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Old 07-13-2011, 12:09 AM   #1
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cutting wood with band saw

im attempting to cut 1/2 w by 3x 5 exotic wood lengthwise to make book end 1911 pistol grips im using a ryobi 9 inch band saw but i cant get the blade to stay true while cutting. its perfect on top but goses to the left or right at the bottom i would think a thicker blade would be steader any ideas


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Old 07-13-2011, 06:46 AM   #2
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It doesn't take a big piece of wood for grips, have a table saw?? Much easier to control the thickness. A wider blade and proper tension can help cutting on the band saw.


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Old 07-13-2011, 07:06 AM   #3
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Maybe I wasn't paying attention when I should have been, but I have never considered a band saw to be a precision tool, particularly for thicker stock. If your intent is, as I suspect, to shape one piece for two grips, and then slice it in half to make two, I would do as Bill said, get it close with a table saw, then rip it in half, and work on the grips individually, using your band saw, then a rasp, and finally a sander. Either way, yes, a wider blade on your band saw would be a definite improvement, but you may have to switch back to your thinner one for some of the more detailed cuts.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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If you look at your band saw, you have two bearings guiding the blade at the upper saw guide.

You also have two guide bearings at the lower saw guide, immediately underneath the table top.

Check the lower saw guide bearings to make sure they are set properly.

It also helps to have a wide blade (such as 1/2 - 7/8 inch) as opposed to the usual 1/4 inch or less.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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You also need proper tension, which probably not good on a Ryobi, and let the saw make the cut don't force feed the material.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:06 AM   #6
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John, if your blade is going to the left or right at the bottom, it sounds as though your tension is a little too light.

Will it head off in either direction, or just one way?

Almost every bandsaw will cut in one direction or the other, and what you can do is to make yourself a wood fence and offset it in whichever direction the saw wants to cut.

I don't think you mean a thicker blade, but a wider one, as foz suggests as well.

I have the same machine as you do, and if you are using the 1/4" blade which came with the saw, try switching up to 1/2" makes all the difference.

And definitely do NOT push the wood through the saw hard, it will wander every time. Let the blade do the cutting, and make sure it is very sharp. Exotic hardwoods are notoriously unkind to small bandsaw blades.

What kind of wood are you cutting?


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