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34…How to adjust for Band Saw Blade Drift

Adjusting for Band Saw Blade Drift

 

“A warrior never worries about his fear.”
Carlos Castaneda…Peuvian-born American anthropologist and author (1925-1998)

Understanding Band Saw Blade Drift

When resawing wood veneers on the band saw it is quite important to take into account the the band saw blade drift. If the adjustment is correctly made for the drift angle a woodworker can rip straight thin strips of veneer that are of a uniform thickness. By making an accurate adjustment to the bandsaw fence one can save plenty of time and material. Better yet, a woodworker can perform with a greater level of confidence. So, learn how to adjust for band saw blade drift.

 

What causes band saw blade drift?

A band saw blade has two sets of teeth. Band saw blade drift occurs because the differences in set and sharpness of the bandsaw teeth from one side of the blade to the other side of the blade.

One theory has it that heat caused by friction can also play a role in band saw blade drift. It is said that the cutting action of the saw teeth creates more heat in the front of the blade than the back of the blade. The front expands more than the back and becomes slightly longer. As a result the blade can warp inward or outward and thus cause the cut to drift.

 

Bevel square used to adjust band saw blade drift

Recently, a number of the viewers of this blog have asked me some great questions concerning the cutting of uniform thin strips of wood veneer on the bandsaw. They wanted to know how to adjust for band saw blade drift. While I have responded to their questions already, I believe this woodworking video will help to further clarify and resolve their concerns. Perhaps, it can make a difference for you also. As you will see, this article will point out an important step of the process regarding making an adjustment for the band saw blade drift. Ripping uniform thin strips of veneer is an easy task once the angle of the drift is understood and accounted for by making a simple adjustment to the fence.

 

Making the adjustment for Band Saw Blade Drfit

 

Band saw auxiliary fence - Band saw blade drift adjustment

(This tutorial on how to adjust for band saw blade drift assumes that the band saw is correctly set-up with a proper tension, the bandsaw blade guides are accurately adjusted, and a good sharp blade is in place.)

 

This woodworking video tutorial shows how the angle of the drift is found. A bevel square is used to duplicate the angle once it is determined. The video also shows how the thin rip fence is set in place by using a wedge at one end of the fence. Spring clamps help to secure the wedged fence angle. (Some band saw fences can be adjusted by loosening the bolts, aligning the fence according to the drift angle, and then re-tightening the bolts.)



A Rockler thin rip jig with a roller bearing is set into the miter gauge slot and is fastened in place by simply turning a star knob. Placement of the bearing is 1/2″ before the band saw blade. The thickness of cut is set to 3/32″ as this is the thickness used in my wood shop when ripping wood inlay bandings. The demonstration clearly shows how to cut stock that is 3/4″ high and stock that is 3″ tall. All veneers that are ripped were within 1/64″ of one another. (In the video the second to last veneer was actually the leftover piece and was not ripped. It was just a bit thicker than the other strips of ripped veneer. However, it was close enough to be included in this batch as it can be run through the open drum sander to attain the desired measurement of 3/32″.)

 

Maple Veneer Thin Strips - Band saw blade drift adjustedConsider the need for adjusting the fence for band saw blade drift as basic maintenance of the band saw. Through repeated usage the blade cuts can again drift as the set of the teeth undergo change. This is normal. However, understanding how to adjust the fence for band saw blade drift is an easy matter. It just takes a few minutes. Acting on this matter will allow you to rip material that is straight. When a thin rip jig is added to the equation you will be able to also make cuts that are of uniform thickness.

 

Note: The blade used for this particular demonstration is a PS Wood Timberwolf bandsaw blade (3/8″ blade with 4 teeth per inch.) However, select a blade according to your needs.

 

Helpful Tips:

1.) Check that the band saw table is set 90 degrees to the blade. Use a combination square or a digital protractor to ensure this angle.

2.) The auxiliary rip fence was simply made with scrap 5/8″ particle board. It is made to the same length and height as the original fence. It’s just a matter of making the cuts, adding a little glue, and using an air-nailer to drive the pins home.

 

Recommended Article: How to Cut Uniform Thin Strips

Recommended Videos:

Ripping Thin Strips of Wood Inlay on the Band Saw

Cutting Thin Strips on the Band Saw

Band Saw Rip Fence made in the Shop

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Super Holiday Deals in the A&J Tool Store

Here are some woodworking tools from the A & J Tool Store that you may find useful in your shop whether you are an apprentice or a journeyman. Most of these tools are already in my woodworking shop and many of you have seen them used in my woodworking videos and in the blog postings. The Forrest Woodworker II saw blade is a standard for the table saw. Actually, the shop has three of these saw blades. The reason that there are three blades is because this assures that the table saw will always have a fresh, sharp blade. Generally, two of the table saw blades are sent for sharpening at a time and this allows for a fresh saw blade to be available for cutting the current wood project.

The Wixey digital angle gauge is used for assuring saw blade setups when cutting on the table saw, miter saw, and even the band saw. This set up tool allows the woodworker to confidently make cuts at the intended angle. It simply removes any guess work. See how the Wixey digital angle gauge is employed in the following woodworking videos and articles.

The Wixey 8" digital protractor is an invaluable tool you have seen used during the segmented woodturning articles and videos like when the ring segments are being cut. The digital protractor takes the guess work out of the equation and replaces it with accuracy.

The Milwaukee 18 volt compact drill and impact driver set is used often in the shop. It is great to have the drill and the separate impact driver on hand and ready for any woodworking projects. It comes with 2 long lasting batteries and a charger.

The dial caliper is a tool that is used all the time in the shop. A woodworker continually strives to improve his skills and maintain accuracy. This affordable tool allows the craftsman to be dead on accurate. Using a digital or dial caliper will take your woodworking projects and skills to a higher level. We want to always strive to improve our skills as well as our accuracy. This precious tool truly makes a difference. Once a woodworker starts using a good digital or dial caliper he won't go back to his previous methods of measuring.

The Porter Cable 895 PK 12 amp 2-1/4 HP Fixed and Plunge Base Router is a great combination to have in the shop. The fixed base is continually used in the router table and it is easy enough to set up the router for a plunge base operation when necessary.

A few of these tools are not in the shop (yet). The tools not in the shop are the Bosch 12'' dual bevel slide miter saw, the Robert Sorby lathe gouges, and the Jet variable speed mini lathe. The miter saw is included on this list because of my preference to have this miter saw over the one currently in the shop. A few nice features included with this saw are the cutting capacity it offers and the limited rear travel of the saw guide rails. The list also includes the named brand Robert Sorby lathe gouges because they would be a welcome upgrade. The Jet mini lathe is also included because of its great reputation and also because this would be a terrific lathe for either the apprentice or the journeyman wood turner. This lathe would be great for turning smaller objects such as pens. The mini lathe would also work well for someone who wants to turn, but it limited in shop space. Many woodturners today have a mini lathe as well as their full size lathe.

Also added to this list is the Bosch Colt Router with the edge guide. This is a very handy sized router to have in the shop and is well known for its performance.

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled

Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled

 

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
…Nelson Mandela, first black president of South Africa & Nobel Prize recipient .(1918- )

 

The Idea for the Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled

 

Tilting Band Saw miter sled

Tilting Band Saw miter sled

The idea of the tilting bandsaw miter sled came to me while working on creating a variety of wood inlay banding patterns for various wood projects to be built. Sometimes my choice is to cut inlay segments by using the dedicated miter sled for the table saw and for those operations the table saw technique works just fine. However, my curiosity and imagination has led me to the band saw where my first concern was about the quality of the cut for the inlay segments. It is no longer a concern as this method works very well when cutting miters on flat material. (So far I have been using a 3/8″ band saw blade with 4 teeth per inch. The cut is clean.)

 

Triangle segment cut on tilting band saw miter sled

Triangle segment cut on tilting band saw miter sled

There are some advantages to using the bandsaw over the table saw when cutting wood inlay segments.

1.) Less material is waste due to a narrower saw blade kerf on the band saw.
2.) It is easier and safer to cut smaller material on the band saw than on the table saw.
3.) More wood scrap can be utilized by using the tilting miter sled on the bandsaw.

 

The Accuracy of the Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled

The tilting bandsaw miter sled is surprisingly accurate and efficient. (I recommend using a digital angle gauge or an Wixey 8 inch digital protractor to correctly adjust the band saw bed to the saw blade.) It can be built out of scrap material and ready to use in the woodworking shop in just 10 minutes. This miter sled works exceptionally well for cutting miters on smaller flat material where safety concerns could arise if the wood was instead cut on the table saw. To build the tilting bandsaw miter sled use the same techniques as featured in the Bandsaw Crosscut Sled article.

 

In the photo triangular segments are being cut to uniform length with the aid of a stop block. Notice how the stop block has a 45 degree angle to match the angle of the segment being cut.

 

 Tilting Bandsaw Miter Sled Setup

 

Side view tilting band saw miter sled

Side view tilting band saw miter sled

Cutting wood inlay segments on the tiliting band saw miter sled

Cutting wood inlay segments on the tiliting band saw miter sled

The bandsaw bearing guide assembly needs to be kept as low as possible for safety reasons. On the operator’s left side the bearing assembly just clears the stop block and the crosscut sled’s fence. The right side of the bearing assembly has more clearance from the sled and as a result there is more exposure to the bandsaw blade. For this reason it is a good idea to have the tilting miter sled long enough to adequately handle a stop block on the left side and long enough to support the flat material on the right side. By designing the tilting miter sled in this manner it allows for a good cutting action and also for a good margin of safety as well.

 


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

Segmented Woodturning…a new Fruit Bowl

Segmented woodturning...2 halves of a wooden Fruit bowl
Segmented turning…a fruit bowl being made.

Segmented Woodturning

Segmented woodturning is a woodworking craft that was introduced to me about 3 1/2 years ago. It was at this time that I came upon a woodworking magazine in a bookstore that made a positive impact on me and my woodworking. On the cover of this magazine was a unique segmented woodturning sculpture by a very talented segmented woodturner, Malcom Tibbets. Immediately, I knew that I was seeing something in the woodworking craft that I had not seen before. This was wood art that was quite extraordinary and it was easy to see that Malcolm was pushing the boundaries of woodturning. If you’d like to learn more about segmented woodturning you owe it to yourself the check out Malcolm’s great instructional book, “The Art of Segmented Wood Turning.”

 “The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.”

William Blake…English Romantic Poet (1757-1827)

 Now, I like challenges when it comes to woodworking because it is a good test of one’s skills. It is a challenge that allows the craftsman to broaden their abilities. A wood project that provides a challenge like this also requires inspiration and there’s always the risk of failure when learning something new. This was the time that I decided to sharpen my woodturning gouges and prepare myself to tackle segmented woodturning.

My first bowl of segmented  woodturning was a fruit bowl made of beautiful black walnut, cherry, and white oak. It measures 12 1/2″ in diameter and 4-1/2″ high. As I started making this wooden bowl I realized the critical importance of getting the angles of the saw blade right for accurate compound miters. There are 12 staves for this wood bowl and the angles have to meet dead-on for the bowl to be made successfully. I created more of a challenge for myself by adding vertical spacers of white oak in between the mitered staves for this wooden bowl. Before long there would be other segmented bowls to follow.

Segmented Woodturning - Fruit Bowl
Miter joints being cut on a compound miter saw.

Before I cut the staves for segmented woodturning, I always practiced making the angled cuts on the 10″ compound miter saw.  Scrap MDF was used to see if the miter angles were now in fact accurate. This took a little time and patience to get it just right. Eventually, I got six staves to form the walls of half of a bowl. All miters matched up fine, but the two outsides angles were not quite flat when laid on the surface of the table saw. They were close, but just slightly off. However, I figured that I could sand the outside angles to have the remaining joints meet properly. (After this experience, I started using Wixey digital angle gauge and Wixey digital protractor to set the angle of saw blades when cutting compound miters.)

Segmented Woodturnings - a Fruit Bowl
Segmanted woodturning…sanding the miter of a fruit Bowl.

As a wood turner I look back on this segmented woodturning project and remember this moment of learning this woodcraft. Handmade bowls are fun and creative. Moreover, the making of these segmented bowls requires total attention to detail along with a commitment to accuracy from start to finish. As I look back I know that I have gained experience from taking on this challenge of wood lathe work. Between that time and now other woodworking challenges have been created as well to add to my level of skills. However, when you look back at a breakthrough wood project you come to understand who you are as a woodworker just a little bit better. For me, growth can only happen if there is a challenge and the challenge is always easier to take on when there is inspiration.

 

Watch Segmented Woodturning Videos:

Segmented Woodturning a 9″ x 12″  Vase

Segmented Woodturning a Fruit Bowl – Part 1

Segmented Woodturning a Fruit Bowl – Part 2

 



 

Wood Lathe Accessories

Oneway Talon Chuck System

Oneway Live Center

Wolverine Vari-Grind Attachment

Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig

Mini Jumbo Jaws for ONEWAY Talon Chuck

Sorby Standard Turning Tool Set, 6 Pieces

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Segmented Wood Turning – Fruit Bowl…part 1

Segmented Wood Turning



Setting the blade angle on the 10 inch compound miter saw blade - Segmented Wood Turning on a wood lathe

Segmented wood turning is an interesting and unique facet of the woodworking craft as you will see in part 1 of this woodworking video tutorial. We are back in the woodworking shop creating a custom wood project. Here, we learn how to woodturn a segmented fruit bowl. The wood we are using in this segmented wood turning is light walnut for the staves, dark walnut for the vertical spacers, and ribboned mahogany for the base. The segmented wood turning technique we are using for this wood project involves the use of 12 wood staves that we will cut on the 10 inch compound miter saw and also the 12 vertical spacers we will cut with a small fine toothed dovetail saw. In this woodworking tutorial we will focus on the accurate set-up of the of the compound miter saw using a Wixey digital angle gauge and a digital protractor. Once the saw is correctly set we will cut the wood staves. From there we will concentrate on fitting and gluing all segments together by using yellow glue and masking tape.

“A rule of thumb for a warrior is that he makes his decisions so carefully that nothing that may happen as a result of them can surprise him, much less drain his power.”
Carlos Castaneda…Peruvian born American anthropologist and author. (1925-1998)

Note: To ensure precision cutting of the stave segments a 10 inch Forrest Chopmaster saw blade was used on the compound miter saw.

A Staved segment for segmented wood turning on a wood lathe

Precision cutting of the wood staves is made possible by accurately adjusting the miter saw blade with a digital angle gauge. Accuracy is a must for segmented wood turning and shop accessories such as the angle gauge and a digital protractor are essential.

This episode is part of the Let’s Build Series

Click to learn more about Segmented Woodturning

Learn more about the Wood Lathe and Segmented Wood Turning!
Wood Turning articles, Tutorials, and Segmented Wood Turning videos!



 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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