Band Saw Burns

Tom M

Well-known member
I have a relatively new Timberwolf 1/4 inch 6 tpi blade.  After trying to resaw 11" wide white pine, it started burning.  The pine had a lot of resin, and it built-up on the blade.  I cleaned it, and then started working on 2 easy chairs.  The blades gunked up pretty fast, and even straight cuts through 3/8" poplar tend to burn.  Curved cuts burn terribly.  It also was taking a lot of force to cut.

I finally removed the blade and cleaned it with Easy-Off.  It cuts better after re-installing, and burns much less, but it still burns.  I might be imagining this but it seems that slightly lower tension reduces the burn.

A couple observations.  I have a Delta 14" band saw. I installed Carter bearings in the saw last year, and I'm not real happy with them.  I think they are terrible to adjust.  I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.  Maybe I just don't get it, but I can't focus well in the range I need to, and there doesn't seem to be any room to get a hex wrench in to adjust them.

2nd observation.  I've tried now about 10 times to properly tension the Timberwolf blade, and it sure doesn't seem to react like the instruction say. This is a low tension blade, and it tells you to tension to the saw's recommendation then slowly back-off until it flutters, the slowly increase until it stops fluttering - the go 1/2 trun more.  When I back of to get flutter, it seems to stop fluttering then start again as I increase tension.  So I never know if it is "properly tensioned".

Now for my question: Do you think my blade is shot?  Could it have overheated when I was trying to resaw the white pine?  I used to have no-name blades ($12) but bought the Timberwolf when I got the riser block. Any opinions on blades?  Was the 6 tpi too fine for resawing the pine? (I've seen Gene Landon resaw 11" mahogany with a similar 1/4" 6 tpi - I think - blade at Olde Mill.

Any thought or advice will be appreciated.


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I have a relatively new Timberwolf 1/4 inch 6 tpi blade.  After trying to resaw 11" wide white pine, it started burning.

You might be better off with a 4tpi blade. The combination of the soft wood and the pitch probably plugged the gullets and caused the blade to overheat. If it was burning when you were re sawing the pine you may have taken the temper out of the blade.

A couple observations.  I have a Delta 14" band saw. I installed Carter bearings in the saw last year, and I'm not real happy with them.  I think they are terrible to adjust.  I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.  Maybe I just don't get it, but I can't focus well in the range I need to, and there doesn't seem to be any room to get a hex wrench in to adjust them

You might want to work on the focusing problem for other things as well as your bandsaw. Maybe a pair of reading glasses from the drugstore.  Check the instructions for setting up your guides and be sure you are doing it right. As simple as a bandsaw is I continually have seen them set up incorrectly in many professional shops. If the blade gets too far back in the guides you will remove the set and dull the blade. That would also cause the problem you are having.
I have no experience with the Timberwolf product specifically and can't address your tensioning problem.
Are you the only one using the saw? Someone else may have tried to use it for a hack saw! If it takes more pressure to cut straight the blade is definitely dull or in upside down, make sure the teeth are pointing down towards the table, I don't say this to be insulting only to be thorough, I have put them in wrong and seen others do it too!
I just purchased a blade for resawing from Highland Woodworking in Atlanta. It is a 1/2" blade called "Wood-Slicer". I can't advise you as to setting up your saw but I will attest to the quality of these blades. I was using a new blade sold under the Woodcraft brand name, and not having much luck, when I decided to order the one from Highland. What a difference. Smooother cut ,quieter, easier to feed. I would definitely recomend one. Brian
I think I have some familiarity with all your problems. I used to have a similar saw and did the same cutting. When resawing pine or wide boards I recomend something with a real aggresive hook angle. I would recomend a 3tpi with at least a 1/32 hook angle. If you order one from timber wolf tell them you want a resawing blade with an aggresive hook angle. On your bandsaw it will be worth the time it takes to switch blades for resawing wide panels.

I think the trouble you are having with the tension may be from your tension spring. If it's old (or the one that came with it) I would upgrade to something better, It's a cheap way to improve the tensioning on your saw.

I'm not sure why you would have trouble cutting after cleaning the blade. I would guess that if you burned the wood msiemsen is probably right you may have taken some temper out of the blade, especially the tips and dulled the blade.

Brushes on the blades and the tires make a world of difference keeping the blade clean and cool.

As for Gene resawing on Bess's Cresent there is a world of difference between the two saws. You can put enough tension on the blade in the cresent that would bend the back on your saw. You wouldn't tension a blade that tight, but when the blade is cuting the tension changes as you feed it. If you watch the back on your saw you will probably see it dip and bounce as you feed a wide board, whereas on the cresent it wont. This means the blade stays more evenly tensioned, and produces a more predictable cut.

You have a good saw, but it cuts differently than a larger saw.

I would try a new blade with a more aggresive hook angle and a slower feed rate. make sure your brushes are touching the wheels and blade, and have your DC hooked up to keep the blade as clean as possible.

I have also used the wood slicer and found it made a great cut, but I was disappointed by the life of the blade.

My first saw came with the bearing guides, and I thought they were great. But the Jet has the guide blocks and I think they are much better. Easier to adjust, more surface contact with the face of the blade to hold it straighter, etc. etc.

I should be getting the permit for my workshop early next week so in a month or two you can come over and use my 20" Jet with my resaw blade.

If you ever need help with anything let me know, and I can come over.

Thanks Tim, et al,

After cleaning the blade and re-installing, it gunked up pretty quick - even though it wasn't burning as much.  It is now in the garbage.  I put an Olsen 1/4 4 tpi skip took blade in, and it worked great ($12.99 at Woodcraft).  However, I probably should have stayed with the 6 tpi - less aggressive.

So I must have lost the temper and dulled the blade resawing the pine.  It all goes back to the hassle of the Carter bearings which kept me from changing to the 1/2" Timberwolf (still in the un-opened package).  But after changing the blade 3 times in the last couple days, I've gotten better with the bearings.  I found if you sqeeze them at the bearing (not on the little finger pulls) it works better.  Still not easy, and the original guides had simple fine thread adjustments for moving the guides and thrust bearing in and out.

My biggest compaint about the Carter bearing is when you tighten pretty much any adjustmest screw, things move.  For instance, when you tighten the guide bearing, the bolt goes though the bearing, so the bearing can rock slightly until its torqued down.  I think I'll send a letter to Carter.

I think when all is said and done - riser block, new blades, bearings, and potentially a new tension spring - I probably should have traded up for a bigger saw.  But I'm pretty frugal (OK tight or cheap might be a better term).

Thanks again,


Another thing you need to consider is that when you are re-sawing, especially a wide board, is using a re-saw blade.  These blades have a much lower teeth per inch count.   

I remember reading a "rule of thumb", that stated the optimum number of teeth in contact with your board is something around 8 teeth.  In an eleven inch wide board, that is about is about 3 for ever 4 inches tooth per inch (3/4 tpi).   Again, that's an optimum.  My resaw blade is a 4/3 tpi and I use it on any cut that is over 4 inches thick. 

Two main problems occur with too many teeth.

1) Each tooth takes power to cut.  If the horsepower per tooth gets too low, it will not effectively cut your board.  (In my previous career as a Mining Engineer, I saw a continuous miner that could not advance into a mine face.  We took out half of the cutter bits, and it just walked thur the face.)  You have to have enough power per bit/tooth to cut.

2) You can think of the bandsaw blade as a string.   The teeth at the bottom of the board are being pulled down (causing a tight string).  But, what most people don’t think about is the blade entering the top of the board.  It is being pushed into the board and all of the power being applied by the motor is distrubuted between each tooth that is in contact with the board.  If you have good tension and enough horsepower per tooth, then it will have a minimal affect on the cut.  However, if you overload the cut with too many teeth (Hp/large number of teeth), or too fast of a feed rate (high Hp per tooth requirement), it will slow the blade down and cause the pushing force of the blade entering your board to bow the blade.  This bowing will cause the cut to be scalloped.