I'm wondering how some of you set-up your band guides. I understand that WoodMiser guides are set with a certain amount of "down pressure", deflection, on the band. My mill uses Carter guides that have solid support blocks and a back-up wheel. The guides are supposed to be set-up so the band just touches the bottom block with a slight clearance between the top of the band and the top block. Band runs 1/8" away from the face of the back-up wheel. Set this way there is no down pressure or down deflection on the band.
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.
Do what your manufacturer says. Roller guides are used with down pressure to make sure they are controlling the blade. The crown of the wheel on a saw with roller guides may not be doing the job.
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.
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".
Comment from contributor A:
I have built several resaws and sawmills and I make my own roller guides. The deflection used is of almost 3/32". The control of the cut can't be better, but if the blade is not sharp, set and fed properly, even the best guide in the world will fail. With this system I have used 2.5" wide bandsaw utill they are 1 3/8" when I cut them down and reweld them to fit in a smaller bandsaw. The bandsaw needs some down pressure to cut better - it is like a guitar string. The other thing is that we use Swedish steel for our blades.