I rarely resaw, and when I do, it’s usually to maximize the yield of the wood I have rather than to make veneer or book-matched boards. Changing my bandsaw blade just to make a few resaw cuts takes way too much time. The solution is simple — I use my table saw. The table saw alone is used for boards less than twice as wide as the maximum rise of your table saw blade, and for those wider boards you’ll add your bandsaw. I’ll show you at the end.
Stock preparation. Plane your boards, leaving them as thick as possible, and rip the edges square. Remember, your boards have to be at least 2 times the thickness of your finished resawn boards, plus the saw blade kerf thickness, plus a bit more to clean up the sawn board faces. I know this will be hard to believe, but some years back a customer brought in a 3/4″ thick board and asked me to resaw it into two 3/8″ thick boards!
The setup. You’ll need a well tuned table saw with a good rip blade (see Sources), a hold-in, and a push stick. Raise the blade slightly higher than half the width of the board you’re resawing, but not more than half the maximum height you could raise the blade. For resawing wider boards it’s safer to make multiple cuts raising the blade more each time rather than making one deep cut. Set your hold-in so it keeps the board against the fence without applying any pressure.
First cut. This cut is half the width plus just a tiny bit more, and it’s centered in the thickness.
Second cut. Flip the board edge for edge and keep the same face against the fence, then make the second cut to separate the pieces. Be aware that you will have two pieces to push past the blade when the cut is completed. When you’re done, plane or sand the pieces to their final thicknesses.
Wider boards. The setup is the same, but there remains an uncut section in the middle. I made these cuts raising the blade three times, in other words I passed the board across the blade six times.
Use the bandsaw now. You don’t need a resaw blade to make this final cut to separate the pieces. Whatever blade you have installed in your bandsaw should work fine. Be very careful at the end of the cut because there will be a lot of blade exposed as the wood exists. I use a scrap piece of wood as a push stick.
Photos By Author
Heavy-Duty Rip Blade #LM72R Freud www.freudtools.com
Umm, the featherboard should be positioned before the leading edge of saw blade so that it is pushing the wood against the fence instead of against the blade. The way the photo shows the featherboard positioned will encourage the featherboard to push the kerf closed into the side of the blade, increasing the chance of pinching the blade and kickback. Not smart!
I noticed that too, thought I missed something. Hope nobody tries doing that, good things won’t happen.
I’ve used the same method, and for pieces too wide for the bandsaw, I’ve got two methods. First, I put the piece in a vise and used a hand saw to follow the slot. I also got good results with a 12″ blade on the Sawzall. Only recommended with a brand new (veru straight) blade, and moving slowly and carefully. Much easier and less tiring than hand sawing through a few feet of black walnut, though 😉 Also, on the bandsaw I used two small spacers to stick in the kerf once I got the cut started, to keep from binding, then I can hold the board between my hands and “pull” it through the bandsaw, seems a bit safer than pushing against all that exposed blade.
Nice article, thanks. I’ll try this out. However, I believe the image for “second cut” is not the right one. You might take a look and see if you have posted the wrong one.
Great catch. Thanks for letting us know about the incorrect image. We’ll get that swapped out.
Guess you didnt have time to fix the 2nd image. Still a good article though. Im going to try this, but instead of the band saw, which I don’t have, I will use a hand saw to finish my cut.
It is a fine image showing how to shorten you box. One day it will come in handy!