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Saw Blade Lead Or True Line Of Cut With A Bandsaw
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My husband is a woodworking enthusiast that has done many different projects over the years, from picture frames to picnic tables to nice furniture. A few years back, he was out in his shop looking at all the things he had collected over the years, and got a fascinating idea to build something with some of the things just laying around getting rusty and dusty! A few automobile parts, some scrap steel, a large sheet of aluminum, and a couple of trips to the hardware store for nuts and bolts and a few other things, and he had built himself a homemade bandsaw that would cut to a depth of 12 inches! He uses it often, and even built some very nifty model outhouses for my best friend, who has outhouse decor in her spare bathroom. It came in very handy when he used it to resaw the wood, which some was around 3/8" thick which made it considerably faster and simpler than planing it down to that thickness.

He's decided to share some tips on using bandsaws that he has learned and used over the years while using the bandsaw he built. The first tip is about the lead or true line of cut. Take a piece of scrap lumber about 18 inches long and draw a line exactly parallel to both edges. Start the saw and freehand the cut down the mark you just made stopping the cut at about 8-10 inches without moving the board and following the line you made on the wood. Either set your fence or make a pencil mark on the table. That will give you the line you need for the lead of the sawblade or true line of cut. This will be very important in the proper use of your bandsaw.

Most of the time you will have to know the saw lead, or true line of cut before resawing. What this means is the tendency of the blade to cut right or left a small amount, thus ruining your work. On a bandsaw, the lead could be several inches from dead center, and this has to be compensated for as most of the cuts you will make will be free hand. Those that aren't are a straight line and often used with a fence. If they aren't cutting with the proper lead, the result will be your work will either pull away from the fence or wedge the blade away from the fence, causing the blade to bind. This condition will cause a very improper cut in resawing or cutting a straight line as your cut will be irregular or wavy, and in some cases will even burn the wood.

We have some pictures of the bandsaw he made and also the plans to the bandsaw he built. It cost him about $300 to make the bandsaw but as I said some of the parts he had just laying around in his shop.

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