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  • How to get a bandsaw to cut straight?

    Anyone got any help/tips on how to get a (dry cut) bandsaw to cut straight?

    I have an older Delta brand vertical dry cut band saw that just doesn't seem to want to cut straight or square unles I put a line on a piece and follow it by hand/eyeball. I have tried adjusting all the wheels in the guide above and below the cut (they are small bearings) and sliding guides as close/tight as I dare run them. The blade is new and is running at the correct (slow) speed for metal cutting. I always check to be sure the guide stuff is set at the correct height above the work, but it still wanders. I have also tried reducing pressure on the blade by cutting R-E-A-L-L-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y and that doesn't seem to help at all. The dang thing has a miter on the table for a guide with different angles on it (like on a table saw) that can supposedly be set for different angles, but it won't even cut square, so I don't trust it to cut any kind of an angle in anything.

    The only other thing I can think of is that maybe I need to crank up the blade tension......??!! Any thoughts/suggestions here?

    It sure would be nice to be able to cut things and have the angles/squareness/trueness of cuts come out correctly with repeatability and reliability!!

    Anyone got any ideas?
    Don J
    Reno, NV

    Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

  • #2
    Originally posted by dondlhmn View Post
    Anyone got any help/tips on how to get a (dry cut) bandsaw to cut straight?

    I have an older Delta brand vertical dry cut band saw that just doesn't seem to want to cut straight or square unles I put a line on a piece and follow it by hand/eyeball. I have tried adjusting all the wheels in the guide above and below the cut (they are small bearings) and sliding guides as close/tight as I dare run them. The blade is new and is running at the correct (slow) speed for metal cutting. I always check to be sure the guide stuff is set at the correct height above the work, but it still wanders. I have also tried reducing pressure on the blade by cutting R-E-A-L-L-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y and that doesn't seem to help at all. The dang thing has a miter on the table for a guide with different angles on it (like on a table saw) that can supposedly be set for different angles, but it won't even cut square, so I don't trust it to cut any kind of an angle in anything.

    The only other thing I can think of is that maybe I need to crank up the blade tension......??!! Any thoughts/suggestions here?

    It sure would be nice to be able to cut things and have the angles/squareness/trueness of cuts come out correctly with repeatability and reliability!!

    Anyone got any ideas?
    A bandsaw blade will take a set and there's nothing I know that you can do about it but change it out. I have it happen all the time with my portabands. One little bind up and after that the blade just won't cut straight.
    life is good

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    • #3
      Unless you doing alot of scroll cutting on sheetmetal, I don't recomend a "vertical" bandsaw for straight cutting metal. I have always used "horizontal" bandsaws which give me clean, reasonably precise cuts.

      Horizontal bandsaws will cut much staighter due to the fact that the material is clamped, and the saw is hinged on a stationary plane.

      You might be able to get your saw adjusted close, but I seriously doubt you will ever get it to run a continous strait line using the saw guide. The guides are used mostly for cutting softer materials like wood. The main reason you blade is "wandering" is due to the tooth set in the raker of the blade. The tooth set is the alternating stager in the blade which creates a wider kerf than the blade thickness. This allows the blade not to bind, but also alows "wiggle room" which allows the blade to cut curves or in your case wander and cut crooked.

      Try to purchade a bi-metal blade that has at least 3 teeth in the material you are cutting at all times, minimal tooth set, and also the widest posible blade you can fit on your machine. This will help your situation in cutting relativly small lengths (2"-4", but like I said you probably wont be able to just use the guide to cut any considerable lengths straight (above 6").

      hope this helps-
      Danny
      Millermatic 251
      Miller RFCS-14 HD Foot control *wireless* (homemade)
      Hobart G-213 200 amp DC/welder A/C generator
      Thermal Arc 95s TIG/Stick
      Lincoln Idealarc 250 R-3S-250
      Lincoln LN-7 Wirefeeder
      P-Tron P75 75 Amp Plasma cutter
      Victor cutting torch

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      • #4
        Danny, thanks for the info. Yeah, I ahve found that horizontal saws cut straighter and they do cut solid bar and pipe nicely, but when fabbing small stuff i like to use the vertical bandsaw and would like it to cut more square. Maybe I need to find some kind of horizontal saw for the round/square/solid/pipe stuff.
        Don J
        Reno, NV

        Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dondlhmn View Post

          I have an older Delta brand vertical dry cut band saw that just doesn't seem to want to cut straight or square unles I put a line on a piece and follow it by angles/squareness/trueness of cuts come out correctly with repeatability and reliability!!

          Anyone got any ideas?
          Well you can learn how to work with less than perfect cuts because most of them that you will ever do won't be perfect. Just my thought...Bob
          Bob Wright

          Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
          http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

          Comment


          • #6
            Bob..Yes, that could work, but that path is just not for me. I suppose lowering your standards is ONE way of making life easier. Trouble is, if you start lowering your standards, then that philosophy enventually creeps into everything you do in life. Not a good thing. Plus, I already know way too many people in this world that do not even meet the low standards they have set for themsleves and we wonder why all of our work/jobs are flying away to ther countries.

            I think springing for a saw that will work up to standard is probably the best answer.
            Don J
            Reno, NV

            Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

            Comment


            • #7
              Trust me i didn't lower my standards i can cut with the best. What i was getting at is get good with any cutting process because in the real world you aren't going to be able to drag a bandsaw into a pipe rack 100 feet off the ground to get a nice cut on a 20" pipe. I don't take shortcuts but i can fab up anything with whatever was cut. Its like working in a shop where all the material is pre cut at the supplier and it is either short or crooked and you have to work with it. You can't tell the boss its a 1/16" off or you will be outside looking in. Just my thought...Bob
              Bob Wright

              Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
              http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
                Trust me i didn't lower my standards i can cut with the best. What i was getting at is get good with any cutting process because in the real world you aren't going to be able to drag a bandsaw into a pipe rack 100 feet off the ground to get a nice cut on a 20" pipe. I don't take shortcuts but i can fab up anything with whatever was cut. Its like working in a shop where all the material is pre cut at the supplier and it is either short or crooked and you have to work with it. You can't tell the boss its a 1/16" off or you will be outside looking in. Just my thought...Bob
                OK, Bob. I trust you and I believe that you can put up with that sort of stuff. The thing is, I am (luckily) in the position of not having to screw around with dragging a bandsaw 100 feet up or into a pipe rack. I also have no boss to accept crap materials/stuff cut too short or crooked. I just do NOT accept stuff like that because I don't have to. Besides, I can do the stuff you are talking about if needed and the product you are required to use is crap, but, thankfully, I don't HAVE TO. I now enjoy the luxury of working to tolerances in the .01 to .001 inch range BECAUSE I WANT TO AND I CAN. I would rather have precise tools and precisely cut product to use. I spent enough of my life putting up with rotten conditions/taks/ignorant *sshole bosses and, at my age, now just don't do it anymore.
                Don J
                Reno, NV

                Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dondl, hop over to the Yahoo groups and join the 4X6 group and they have an outstanding tweak and true procedure that will hook you up completely. Takes about 30-40 minutes to do if its bad and your golden. Hope this helps, I am a member and it fixed all of the issues I was havin as well as gave me a great idea for a better stand, hydraulic down feed, and flood cooling.
                  Bon

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                  • #10
                    beckett,

                    he has a VERTICAL bandsaw.
                    Ed Conley
                    http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                    MM252
                    MM211
                    Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                    TA185
                    Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                    O/A set
                    SO 2020 Bender
                    You can call me Bacchus

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dondlhmn View Post
                      Maybe I need to find some kind of horizontal saw for the round/square/solid/pipe stuff.
                      That would be the best route.
                      Ed Conley
                      http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                      MM252
                      MM211
                      Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                      TA185
                      Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                      O/A set
                      SO 2020 Bender
                      You can call me Bacchus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I use to sell those. The toe-in/toe-out of the upper and lower wheels has to be aligned. If doing that causes the blade to run off the wheel then change the bands and put the poly bands on it instead of the rubber.

                        Setup up your guides so they almost touch the blade but not quite. Keep the guides down as close as possible to the material.

                        Not sure what blade you're using but the wider the blade the straighter the cut and it must be a bi-metal blade and either for ferrous or non-ferrous metals depending on what your cutting.

                        If the blade ever got smokin hot, it's shot. It's probably got a permanent twist in it (set) and it will never cut straight.

                        I've got a Laguna that cuts straight as an arrow but it cut just like your's when I first uncrated it.

                        They all need tune ups and theres not a heck of a lot of difference between a Shop Fox and a Laguna when you boil it all down. When I was selling them I would have never told you that.

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