Resawing for Book-Matching on a Bandsaw

Woodworkers discuss blades and setups for resawing lumber for laminations and veneers. November 20, 2005

What is the best way to resaw material for bookmatching? I assume (for a cabinet shop) it is with a bandsaw. I have an 18" bandsaw (Grizzly) and I am considering purchasing an aftermarket fence and guides, if this is the right direction. Any suggestions on methods, aftermarket products, and blades would be greatly appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
I'm not too confident that you'll get good results with an import machine. If you have trouble, try using a narrow kerf blade on your table saw and pre-cut top and bottom on the material to give the bandsaw something to follow.

It is true that having a resaw style band saw or a well made regular old band saw will make the job easier. If you tune your saw well and use the correct blade, you should be able to pull the job off.

I do it with a very stout fence with backing gussets to help prevent flex. My resaw fence has a ledge screwed to its bottom edge to support the board that is being resawn and the vertical part of the fence is a little shorter than the saw's maximum height of cut. In addition to the gussets, I tied the top of the fence to the saw's frame (metal bracket tapped and machine screwed to an area of the saw that would not be weakened by the holes and screws) and fastened to the wood fence with wood screws. This eliminates any outward flexing of the fence's top edge as I resaw. I also built a rack of adjustable feather boards spaced about 1.5" apart that keep the stock pressed tightly against the fence just in front of the blade's teeth.

Laminate the fence's face and support ledge with scrap laminate to ease friction. Use your ears as you saw to determine how hard you can push and how fast you can saw with your equipment. Some bandsaw blades will drift in the cut and the fence may need to be angled in the direction of the drift to compensate for it. To determine the drift, take a two foot long 1" thick piece of stock and mark a straight line down the length of the center of an edge. Without using a fence, start cutting down the middle of the pencil mark and adjust the angle of your feed until you can push in that direction and the blade stays on course. Now, hold the board right where it is and stop the saw. Mark the saw's top and then clamp your fence down at that angle.

It depends on how thick you want to make your pieces. I have a similar style band saw and have used it to cut for bent wood laminations and veneers. I use a Starrett 1" x 3 teeth per inch blade. It is carbide tipped, so the kerf is a little bigger, but it has lasted forever. I do cut my plys thick and run them through the sander. I also use push blocks to hold the material against the fence.

As for the tablesaw comment, that is not appropriate. Your bandsaw (import or not) is much safer and a better use of material. You might want to look into some of the veneer blades that are very thin.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the input. Blade drift has been my biggest headache. Is it really the saw or is it the blade? I'm currently using a 3/8" X 3/inch (guessing without being at the shop). Due to cost, I think I'll change the blade first. Tried the table saw already, it wasn't fun.

You should be able to lick your drift problem for the most part with a simple rule of thumb. No matter what width of blade you are running on the saw, adjust the tracking so that the center of the blade rides in the center of upper wheel's tire. Try a 1/2" wide carbon steel blade with 3 teeth per inch. When you are resawing, a sparsed tooth blade like this will run cooler and has a lot of gullet space to rid the cut of the sawdust.