Sawing Hard Maple

Advice on bandsaw blade characteristics for good performance in hard Maple. October 29, 2008

I recently started running a horizontal resaw and was wondering why I have to go so slow on hard maple. On soft maple all I have to do is slow down on the knots. On oak it's just watch I don't go too fast through the really wide ones and rip the band right off. Why does the hard maple snake on a clear slab at about half the speed I would normally run at?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor S:
What mill and what blades are you running?

From the original questioner:
The mill is a Salem horizontal resaw. As for the bands, I don't know. I can usually get close to 30 lines a minute but am lucky to get half that on hard maple.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Without further info, I would guess that you have insufficient side clearance (or not enough set on the teeth). After the saw tooth has gone by, maple likes to spring back and close the gap or kerf.

Further, maple requires sharp saws and good side dressing. I suggest that your saw filer get a bit of training, perhaps at a neighboring mill cutting maple.

From the original questioner:
Today one of our filers that used to run the saw told me that it is better to go faster because the band will pull more sawdust from the cut. Is this accurate? I don't see how it would pull more dust without the band going any faster. I just think you would have a better chance of ripping the band off.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Faster will result in less fine sawdust and bigger chips which a band saw will carry away easier. However, faster can also mean stalling and having the band leave the saw... dangerous. Sometimes a band with half as many teeth will work better as this will have the same feed rate but each tooth will do more work and give a bigger chip.