Straight cuts on the Bandsaw

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
I was wondering what method everyone uses when cutting wood blocks/stock down to usable scale sizes. I dont have a table saw with fence ( that would be the optimal setup)
I have been using my Portaband that is in a Swag table. I mark out the block to the desired size then steadily try to keep on the line- is ok but never seems to work perfect.
The table dosent really have room to clamp things down as the sides are all rounded off.

Any suggestions or tricks to help?
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Unfortunately, with that setup, it's gona be like beating your head on a wall to get straight cuts in woods/soft materials. Even if you clamp a chunk of angle iron for a fence, the blade will still wonder on those saws. Only real answer is a wood cutting saw. Even a cheap benchtop bandsaw would cut straighter.....PROVIDE you have GOOD BLADES.

I have an OLD Craftsman benchtop bandsaw..... with over the counter blades it cut horrible.....but after having blades custom made..... it cuts like a dream! When I say "custom made blades", that just means I call up or go to a local "saw shop", tell them the size blade(s) I need, with the type of teeth I want, and then weld them to length for me. Since going that route, I about two blades PER YEAR. When I was buy over the counter blades....it was more like 8-10 blade per year.
 

Gilbert M

Member
I'm not sure what tooth count your blade is but maybe something like 6 tpi would help if you're using a standard 14-18 now . It might be a little cheesy but I wonder if you could use one of those super strong little magnets with a handle and attach that to your table as a guide.
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ed- unfortunately, space will limit me in my shop. Not an option for me to get a dedicated wood saw. Thanks for the input!
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure what tooth count your blade is but maybe something like 6 tpi would help if you're using a standard 14-18 now . It might be a little cheesy but I wonder if you could use one of those super strong little magnets with a handle and attach that to your table as a guide.
Havent tried a lower TPI blade. I do like the magnet idea.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Havent tried a lower TPI blade.
I was going to suggest this, but a Portaband will not run fast enough to use large toothed/wood cutting blades. I've tried....because the speed is too slow for the teeth, the blade will catch, and pop off the saw, or worse, will kink/break. It might be possible....but you would have to run the wood through PAINFULLY SLOWLY.....and that urge to push a bit more, is usually just too much to overcome.....and that's when the bad thing happen. ;)
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
What if you made a fence rig?? Made like an upside down U to straddle the sides of the swag table?? Then just cut thru the scale a little into the fence and stop? Dont know if I'm explaining this so you understand?
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
What if you made a fence rig?? Made like an upside down U to straddle the sides of the swag table?? Then just cut thru the scale a little into the fence and stop? Dont know if I'm explaining this so you understand?
Not sure I follow?
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Can you cut stabilized blocks with a wood cutting bandsaw? Wouldn't it wreck the blade?
Yes, you can cut most commercially stabilized materials with a wood cutting saw, without wrecking the blade.

It's questionable with some "home brewed" stabilizing. I had a friend who used to stabilize, and he used an "agent" that is used on cast iron to fill any air space...... but he used it on woods, etc. Only way to cut that was with a metal cutting saw....but dang! Those were some nice stabilized products! :)

As a side note to cutting things with a wood cutting saw..... Using a wood cutting bandsaw to cut things like micarta, G10, and especially Carbon Fiber will wreck wood cutting blades quickly. G10 and Carbon Fiber will usually destroy a wood blade within seconds of touching it.
 
Last edited:

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I have a Craftsman wood band-saw that I've been using to cut wood. And after experiencing considerable grief after using it to cut G-10, only wood. Even then I'll check for flatness on my surface plate and usually end up having to sand them flat on the surface plate.

That could be an option. Cut them as straight as you can and then finish them up on a surface plate.
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
20191108_132316.jpg20191108_132248.jpg

My idea for a fence for Swag table. Just make sure the legs on the sides are long enough to negate the curved edges on Swag table. Dont know how well it will work never made one? If you wanted to do longer cuts you could add a cheap Speed square to this so you can square it to the blade.
 

opaul

Well-Known Member
A wide band saw blade and a shop made fence will re-saw wood just fine. Make a L- shaped fence from some 1x 4’s a little longer than your bandsaw table. Secure the fence to your table parallel to the blade and the width of the cut out from the blade. Push the wood through to make the resaw (use push sticks). White laminate boards work great since they are slicker. The fence needs to be higher than the thickness of the wood you are resawing.
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
View attachment 70763View attachment 70764

My idea for a fence for Swag table. Just make sure the legs on the sides are long enough to negate the curved edges on Swag table. Dont know how well it will work never made one? If you wanted to do longer cuts you could add a cheap Speed square to this so you can square it to the blade.
I get it know. The Swag table actually has tracks on the top which may work to construct a sled like this. Thanks!
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
I get it know. The Swag table actually has tracks on the top which may work to construct a sled like this. Thanks!
Mine has the slots too. I thought you had an earlier version that didnt. Swag sells a fence for that but they are expensive! I bought one at a Flea market for 2 bucks!! My slots are 3/4". So if you can get a small fence you should be able to make the bar that slids in the table for it?
 

Nick Riggi

Well-Known Member
Mine has the slots too. I thought you had an earlier version that didnt. Swag sells a fence for that but they are expensive! I bought one at a Flea market for 2 bucks!! My slots are 3/4". So if you can get a small fence you should be able to make the bar that slids in the table for it?
Perfect! Thanks for the help!
 

Casey Brown

Well-Known Member
I have the same setup. I have gotten to the point where I will cut on the bandsaw using a guide line on the block, then flatten on the mill. You loose some thickness, but you have a flat surface to work with. I don't do many scales because I am mainly doing hidden tangs, but I'm trying my hand on doing mortise tang handles, and this is the process I'm using.
 
Top