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Ironwood vs. Fingers

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Forum topic by Wannabe WoodWorkers posted 09-30-2015 10:42 PM 5007 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wannabe WoodWorkers

18 posts in 442 days


09-30-2015 10:42 PM

Had a client drop off a couple small blocks of ironwood that he wants cut into knife handles. I’m doing my due diligence to learn how to work with this stuff before making any sawdust and was hoping for some input here on doing that safely and effectively.

I have:

10” tablesaw
7” miter saw
10” old three wheeled Craftsman bandsaw

I saw some youtube vids that recommend gluing the ironwood to a larger piece of wood to give you something to hang onto when you are cutting but I’d rather avoid the circular blades to prevent waste, I want to save the scraps for a little inlay work so I’m thinking bandsaw.

The bandsaw came with a 6 tpi blade about as sharp as a butter knife (that’s an exaggeration, a butter knife is actually much sharper). Since that blade is pretty much ruined already my current plan is to sharpen it, cut the ironwood, then throw the blade away and replace with a brand new one. This old blade has no kerf whatsoever so I’m anticipating a lot of smoke. Should I just forget that whole mess and start with a new blade? I picked up a Bosch combo pack with wood, scroll, and metal blades. Doubt I’d be using the metal one for much of anything else…

-- A Wannabe WoodWorker from https://www.facebook.com/wannabewoodworkers/


5 replies so far

View PhillipsTed's profile

PhillipsTed

17 posts in 675 days


#1 posted 09-30-2015 11:11 PM

I’ve resawn a lot of arizona ironwood for knife scales. The resin in the wood burns very easily when cutting or sanding – and small pieces can get scorched pretty quick and be unusable. A sharp BS blade and coarse grit sanding belts are your best defense.

Good luck!

TedP

-- Worry less...breathe more...

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ColonelTravis

1192 posts in 1359 days


#2 posted 09-30-2015 11:25 PM

Currently using my stock bandsaw blade until it wears out, I’ve got some Timberwolfs on the wall when that happens. I’ve cut honey Mesquite, which is pretty hard (2,340 Janka), and the stock blade struggles. Ironwood is 1,000+ points harder than that. Not sure how thick your ironwood is, but I’ve got some carved stuff – you might as well be cutting into a rock. I’m not sure a 10” bandsaw is suited for that job? Whatever you use, make sure it’s razor sharp.

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Wannabe WoodWorkers

18 posts in 442 days


#3 posted 10-01-2015 01:50 AM

Thanks Ted/Travis! So for my puny bandsaw would you use the metal blade with lots of tiny teeth, or general purpose wood blade that has offset teeth? What about a little oil or water dripping on the piece to facilitate cooling or act as a lube?

There are two pieces of ironwood, one is about an inch thick square and 4” long. The other is about 1”x3”x4” and has some mild cracking. I was planning on gluing those with epoxy or super glue to avoid any stability issues when I go to cut it.

-- A Wannabe WoodWorker from https://www.facebook.com/wannabewoodworkers/

View ForestGrl's profile

ForestGrl

445 posts in 552 days


#4 posted 10-01-2015 01:58 AM



[Snip] What about a little oil or water dripping on the piece to facilitate cooling or act as a lube?

[Snip]
- ChadPMIK

PAM cooking spray works well, spray on blade as it’s running.

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

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Wannabe WoodWorkers

18 posts in 442 days


#5 posted 10-01-2015 05:59 AM

Good idea, I’ll give that a shot when I go for the second cut. I removed the top from our diamond stone kitchen knife sharpener and took 20 minutes to sharpen up the old 6 tpi blade that came with the saw. Worked pretty good, no smoke at all. Hard to get the blade to stay straight though, it kept wanting to track to the outside. The lower blade guides don’t seem to go up to right under the table… I might try machining a new bracket out of some normal hardwood to facilitate that. All in all I got one cut completed and didn’t completely destroy the wood so I’m going to mark it down as a win ;)

-- A Wannabe WoodWorker from https://www.facebook.com/wannabewoodworkers/

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