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Best band saw blade for cutting curves?

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Forum topic by AZWoody posted 11-06-2015 03:23 AM 888 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AZWoody

700 posts in 692 days


11-06-2015 03:23 AM

Recently, I was able to get an older Grizzly C style 18” bandsaw at a good price.
Now, I want to have a ripping style blade on one, and for the other, use it for cutting curves and any other miscellaneous cuts.

Would you guys go with a 1/4 or a 3/8 blade and keep that on there, or is there something else I should be using?
I haven’t used my bandsaw much, as I would use a jigsaw for all my curves but it’s not as accurate as I would like it to be.
Also, what TPI for doing some plywood, but also some harder woods, like mesquite and eucalyptus?


10 replies so far

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2111 days


#1 posted 11-06-2015 03:39 AM

I use TimberWolf Swedish steel blades from Suffolk Machine and have found them to hold their edge and work very well for curved work. http://www.suffolkmachinery.com/cotact them and ask for a recommendation for the size of radius you will be cutting.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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AZWoody

700 posts in 692 days


#2 posted 11-06-2015 03:42 AM



I use TimberWolf Swedish steel blades from Suffolk Machine and have found them to hold their edge and work very well for curved work. http://www.suffolkmachinery.com/cotact them and ask for a recommendation for the size of radius you will be cutting.

- pjones46

Thanks, I’ll give them a call, see what ideas they have.

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 619 days


#3 posted 11-06-2015 04:12 AM

For curves break the back edges of the blade with a stone, it prevents “lines” in the wood in tight curves.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View Yonak's profile

Yonak

979 posts in 989 days


#4 posted 11-06-2015 04:29 AM



For curves break the back edges of the blade with a stone, it prevents “lines” in the wood in tight curves.

- conifur

Thank you for this useful note, conifer. It also relieves stress on the blade and makes cutting curves easier. I use the hammer, already on-hand for removing the table alignment pin, to burnish the back edges of a new blade.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4247 posts in 1667 days


#5 posted 11-06-2015 04:47 AM

Would you guys go with a 1/4 or a 3/8 blade and keep that on there, or is there something else I should be using?

It depends on how tight the curves are you want to cut…

For most stuff I do with thinner stock, I prefer the scroll saw since I can’t get as tight as I would like on the band saw (and my scroll saw can handle larger pieces). YMMV.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 619 days


#6 posted 11-06-2015 05:10 AM

As far as teeth per inch TPI and width go to this site and read, not to mention they have great blades.
http://timberwolfblades.com/

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

805 posts in 2229 days


#7 posted 11-06-2015 04:55 PM

As it appears you are somewhat new to using bandsaws, I can give you some tips.

1. You will find changing bandsaw blades a little bit of a hassle and also find yourself using one blade for most things like the rest of us. And that will probably be the usual 1/4” blade. Occasionally you will change blades for special situations, but not often.

2. The smaller 3/16” and 1/8” blades become more problematic and tend to be troublesome and prone to breakage. They are tricky to use.

3. You will find that you can use the 1/4” blade for most curves too tight for the blade by making intersecting cuts before you begin the actual cut to allow cut areas to fall off as you go on outside cuts. On tight inside cuts you can “nibble” your way through.

4. The rule of thumb for number of teeth is to keep a minimum of TWO teeth in the cut at any one time. This helps to prevent tooth breakage. This is especially important when cutting metal. And and yes, you can cut non-ferrous metal (aluminum, brass) with a wood cutting bandsaw blade. You can cut steel too with a metal cutting blade IF you slow the blade speed to a metal cutting speed.

5. And last, when changing blades, ALWAYS get the blade running true and consistently in one place BEFORE bringing the guides up to the blades. Many people try to do this the other way around and have no end of problems. And allow about the thickness of a piece of typewriter paper (.010 inch) between the guides and the blade. A blade constantly running against a guide can cause the blade to work harden and eventually break.

P.S. Broken blades can be silver soldered back together in the home workshop, but this has to be done properly using a proper scarf joint and a home made jig. But that’s another story.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

700 posts in 692 days


#8 posted 11-06-2015 06:51 PM



Would you guys go with a 1/4 or a 3/8 blade and keep that on there, or is there something else I should be using?

It depends on how tight the curves are you want to cut…

For most stuff I do with thinner stock, I prefer the scroll saw since I can t get as tight as I would like on the band saw (and my scroll saw can handle larger pieces). YMMV.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Thanks, that helps a lot.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

700 posts in 692 days


#9 posted 11-06-2015 06:54 PM



As it appears you are somewhat new to using bandsaws, I can give you some tips.

Planeman

- Planeman40

Thanks for the info. I’m not totally new to bandsaws. I just now have 2 bandsaws so want to dedicate one to cutting curves and the other to resawing.

I was hoping to stay away from something like a 1/8 blade as I figured the chance for breakage would be too high. Also, keeping a straight line, when needing it would be a little tricky.

I hadn’t heard the one about keeping 2 teeth in the cut, that makes sense.

Thanks for the other info. It’s always good to hear tips, tricks and info.

View ElChe's profile

ElChe

630 posts in 804 days


#10 posted 11-06-2015 08:33 PM

My go to blade on my bandsaw is a 3/8”. Cuts a decent straight line and cuts curves ok provided the radius of the cut is not too tight. I think it is a 6 tooth raker hook carbon blade from Lenox. Does well with materials between 1/2” and up to about an inch thick, which is what I usually work with. I have other more specialized blades such as a dedicated resaw blade (Lenox 5/8” kerfmaster). Lenox rounds the back of the blade at the factory. And you can find Lenox blades pretty cheap compared to Timberwolf prices.

I’ve never had good success with a 1/8” blade as I don’t have a stabilizer on my bandsaw. I do occasionally use a 1/4” blade and it cuts fine without a stabilizer. Since I don’t like changing bandsaw blades I consider my 3/8” blade to be a general purpose blade and it stays on unless a tight radius comes up or a really thin material or a resaw. Regards, Tom

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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