Bandsaw drift

Mrfixit71

Board of Directors, Treasurer
Rich
Staff member
Corporate Member
I have a Grizzly 17" that's about 10 years old and doesn't have all rollers for guides. It's set up according to Snodgrass and I don't have any drift once I get the blade centered, which sometimes takes some test cuts and tweaking. I've switched to with the Woodcraft blades and am very happy with them. I call in the morning and the blades usually arrive the next day.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
I have recently RE-setup my Grizzly 17" bandsaw and made sure its on the highest speed, but no matter what type of wood I have it seems to drift AND burn the sides of the wood. anywhere from .5 inch and up to 2" causes this same drift - which always seems to be to the inside. I watch videos on youtube of people just plowing through wood with little to no effort and making straight and curved turns without much effort... this is frustrating.

I have checked the blade is centered on wheels, guides are within .004ish of the blade on all sides, blade is square to table from front to back and side to side. Its a standard blade from Grizzly and I havent had a chance to buy a NEW one yet.

Any ideas of what I should be checking on to fix this problem?
I have the same saw, nothing wrong with it, a great machine.

The blade is everything.

I have been around the block with just about all the blades in the market, from $10 to +$200 blades.

The only thing I use today is Lenox Diemaster II. They are affordable, seem to last forever and do everything extremely well.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
The only thing I use today is Lenox Diemaster II. They are affordable, seem to last forever and do everything extremely well.
The blade is 131.5" l, 6 tip. About $55 for a Lenox Diemaster II. That seems really affordable. Am I wrong? Just curious
 

zdorsch

Zach
Senior User
Willem,

Which diemaster II?

I’ve heard a lot of folks mention that brand, but not specs. For example, I can get a 1/2” blade in thicknesses of .20, .25 or .35 with various hook angles and (I would order a 1/2” for my 14” bandsaw, but realize the 17” saws probably handle wider and possibly thicker blade)

My basic understanding is that we want a lower tpi, like 4 or less, but is it better with wood to use a thinner gauge blade or does this depend on the saw; eg larger saw can handle a thicker blade similarly to handling a wider blade).

Edit: I also wonder if the wood craft guy is using die master II coilstock since he carries Lennox? Anyone know?
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Willem,

Which diemaster II?

I’ve heard a lot of folks mention that brand, but not specs. For example, I can get a 1/2” blade in thicknesses of .20, .25 or .35 with various hook angles and (I would order a 1/2” for my 14” bandsaw, but realize the 17” saws probably handle wider and possibly thicker blade)

My basic understanding is that we want a lower tpi, like 4 or less, but is it better with wood to use a thinner gauge blade or does this depend on the saw; eg larger saw can handle a thicker blade similarly to handling a wider blade).

Edit: I also wonder if the wood craft guy is using die master II coilstock since he carries Lennox? Anyone know?
Due to wheel diameter on the 17” Grizz it is a bit of a limitation on blade thickness, you can’t go above 0.025” otherwise the blade life will end with stress cracking. Unfortunately that limits you to narrower blades.

I use Lenox Diemaster 2, 10’,11 1/2” long 1/2” wide 0.025” thick and tooth set is 4S.

It’s been a while I must have that blade in the saw for at least 4 years now, with two spares still unopened in their boxes. It has done a lot of work from resawing 12” high to cutting profiles etc.

I purchased mine online from bandsawbladesdirect.com but your cheapest source is Lowe’s if you can find someone smart enough to order it for you.

I also have 3/8” and 1/4” for small radius cutting but have not used them for years.

For cutting logs I use a cheap blade.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Get the fence adjusted for drift and see what happens. That said, the blades that come with a bandsaw are the cheapest, so the first thing is get a good quality blade on the machine.

Drift is always a given with a bandsaw. I can be adjusted out follow your manual for adjusting the fence to drift. Once you get that dialed in, very important: don't adjust the tracking or blade tension, as both with change the drift. And be sure you tension the blade up. The tension guides on bandsaws are usually too low. For a 1/2" blade you will probably be tensioned above 3/4 on the guide.

I'm not surprised about the video. Snodgrass is a polished presenter, and if you can duplicate it on your saw, great. I couldn't get it dialed in on either of my saws. I think if you have a Powermatic, it will probably work.

To me, drift is no big deal but Snodgrass I think lots of guys watch his video and believe their saw isn't working right.

I would also mention, you can also align the table itself to the drift. This is important if you plane on using the miter slot. Michael Fortune has a video on this.
 

Willemjm

Willem
Corporate Member
Just saying, but for those who like their Woodslicer blades, in the headboard pic below one veneer cut of Pau Amarello with a brand new 3/4” Woodslicer and the blade was dull. Also, the blade could not handle 3/32” 8” wide cut, so both the first slice of veneer and the new blade was scrap.

Proceeded to cut ten slices with my little 1/2” Lenox blade and four years later after a whole lot of work, that blade is still doing great.

188975
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I have a old (USA made) Delta 14 inch. It has the Delta fence. Use a new "SHARP" blade. That can make or break your cut . I get my blades from Farris Belt & Saw here in Charlotte. Sandy who makes the blades makes them to order. Very good quality. If they break she will reweld them.

Pop
 

pop-pop

Man with many vises
User
So, the wood slicer is about $30?

The guy in Boone is not part of WoodCraft woodworking stores, I don't deal with those folks. Everything possible from Klingspor.

But I found this guy in Boone, works from home, used to be the bandsaw expert at Vermont American. Really knows his stuff.

He uses Starrett and Lenox roll goods to make up the bands. Very high quality control and the blades are around $15 each.

I usually order 5-10 at a time for my Rikon deluxe 14.
And usually get them in a few days.

He also has what he calls 'hobbyist' blades for around $5-6 each in standard sizes to fit smaller saws. And they are better than what comes on those saws.

If you haven't tried his blades you really should, otherwise you are throwing away good money for no good reason.
[/QUOTE
I suspect the blade is trash. Get a new blade. www.woodcraftbands.com is the least expensive place to get the best quality band saw blades.

Call and tell the guy what saw you have and what you want to cut and he will advise you on which blades to get.

Please Call 1-800-582-1328 for orders only
We are closed on Fridays!
To Place Your order Call:
Local (828) 297 -6081
Fax (828) 297-6207
Toll Free 1-800-582-1328
E-mail:john@woodcraftbands.com
I ordered some blades today and John indicated that he might not be in business much longer. Most of his big customers are shuttered because of the virus.

He was glad to get an order. Really nice person! So, if you need blades, he is not busy now.
 

Tom from Clayton

tom
Senior User
I have a 20 year old Jet 14 inch with a woodslicer blade. Works great but I discovered that I need to set the gullets a tiny bit on the inside of the center (that's the side furthest from the front) for it to track well. Works great.
 

frankc4113

Frank C
Corporate Member
I don't know if it has been mentioned here but if it has, I apologize. As Alex Snodgrass states in his video, feed the wood through slowly and give the blade gullets enough time to get rid of the saw dust. Feeding too quickly will create an issue with the blade drifting.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
+1 on the woodcraft bands. I just tried them out based on recommendations in another post here. I'm pretty new to the bandsaw but they seem to be on par with the timberwolf blades I tried.

I have a 17" grizzly also and set up using the Snodgrass method. I have not had issues with drift until the blade was getting worn out and occasionally if there was some funky grain patterns. Try changing the blade and hopefully that will correct it.

Also make sure guide bearings are functioning properly. The thrust bearings on mine have seized up and need to be replaced. Not sure if that has an impact on your situation but just a thought
The thrust and guide bearings on most band saws, and even on the Carter Saw guides are not sealed, will fill up with fine saw dust and pitch and set up. Replace your guide and thrust bearings with sealed bearings from a bearing supplier, or occasionally remove the bearings and pop off the bearing side cover with a knife, clean and pack, then reinstall.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
The blade is 131.5" l, 6 tip. About $55 for a Lenox Diemaster II. That seems really affordable. Am I wrong? Just curious
Not sure what brand John carries at Woodcraft Bands, but I use about 141"{ blade on my Hammer Band Saw, and they run less than $20.00 as I recall. They work terrific! I am using a 3/4" 2 TPI blade. I was gonna sling a 1" blade on the Hammer, but John recommended thee 3/4". Properly set up it cuts flawlessly.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
I haven't tried woodcraft bands. I have had good luck with a 1/2" Woodslicer. Also an inexpensive blade.
I have bought several Woodslicer blades in the past from Highland Woodworking but here is my opinion; after re-sawing my board, I must return to the planer to bring my board to uniform thickness. The Woodslicer is a great blade and leaves a finished surface, but unless your cutting very thin veneers that prohibit planing to a uniform thickness, I prefer a $20.00 blade that cuts very well and mostly true, but there always seems to be that slight variation in the re-sawn stock, thus needing to be planed. Woodslicer was $29.99 last I bought with another $10 bucks for shipping=$40.00 saw blade. $20 blades are great quality and most generally great performance. They are easier to setup than a Timberwolf blade, and are less fussy as to proper tension. Love my Woodcraft Band Saw Blades.
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Like Mike Said, Likely the blade too far worn. So, replace that, then the thing I have noticed is the guide rollers need to be properly adjusted. This is a bit of trail and error to find the sweet spot that best works for your saw.
Play around with it and you will find the spot the saw best performs, it is usually a small change, but makes a big difference. Also, make sure you have the right width and right tooth count for the cutting you are going to do.
That is important. Lastly, you might want to put a Tee guide on the saw fence so you can more or less free hand resaw by only following the line you have on the board.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
I am new to band saws. Could not cut an inch strait. Then replaced the $9 band with a $20 band and poof! Easy. On my new Harvey, cut dead strait. Just kissed a hidden nail. Drift would not even describe it, yet looking at the band with a magnifying glass, it looked perfect. New band, back to strait. Just a kiss, just a slight guide setup error and a band is trashed.
Snodgrass, good band, guides right.
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top