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I've got a solid old Craftsman 12" bandsaw and it works great for most things. But I've been trying to use it to mill small logs into boards and having a really hard time making a straight cut, because the blade bends. I'll try to push an outer arc of, say, a 4" diameter log through the blade, but instead of staying in the plane of its rotation, the blade bends sideways into the wood and makes a mess of the cut. This happens even if I screw the irregular log to a regular piece of lumber running along the fence, so I can ensure a straight pass through the blade.

I think the tension on the blade is high enough. I guess maybe the blades are too thin for this, but I'm not sure if that's the problem.

What could I be missing here?

  • Most of the time this problem is a dull blade. You are requiring too much force with the dull blade. – Steve Nov 19 '20 at 18:38
  • How can I tell if this is the case? – Joshua Frank Nov 19 '20 at 18:52
  • One of the signs of a dull blade is that it will not cut straight or you have to put more force to cut. Try another blade or go get a new blade, eventually you will need a new one. – Steve Nov 19 '20 at 19:12
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    What is the depth of the blade you are using and what is its tooth count? I am not certain what you are actually describing. By 'bend sideways' do you mean that the blade does not cut a straight vertical line through the piece, but cuts an arced profile from top to bottom of the cut instead? Also, I am a bit confused by your reference to the plane of rotation. and bending sideways. Perhaps a sketch would help make your description clearer. – Ashlar Nov 20 '20 at 0:31
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    You're doing rip cuts and in general you want a rip blade for this purpose if possible. In short, proper rip blades have fewer teeth and much bigger gullets, which don't pack full of sawdust as easily. This is more and more important as wood thickness increases because more of the teeth (and gullets) are trapped within the wood. The deeper the cut the more you want to be using a rip blade if poss, although you can use a GP blade if it's sharp, and the feed rate is lowered right down (remember, not a race, "let the saw do the work"). One other thing that occurred to me, how dry is the wood? – Graphus Nov 20 '20 at 10:05
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Your blade might be too fine, you would need a fairly coarse blade around 6 TPI. Even a sharp blade but with relatively fine teeth will have troubles re-sawing because gullets get packed with sawdust. Also a slow feed rate really helps.

  • That is interesting and sounds likely. I will measure the TPI and see if that's an issue. – Joshua Frank Nov 19 '20 at 21:04
  • I checked and this blade is 6 TPI, so that seems okay. It may be dull, however. – Joshua Frank Nov 20 '20 at 19:08

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