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    Set Up Your Bandsaw Like a Pro





    The bandsaw is a deceptively simple piece of machinery, and perhaps that’s why most beginning woodworkers don’t have their machines set up properly. Two wheels spin a continuous blade. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty.

    The truth is, bandsaw setup requires careful attention to several key areas, including bearing and blade guide adjustment, proper blade installation, blade tracking, and more. In this short video, furniture maker and bandsaw whiz Michael Fortune takes you through every step of the process, ensuring that your bandsaw will cut effortlessly and accurately.
     

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    Robert Braeking writes:

    If there is drift in your bandsaw cut there is a problem with the alignment of the saw or the blade is not serviceable.  My 18" Jet took about a half day to align properly.  Here is my procedure:

    1. Install blade and adjust tracking.  No guide block should be touching the blade at this point.
    2. Square table to blade.  I use a Wixey angle gauge to get it much more perfect than my eye can see.  It is important in this step to position the weld on the blade at the back of the loop to eliminate any influence of the weld on the squaring of the table.
    3. Square upper guide block post to table.  This eliminates drift.  I am surprised that the video did not emphasize this, as it is the most important step.  On a welded frame saw such as the Jet this step will make a nearly useless machine into a machine that you cannot live without.
    4. Make guide block adjustments as shown in the video.  It is vitally important that the guide blocks do not put a twist in the blade.  If the blade is twisted toward the fence it will pinch.  If it is twisted away from the fence it will drift.  This is especially important with roller guides.  I installed a stiff straight edge between my roller guides and made absolutely certain that the rollers are parallel to the miter slot.
    5. Adjust the fence as in the video.

    A well-adjusted band saw should be able to cut veneers from the hardest of material.  Good luck!

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    professorss
    Sheldon Sanders writes: I have always.been taught to determine and compensate for drift by aligning the fence to the drift angle, not to the miter slot. In my experience, it is a rare occurrence when the drift angle is zero. And before you ask if the other steps were carried out, the answer is yes. Also, why is the preferred fence position to the left the blade?
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    Karsten Gronborg writes: My guess is that the fence is placed to the left of the fence to avoid trapping a piece against the arm or riser block. What is drift angle?
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    Sheldon Sanders writes: Withdrawn
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