Bandmill blade guide pressure
I've been happy with the results, except in knotty wood, spruce, red pine, but wonder if anybody has experimented with down pressure? Does it help? In my case, I'm not sure it would be good for the support blocks or the band, as it would seem to generate more heat and wear.
Guides with flat plates are dependent on the crown of the wheels more so. If you have problems cutting straight I would suspect sharpness, cutting speed and set (in that order).
You may want to try moving your back wheel closer. The closer you are able to run it to the blade the less stress you put on the blade and the fewer stress cracks you will experience on the back of the blade. Just don't let it touch all of the time or the blade will develop a shoulder and you will wear out your backwheel real quick.
When I got my saw a few years ago, I had all sorts of problems, so I tried everything with the guides. I finally caught up to someone who knew bandsaws. He told me to quit messin' with the guides, in fact, don't even use them and get a decent blade and learn how to sharpen and set the teeth.
I had visions of having 14' of steel wrapped around my neck, so I backed off the guides bit by bit.
I now run the saw with the guides totally out of the way. I run a good blade and learned how to sharpen and set (it took awhile) and haven't had a problem since.
I run my "rough" lumber through a small finishing planer and it proves the mill cuts true.
I'm not saying this will work for other mills but it sure worked for me. The way the fellow put it, "if you don't have a sharp blade with the right set, no amount of any kind of adjustment will give a good cut".
From the original questioner
You brought up another area I've also been wondering about when you mentioned crown on the wheels. Is there any "right" or "best" postion for the band to track on the bandwheels? I set mine up so that there is just a slight clearance between the egde of the wheel and the gullet of the band.
Just get the band so that it rides true on both wheels. The wheels should be parallel first and then adjust such that the teeth don't ride on the wheel (flattens set) and they don't hit anything. You want to protect the set and the tips of the teeth at all costs. I would imagine that your manufacturer has given you a lineup procedure in your instructions. If not, you should make sure you get some from them. Even though all bandmills are pretty much the same, manufacturers all have their own ideas and incorporate them into their saws. You'll find that a lot of tuning and sawmilling in general is an art rather than a science. Your instruction book will make sure that you get off on the right foot. I have found that you can adjust yourself to death and forget to cut wood.
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