Bandsaw Resawing

Allow the saw to make the cut.

Blades must be sharp and sized for the job.

Compensate for drift. Don’t overfeed.



Get the Drift: Setup Tips
If you’ve tried cutting a straight line on your bandsaw, you probably noticed that your material has to be fed at an angle to the blade. This is called "blade drift." Any resaw technique that uses a fence requires finding and working with this drift angle. Drift varies from blade to blade, so follow this simple setup procedure (Photos 1 through 4) every time you change blades.

Logs to Lumber: Cutting Tips
If your firewood pile puts visions of potential projects into your head, use resawing to turn those logs into planks.

You can cut logs when they’re wet or dry, but they’ll be easier to cut when wet. Either way, you’ll have to dry the lumber all the way before you use it for a project (see "Drying Wood," page 50).

The diameter of the logs you cut is limited by the capacity of your saw: 6 in. on most 14-in. saws. If you want to cut bigger stuff, see if the manufacturer of your saw makes a riser kit. It can increase the capacity of your saw by another 6 in. A bigger table on your saw is almost a must when handling logs. It’s nearly impossible to cut a straight line without one. You’ll also need a sled to hold onto the log and prevent it from rolling while you cut (Fig. A). Once you use the sled, you’ll love the stability it gives you for these difficult cuts. Green logs measuring 11 in. in diameter and 36-in. long are about at the top end of what you can safely handle.

FIND THE DRIFT angle by drawing a line parallel to one edge of a 16-in.-long scrap piece. Saw the line freehand. Notice how much you have to angle the wood in order to follow a straight line. This is the drift angle.

Tip: If the front of your bandsaw table isn’t straight, screw on a strip of hardboard or aluminum bar. This will make it much easier to move and adjust a shop-made fence.


STOP about halfway through the cut, hold the wood in place and shut off the saw. Trace the angle of the wood onto the bandsaw table.

SET YOUR FENCE parallel to the line on the table. An adjustable block at the end of the fence allows you to hold this angle as you move the fence laterally. Make sure your table is square to the blade and your fence is square to the table.

CLAMP THE FENCE and make a test cut. Watch for the wood pulling away from the outfeed side of the fence or binding. It can take a couple tries to get the drift angle perfect. Once the drift angle is correctly set, move the fence laterally to make the cuts you need.

Previous Page Next Page

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 ®