Highland Hardware's WoodSlicer - bad drifitng.

I decided to slap on a new bandsaw blade and reached for the WoodSlicer I picked up at a recent show. It is a horrible blade in my opinion.
Horrible in the sense that the blade drift is more than and required maxing out my fence adjustment to compensate. Im putting back on the Lennox.
Dave
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Teamcasa wrote:

Perhaps you're unaware that blade lead isn't just a function of the blade? You've said nothing about what kind of saw you have and what other adjustments you've made, if any. Also, the WoodSlicer is made of very hard steel and does not stretch as much as other blades, so it's likely to be less forgiving of differences in machine adjustment.
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My saw is a Jet16" and I understand the adjustments very well. After I put a new Lenox blade in, the drift all but disappeared. <1/8. The previous blade, (a now dull) 3tpi custom did not drift at all.
Dave
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I decided to slap on a new bandsaw blade and reached for the WoodSlicer I picked up at a recent show. It is a horrible blade in my opinion.
Horrible in the sense that the blade drift is more than and required maxing out my fence adjustment to compensate. Im putting back on the Lennox.
Dave
*********************************************
Most of us that have used them have not found that to be true. Very good blade, IMO. Take the time to check the setup of your saw again. Especially the guides.
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I decided to slap on a new bandsaw blade and reached for the WoodSlicer I picked up at a recent show. It is a horrible blade in my opinion.
Horrible in the sense that the blade drift is more than and required maxing out my fence adjustment to compensate. Im putting back on the Lennox.
Dave
I once had problems with Timberwolf and later learned that it was the saw, regardless of setup. With that particular saw cheap blades tracked fine, the more expensive Timberwold would not track properly. I got rid of the saw and bought a Laguna and now it does not matter how cheap the blade is it tracks great including the Timberwolfs.
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"Leon" wrote

That is immpeccable logic Leon. Not always an option, but a very appealling solution.
I wonder if we can take this story and convert it into a contemporary woodworker's fable. We could tell this story each time us manly men need to justify a new tool purchase to the girly wife.
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Yes, it is not the answer that we want to hear but for me the simple facts are that if you want to have a band saw that is as predictable as a good table saw you have to buy a top cuality product. IMHO most all the major brand saws that fall below the $2k price are going to have some quirk that will be ever persistant. With few exceptions and with the exception of a few older Delta's that I have seen it is not too much unlike trying to get a bench top TS to perform like a cabinet saw straight out of the box. I totally believe that a BS that is ridged enough and has high quality wheels, tires, and bearings you will not have to worry about what kind of blade you put on it. Guide location is not so much an issue, my blades tend to track just fine regardless of what the height setting on the upper and lower guides are although they do help in keeping the blade centered on the wheels when cutting thick stock.

It is probably covered in the "buy quality and only cry once" statement. What I finally realized 3 years ago is that band saws that need to always be tweaked, cause us to cry a lot, we just don't want to admit it. Unfortunately the BS is one machine that we want to perform better than the quality we want to pay for.
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"Leon" wrote

Methinks that is the kernel of a good marketing campaign. "Our bandsaws work good no matter how crappy the blades are!"
I see a before the fact versus after the fact dynamic occuring here. Buy a good enough bandsaw, the blade choices don't matter as much. I don't see this logic applying as much to other kinds of saws. That long, flexible blade requires a certain amount of stabilization. As you pointed out, Laguna takes this concern seriously. Stabilization of circular saw blades are not as difficult.

Again, the old trueisms of getting what you pay for and quality counts apply here.
I am certain that a lot of people don't use their bandsaws that much. So they put up with the problems. I bet a Laguna would pay for itself rapidly when cutting veneer from exotic woods. Or resawing in general.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Only downside to that is it will encourage some blade manufacturer to come up with the absolute minimum compliance blade. Then, after a few 6 sigma and design to cost projects will fall below the level of crap that even *that* bandsaw can use.
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Leon wrote:

Same story with my MiniMax; both are excellent machines. I remember you talking about deciding between the Laguna and MiniMax, and I think one of the reasons (among others) that you chose the Laguna was because of the very nice ceramic blade guides. A buddy of mine has those on his older LT-16, and they are very nice indeed. I wouldn't mind having a set for my MiniMax, but to tell you the truth I don't really think I need them. The wheel alignment on this machine is such a thing of beauty and blades track so well that the guide bearings hardly ever kick in. And you can tension the living daylights out of a blade (not that it's really necessary in most situations) without affecting the alignment because the frame is so stiff and sturdy.
Speaking of which, if you're having tracking problems on your bandsaw you should try that very experiment. Install a blade using light to moderate tension so that it rides the crown of the tires and tracks reasonably well (*without* the assistance of the guide bearings), then while the machine is running begin adding tension to the blade. Does it start to wander? If so, chances are good that the frame is flexing and the wheels are going out of alignment as a result. Now go ask your wife for the funding to buy a new bandsaw. :-)
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peaking of which, if you're having tracking problems on your bandsaw you should try that very experiment. Install a blade using light to moderate tension so that it rides the crown of the tires and tracks reasonably well (*without* the assistance of the guide bearings), then while the machine is running begin adding tension to the blade. Does it start to wander? If so, chances are good that the frame is flexing and the wheels are going out of alignment as a result. Now go ask your wife for the funding to buy a new bandsaw. :-)
NOW, that's the sort of suggestion I appreciate on this list. Thank you. A good thing to try to gauge the behavior of your BS.
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Yes! I recall the MiniMax rep indicating that you really don't need the guides at all except in extreme cases. I feel about the samwe way with the Laguna. And yes you are right, the Laguna guides were what turned me towards the Laguna although now I realize that with a top notch saw like that which you and I have, the guides are not quite so important, but I still really like the simplicity and quietness of the guides.

That is probably a good assumtion. That miught also explain why Timberwolf and some other blade makers suggest not tensioning very much at all, just enough to eleminate the flutter.
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Call Highland. I resawed oak this weekend with my Delta 14", a Woodslicer with no compensation and it worked ok. Some might call it great but I have never seen in person anyone else resaw. There is no guarantee that every blade is perfect but maybe they are aware of some possible issue with your saw.
wrote:

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wrote:

There's an interesting article from Fine Woodworking in the Nov/Dec 2004 issue. Says that drift can be *eliminated* by adjusting the tilt of the upper wheel so that the blade is centered. Among several other tips that contradict conventional wisdom on setting up a bandsaw.
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/FWNPDF/011173066.pdf
I have had good results following the advice in that article. YMMV

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