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Tip #31
Band Sawing Versatility (continued)
Click here for a printer friendly version of Tip-
Pg. 1-3, Pg 4-6, Pg 7-9, Pg 10-12, Pg 13-15, Pg 16-18


Figure 14-15. Lock the miter gauge with an extension attached in the table slot that runs perpendicular to the flat of the blade, and use it as a rip fence for ripping operations.

By locking the miter gauge in the table slot that runs perpendicular to the flat of the blade, you can use the miter gauge as a rip fence (Figure 14-15). Secure the miter gauge in the slot by turning the Allen screw in the center of the miter gauge bar clockwise. This presses the sides of the bar out against the sides of the slot. We also suggest you put a single thickness of paper in the table slot near the miter bar locking screw, as an extra precaution to keep the miter gauge from shifting during ripping operations.

Click to see larger view

Figure 14-16. (A) A standard miter gauge extension makes a useful fence for average ripping operations. The locking miter gauge is what makes this and similar setups possible. (B) A longer extension provides more support when ripping extra-long workpieces. (C) A higher extension provides needed support for resawing operations.

If you need more support for the workpiece, attach a miter gauge extension to the miter gauge. The standard extension, mounted on the miter gauge (Figure 14-16A), is suitable for normal ripping operations. A longer extension (Figure 14-16B) provides needed support when handling long stock, while a higher extension (Figure 14-16C) will help you work more accurately when doing resawing. The sizes of all three extensions and the mounting holes they need are detailed in Figure 14-17. You may also want to use a roller stand or the Mark V table and rip fence to help support the workpiece on either the infeed or outfeed side of the bandsaw.

Figure 14-17. Construction details of three miter gauge extensions. Click on image for larger view.

When you're using the miter gauge as a rip fence, pay particular attention to blade lead-the tendency of the blade to drift off the cutting line in one direction. To correct blade lead, first try readjusting the blade guides or angling the miter gauge slightly. If this doesn't work, refer to the Bandsaw Owners Manual to correct blade lead. If after trying both of these remedies blade lead remains a problem, slow down the feed and give the blade more time to make the cut and stay straight.

Figure 14-18. Ripping will be accurate if you feed at a reasonable speed and keep the workpiece against the miter gauge extension. Ripping against an extension will be a problem if the blade has lead.

When ripping, feed the stock very slowly and be sure to maintain the extension-to-work contact throughout the pass. You can use your hands as shown in Figure 14-18; or, if there is enough room between the extension and the blade, use your left hand on the extension much as if you were doing a rip cut on the table saw. But, in any case, be sure to keep a push stick handy during ripping operations and use it to feed the stock during the last few inches. Also, if you force the cut, it is likely that the stock will move away from the fence or the blade will wander off the cutline. Extension-guided ripping won't work if the blade has lead. You must eliminate the lead, change to another blade, or make the cut freehand.

On a few operations, such as sawing or ripping thick stock with a thin blade, it may be necessary to increase the blade tension slightly beyond the normal setting. However, this increased tension will shorten the life of your blade. Always remember to reset the tension screw when you no longer need the extra tension.

If accuracy is not critical or the blade is showing excessive lead, you can also make rip cuts freehand. Just remember not to work with pieces so small that they bring your fingers inside the danger zone. Use a push stick instead.

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