A couple of weeks ago I was back at home in my shop in LA for a much-needed wood fix. I pulled a pretty large dry sycamore turning blank out of the woodpile, and wanted to trim off a couple of cracked portions. Easy enough...I've got a decent bandsaw.
I've known for a while that the blade on the saw was about used up, but I decided to see if I could get a couple more cuts out of it before putting a new blade on the saw. I figured I'd post these pics to show what a bandsaw cut should NOT look like.
After making the first cut, I saw that I had two major problems. First, the saw refused to cut in a straight line. It was pulling so hard to the right that I had the kerf pointed nearly 45º off line in my attempts to steer the cut. The other problem was that the cut was cupped. Both of these problems are apparent in the photos below.
Here's a look at the part I was cutting off. As the wood is positioned in this photo, the cut was started at the lower right corner, and I was attempting to run parallel to the crack you can see to the left of the cut. (The straight edge on this piece is from the chainsaw when I processed the blank a few years ago.) Obviously, the saw didn't want to cooperate.
And here's a shot that shows the cupping. Here again, this pic is of the offcut. You can also see the burn marks from the blade.
Another similar shot...very aerodynamic , but not what I wanted:
I tried trimming the blank a bit more with equally horrible results. I was finally convinced the blade was toast - it had been on the saw for a couple of years, although one of those years it got very little use. I grabbed a new blade (I had 4 or 5 of this size in stock) and put it on the saw. Took all of about 3 minutes, including the time to walk over to the cabinet to get the new blade. With essentially no adjustment to the saw itself, the new blade sliced through the 11" blank straight in all directions. I thought I had taken a photo, but if I did, I can't find it on my phone.
Of course, letting a bandsaw blade get dull to this point before replacing it is stupid. You end up forcing the cut, whuch can damage the saw, or even worse, damage you. However, if I was just cutting 3/4" material I might not have even realized just how bad it really was. Pretty quick fix for about $8.00*.
* I refuse to pay over $20 for a "name brand" blade that's no better (and maybe not as good) than the ones I get from Ellis Saw for about $8 or so. I'm looking at you, Timberwolf.