Use Your Woodworking Bandsaw to Resaw
Learn to Make Your Own Custom Thickness Lumber!

A Woodworking Bandsaw gives you freedom to design and build anything you want. If you want 5/8" drawer sides, you should have them. If you want to cut three boards 1/4" thick out of one 5/4 piece, you should do it! Resawing on the Bandsaw gives you the ability to cut stock thickness quickly, safely, and efficiently.

With a woodworking bandsaw, resawing allows you to control the thickness of wood. After a few minutes resawing and one or two passes through a thickness planer, frees you from the yoke of standard thickness. Are you content with only 3/4" wood for everything you build?

Resawing with a woodworking bandsaw is nothing more than taking a piece of wood and cutting it into thinner pieces. The cut runs through the plank's width. Ripping wood runs through the piece's thickness. Bandsaws Woodworking are the ideal tool for this job. It is far safer than a tablesaw, since it does not cause kickback.

The woodworking bandsaw has a narrow kerf and vertical blade movement make it extremely efficient. It wastes minimal wood. Cutting is easy and quick. All you do is cut straight lines. A board with one square edge and side is necessary.

Problem is, most woodworkers don't have a clue how to do this. Successful resawing with a woodworking bandsaw calls for nothing more complicated than appropriate blade selection, adequate tension, setting the fence, and proper stock control.

Woodworking Bandsaw Blade Selection:

As you saw through very thick stock, you put quite a bit of pressure on every part of the blade engaged in the cut. Each saw tooth shaves out waste. Blades with 3 teeth per inch (tpi) have large gullets which have room for a lot of waste.

Thrust bearings support the blade above and below. During the actual cut, only the blade's stiffness or "beam strength" will keep the cut proceeding straight and free of wander.

It's my experience that a quality 1/2" 3-tooth blade gives good results. I tried wider blades with no increase in efficiency.

Woodworking Bandsaw Blade Tension:

Adequate blade tension reduces the blade's tendency to lead erratically under thrust. I have found that the standard tension gauge is not accurate. It is better to use a little more tension than indicated on most bandsaws.

You can check it by opening up the thrust bearings and lateral guides. Back off both above and below the table so they do not contact the blade. Crank the tension gauge to the desired setting. Give the blade a sideways nudge about halfway between the upper and lower wheels. The blade will deflect easily for a short distance. This sideways movement should be 1/4". If you push harder, it will bend farther but there is a distinct point where it quits deflecting easily. If you can deflect more than 1/4", then add tension until this deflection is 1/4". I am using a 14" Jet woodworking Bandsaw in this example.

After you complete setting the tension, look at your Bandsaw's built-in tension gauge. Check to see where it falls on the scale. It is probably larger than the ½" setting. If your blade breaks at the weld with this tension, then invest in a better blade. Blades made in the USA offer better quality.

Woodworking Bandsaw Stock Control:

How does one cut straight lines?
Answer: find out how the saw wants to do it, and do it that way.

Every bandsaw blade, unless there's something seriously wrong, can cut straight lines. Each blade will do so in its own way. In other words, each blade has its own "lead angle". How can we determine this lead angle?

Some experts suggest using a Resaw Guide. This is like a single point, which allows you to change the angle of your feed into the blade. It takes practice to use this method. Moreover, this technique requires constant attention.

If you have to figure out the right feed direction, why not just do it once? Then set your bandsaw fence accordingly, and cut straight lines. It is just that easy.

Woodworking Bandsaw Tips

Ensure that the blade and fence are both 90-degrees to your table. Take a piece of wood about two to three feet long. Make sure that it is straight. Mark a line down the center of this piece.
Cut freehand along the line, trying to keep the cut on the centerline. Feed at a normal pace. Once you have it straight, hold your piece of wood to the table. Turn off the bandsaw. You have found the lead angle for this blade!

Woodworking Bandsaws

With a pencil, mark a line on the bandsaw table along the piece of wood. Now set your fence close to the pencil line on the table. Loosen the fence bolts with a wrench.
Bandsaw Woodworking Tips
Set the angle of the fence along the pencil line of the test cut. Tighten your bolts. Your fence is now set for the blade's correct lead angle. This gives you straight cuts. Set once and cut. What could be simpler?

You can add an auxiliary fence by adding a high board. Other than that, you can't go wrong. You may want to practice your feed speed. It is a good idea to mark a line on your intended cut for the first several boards. It just gives you confidence that the cut is straight.

Woodworking Bandsaw Tips:

  • Clean your blade after each use. Use a brush to clean it with gloves on. This gives a better and more consistent cut.
  • Keep your fingers attached! Use a scrap piece of wood and keep it handy. When getting close to the end (3" to 4") use the scrap to finish the cut - not your fingers. I clamp a featherboard on the woodworking bandsaw table before the blade to hold the piece of wood tight to the fence. Some woodworkers use their fingers to do this. A little slip or a bad board can lead to a nasty cut. Don't take the chance!
  • Feed speed: Too slow wears the blade more quickly. How can you tell when you push too fast? If you push hard and fast, you may hear a louder sound and feel some jerks. That is too fast!

You will gain confidence with this method. It gives you more versatility with your projects. With a little practice, you can't go wrong. As you practice, you will determine anything else you wish to know.

Have fun while resawing with your woodworking bandsaw and keep safety in mind!


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