I have just bought my first bandsaw - an 18" Jet It seems to be working well
except the cuts have vertial striations, in the form of little ridges.
Is this a problem with the setup or my technique or neither?
My experience with bandsaws is to not expect a smooth cut and to cut
slightly proud to allow for sanding to the required cutline. Of course, the
finer the teeth the smoother the cut but sanding is still required.
Enjoy your bandsaw.
I'd strongly recommend getting a good bandsaw book, like "The Bandsaw
Book" by Mark Duginske. This will help with explanations and advice.
And yes, vertical striations are quite normal - they may be reduced by
tuning and getting a better blade and reducing your feed rate. In my
experience, bandsaws just don't make a perfectly smooth cut. Great
chance to practice hand planing!
Some striations are normal, it is a function of the quality of the
blade and the feed rate. I've noticed they are more prominent if I
feed the stock to quickly. On the otherhand if I put my carbide tipped
trimaster on and feed at an even rate the cut it almost glass smooth.
I've had people not believe the cut came straight off my saw. I'd try
experemneting with your feed rate and next with a good quality blade.
In my experience, striations are normal with a band saw. If you could feed
your stock at an optimal speed and force (the saw would determine these
values, not the brand of saw, but the individual saw and blade combination)
the striations may be minimized, but not eliminated. Band saws usually are
not used for finish or final cuts when doing furniture building or cabinet
To answer your question; neither. You did buy a great saw in any case.
On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 00:25:02 -0500, "Henry St.Pierre"
I'd second that experience, and point out that there are a number of
really good workarounds depending on your project. In most cases that
I can think of in furniture making, the bandsaw is just a rough cutter
to get curves to within 1/16"-1/8" of your finished mark, and then the
cut is finshed with a flush trim or pattern bit and a template you
made out of some kind of cheap thin ply or mdf. This has the added
benefit of both giving you a margin of error if you slip with the
bandsaw, and making sure that your (for example) table legs are all
the same size and shape.
When the router won't work for some reason, a spindle sander or the
rounded end of a belt sander can generally do the job nicely.
But by all means, get a better blade- it can only help.
most of this effect is the blade. If I cut with my timberwolf (which
mysteriously has gone dull) I get a definete pattern of vertical
striations. I just switched back to my woodslicer blade from Highland
Hardware, and the cut is extremely smooth relative to the timberwolf.
lower guards, but my bet would be it's the blade..
You would/wood think that if someone sells a good bandsaw, they'd supply it with
a good blade so that you were impressed with the saw and didn't take it back...
No, they save a few bucks on each saw by putting a harbor fright quality blade
on it... dumb marketing, IMHO..
I will add my 2 cents to the generally excellent comments allready offered.
I have the 14" Jet. It is my first bandsaw, and I have learned a bit
from setting it up.
First, I second the comment of getting the book. It will teach you much
about bandsaw setup.
Second, I have had very good luck with the blade that came with my saw.
I also bought a 3/4" blade for re-saw work, which works well, though
strains the limits of the saw. I am sure that a better blade would be
helpful, but for now it is serving my needs. It does seem, though, that
a certain amount of striations (nice word!) is normal. Somebody offered
me the comment that these ridges should not be larger than can easily be
scraped or lightly sanded. This sounded impossible to me at the time,
but proved correct.
Finally, I find that after the correct blade is chosen, after the wheels
are checked for co-planer, after the saw shimmed or otherwise adjusted
for unlevel floors, I have found that blade tension is the biggest
factor affecting my cuts.
If you release all the guides, upper and lower, then run the saw while
watching the blade closly, you will see that it kind of shimmies back
and forth, which will cause what you are describing. Slowly adjust the
tension to minimize, if not eliminate this shimmying. This is why my saw
is marginal for a 3/4" blade - I am working at the extreme limits of the
tension the spring is able to provide.
Then adjust the guides - carefully. Guides that are too loose will not
control the blade and allow it to work back and forth causing the
ridges. Too close and there will be heat buildup.
I hope this helps.
FWW April 2004 had a good article on various blades and how smoothly
and quickly they cut. They measure smoothness by how much sanding it
took to eliminate the striations.
Enjoy getting to know your new saw. As you use it more You'll be
amazed at it versatility. I find the bandsaw to be my most useful tool
in the shop. I know many swear the table saw is paramount but to me
the bandsaw is king.
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