Oak or ash band saw curves more easily?

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I am making some chair back rails. I made up a sample laminated and one band sawn. My wife has chosen the band sawn. She thought the laminated looked cheap.
Cutting 3" oak on my little bandsaw is a challenge, and then sanding the marks out without ruining the shape is even harder. Would ash cut or sand any easier? I am staining them anyhow, so I can dye the ash first and it will be a good match for oak.
I would have to buy ash while I have a big pile of 12/4 oak, but that is trivial compared to the work involved. Thanks.
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Sat, Oct 14, 2006, 1:43am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@Yahoo.com (Toller) doth asketh once again: I am making some chair back rails. <snip> My wife has chosen the band sawn. <snip> Would ash cut or sand any easier? I am staining them anyhow, so I can dye the ash first and it will be a good match for oak. <snip>
Do you do "anything" on your own, without asking for help first? Experiment once in awhile. You might want to try google sometime too.
I dunno if ash will cut and sand better than oak or not. But, I've got this feeling it ain't gonna match the oak after staining, any where near as well as you think.
If it was me, I'd get a chunk of ash and try cutting and sanding it. More likely I'd try routing 'em with a template/pattern, whatever I made 'em out of. Or, rough cut, then using one of those drillpress sanding thingies, and a template/pattern.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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I don't think that you would see enough difference in the cut to warrant changing wood. As for the marks though, try a spokeshave or rasp to get the marks out and a scraper to refine the finish. Easier than you might think and cuts down a lot on sandpaper. I have found that the more you sand, the more things get out of shape. The use of hand tools to get close to finish avoids that.

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A coupla ideas re. sanding: 1. If you take the inside offcut from your rail, cover it with a thin piece of neoprene or maybe felt or something, and use that as a sanding block, it should follow the inside curve of the rail just right. (i.e. use convex offcut to sand concave rail face) 2. Have you tried a sanding drum in the DP? It'd be a pain to take multiple passes with a short drum, but Lee Valley has a "large sanding drum" that's 3" tall. Their support bearing is very nice also, which reduces lateral load on your DP keeps the drum square to the table. I own both of these and recommend them. (Stay away from HF sandpaper, though.) Setting up a fence or dowel or something at a fixed distance from the drum would give you a guide to keep the rail thickness consistent. Good luck, Andy
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Hi Toller, My Wood supplier is also a WW and says that ash sands much easier than oak. Cheers, JG ">
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Toller wrote:

Time for a bigger bandsaw! 8-)
Ash would be a bit easier to cut - but whether it would be enough easier to work than oak so as to make the extra trouble in matching the colours worth it, now that's a question.
Ash certainly does have a long track record of being fake oak in furniture. It works fine, so long as you accept that quarter-sawn ash won't have the ray flake that oak will. There's even '20s and '30s English furniture around where ray flake figure was painted onto ash to fake it further! It's not uncommon to have a piece where the front legs and top were real oak, but the back legs and drawer frames were stained ash.
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"Toller" wrote in message

I spend less than two minutes gently "rocking" a ROS/60 grit along the inside curve to do the same thing and have never "ruined" a shape in all the times I've done it ... the back curve is even easier ... so I'm trying to figure out why you find it so difficult to sand the marks out?
... unless they're so pronounced as to require that much work. In that case, you need a better bandsaw?
Use the widest possible blade will follow the curve on your bandsaw and you'll have fewer marks to remove.
With the ROS, use even strokes, the same length as the work piece, and let the ROS do the work without pushing down on it.
If you can't make that work, do it by hand using the cut outs with sandpaper attached, to follow the curve.
... or cut outside the line, make a template, and use a router table/pattern bit to remove the excess.
IME, this is the easy part compared to getting the mortises for the slats in the right place on two opposing rails, so if you're having that much trouble with this, get ready for some real trouble down the road.
Sounds like it's time to do some serious thinking/planning.
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Well, actually what seems to happen is that every now and then it binds on the curve and leaves a mark that is hard to get out. If I had more power I expect it wouldn't bind like that; but since that's not an option... I was actually going to try it with a 1/4" blade thinking it would be less likely to bind.

Yeah, but my pattern bit is 2" and the rail is 2.5". I thought about having it way out of the collet for the first pass, but that doesn't seem particularly safe. I also thought about reducing the rail to 2".
Someone above suggested a drum sander with a template, but the only place that seems to have 3" drums like that is Woodcraft, and they are out of stock for weeks.

If you don't try things you don't know how to do, you don't learn anything! Or so I tell myself.
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"Tim" wrote in message

I
was
likely
My experience is just the opposite, but I do have a well tuned, 14" bandsaw, and use an excellent quality resaw blade for this purpose.

That is exactly why I intially designed my crest rail to be 2", instead of the 2 1/4" that is on the original chair I was reproducing.
Designing the project around the capability of your tools is a time honored path to sucess in woodworking, and is something that should paid more attention to, IMO.
As it turned out, using a ROS to "fair the curve" and sand out the marks was so easy during the prototype stage on this last chair project, that I went back to the original dimension.

While I do have a large oscillating drum sander, I didn't use it because the ROS, with the proper technique, was so much faster.

anything!
That's true ... but the more time spend thinking/planning/jigging up insures me a higher rate of success, and is why I "prototype" these days when I venture into new territory, whether it be in the realm of joinery, or design.
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Use pattern bit and the template from one side. Flip the piece over and use a bit with the bearing on the end to fallow the first cut.

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Tim wrote:

Why get a wimpy little 3 incher when you can have 6"? http://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/catalog/sn_6inchdrumsanding.htm
If you insist on 3"... http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 90 or http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 62
but in the latter I prefer 6" which is available here and there (I put 2 different grits on it, each 3")... http://www.ptreeusa.com/sandingdrums.htm
http://www.woodworkingshop.com/cgi-bin/C11AE5DF/mac/qryitems.mac/itemD isplay?qryType=STYLE&itemSt=SLEEVELESS
Lord, it is just *amazing* what can be found with Google. And I didn't even include pneumatic drums...
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What I want is: http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid%7 It has a template guide at the bottom. I have, and have tried to use, a Rigid oscillating drum sander (actually my shaft is bent (yeah, it hurts...) and I can't get the belt sander off, but its still about the same thing) but I can't get a smooth surface on it. Either peaks are left, or valley are sanded in. I was kinda hoping the template guide would make all well.
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Tim wrote:

You want a uniform thickness, no? Make/use a gizmo like you would on the bandsaw for maintaining a uniform thickness when cutting curves. Like a fence but only one point of contact...perpendicular to what a fence would normally be and with a rounded edge...
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Yes, that would help keep a steady feed. I am going to try two other things though... I am taking a bowl turning class on Mondays. They have a 20" saw. That might make all the difference in getting a smooth cut; we'll see. I also found the roboSand (drum sander w/guide) at Woodworker's Supply. Between the two, I ought to get it. If I can't, there is always stamp collecting.
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"Tim" wrote in message

It looks like it would be a tad slower, but well worth a try.
Can you use one of the laminates that turned out well as a template?
Let us know how the device works.
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There is a limit to the radius your can cut with a given blade width. The narrower the blade the tighter the curve.
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I am guessing, but my curve is about 25" radius. I would expect a 1/2" blade to be okay on that, but maybe not since it did bind. Perhaps the kerf was closing up behind it?
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"Tim" wrote in message

The
kerf
Anyone with any knowledge of bandsawing and bandsaw blades would not have wasted the bandwidth running that rabbit trail.
There is no chair back with a radius that a 1/2" blade won't cut unless it is in a doll house.
A 1/2" blade should be able to cut a radius 1/10 of your 25" chairback radius ... or about 2 1/2".
For future reference, print out the jpg and tape it to your bandsaw:
http://tinyurl.com/stdga
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Tim said:

Your blade is fine. Make certain that the blade is tracking properly on the wheel crown, and that you have your blade lead set properly. If the blade won't track in its own kerf, your pivot point is either too far forward of the teeth, or too far behind, depending on which direction it wants to (mis-)track.
FWIW
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