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I have a Draper 250w bandsaw with a maximum cutting depth of about 80 - 85mm. I've set it up according to the manual, it cuts wood fine but the blade wanders a bit, cutting straight is quite a challenge. The blade that came with it is 6mm. I took the cover off the wheel and it looks like it can support a blade up to around 16mm (probably slightly less).

Will installing a wider blade make the blade wander less on deeper cuts, say 12 - 13mm (1/2 inch)?

Thanks

@mateyboy

Hi, when you say that the cut wanders do you mean when feeding material through against a fence? If so the the problem may well be the alignment of the fence with the blade. Unless they are both parallel then the blade will be trying to drift in or out of the cut. With a wider blade on the saw it will be easier to check this alignment but don’t assume that the fence is necessarily going to be true to the blade without adjustment.

When I fit the new blade and set everything up I will check the fence. But it wanders without the fence although I guess the table surface may have been slightly out - I'll check that too. Thanks.

6 Answers
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Just a few notes on bandsaw set up.

One thing that is often overlooked when setting up a bandsaw is to ensure that the blade is properly tensioned and running in the centre of the tyre and then check that the blade is running parallel to the fence. This is easier to establish with a wider blade but if is isn't parallel to the fence then there will alway be a tendency for the cut to wander in or out of line. Always check the fence alignment as part of the routine surrounding fitting a new blade.

Regarding the other parts of the set up procedure, the guides should just about be touching the blade but not be in permanent contact with it (this is what roll-up papers were invented for) and they should not interfere with the set of the tooth ie the rear thrust bearing should prevent any part of the tooth from contacting the side guides so set this first. Then, assuming that your bandsaw has blade guides above and below the table (nearly all do), set the upper ones first and then carefully readjust the lower ones making sure that they aren't moving the blade out of line.  Always run the full length of the blade through the guides to check that there aren't any wide spots or kinks especially around the area of the weld. If the blade does have any serious faults send it back. It all sounds a bit fiddly but if you go about it in the right order then you are far more likely to end up with a saw that cuts well and true.

Lastly, make sure that you are using a sharp blade (if you are having to push significantly then it's time for a new blade) and that it has the right number of teeth for the material being cut. If you are going through long grain 75mm hardwood then you really don't need more than maybe 3 or 4 TPI. If you try cutting this with a 12 or 14TPI blade there just isn't enough space between the teeth to store the waste and this ends up overheating the blade and the wood very quickly. More isn't always better. If you want to have one universal blade fitted most of the time then this should ideally be matched to the thickest material that you regularly cut.

In summary, this is the order that I would suggest.

1. Release all rear and side guides and move away from existing blade

2. Replace blade, tension and ensure it is running in centre of tyre

3. Adjust upper rear thrust bearing

4. Adjust upper side guides ensuring they don't interfere with the set of the teeth

5. Adjust lower rear thrust bearing and side guides

6. Check alignment of fence to blade and adjust fence as required

7. Start making some dust

Hope this helps.

Darren

@darrenking

Very comprehensive answer, thanks!

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Somewhere between the blade width, blade tension and thrust bearings- lies the optimum state for cutting any given piece of stock. Have you looked up Alex Snodgrass' bandsaw clinic?

'Resawing' needs a wider blade with fewer teeth-per-inch. 

It's frustrating when it goes awry 🙁

@syntholabo

That's a really good video, thanks. Incidentally the blade snapped today! I'm going to try a wider blade take look at the setup.

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I have a Titan bandsaw and have replaced the 1/4” blade with a 3/8” 6tpi blade as recommended by Mark in the tools PDF.

I bought the blade from Tuff Saws - they advised a slightly shorter blade in my saw.

The new blade produces a smoother cut than the stock blade and seems so far to cut straight.

 

Measure once........
Measure again.........
Sod it - make tea!

@frocesterbill

Thanks, must have missed the pdf! 😬 anyway, I have ordered a 3/8 blade from Draper. I’ll report back when I’ve installed and tested it. 😀

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The blade supplied is always naff - your new blade will probably fix everything you thought was wrong. 😉

Measure twice, cut once...

@markbailey

Thanks. 👍🏻

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So... a new blade arrived, I fit it... I set the table nice and square and the bandsaw cuts in nice straight lines. Thanks all. 🙂

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Excellent!

Measure once........
Measure again.........
Sod it - make tea!