Jump to content
Band Saw blade reccomendations?
11 replies to this topic
Posted 14 November 2007 - 03:18 PM
I just got a new (to me..lol) 14" bandsaw. I'm wondering if any of you could share reccomendations/experiences with blade configurations? This will be basically only lures, to date mostly balsa as limited by my old scroll saw. Not doing any resawing/serious woodworking stuff, but would like to be able to cut clean lips, start experimenting more with cedar etc.
Bi-metal help with lips?
Posted 14 November 2007 - 06:09 PM
Clemmy, I started using a band saw last year. I found a scroll blade for my band saw wich is about an 1/8" and have very small teeth. I can cut out alot more on the band saw than I evr could on the scroll saw. A response to your other post, I make belly weights and lips(poly and G-10) I will send you some free samples if you PM me your address. My lips are punched out. Thanks, MAV
Posted 14 November 2007 - 08:31 PM
Several factors come into play here with band saw blades, but before i cover those if you're working with balsa and maybe cedar you don't need anything fancy.
TPI = Teeth per inch The higher the TPI, the smoother the cut generally.
Width = Narrow blades 1/8, 1/4 = fine cut, but susceptible to wandering whilst cutting, especially as wood density and rate of cut increases.
Width = 3/8, 1/2 more moderate cut (smoothness), but less susceptible to wandering.
Width = 1" or higher are generally used for resawing, a practice that creates more useable wood from a specific sized piece PROVIDED that the blade doesn't wander.
Wander = the ability of the blade (and user/operator) to cut in a straight line at a given rate of cut. As rate increases wander typically does too.
Relief cuts = cuts made (usually perpendicular) to the desired shape to 'ease' the turning radius of the blade wh9ilst making tight turns. These cuts allow the smaller pieces to fall out of the way and the desired shape to happen. In other words, if you had a polygon in the middle of a pie and you 'sliced' the pie the slices would fall out leaving the polygon (or there abouts) in the center of the pie.
Smaller width blades work great for cutting tighter curves vs. a medium width blade.
Blade length = The circumference around the blade or its total length.
Your best bet is to buy a couple of blades say a 1/8 or 1/4 and a 3/8 1/2 so that you have the choice depending on the type of material you're working with.
Bi-metal, carbide ... I don't think you'll need them. I've never used them and have never seen a need to.
Posted 14 November 2007 - 08:47 PM
Sorry, forgot to mention there are a number factors involved in properly setting up the blade on the saw.
Review the manual (if you have one), but you should properly adjust blade tension, blade tracking, and upper and lower blade guards/bearings. All of these adjustments should be made prior to turning the saw on.
Spin the upper wheel by hand and see if the blade travels straight without moving forward or backward on the drive wheel. If it wanders then adjust the tracking knob which is usually located on the operators side on the upper wheel.
Tension is adjusted usually by the knob on the top of the saw.
Blade guards/bearings should be adjusted so that the bearing starts to spin when pressure is applied against the blade.
Here's a link I found online showing some the parts:
Hope that helps! More importantly, I hope I was clear enough.
Posted 14 November 2007 - 08:58 PM
Great post Out2llunge.
How long does it take and how difficult is it to change a blade?
Posted 14 November 2007 - 09:33 PM
If you're changing from blade size "A" to blade size "A" then usually it's only a matter of minutes (or less) as blade tension and blade tracking are the only adjustments (usually) that are required.
It's as simple as opening the wheel guards (doors), removing the throat plate (the circular disc that the blade passes through within the table), loosening the blade tension knob and removing the blade. Installation is the reverse with added step of checking blade tracking.
If going from size "A" to size "B", then the above procedure applies, but the blade guard/bearings should be adjusted accordingly (out or in depending if you're upsizing or downsizing blades respectively). That really only adds another minute or so.
Posted 14 November 2007 - 09:37 PM
Sorry just saw the "difficulty" part. Not difficult at all. On a scale of 1 to 5 maybe a 1 to 1.5 It really is a matter of getting to know your machine, but band saws are fairly generic in their designs.
One other thing to check for on used units is tire wear. The tires are the rubber bands that go around the circumference of each wheel. They should be replaced if badly worn. You may also wish to clean them up a bit if they're covered in pitch from cutting a lot of softwoods.
Posted 14 November 2007 - 10:24 PM
all very good points by out to lunge, only time you will need a bi metal blade is for cutting stainless steel lips, and then you would use a diemaster blade, stuff goes through stainless like butter, sent one i made up to fatfingers who was having probs cutting his lips out, and now he is problem free, as for tpi and types of blades, use neo or flex, for wood,and pay attention to what lunge said about blade thickness, for example the salt water guys love the 18 tpi 1/4 neo or flex blades for cutting the lip slots for there pikie or metal lip lures, nice clean and small lip slot every time,i use a 1/4 inch flex blade with a 4tpi or 6tpi, for cutting my pine and basswood lures, but will go to a 3/8 blade 4tpi for harder woods like maple, hope it helps,
Posted 14 November 2007 - 10:28 PM
also forgot, always square up the table to the blade, and when setting up your guides to the blade,a good rule of thumb is to just be able to sneak a piece of paper bettween the blade and the guide, this will reduce a lot of blade wander, and remember to let the saw and blade do the work, dont try and force the wood through the saw as you will pay for it in the quality of the cut you just did, again hope it helps
Posted 15 November 2007 - 10:26 AM
Thanks Etch, I was just going to add that point about the paper. It goes between the blade and the side guide bushings(?) vs. the actual bearing (mentioned earlier) which is behind the blade.
Posted 15 November 2007 - 04:54 PM
Thanks SO Much Guys! I'll have to start playing with it and get to know it!
Posted 24 November 2007 - 07:03 PM
Just an update: I happened accross a new Carter Stabilizer for about $15 bucks on ebay, so once I get that installed I'll let you know how it goes!