As a follow-up to Ralph’s band saw question in my previous post (also just below this one), I sent him the following e-mail:
“One more thing, Ralph: Don’t push too hard on the board you are resawing – let the blade do its thing. In other words, start really slowly, then increase the speed slowly. You can pretty much tell if you are going TOO fast… Speed of feed is most important if the tension is not set properly.”
Regardless, if the tension is not set properly, even pushing slowly and letting the blade “do its thing” still may not result in good resawing results. But, if the tension is really close to properly adjusted, resawing results might improve dramatically at the slower feed speeds.
Ralph responded to my e-mail as follows:
“Thanks Al… I also got similar recommendations from the Laguna people regarding improper tension. I pushed the blade in 12″ below where the blade leaves the wheel, and it shouldn’t go in more than 1/4″. I did and that’s about how far it goes. We’ll get it right. I’ll keep you posted.”
I wanted to post this update because the Laguna people mentioned something I had overlooked: Sometimes, but not always, measuring the amount of deflection of the blade gives some assurance that we are close to the proper blade tension. All we have to do is make certain we always measure at the same distance below the upper wheel – this could be, as Ralph was told, about half way below where the blade leaves the upper wheel. I don’t quote an exact figure, as this distance is a function of the size of the band saw. There is a caveat to the blade deflection test: Narrower blades may have to be over-tensioned to give only 1/4-inch deflection.