You can tune up your band saw to resaw veneer without expensive fences or blades.
The subject most often written about in woodworking magazines is probably cutting dovetails. In second place – and not far behind – is likely resawing with a 14″ band saw.
To be sure, there is disagreement from one article to the inevitable next one, but the central theme is how to adjust the fence to “follow the drift” of the blade. The disagreement is about which shop-built or purchased equipment serves this task best.
After trying some of the methods to “follow the drift” with unsatisfactory results, I decided to take a contrary approach. It occurred to me that if your car has a tendency to drift right or left and you “follow the drift” you will have a very bad result. So what do you do? You overcome the drift to avoid disaster. And that’s what I do on my band saw as well.
By following this approach, drift in my shop is now a myth. And by making some simple changes to the way you work, it can be a myth in your shop, too.
In a nutshell, here’s what you do: First you install a stronger blade-tensioning spring on your saw, which is available from many woodworking catalogs.
Then set your saw’s fence square to the blade and clamp the outfeed side to the machine’s table. Install ball-bearing blade guides in your band saw. Adjust the blade guides so there is no clearance – none – between the guides and the blade.
Finally, make a simple device using a block of wood, a couple nuts, a bearing and a hinge for a farm gate. This jig also can be used as a frictionless featherboard on a router table or on other machines. It’s useful for more than resawing on the band saw.
And one more thing: You don’t need a premium blade to have success with resawing. In my saw, I use a 1⁄2“-wide 4-teeth-per-inch skip-tooth blade. With my riser block the saw takes a 105”-long blade.
With this setup, I easily sliced the veneer off the plywood shown at the top. The resulting veneer is .025″ thick. And there was no drift to compensate for as I sawed. Follow the steps, and you’ll make band saw drift a myth in your shop, too.
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