Bandsaw Resawing

Just about any bandsaw will do acceptable resawing. For example, all the cuts made in this story were done on an inexpensive, 14-in. bandsaw with a 3/4-hp motor. All we did to the saw was add a riser block to increase its capacity. Granted, pushing a saw too hard can bog it down, or even pop a circuit breaker. So take it easy. If you plan to do lots of resawing, see page 51 for more on larger and souped-up machines.

RESAWN DOOR PANELS of spalted maple. "Owl" cabinet by Rich Gotz, Minneapolis, MN photo by Popular Front Studio
Use the widest blade your saw can handle: 1/2 in. or 3/4 in. for most saws. Wide blades make it easier to cut a straight line. Look for a blade with four teeth per inch and a hook tooth pattern. The hooked teeth give you big gullets (the valleys between the teeth) to clear the sawdust from the cut and help the blade run cool. Heat is a blade’s biggest enemy. Resawing pushes your saw’s motor to the max, so make it easier on your saw by always using a sharp blade.

I’ve had perfectly acceptable results resawing with bi-metal blades and great results resawing with silicone-carbide, low-tension blades (see Sources, page 50). These blades leave an excellent surface finish and, due to their thin kerf and low tension, don’t take as much power to drive. These blades make it easier to resaw thick stock on any saw. If you need help adjusting your saw, see AW #74, August 1999, page 47.

An auxiliary table helps and is a must for cutting logs. Check out our shop-made table system on page 104. Resawing also requires a fence. Some bandsaw manufacturers have fences available for their saws ($75 to $100), or you can make one (page 104). The fence should be high enough to support the material you’re cutting and adjustable to compensate for blade drift.

Don’t forget dust collection. Resawing produces lots of dust and it’s typically pretty fine. Admittedly, dust collection attachments on most bandsaws aren’t great, but whatever you have is better than nothing. If you find lots of dust buildup on your tires, unplug the saw and clean the tires with a rag moistened with mineral spirits. Clean tires help your saw perform better.

Sled for Resawing Logs
Use this sled to hold awkward logs for the first cut. Hammer the points of the lag screws into the ends of the log to hold it.

Low-tension blades, approx. $25, depending on length; PS Wood Machines, (800) 939-4414.

Cool Blocks push pads; $15
Woodworker’s Supply,
(800) 645-9292.

Motors; Grizzly, $200
(800) 523-4777.

Guide bearings; Carter Products, $150
(888) 622-7837.

Moisture meters; $150
Electrophysics, (800) 244-9908; Protimeter, (800) 321-4878;
Wagner, (800) 944-7078.

Medium-sized bandsaws; check the AW Buyer’s Guide for complete specifications.

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Bandsaw Resawing Tool Up: Blade Selection & More
When Good Cuts Go Bad The ABCs of Resawing
The ABCs of Resawing (continued) Drying Wood & Veneering a Panel Bandsaw Upgrades

Feature Article • Bandsaw Resawing • August 2000
© 2000 American Woodworker Magazine ®