I’ve had a few luthiers ask me to post about how I go about resawing.
My bandsaw is very basic; an early imported 14″ bandsaw. I had bought it second-hand and soon learned that it is not a very accurate saw. Various parts are out of alignment with each other and any small change in the height of the guidepost requires readjusting all the guides. Some tinkering has helped improve the situation. More important and useful has been learning to work with the idiosyncrasies of the machine.
My fence is a chunk of 2×4 with a piece of flat plywood screwed to it. I took great care in making everything flat and square using shims of wood and paper as needed to get everything just right. If needed I use masking tape under the fence as a shim to assure the fence is square to the blade.
I use a 1/2 inch blade with 3 teeth per inch. I use a new, sharp blade when resawing.
I compensate the angle of the fence for blade drift. Some articles I’ve read say this is important, others say if your saw is set-up properly you should be able to avoid this. I have never been able to avoid needing to do this step.
I take a chunk of straight 2×4 a foot or two long and scribe a line an inch or so in from the edge down it’s length. I freehand rip along that line. Usually I have to adjust the angle I feed the 2×4 through the blade until I find the angle at which it is easy to stay on the line while pushing the 2×4 through the blade. It is usually just a bit off from 90 degrees.
I hold the 2×4 in place, turn off the bandsaw and pencil this angle to the table of the saw by running the pencil along the edge of the 2×4.
By setting the fence parallel to this line the fence is compensated for blade drift. After setting the fence for the thickness desired I make sure it is angled parallel to this line, clamp the ends of the fence to the table and resaw some scrap wood to make sure the saw is cutting straight and true.
I use calipers to check the slices made from the scrap wood to make sure they are even in thickness in both length and height. If anything is off I adjust the fence as needed.
Once the saw is tweaked and running well I do a bunch of resawing. The wood to be resawn has already been squared up. I keep the board against the fence using light hand pressure and make sure the entire face of the board is constantly against the fence. Moving the board through the blade without stopping produces a cleaner cut. I use push-sticks and push-blocks to keep myself safe as I get near the end of the board or when the board starts getting thin.
If the blade wanders a bit or the surface gets too rough I might plane it flat and square again to increase accuracy on the next cut.
Like everything else there are many ways to do this. This works for me and I hope this information is helpful to someone out there.