Saturday I snuck down to work on my tool shelf for a couple minutes when I was supposed to be getting the kids ready to go to the Y. I had to slice a 2×4 the wide way – no problem. I turned on the circuit for the shop, plugged in the saw, hooked up the dust collector, clamped down a quick little fence and away I went.

Did you catch what I forgot? Me neither.

I forgot to tension the band saw blade. The 3/4″ blade on the saw right now is the widest it can handle. So to get straight cuts you can really crank down on the tension. Without tension, the blade actually curves while it’s in the wood. So I sliced my 2×4 into 2 1×4’s, each with one cupped side. One is convex, the other is concave.

My tendency to make even the simplest project as complex as possible (a learning experience!) I had been thinking of adding a groove along the front of the shelf so that it could hold pencils and other small round objects without them rolling off. But now, I had inadvertently made the whole shelf slightly shaped like a troff! Cool!

It was also cool to look down the shelf and see how the cup changed as my feed rate changed (more cup the faster I pushed the board through the saw).


About johnjoiner

Computer nerd by day, Dad and woodworker by night. Woodworking blog at
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