6 Simple Steps to Saw Better Veneer

I’ve spent years involved with bandsaws, and hold a few patents focused around these machines, as well. I also work extensively with major companies, including Carter Products, which is a company with its foundation built on a better-designed bandsaw wheel first developed by founder Andy Carter.

Spending most days working around and with these machines has taught me a few things – stuff that sometimes stand directly in opposition to what many woodworkers’ have learned as common truths. Not only do I pass along my thoughts and ideas, I put them to use when in the shop. Today, you’re getting exposed to them, too.

I often hear woodworkers talk about bandsaw drift, especially when re-sawing materials. You’ve experienced it before, right? As you’re cutting stock, the blade slowly moves toward one edge of your board resulting in a cutoff that is less than perfect, if usable at all. The reason they experience drift (blade movement) is due to the way they have setup their machine.

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14 thoughts on “6 Simple Steps to Saw Better Veneer

  1. Quite informative; I learned several things to correct in my approach.

    I wish he would have worn safety glasses and had dust collection running.

    1. Michael,
      Glad you thought the information was as valuable as we did. Dust collection would have further impeded his talk during the process, and the short amount of time in which Alex worked, we didn’t think it necessary. Certainly, we would have opted for proper dust collection if the work would have gone longer.

      1. He’s right eye protection is never a bad idea and of course unplug that saw!

  2. That video was excellent and provided a lot of useful information I intend to incorporate .
    Things like having the deepest part of the blade gullet on the center of the wheel and so on.
    And frankly, I couldn’t care less if he has glasses or dust collection.
    That’s his business.

    Articles like this make me keep coming back to 360 Woodworking.

  3. Great stuff. The blade Payton on the wheel and the table square check are golden.
    Funny thing about tension. Being a musician I do it by ear. I will bring the blade up to a rough tension using the guide, then tighten to the next major harmonic up. Works well for me but you need to have accurate pitch.

    1. You will love the accuracy you’ll get! Thanks for watching!

      1. Thanks for watching! Tension is definitely about preference.

  4. Ever since I saw Alex’s presentation in a YouTube video, I’ve been a convert – it really works. One new little gem I pick up in this was at the very end – “No side guides for scroll cutting.” Makes sense – kind of a “why didn’t I think of that” kind of idea. Need to go give that a try. Thanks for the info and shooting down urban legend type woodworking BS.

    1. Thanks for mentioning the note about side guides thrown in at the end. It went in one ear and out the other when I first listened to the video. On listening a second time, it sounds like Alex just snuck it in as he was wrapping up. At least it stuck with me the second time because of your comment!

  5. Alex,
    Can you recommend a procedure for resawing exotic (oily, gummy, resinous) woods that will allow me to spend more time sawing and less time cleaning the gunk off the bandsaw blade? Mahogany resaws without pitch buildup. Padauk isn’t too much trouble. However, Bloodwood and Lacewood gunk up the works no matter what I do.

    I have tried a few products that claim that they can help, but they haven’t helped all that much. Any suggestions?

    1. Charles
      There are several blade lubricants that prevent some build up but if they get on your tires they can create heat,tire wear and slipping. I would recommend a product by trend called tool cleaner. It removes pitch and creates a barrier making it tougher for it to build back up. Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks swinninger! Carter is the best!

  6. Those Carter guides are a very nice upgrade. That, along with this method of guide setting makes a big difference.

  7. It’s not a Woodworking Show experience if you don’t watch Alex during his presentations. The only thing missing here is his joking comment about how close to get without touching and the background noise of the show! I go every time I’m there, it’s very good.
    Just curious about what size blade was used to achieve accurate results. And if you used a smaller blade to cut a curve how much, if any, twist in the blade is ok?
    Very informative and just like Chuck and Glen takes all the nonsense (BS) out of understanding the process!

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