Good Bandsaw Blade for Resawing Veneer?

Woodworkers discuss veneer production on the bandsaw. January 12, 2012

I have to cut several hundred feet of 1/8 thick veneer mostly of walnut and some hemlock. The max width of board will be about 15. I have tried several carbon steel blades from one to six tpi with mediocre results. The one tpi cuts fast but leaves an awful finish and the six tpi while being better is still not smooth enough to suit me, plus it cuts so slow Id get bored before Im done with cutting this much. The band saw is an antique 3hp Davis and Wells 20. Id like to be able to go from saw to glue without a lot of cleanup. Does anyone have any recommendations for brand, model, and tooth for a blade?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
I would have to say that you are asking too much from a bandsaw blade. Re-sawing is basically a cross-grain cut, so you aren't going to get a perfect cut straight from the saw. Fast is not clean and even the cleanest cut is going to need planing or sanding. For 1/8" thick pieces, a drum or belt sander is going to be the best.

From contributor L:
We re-saw on a Baker horizontal band re-saw. It is 20hp, 1 1/4" 2 tooth blade, pretty good cut, fairly fast with hydraulic feed works, but even though you could glue directly off the saw it isn't good enough for a finished line. We put the pieces through the wide belt and then get a nice glue joint. Our saw has steel wheels, no tires, and runs at a very high tension. The blade stays straight in the cut. I think you are asking too much from your saw.

From the original questioner:
So far sounds like cut 3/16" and sand to 1/8 although I'm nervous about gluing to a sanded surface. I use a glue-line rip blade and glue off the saw for edges and have never had a problem.

This is my first large veneer type job. I have been planing, bandsawing, gluing planed surfaces and widebelting to finish for the occasional little job. It works but is slow, and yes I'm asking a lot of this saw. I have a roller bed so the wood doesn't drag on the table and use a modified geared down stock feeder about 2'/min when using the one tpi blade the others are too much for it - hand only. If you have experience with gluing sanded surfaces what grit should I be using? I was hoping somebody has found a blade that would save some steps.

From contributor F:
Not sure what your glue-ups look like, but is it possible to glue the sawn face up and sand after you glue? I've had good results using a Woodslicer blade on my 20" Delta. With a fresh blade the cuts are clean enough to remove marks with a little ROS work in softwoods. Hardwoods I find I still need a pass or two through the widebelt. The only problem is the blades don't stay sharp very long in hardwoods.

From contributor C:
I think the Woodslicer blade is a good blade for smaller machines - I've tried it for my needs, trying to slice 12' boards, and it doesn't work. You can't go wrong with a Tri-Master from Lenox. I've run 1,000s of bd ft with a single blade and the cut is as good as a Woodslicer.

From contributor L:
Do a test glue up. The contact drum needs to be good on your widebelt. If not dress it. We use a 60 grit belt, mainly because it's fast. I don't know what affect using a finer grit would have but our glue ups have been solid.

From the original questioner:
Contributor F - thats how I have been doing the glue-ups, works fine, just trying to find a better way.

Contributor L - the reasons Im nervous about gluing a sanded surface is because of the dust contaminate (you can never get it all off) and because the fibers arent being cut, but torn off are the pores open enough for the glue to get a good bite? Because its thick veneer the seasonal movement pulling it loose from the core is what makes me nervous. 60G would definitely make a surface with lots of mechanical attachment for the glue. I use a PVA adhesive made for vacuum pressing, maybe I should get something stronger.

From contributor L:
The PVA is plenty strong enough. Just blow the dust off with an air hose. The wetting action of PVA's is excellent you just have to pay attention to open times. Get it in the press as soon as possible and don't put so much glue on that you get bubbles of it. We make lot of bent laminations with this system. They are always under considerable stress but have never failed. We also vacuum press. The thinner the veneer the less stress you will have. Always balance the panel.

From the original questioner:
To contributor C: What tpi are you running? I see they make 3, 2/3 and 3/4tpi. I can get a 1-1/4 into this machine but am sure I cannot get the needed min tension on that big of blade so will check what the max tension I can get before deciding on width.

From contributor C:
I run a 3S (3 teeth p/inch-skip tooth). I heartily recommend it. I do a lot of 1/8" hardwood veneer, slicing at 3/16", running it through my planer down to 1/8", bagging it to a substrate using a resina used in the triply industries. I've had no failures. That said, 15" is pretty wide. Unless you're really dialed-in with your bandsaw you may find that you have to re-saw more than 3/16" to arrive at 1/8" after planing. 15" wide will want to cup big-time. Use good glue, and depending on what you're doing, pay attention to balancing your panels.

From the original questioner:
I will get the Lenox blade and hope for the best.