Sawing thin panels using a band saw

Why is my band saw motor dying when I'm trying to resaw?

I have been having a problem with my resawing and was hoping for some help. I put a new blade on my band saw yesterday, and I think the guides were out of alignment and bent the blade. My problem is, during resawing, the saw loses power when you feed the wood through that should go through easily. It takes forever to resaw a 4-in. piece, and if I try to feed it through under pressure I get the blade being forced into the guides. The rubber on the upper wheel did come off, but the blade is nice and tight so I don't think that is why the saw is losing power when I start to resaw. Any help would be greatly appreciated. It has a 5 hp motor so it shouldn't bag out. – Dave

Tim Inman: Wow! Something is wrong with this picture. Is there any chance the blade has been turned inside out and installed so the teeth are pointing in the wrong direction to make the cut? The teeth should be pointing down, in the direction of travel of the blade. It is actually very easy to get things turned inside out so the teeth point up or away from the blade travel direction. Check this out right away. If the blade is mounted so the teeth are pointing in the wrong direction to make the cut, it would take tremendous pressure to get the job done.

If that isn't the trouble, then do check the guide alignment, of course. What's dragging? Cut something small and thin - easy. See if it all goes well. Does it pass? Cut something thicker. Does it pass the test again? Ramp up until you run into resistance. Maybe you have a bearing that is getting ready to retire and doesn't handle the big loads so easily anymore.

Chris Marshall: Dave, is there a chance that when the guides bent the blade, they also knocked the "set" out of the teeth? By set, I'm referring to the way the teeth are tipped left and right when viewing the blade front to back. It wouldn’t take many revolutions with the blade dragging against steel for it to lose its set. Once the set is gone, the blade will cut poorly. A 5-hp band saw is a mighty machine, indeed. It should have an abundance of power to resaw 4-in. stock, and there should be no fading when pushing the stock through. Even if you are using a fine-tooth blade (not the best for resawing), if it's sharp, it should still resaw stock that narrow without any difficulty.

Here's another possibility to check: is the drive belt between the motor and the lower flywheel pulley sufficiently tight? I once did a band saw review in our magazine, and one of the machines suffered from this very problem: the belt was slipping on the lower pulley because it was tensioned too loosely at the factory. It wasn't apparent immediately; the belt hides behind the lower flywheel, and it didn't squeal in spite of the slipping. But, once I discovered the problem and tightened that belt, the saw resawed with the best of them.

If the blade is installed properly and in good shape, and the drive belt is tight, I'd be inclined to get the saw's motor inspected by an electrician or motor shop. It might be in need of some professional help.