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Forum topic by Karda posted 12-23-2016 04:48 AM 662 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Karda

807 posts in 387 days


12-23-2016 04:48 AM

Hi, I am new at carving. I have a band saw but am unsure which blade to use when cutting out blanks for carving. I have a 10” craftsman band saw with a .25 inch blade would it be ok to use an 1/8th inch blade, the 1/4 inch cannot cut a curve real well, But on the package they say to use i/8th inch for plywood what do I use


11 replies so far

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

987 posts in 2898 days


#1 posted 12-23-2016 02:00 PM

A 1/8” blade should work ok on that saw. You’ll need to be sure that the guides you are using are not metal or ceramic, which I doubt they are unless you are a previous owner modified them. A 1/8” blade will be cutting into the guides, so if they are metal or ceramic the blade will be destroyed quickly.

Having said all that, I would think of using a 1/8” blade more for finished cutting to exact lines. If I were cutting out carving blanks I think I would be ok with going with a larger blade and using more relief cuts to get to the shape that I wanted since you are not producing a final surface with the bandsaw blade anyway.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

514 posts in 1540 days


#2 posted 12-23-2016 06:15 PM

I have a 9 inch Craftsman that wouldn’t cut straight even with a new blade from Sears. I was about to throw it out in disgust when someone on another forum suggest I get a Timberwolf blade by http://www.suffolkmachinery.com/

I use a 3/16 inch 4 TPI blade and I cut everything from 1/4 inch basswood up to 3.5 inch walnut without problems. The blade will cut curves to either side equally well. Suffolk Machinery will also weld your blade to the exact length you need at no additional charge. My blade is not listed in their on-line catalog, but I call them on the phone, telll them the length I need, and give them a credit card number, and the blade arrives in a few days.

Claude

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5975 posts in 2032 days


#3 posted 12-23-2016 06:31 PM

You’ll need to be sure that the guides you are using are not metal or ceramic, which I doubt they are unless you are a previous owner modified them. A 1/8” blade will be cutting into the guides, so if they are metal or ceramic the blade will be destroyed quickly.
- pmayer

The guides, regardless of what they are made of, should be adjusted so the blade teeth are in front of them, not digging into them. If they are digging into them, then the saw is not adjusted properly.

So… here is the obligatory band saw tune up video:
Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass – YouTube

And here is a quick chart showing curve radius by blade size:

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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pmayer

987 posts in 2898 days


#4 posted 12-23-2016 09:51 PM

“The guides, regardless of what they are made of, should be adjusted so the blade teeth are in front of them, not digging into them. If they are digging into them, then the saw is not adjusted properly.”

This is the general idea and definitely applies to larger blades, but I would not advise this with a 1/8” blade using metal or ceramic guides as it is nearly impossible in practice to ensure that teeth on a 1/8” blade will not come in contact with the guides (using traditional side guides). Even if you are able to establish perfect vertical alignment with the guides, and you have captured only the 3/32” (or so) blade below the gullet, once you start cutting wood there will be flex in the blade (particularly with a 1/8” blade on a 10” Craftsman bandsaw) and the margin of error is so slim (even without the inevitable flex) that you should plan on using a guide that will not cause problems if (really it is ‘when’ with a 1/8” blade) contact is made.

Here is a product that I have which is sold by Laguna because they do not recommend using smaller than 1/4” blades with their ceramic guides.

http://www.lagunatools.com/accessories/bandsaw-guides/COOL-BLOCKS-FOR-LT14-14SE-16

The video that you have referenced is great, and also demonstrates product that is designed to avoid the use of side guides altogether with smaller blades: http://www.carterproducts.com/band-saw-products/band-saw-stabilizer/standard-model-1-std1.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

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MrUnix

5975 posts in 2032 days


#5 posted 12-23-2016 10:21 PM

Hmmm… I’ve used 1/8” blades on my Delta before, which has the stock HSS guide blocks – and had no problems at all keeping the teeth out of the guides. I can see how cool blocks might present a problem, but IMO, those are a waste of money anyway. For small blades and tight curves, the carter stabilizer is a better option – or you can get a v-groove bearing and make one yourself… but it is not absolutely necessary.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Karda's profile

Karda

807 posts in 387 days


#6 posted 12-24-2016 12:56 AM

Hi, thanks for the advice according to the radius chart my saw has a hard time cutting a 1 inch blade radius. somethings wrong. When I cut a cure I can foll for a while them even when i turn the piece more the blade still cuts the same cure it won’t follow the line

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

514 posts in 1540 days


#7 posted 12-24-2016 02:18 AM

Seeing is believing…so they say.

Here are two photos of cutout I was making for a Santa. This is a 3 inch thick piece of basswood, that I cut on my 9 inch Craftsman bandsaw using the 3/16×4 TPI blade from Suffolk Machinery.

Claude

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

View Karda's profile

Karda

807 posts in 387 days


#8 posted 12-24-2016 04:08 AM

Hi, all thanks for your advice, I think I need a new blade, on amazon on read craftsman blade are also prone to breakage. I AM GOING TO TRY TO FINE TUNE MY SAW BUT i WILL BE ORDERING A NEW BLADE FRO tIMBER wOLF sorry caps. The santas Claude posted are kinda what i want to do but as of now I wold have to cut out small pieces. i looked at the Snodgrass video thanks Mike

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Karda

807 posts in 387 days


#9 posted 12-24-2016 06:07 AM

Hi, I have been reading in the Timber Wolf site and it looks to me like expext everybody to be a machinist to use thier blades

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

514 posts in 1540 days


#10 posted 12-24-2016 05:57 PM

Karda – not so! The only difference between what Suffolk Machinery says and my Craftsman manual is that the small bandsaw blades Suffolk sells do not have to have a lot of tension on them. At times, I have even forgotten to tighten the tension on my blade at all, and it still cut just fine. Only noticed it when I turned the saw off and went to release the tension and found it still off. Positioning the guides is easy. They say to use a dollar bill to set the gap between the blade and all three guides, top and bottom. If you were reading areas that were general, they were likely geared toward professionals using large blades, not us small blade users.

The Santa in my photos is about 9 inches tall. I also cut out a lot of smaller items for carving as well.

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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Karda

807 posts in 387 days


#11 posted 12-24-2016 06:05 PM

thanks that is reassuring, I ‘ll try the dollar bill i probably did read the pro stuff then just freaked. I am technically illiterate. I need the for dummies version. I am going to call and see what they have. thanks and have a merry Christmas

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