LumberJocks

How to Eliminate Band Saw Blade Drift

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Jerry posted 04-25-2015 07:09 PM 1639 views 7 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


04-25-2015 07:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource jig tip trick bandsaw milling veneering

This article appears in popular woodworking from the August 2006 issue #156

Make Drift a Myth

Thought it would be a good share as this continues to be a pervasive problem. This is the magic bullet for making your own veneers.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/


21 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4230 posts in 1664 days


#1 posted 04-25-2015 07:28 PM

I have zero drift on my Delta and nothing extra is required… stock spring, stock HSS guide blocks and works on any blade I put on unless it’s really, really dull (and even then, I can usually get it to work). It’s all in the tracking mechanism. Get it centered on the wheel as a starting point (aka: the Snodgrass method), and then tweak it forward or backwards slightly depending on which way it’s drifting until you get it dialed in. Usually doesn’t need much if any adjusting.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13487 posts in 1321 days


#2 posted 04-25-2015 07:28 PM

Good read Jerry. Thanks.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


#3 posted 04-25-2015 08:36 PM



I have zero drift on my Delta and nothing extra is required… stock spring, stock HSS guide blocks and works on any blade I put on unless it s really, really dull (and even then, I can usually get it to work). It s all in the tracking mechanism. Get it centered on the wheel as a starting point (aka: the Snodgrass method), and then tweak it forward or backwards slightly depending on which way it s drifting until you get it dialed in. Usually doesn t need much if any adjusting.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

I’m so very happy for you that you do not have this problem. This forum post is for those that do.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Ghidrah's profile

Ghidrah

667 posts in 687 days


#4 posted 04-25-2015 10:04 PM

I guess I’m lucky too, never had the problem, I always figured technique and the correct band was the solution. I’ve ripped 10 1/2” purple heart with and without a fence. If the mat isn’t flat and I rely on the fence instead of my eye I get more of an error.

-- I meant to do that!

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


#5 posted 04-25-2015 11:11 PM


I have zero drift on my Delta and nothing extra is required… stock spring, stock HSS guide blocks and works on any blade I put on unless it s really, really dull (and even then, I can usually get it to work). It s all in the tracking mechanism. Get it centered on the wheel as a starting point (aka: the Snodgrass method), and then tweak it forward or backwards slightly depending on which way it s drifting until you get it dialed in. Usually doesn t need much if any adjusting.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

The Snodgrass method you mentioned was such a good video I wanted to embed it in this thread, thanks for pointing that out.


View on YouTube

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Roger's profile

Roger

19878 posts in 2269 days


#6 posted 04-25-2015 11:39 PM

Nice post Jerry, and links from you and Alex from Carter. The small amount of re-sawing I’ve done, I’ve had good luck without too much drift. I believe drift is one of those things that you may or may not have to deal with. It’s always nice to here and see how we can deal with it when we need to.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7482 posts in 1472 days


#7 posted 04-26-2015 12:17 AM

Good post Jerry. Thanks for sharing. Adding to my favs

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View ElChe's profile

ElChe

630 posts in 801 days


#8 posted 04-26-2015 02:41 AM

All that is needed for perfect veneering is intensity. This fella has it down pat. ;)

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


#9 posted 04-26-2015 02:49 AM



All that is needed for perfect veneering is intensity. This fella has it down pat. ;)

- ElChe

Ha ha haaa, that’s hilarious!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 945 days


#10 posted 04-26-2015 11:28 AM

I watched that video and all I can say is either the guy if full of it or I must be missing something.
I think I’ve got enough experience to know watching guys like this making categorical statements or making things look too easy or making me think I’m an idiot because I can’t duplicate what he says is so easy.

I’ve tried his technique and I still get drift. Everything I’ve ever read says put the blade in the middle of the wheel.

Bottom line: he’s got a slick routine and his shtick is to make everyone think he knows something we don’t.

I’m on my 3rd and 4th bandsaws in 25 years and every one has drift.
WADR, Brad, I’ve tweaked as much as I care to eliminate it but I can’t eliminate it.

I don’t worry myself with it. I just make a test cut and adjust my fence accordingly.

I can cut veneers down to 1/32 on my 18” saw.
On my little 12” I don’t care I’m mostly freehand cutting curves on it.

I just don’t see what the big deal is.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2412 posts in 2387 days


#11 posted 04-27-2015 01:08 AM

In my experience it is all in having a sharp blade. I use a 1/2” carbide and get no drift untill it starts to dull.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


#12 posted 04-27-2015 01:13 AM



In my experience it is all in having a sharp blade. I use a 1/2” carbide and get no drift untill it starts to dull.

- Jim Finn

Now this is useful intelligence. It may explain the disparity of responses here.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 856 days


#13 posted 04-27-2015 02:16 AM



In my experience it is all in having a sharp blade. I use a 1/2” carbide and get no drift untill it starts to dull.

- Jim Finn

This is probably explained by the sharper blade not need so much force of the wood against the blade. As you push harder on the wood to feed it through, I would expect it to make the blade deflect more. As the blade “bows”, and gets mashed against the guide wheel, I would expect it to not move straight back…but rather to take some angle that is determined by the tension and the various blade stiffness and other mechanical factors.

In other words…makes sense to me.

I guess the question that remains is…is there some “perfect” way of adjusting the various parts of the saw (tension, location on wheel, guide wheels, etc.) that would make some blades not want to twist even with significant force applied?

Or maybe the question is…is it easier to just find out how your setup twists “today”, and adjust the fence accordingly and just get on with it?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#14 posted 04-27-2015 11:53 PM

Just a couple of observations: Mt sawmill is basically a large bandsaw on rails. It has no thrust bearings behind the blade, guide bearings only on one side of the blade, and the 1.25” wide blade is tracked in the center of the wheels. There is NO blade drift ever. So what is the difference? The band is tensioned to the point where there is no deflection over a 24” span with all the weight I can apply. When the blade gets dull, I do get some ripple but no drift like with a bandsaw.

The only drift I have ever seen on the mill happened immediately after sawing into a deck screw.

Just reporting some observations that may relate to resawing problems on smaller bandsaws.

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

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1768 posts in 1113 days


#15 posted 04-28-2015 12:22 AM



Just a couple of observations: Mt sawmill is basically a large bandsaw on rails. It has no thrust bearings behind the blade, guide bearings only on one side of the blade, and the 1.25” wide blade is tracked in the center of the wheels. There is NO blade drift ever. So what is the difference? The band is tensioned to the point where there is no deflection over a 24” span with all the weight I can apply. When the blade gets dull, I do get some ripple but no drift like with a bandsaw.

The only drift I have ever seen on the mill happened immediately after sawing into a deck screw.

Just reporting some observations that may relate to resawing problems on smaller bandsaws.

- gfadvm

Thanks Andy, again, great and useful intelligence. Man the opinions on this post are all over the map, aren’t they?! I think I’m coming down on the side of the idea that a properly set up, properly tensioned, and properly sharpened blade is probably going to eliminate drift, but I’ve not tested that theory yet…

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com