworkers do it the Snodgrass way. And, does anyone back off the lower guides, as Fortune does?


9 replies so far

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jonah

453 posts in 1936 days


#1 posted 06-27-2014 at 04:43 PM

I did pretty much exactly what Snodgrass did, and it worked wonders for my old 12” bandsaw. It now cuts straight.

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rrww

263 posts in 750 days


#2 posted 06-27-2014 at 05:09 PM

Try it out and see for yourself…

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jmartel

1942 posts in 787 days


#3 posted 06-27-2014 at 05:23 PM

Set it up per the video and you will be happy.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

777 posts in 954 days


#4 posted 06-27-2014 at 05:37 PM

I’ve adopted the Michael Fortune method since it worked fine on my bandsaws once I set everything up and cost me nothing to do. I don’t know how different the Snodgrass method is except that he recommends centering the gullet whereas Michael recommends centering the blade on the upper wheel.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1112 days


#5 posted 06-27-2014 at 05:42 PM

Yep, saw the video, did as he recommended and it worked wonders for me.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

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Earlextech

962 posts in 1328 days


#6 posted 06-27-2014 at 05:52 PM

Go Snodgrass! It works!

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

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MrRon

2809 posts in 1881 days


#7 posted 06-27-2014 at 07:12 PM

I have a Rigid 14” BS with riser and the Snodgrass method has worked wonders for me. I do keep the bottom guides in place. It would seem to me that without the lower guides, the blade would want to deflect away from you when pushing hard, especially when using narrow blades. Everything is working good now, so I will stay with the lower guides; no reason not to.

I don’t particularly believe the manufacturer knows the most about his BS. They may know machines and mechanics, but they are probably not woodworkers. I’m sure they set up their saws by the “conventional” means and leave it at that. As long as the blade stays on the wheels; good enough.

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Surfside

3085 posts in 811 days


#8 posted 06-30-2014 at 09:08 PM

His video is very helpful. He keeps it simple.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Robert Brown's profile

Robert Brown

122 posts in 1329 days


#9 posted 06-30-2014 at 09:55 PM

I have a hf bandsaw with a riser. My plan was to be able to resaw. For 5-7 years I could not. I bought a couple of bandsaw books and looked at videos on the net & info from woodworking forums. Almost all to no avail. Finally one of them forums pointed me toward Alex Snodgrass’s video. I followed his advice and voilà. I can resaw now – no drifting – up to 12 inches high and as thin as 1/16 of an inch.

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