Band Saw Won’t Cut Straight

I cannot get my Delta 9″ band saw to rip a 3-1/2 piece of wood straight no matter how tight I set the blade guides. The bottom cut takes off to the side. Can you please help me with this problem?

Rick White: If your guides are set right, and you are using a good blade, you shouldn’t have a problem. Since you say the bottom is pulling out, you could check to see if your guides are in the right alignment and tracking right on the wheels. If the problem is the blade, it might be that your blade is so dull it just isn’t cutting. A dull blade is just following the grain; it’s not cutting wood. Check it out: do you have a good blade? Is it a sharp blade?

You could also check to see if you too have too much tension on the saw so that the stretch isn’t right and the blade is wandering. Or, you might be pushing your material in too fast.

Rob Johnstone: There are several good books that deal with band saws and how to tune them up to achieve their optimum performance. My best recommendation is Mark Duginske’s Band Saw: Workshop Bench Reference published by Sterling. (You could get a copy at the library & but I’m sure Mark would prefer you to buy one!) From your description, and I must admit I am not sure what “the bottom cut” means, I think you have a blade that is cutting better on one side than the other. Saw blades have teeth that are bent or “set” to opposite sides of the blade. If one side gets dull or damaged, the blade will move strongly toward the sharp teeth side of the blade. (It’s the path of least resistance.)

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