View Full Version : Bandsaw tricks?
06-28-2001, 10:25 AM
Anybody know a neat trick for keeping the wet-wood build up off the inside of a bandsaw blade? I'm resawing very wet new applewood trunks, about 12-14" d. right throught the middle to quarter them up on my Laguna 16SEC, and the 2tpi with nice gullets just isn't doing as well as I'd like. About every eight or ten cuts, I have to take the 130" blade off, completely sand the inside face and clean with isopropyl alcohol, then clean off the wheels and start over. I've added extra dust collection, but the wet sawdust is just too heavy to be picked up well. Has anyone any ideas? Wax? Some lubrication? What?
Thanks for any input.
06-28-2001, 02:08 PM
Hi - I don't know how to pronounce your name, so I'll dispense with that.
That's a little tougher than it seems at face value. If you wax or otherwise lubricate, you run some risk of the band creeping on the wheels - and under load like sawing up green apple wood it could result in bad blade slippage.
Probably your best bet is to try to rig up some kind of rubber squeegee just under the table that continuously wipes the wet sawdust off the band - much like the under-table brushes some saws come with. It should probably be angled in the same direction as the teeth, only at a little greater angleso it tries to sweep the wet sawdust out of the gullet.
That's my best guess, anyway - unless you have shop air and can rig a blower under the table.
BTW - you're doing one of the best-smelling things you can do in a woodshop. You're living at the peak of olfactory luxury! Enjoy every second!
-- Tim --
06-28-2001, 06:31 PM
I understand the concerns listed above about wax causing slippage on the bandsaw wheels, but I'm not sure I agree that slippage would result. It is the tracking angle of the top wheel that keeps the band on the wheels, and the upper and lower guides should prevent movement under stress. Also, if the wet sawdust mess isn't causing the band to ride off the wheels, I can't see where wax will. Try bee's wax, it is less slippery than other forms.
I think wax would work well, but Graphite would likely work as well. You might also want to try the "Top-Cote" type sprays, they are designed to repel water rather than reduce friction.
Basically, some form of non-stick coating to keep the wet dust from sticking to the blade.
Of course, a little patience allowing the wood to dry before resawing would help too! :) Just kidding, I know you are hoping to saw it wet so that you won't lose so much by resawing it after drying.
Hope this helps,
06-28-2001, 09:09 PM
Hello, Tim- My name is 'Barb.' B - a - r- b. :-) The last name is Si-DEE-kee, and is Pakistani, actually, though I've been divorced from the source of it for 14 years. Four children, all with Pakistani names, so I kept it.
My bandsaw has a small brush on the lower wheel, which does nothing with the wet sawdust (or very little.) I wonder if a small squee-gee wouldn't just add another pocket to collect the stuff...otherwise it would slant opposite the path of the teeth and get cut up badly....? I don't know. As for olfactory overload, Yes! Just walking into the garage is a sensory pleasure. The wood is a heady high, and I'm trying to save as much as possible before it all cracks in the log. I cut up a little apricot, too, though it was bad inside from the felled tree. But the scent! Outrageous. And beautiful little gems of color. Thanks for your reply and the suggestion; I will consider it. -Barb S.
06-28-2001, 09:25 PM
Handi- Why is Beeswax less slippery than others? Maybe that is worth a try...the 16SEC has flat wheels, not crowned, so I ride the blade a little forward for the teeth to protrude. Graphite is too dark and messy...the applewood is creamy light and beautifully patterned with coffe-colored figure; don't want graphite on that! I've done green birch logs, too, but not had the same problems with it as this apple. You mentioned TopCoat; heck, maybe I'll try spraying the inside of the blade with Pam! I hadn't thought of that, but it is the ultimate non-stick coating! (Boy, is that a woman's solution, or what?) As for patience, I'm being run off my feet trying to get all these 'gift' logs quartered and the pith removed. They are latex-sealed, but already checking badly and I want to lose as little as possible. You know what the biggest problem of all is, with 'gift' logs you weren't really ready for? Stickers! I'm constantly running out of sticker material, and the continual "A-r-g-h!" emminating from the garage every time I turn to put up a new stack is making the neighbors think the woodworking lady is losing it. I've used up all my scrap poplar and am starting on the good maple taper-offcuts I'd been saving. This resawing uses up a Lot of stickers (up to now, I'd been resawing to boards; I've given that up and started quartering chunks to saw up later after further drying.) Thank you for the suggestions. I'll 'hunker down', experiment and keep going. -Barb S.
I have not had that problem yet. But the thought occured to me that maybe wire brushes would do the trick. You know the type that you can buy for something like a dollar each, might want to try brass (it is a much softer metal) on the inside of the blade and maybe one on each wheel. Just a suggestion.
Good bye and work safely
06-28-2001, 11:58 PM
I have heard of people having good results using Pam on their bandsaw blades for green wood. I think you're on the right track.
06-29-2001, 01:08 AM
Thanks, David, but I'm afraid the wire brushes would cut up the rubber on the bandsaw tires. (?) -Barb S.
06-29-2001, 01:11 AM
Thanks, Dave Peebles. It's good to hear someone has tried this (or heard of it.) I liked your webpage...beautiful work. -Barb S.
06-29-2001, 07:24 AM
LAST EDITED ON Jun-29-01 AT 08:26AM (CDT)
I know well the sticker problem, I resaw my own Apple, Ash and others as I am clearing my land. One solution for me is to use the offcuts from the resaw and turn those into strips for stickers. That way, I and creating new sticks even as I'm creating the need for them :)
As for checking, your logs are drying too fast. Storing them in a cool dry place (NOT inside the house or heated shop) will slow the initial drying and reduce checking.
Also, if you keep a big box with clean wood shavings (from the joiner, planer and/or lathe) and bury your new sawn blanks in the shavings, it virtually eliminates checking. It seems that the shavings keep things from drying too quickly.
Really, timing is everything. Slowing the drying at first, then resawing is the best defence against too much checking. The colonial tool makers cut Apple for plane bodies, then let them set, unsawn, for 3 years before resawing and using. This way they KNEW the wood was stable. Hard to have that much patience these days!
06-29-2001, 08:49 AM
Handi- According to everything I've read, the stickers must be completely dry, so I don't know how this would work. And you are right, what I did was go off to CA for a week and leave these logs uncovered inthe sun, so that is my main problem with hurrying now. I'm having to lop off the ends to prevent the checking from extending further in, and any more 'gift' logs will get covered up if I have to go leave them for any length of time! Thanks for the tip on the shavings...sounds useful. -Barb S.
... that this whole experience is causing a great deal of anxiety and frustration, seriously threatening your mental and physical well-being. Fortunately, the real problem here is also obvious. No, the real problem is not the build-up of wet wood on the blade. No, the problem isn't even the fact that you have been given too much free wood (though that is a major contributing factor). The REAL problem is the bandsaw: Having a Laguna 16SEC has put you in this position. Think about it: Would you even have attempted such a thing if you had a garden-variety, 7" Black & Decker? Of course not. Clearly, what you need to do is give away the band saw. Being the caring and compassionate person that I am, I am even willing to help; just send the band saw to me immediately, and I'm sure you'll start to feel much better. Oh, by the way, since you're sending the bandsaw, you might as well send the wood as well. And by all means, if you (or any others who might be reading this post) happen to be experiencing frustration with any other tools, please don't hesitate to ask for my help with those as well. (I've heard that Delta Unisaws are especially bad for mental health ....)
Seriously, it sounds like you've gotten some good suggestions to deal with the problem ... but I AM envious of the problem you're having to deal with! :-) Let us know what (if anything) works ...
06-29-2001, 10:44 AM
Hi, Barb Siddiqui. Got your name down now. :)
Y'know, it springs to mind that you could adjust the lower left guide over just a tad so it actually contacts the band below the table. That'd scrape the stuff off the inboard side of the band.
If you have metal guides and don't like the thought or sound of metal-against-metal, try cutting a guide from maple for that one. Better would be lignum vitae, but that's a little harder to come by. You could even try using apple, since you seem to have so much of it... :)
You might shape the end of the guide just a little (if you use a wooden guide) to peel the dust forward toward the teeth. If you shape it so it's angled the other way, it might catch on the bottoms of the gullets.
We're all trying to come up with something that'll work well for ya.
-- Tim --
06-29-2001, 01:43 PM
Making Me Feel Totally Inadequate, is there? hah. I'll manage quite well, thank you, with my Big Beautiful Laguna 16SEC that whispers its way through kiln dried hardwoods 12" thick and cuts fine corners with a narrow blade and doesn't vibrate at all! hardly. Thanks for your offer, Andy my man. I'm very generous with wood...make your way over here and I'll share. A trip to CA last week netted an acquaintance several turning chunks of this apple wood...booked it through on an airplane and they tagged it, "baggage/heavy." I plopped the box in his arms as host of the dinner, and said, "When was the last time you received a 60 lb. hostess gift?" So come on over, people are despondent and tearing out orchards all around me.
06-29-2001, 01:50 PM
Tim- Hm. That is an idea, though I have rotating Carter guides, one could be removed and some angled guide set in there to scrape it, in hardwood. I'm going to try the Pam first (been at work all morning, just getting back to this) and see if such a simple solution can solve the problem. Good idea, though, thanks. -Barb S.
06-29-2001, 03:58 PM
Barb, you are correct; use dry stickers. If you have a Woodcraft close go buy some end coat. This will slow moisture loss from the ends where cracking is most likely. Paint will work but end coat is better. You could also use wax if there is not much wood. If you wan to apply weight to the stack and the amount of wood is not too great, you can build a press.
Part of your problem may be the blade you are using. Green wood requires more set and less teeth in the blade than dry wood. I don't know what is available for shop bandsaws. If a blade with a raker tooth is available it might be worth getting. A raker tooth does not have any set; it just rakes the sawdust out of the cut.
06-29-2001, 04:03 PM
at least this product is designed for this application. I use SliQ STick 9000 - "Sawyer's Blend" . The product poop sheet says "the dry fil ingredients also reduce or eliminate "stiction" to allow smoother feed rate and glising action." Whatever that means. I do use it and I have smmoth blades BUT, I do not do what you do. The greenest I have sawn is green spalted logs. But it is worth a try and will keep you from having to choose regular or butter flavored PAM.
They have an website at http://www.altalabinstrument.com/wood
You hold the stick next to the running blade, carefully of course.
They have relatively inexpensive sample packs.
06-29-2001, 08:25 PM
and after cutting up several birch logs and now these wet apple trunks, it's time to re-order. Everything I can find in reference to self-sharpening (L. Lee, Frid, DeCristoforo) bandsaw blades says to forget it...order new. I'm contacting Iturra Designs tomorrow to ask about a new resaw blade; I'll ask for raker teeth (been using Laguna's own 2TPI steel 1" blade). Thanks for the tip. -Barb S.
06-29-2001, 08:31 PM
I took the 130" blade off Again, sanded it clean, both sides, and cleaned off the sanding grit with isopropyl alcohol....likewise wheels. Lubricated the inside of the blade with spray-on Pam, then let it dry for 20 minutes. It works great....after three more logs this afternoon, fully sliced into 5/4 boards (which is the way I really wanted it cut), I had literally NO build up of wet sawdust gunk on blade or wheels. It didn't slip any, either. This is definitely the way to go, if anyone tries to resaw wet green wood in the future. Thanks for the brainstorming session, everyone. All these ideas flying around helped a lot. And Andy, my frustration level is now down to a managable level. When I get the new sharp blade, I'll start again. -Barb S.
06-29-2001, 11:14 PM
I always love to hear the end results of an experiment.
I'm happy to hear it works so well.
Also, thanks for the kind words on my work.
07-01-2001, 02:29 AM
In searching out a new blade, a friend referred me to suffolkmachinery.com (http://suffolkmachinery.com) for Timberwolf blades, and they have a menu listing "Six rules of sawing," which, interestingly enough, recommends spraying Pam non-stick coating on bandsaw blades for lubrication. So it isn't such a hair-brained scheme at all, just one tip I'd never heard of. I won't do without it now. It works amazingly well. -Barb S.
I use their blades and love them. I, too, have a Laguna 16 SEC, and have had no problem using these blades. They are low tension and cut like a knife through butter. You might want to give them a try.
"hope springs eternal"
What is it with all you people with a Laguna band saw? First Barb makes me "green" with envy (and doesn't even appreciate my very serious offer to help!), and now Lynn is talking about how hers cuts like a knife through butter. I am getting really depressed, contemplating my bandsaw situation, which is currently none, since I gave away the 7" Black & Decker that couldn't cut anything over 1/4" thick without bowing in the shape of the grain ... sigh. I guess it's time to start saving. How much is one of those Laguna's, again? Surely it won't cost much more than the B&D I got rid of? (I picked it up at a yard sale for $20 -- which was $25 too much!)
Seriously, though, it continues to sound like these Laguna's are as good as the advertising claims. I don't think I'll be able to justify getting one anytime soon, but it's nice to know what would be worth the getting if & when!
Meanwhile, Barb, I'd love to take you up on the offer for some wood, but as it happens I have a wee little problem in that regard -- I've already got too much wood in my small shop, and if I get any more, I won't be able to work at all! Although, if you happen to be coming to NC, I'm sure I could squeeze in a few chunks for turning. Come to think of it, I'm sure the trunk of the car isn't completely full ...
07-03-2001, 01:38 PM
sorry to upset you so! And yes, the Laguna is a bit more than the $20 you spent on a 7" Black and Decker (Really?!) In fact, if you are thinking to 'save up' for a European bandsaw, I'd suggest either saving up more and going for the Laguna 16HD, or an Agazanni (sp?) which is so similar, I believe they are from the same factory. Andy Rae did a long, two-part critique on another message board of his favorite, the Agazanni, which I saved and could e-mail you, if you like. It's full of specifics in what to look for in a good saw. I'm not sorry I bought mine, but the more powerful 16HD would have been better (as the salesman promised! ...financial constraints aside)
As for visiting North Carolina, it isn't out of the question...my SO George is a Tarheel, and four years ago we drove there across country on a two-week jaunt. Cut down a holly tree off his home farm, and wished I'd brough a Truck for all the hickory and other hardwoods. If we do it again any time soon, I'll keep you in mind, and trade trunks full of wood! -Barb S.
I would be interested in the "article" on bandsaws. And by all means, if you come down to the Raleigh area, let me know. Meanwhile, where exactly did you say this farm with lots of hardwoods is located ...? Oh, never mind -- I don't have a bandsaw to cut them up with anyway!