How to Resaw on Bandsaw

When I saw furniture with book-matched door panels for the first time, I was very much amazed and was thinking how did they make this? While searching the answer to this, I came to know about the bandsaw tool. The bandsaw is one of the most important woodworking tools you will ever see in a shop. This tool is quite amazing and very much versatile.

You can do a lot of amazing tasks with the use of this tool. Resaw is one of those amazing tasks you can do with a bandsaw.  It is one of the reasons for which I just love this tool so much. Today, I’m going to discuss how you can resaw with a bandsaw tool.

Resawing with a Bandsaw

You can do a lot of interesting woodworks with this tool. You can make straight cuts, curved cuts and long rip cuts very safely with it. Most importantly, you can use it to resaw a board into thinner pieces. Resawing is simply sawing down the thickness of a piece of wood. Let’s check out the ins and outs of resawing using a bandsaw:

Why do we Resaw?

Resaw is a process of cutting a thick board into two thinner boards. In short, cutting a thick piece of wood into two thin pieces of wood is called resawing. It is an important task for you to know why people resaw using a bandsaw. There are many valid reasons to do this. Here are some tasks that you can do only when you resaw:

Transforming Logs into Lumber

You may have often seen in sawmills that they use large wide blades to transform logs into boards and planks for resawing. When you are cutting a log into lumber on your bandsaw, put the flat face on the table. You must do it to stop the log from rolling on the table. So, transforming logs into lumber is one of the most important reasons for resawing. You can use a bandsaw if you want to do the same.

Saving Money

Some woods are very expensive and some are rare also. So, you would not want to waste those woods and would want to keep as much wood possible for future use. If you have a thick board but you don’t need that thickness, you can resaw it on the table to make it into two pieces. Use the one you need and store the other for use in the future. This will save you money as well.

Grain

The two different logs of wood surely have different grain patterns. Resawing produces two parts with almost identical grain which is usually called book-matched. Moreover, the inside of the sliced surface may reveal more interesting grain patterns and colors that you didn’t even expect.

Getting Veneers

Veneers are the very thin layer of the wood which we cut from timber. You can get the veneers from resawing. They can be from .5mm to 2.5mm thick. People use veneers for making furniture and interior decoration purposes. You can cover the furniture which is made from MDF with veneers to increase beauty. It also stabilizes the furniture. You can use veneer sheets, veneer beading and veneer wallpaper for interior designing.

Proper Equipment for Resawing

Resaw can make your woodworks more interesting and creative. But it is a task which you need to do very carefully. You will need proper equipment and attachment with your bandsaw to do this properly. When you have the right attachments for resaw, now you have to set up the saw perfectly. Let’s take a look at the perfect equipment for bandsaw:

The Right Blade for Resawing

When you are cutting a very thick piece of wood, you have seen the teeth of the blade are taking out a huge amount of waste. To make the cut precise and to keep the productivity rate higher, there should be enough room for the waste until the cut is totally finished and the blade comes out from the timber. ​

Saw blades which have three teeth per inch are suitable to make these cuts. Because they have large gullets between the teeth and that’s why they can accommodate more waste between them. Wood slicer blades have 3 or 4 TPI which makes them best for resaw purposes.

Now, there is another thing about the blade and that is the width of the blade. Wider blades are much better for resaw because they are more stable and are able to cut more straight than any other blades. I will suggest you use a 3/4inch blade if your bandsaw is an 18inch model or larger.

The Fence

When you are going to resaw with your bandsaw tool, you will need a fence on the cutting table to support the wood. A tall fence will be a perfect one. If your tool doesn’t have a tall fence like that, you can buy one or simply you can attach a flat board with the existing fence.

The next thing you have to do is make the fence align with the blade. If you don’t do it properly, the blade will want to move closer or go away from the fence. The simple way to make it align is just adjusting the angle of the upper wheel of the bandsaw.

Before starting resawing the wood, just have a try on some piece of wood if the fence is alright or not. Draw a straight line on the wood and place it against the fence and force it to the blade. If the blade is cutting straight through the line you draw that means your fence is ready for supporting your resaw.

Setting up the Saw

After you have chosen the proper blade for resaw and set the fence properly, now it’s time for setting up the table. Let’s take a look at how:

Tension the Blade for Optimal Performance

If your blade is set with accurate tension, it will keep the wood stable on the table even if you don’t have full control over wood. It will reduce the blade tendency of jerking in between the cuts. To avoid any unwanted situation during your cut, install the blade in such a manner that the bearings are both above and under the table and they don’t have any contact with the blade. After that, slightly push the blade with your finger halfway between the upper and lower wheels. If the blade stops after going some distance and seems like hitting a wall, that means you have a properly fit blade.

Now, turn on the saw and look closely at the blade movement. If it is fluttering very little and no side-to-side movement then gradually reduce the tension until the fluttering is normal. When it is properly done, that means your blade now has proper tension.

Adjust the Height of the Guide Post

Now, adjust the guide post to give access to the upper guides which will be a ½ inch of the top of the work piece. Make sure there is enough space at the highest point for logs and other stocks of irregular height.

Adjust the Guides

You can see there are guides both above and under the table. You have to set them directly against the blade or very close to it. Doing this will ensure proper control over the blade.

The thrust bearing should be properly set behind the blade at first. Roller bearings should be lightly pressed against the blade for the side guides. The same thing is applicable for graphite impregnated guide blocks. Now when you have properly done all these, adjust the edge of the guides to sit just after the blade gullets.

Resawing

After the setup is complete, now you can start resawing. Here are the ways of resawing discussed step by step:

Square the Bandsaw Blade and the Board

At first, make sure the bandsaw blade is perpendicular to the table. It is especially important when you’re going to resaw a wide board. For the best results, raise the guidepost all the way up and use a square with an arm which will match the saw’s resaw capacity. Adjust the table to make sure there is no gap between the blade and the arm. Now, make sure the board has a square corner. That way it will move fast and smooth against both the tall fence and the table during the cut.

Set the Bandsaw Fence at the Correct Angle

It sounds odd, but on most bandsaws, you have to angle the stock to make a straight cut. Finding this “drift angle” and setting the fence to match it, is a crucial task to do. But success depends a lot on it.

Start by marking a straight line on a scrap board. The line should be parallel to its edge. Then follow the line to make a straight cut. Angle the board as much you need. When you’ve totally completed cutting enough distance to establish the drift angle, hold the board in position and transfer the angle to the saw’s table.

Using the marked line, position the fence at the same angle. Then make test cuts to adjust the fence as necessary to fine-tune the setup. Continue this until the stock stays flush against the fence, without binding against it or wandering away.

Box in Long Boards

Resawing longboards is very simple with a bandsaw because it automatically holds the board against the fence so your hands are free to feed the board.

Make the box about as tall as the board is wide. It should be also as wide as the distance between the blade and the front of the table. Position the box in front of the blade and clamp it to the board smoothly as it will fit snugly but also will slide between the box and the fence without binding or wobbling.

Make it Easy to Stack Resawn Pieces

Resawing a board into thin, pliable pieces allows you to create amazing curved shapes. It will be properly completed by bending and gluing the pieces around a form. This process is called “bent lamination.” When you mark the board with the cabinetmaker’s triangle, it will allow you to reassemble the thin pieces as they came from the board. So, the lamination will look like a single piece of bent wood.

Easy Resawing

It is easier to resaw with a bandsaw tool than a table saw because the blade has to cut less and the saw kerfs keep it from wandering. It’s a great technique to use if your band saw bogs down during full-width resawing. It can also save your time by allowing you to resaw without installing a resaw blade. Though you can completely resaw the board by raising the table saw’s blade, many pros prefer this method because it’s safer to finish the cut on the band saw and also it takes very less time.

Book Matched Panels

Prepare your stock by joining and putting it on the work table. Then mark your cutline with a pencil. Aim to resaw your stock at least a little thicker than your desired thickness. A 3 or 4-inch-thick board will easily cut into two pieces of 1.4 to 1.5 inch.

Next, it’s time to set your rip fence. Use your marked wood to offset the nose of the fence to the distance you want. Locate the point of the nose slightly in front of the blade teeth. So, the wood will be ahead of the cutting line. Then star sawing according to the line.

Make Veneer Panels with Resaw

The primary purpose of a resaw fence is to keep the board vertical. It is necessary to ensure consistent thickness across the width of the piece. However, when you are resawing, you also need to look after blade drift, which is the tendency of the blade to cut in a particular direction. When you are setting up a resaw fence, you need to be careful about this particular drift angle.

Another thing you can do is to use a single-point fence. You can quickly set it up and it will allow you to adjust the feed angle as you work to keep the cut on track. Unfortunately, these on-the-fly adjustments can cause a very little variation on the thickness and can reduce yield from aboard. You may need to clean the board more than usual.

Always Keep Your Blade Clean

There are many timbers which will build up debris on the blade of your bandsaw. When you cut rough and very hard woods regularly, your blade will become dirty and dull very soon. This can make a great impact on your resaw activity. Because you will always need a sharp and clean blade for resaw. So, don’t forget to clean the work table and the blade after every time you use it.

Make a Safety Shield h3

Staying safe at the bandsaw primarily means keeping your hands protected from the blade. Always follow these rules for working in the safety zone:

  • Make sure the blade is well guarded before you start.

  • Never put excessive pressure on the wood and always use a sharp blade for resaw.

  • Always use a push stick to complete your cuts.

  • Use a push block to hold the wood against the fence. Because a loosely held blade can bow and suddenly pop out the side of a board.

Final Thought

You have already come to know that resaw is a process by which you cut a piece of wood across to its’ thickness or length. In that process, you can get two thin pieces from a single thick piece of wood. Bandsaw machines are the most used tool for this task. A I’ve wholly described the ins and out of resawing using a bandsaw, now you can easily and comfortably do resaw with a bandsaw machine. But never forget to ensure the safety of your body parts. And I truly believe that a lot of practice with a bandsaw tool will make you an expert of resawing.

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