Bandsaw Resawing – How to Cut Great Veneer
Bandsaw resawing methods are important in woodworking for the purpose of cutting quality veneer. When slicing veneer on the bandsaw, woodworkers want to be able to create veneers of a uniform thickness every time we make a cut. In this article I am going to share with you the best method that I have learned so that you too can achieve optimum results with your bandsaw resawing.
The Traditional Method of Bandsaw Resawing
To begin with, most trained woodworkers are taught the same traditional method of bandsaw resawing. This bandsaw resawing method involves using a fence tall enough to support the board being ripped. The resaw fence is placed to the left side of the bandsaw blade and then it is locked into a stationary position for every veneer cut that is made. This distance between the fence and the blade is equal to the thickness of the veneer that is sliced.
The woodworker then presses the jointed side of his material alongside the rip fence and and pushes the material through the resaw bandsaw blade. Since the veneer is sliced on the left side of the board, the woodworker will now have to re-joint this surface on the jointer prior to cutting another section of veneer. Otherwise, the board will have a less than desirable, rough surface that is referenced against the fence.
Developing a Better Way of Bandsaw Resawing
When I was trained to become a woodworker (many years ago), I learned the traditional bandsaw resawing method. This became the bandsaw resawing method that I used for many years. Then in 2007 I became committed to creating my own decorative wood inlay banding in the workshop. Creating uniform strips of 3/32″ wood inlay banding requires a quality way of slicing veneer. It was at this time that my woodworking intuitions led me to developing an improved method of bandsaw resawing.
The Fundamental Differences
There are fundamental differences between my bandsaw resawing method as compared to the traditional way of slicing veneer on the bandsaw. First of all, my technique involves the use of the very affordable Rockler thin rip table saw jig. The jig is positioned in the bandsaw’s miter gauge slot about 1/2″ or so in front of the blade. At the nose of the jig is a roller bearing and the right side of the material to be cut is referenced along this bearing. So, simply place the jig into the miter gauge slot across from the blade. The distance between the blade and the bearing will equal the desired thickness of the veneer to be cut. I cut my veneer at 3/32″. So, once I have 3/32″ between the Wood Slicer Bandsaw resaw blade and the roller bearing, I then slide the jig to 1/2″ or so in front of the blade and proceed to simply turn the jig’s star knob thus locking it into position. (Watch this bandsaw resawing video of creating thin strips diamond wood inlay banding to better understand the process.)
What about the Bandsaw Fence?
The tall bandsaw fence for veneer work is still on the left side of the blade. Since the jig’s roller bearing is now the reference point for every cut to be made, the fence will be adjusted to the left side of the material after each veneer is sliced. The same jointed surface of the board is always alongside the fence. Since the veneer is sliced on the right side of the blade, it is now unnecessary to joint a fresh surface to be placed alongside the fence after each cut. Yes, this alone saves time spent going back and forth to the jointer. This woodworking technique also saves valuable material that can now become veneer rather than sawdust.
After each veneer is sliced, the right side of the material again is placed along the jig’s roller bearing and the fence is slid over to the left side of the material. By doing so, the material is controlled on two sides. This allows for the material to be pushed in only one direction, the forward direction. No longer is there any need to press the material against the fence while pushing forward. This aspect offers the woodworker more control of the operation and as a result is safer than the traditional method of bandsaw resawing.
Safer Than the Traditional Method
One nice aspect of this bandsaw resawing method is that the woodworker can safely work in a very comfortable manner. The woodworker can simply guide the material half way through the blade in this controlled setup. Then he or she can simply walk around to the other side of the band saw and confidently pull the remaining material through the blade.
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