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How do you saw your wedge maple and spruce?


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I bought some pieces of maple and spruce which was not sawn into book match for seasoning reason. Now I am ready to use them for my violin, found out it is very hard to cut it correctly. Need help on this issue. I have 14" Delata bandsaw, and I do not know if it is the tool I could use or I should looking for help from a professional i.e. local fine funiture maker or luthier? Any suggestion will be much appreciated.

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I use the fence with a 1/4" 6tpi that i use for everything. Technically a larger blade would be better for resawing but i can have the plates sawn in the time it takes to change the blade and the 1/4" blade works fine for violin. I plane the bottom of the wedge parallel to the growth rings then use a square on the end to layout where I want to make the cut. Making sure that each of the two pieces will be big enough. I'll also check for runout. If the piece is large enough you can sometimes correct a small amount of runout by planing the face of the billet parallel to the runout (the face that will slide on the fence). Does that all makes sense? It really not as hard as that probably sounds, just draw your cuts on the end of the billet if your unsure.

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I do the same as Daryl and Manfio. If the 1/2" blade is in, I use that - if the 1/4" blade is in, I use that.

When I started making violins on a regular basis, I didn't really have any training preparing the raw billets, and I will admit that I ruined a few (usually backs, of course) figuring it all out.

Most of the problems with resawing wood stem from the blade wandering and/or the plate not resting firmly against the fence during the cut, or attempting to use a worn out blade.

I have a fence with a straight grained - flat planed cedar 4" X 4" bolted to it for sawing plates. Once I crank it down it is heavy, stable and straight, and it is tall enough to work with and hold the appropriate pressure against.

Usually, if the piece is really over sized, I'll trim it down to just allow for planing the joining edges flat without running out of wood - plus, I like to get the surfaces that will be the outside of the plate flat and parallel (i.e. at the same angle) to the center line running down the length of the top of the billet. (the type A in me)

I'll draw the intended cut on the wood before I start sawing - on both ends and along the top (so I can see if the blade starts to wander during the cut.)

Then, if I start sawing and the blade wants to wander some, I can either adjust everything so that the blade saws exactly straight through the wood, or else, if the tendency to wander is very slight - I just saw very slowly, and the blade will straighten itself out of the tendency with just a slightly wider than normal kerf.

On my Sears tilt head 12" bandsaw, I tighten up the tension to slightly over the mark for a 1/2" blade, which seems to be just right for the 1/4" blade, and adjust the cool block blade guides as close as possible to the blade.

With my saw, if you try to push the wood through at all fast, then the blade will wander, either in the direction that the blade is slightly tilted, or, it will stress the blade and the blade will want to head in one direction or the other. On my saw, which will cut viola back wedges in half with no problem, it will actually try to wander away from the fence, and the blade will start to bow out away from the fence and then the blade will start to heat up and tighten to the point where the operation becomes dangerous. You really want the blade to travel through the wood in the same path it takes when there is nothing being cut.

If you cut very slowly, then the blade will not only cut smoother (and be less hassle to flatten and clean up later) but it will go through the wood in a straight line.

My advice to you is to cut with a new blade, set up the saw, and then attempt to cut down the center of a 2" X 6" X 15" trimmed to about 5" tall... just to get a feel for how the saw is cutting, to check the set up, and to avoid wasting good tone wood.

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I do the same as Daryl also; plane the thick edge, use an engineer's square to draw a vertical lines on both ends and then draw the line on the thin edge, also if the wood is thick enough, correct whatever the run-out there is. Then saw it, following the line on thin edge. I don't usually saw my spruce. I split it. I use 1/2" 3 or 4 tpi alloy blade. For re-saw thick boards such as a violin maple board, 3tpi is best. You need large enough space between the teeth to clear the saw dust. 6tpi is too fine, the saw dust will jam between the teeth and burn.

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