1. Howdy,
    I have a 30+ year old Delta 14″ bandsaw. I find when resawing or cutting long, with the grain cuts, like you did when cutting the small amount from the upper support of the book shelf (10th minute) that the cut will sometimes diverge from strait due to following the grain. Is that a common problem? What is the best way to overcome it? I usually use the 1/2″ Highland Woodworking Wood Slicer Resaw blade.
    Many thanks,

  2. Hello bobmcct,
    The following comment is based on my experience, having ruined a few blades on my bandsaw by incorrect adjustments.
    Main cause of the drift is usually the teeth being incorrectly set. The offset must be absolutely equal to both sides, or else the saw will go in the direction of the wider offset side. The reason is probably that the inner teeth (those touching the top wheel) are pressed on the top wheel of your machine. When new, the blade cuts straight, After a number of revolutions of the wheel, the inner teeth setting begins to be incorrect, as the teeth are squeezed more and more, especially if the blade is very tight. To avoid this, I suggest you adjust the position of the blade with the teeth not touching the top wheel, by tilting the wheel accordingly. Thus you will keep the saw set correct and get straight cuts. Hope it helps.

  3. Hi, Bob.
    I’ll try to cover things I have gone through. Not all will apply to you, but some may help.

    First, be aware that the website sales literature on the Wood Slicer blade specifically tells you not to use it on curves. It has almost no set in the teeth to make it cut straight for resawing. It takes less power, And it gives a narrow kerf for stuff like veneer sawing. One of the features of that blade is it cuts straight. Don’t try to defeat its purpose. Get a different blade for curves.

    Also, Highland tells you not to use it on wet wood. The kerf is too thin and will close.

    I find a Starrett 3-4 variable tpi works well on curves. Other brands with more set probably do also.

    But here are some things that will help.

    Yes, as Jacques says, back off the guides and set your teeth on the wheel so the gullet of a tooth is at the highest point of the crown of the tire. The tips of the teeth won’t be touching the tire under normal tension. My bandsaw is a century old and has no crown on the tires by design, So centering is accomplished by canting the wheels slightly. The teeth still don’t touch the tires. Some old monster saws actually hanged the teeth tips over the edge of the wheel.

    Your Wood Slicer blade has very little set, so this should be less of an issue than with most blades.

    After you have adjusted where the blade is tracking, then set the guides. ( see tensioning below)

    If you still have tracking issues it’s probably the table adjustment. There are tutorials on turning the table to align it with direction of cut online also.

    Other things to check:

    Make sure your blade is sharp, of course. If it isn’t, get a new one or have it sharpened. You can do that yourself ( tutorials online) but it’s tedious and 14” bandsaw blades are cheap and long lasting. For the hobbiest, it’s often abuse like hitting metal that does them in. Having blades resharpened used to be cost effective. Not so much anymore. Blade making is on an automated production line. Sharpening correctly is labor and skill intensive.

    Also make sure your 30 y.o. tension spring isn’t tired. The spring get softer with time and vibration. A new aftermarket spring will do wonders. I had to have one made for my antique saw ( surprisingly cheap at a Spring shop) but places like Woodcraft and Lee Valley have ones for Delta saws and others. Theirs are higher tension than the stock Delta ones and will help with tracking. The ones you are looking for are usually painted bright yellow.

    1/2” blade is a bit skinny for resawing thick stock. You might want to consider a wider blade Highland (or whoever ) recommends. It will need more tension, so the tension Spring again. You might want to consider their 3/4” blade. Just remember those wood Slicer blades are very thin, have very little set, and don’t work on curves. And you will definitely need the higher tension spring for the wider blade.

    An alternative is low tension blades, but I have no experience with one. A company called Wolf makes them. Google is your friend.

    As to setting tension, look for a tutorial on setting by the “ flutter method” , which is done right after setting the tracking and without the guides. Basically you run the saw before you set the guides. release the tension slowly until the blade flutters, then increase tension slowly until the flutter stops, then add a turn or so. It works well. The tension gauges on most saws are worthless. My saw doesn’t even have one. Carter does make a decent tension gauge, but the flutter method seems to work.
    Just don’t try to cut anything before the guides are put back.

    Sometimes blades come with a burr on the teeth which can affect cut. You can remove that by stoning- just put a diamond paddle or a stone against the teeth and turn the blade one turn in reverse by hand. ( about two+ turns of a wheel) Repeat on the other side. Is solves some tracking issues and will give you a smoother cut. You can also stone the back of the saw blade . It will run smoother against the thrust wheels. Remember your Wood Slicer blade has very little set. You want to remove the burr, not the set.

    And you can lubricate the blade before each use. Spray cooking Pam works. Chain saw oil cut with mineral spirits 50-50 also works. Just put some on a rag and hold it on the blade while you run the blade in reverse by hand. Do both sides.
    It’s the bandsaw equivalent of Paul’s rag-in-a-can and doesn’t stain the wood. I use the chain saw oil mainly because I have a gallon, which for me is a lifetime supply. Chain oil is canola oil (rape seed) based these days, so environmentally friendlier. The lubricant will lower HP needs and the blade will run cooler and track better in the kerf.

    And I should mention the HP rating on your motor. I use a 3/4 HP motor on mine because it’s the first motor I put on it and I don’t do a lot of resawing. I use a friends monster saw for that instead. It costs me a couple beers each time. You should have something a horse or better so it won’t bog down. Just be aware that blade speed and torque are inversely proportional, as is electric motor speed and torque, so a faster blade means more hp requirement.

    You are aiming for a blade speed of something like 3,300 surface feet per minute on a 14” saw without it bogging down for hardwoods. Set the guides close to the work for better tracking. You might have to adjust speed a little if you get odd harmonics with your particular saw., but stay below 3,500 sf/m, in my opinion, for safety. That said, some people run at 4,000+ sf/ min.
    Stay safe.

    “Bad thing happen more violently at higher speeds. “ – Isaac Newton.

    Here is a Surface foot calculator. Get the motor rpm off the plate on the motor.


    Some delta owners swear they get better tracking with cool blocks than metal roller guides. The last time I used a delta was 30 years ago before I got my current saw. It had cool blocks. Maybe you have my old saw 🙂 I run lignum vitae blocks saturated with pertolatum on my antique, which is what people did a century ago. They run fine . Nuclear submarines still use saturated lignum prop bearings.

    I actually run my saw a little slower than 3,300 rpm with no ill effects

    It also might be time for new tires. 30 years means they are probably a bit stiff. And consider urethane tires. They seem quieter and more forgiving if you don’t have a detensioning lever. I only de-tension when I’m going on a trip or know the saw will be idle for a long time. Urethane tires just need to be run for 30 seconds or so for them to eliminate any flat spots.

    Hope you didn’t fall asleep,

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