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cutting plywood with a bandsaw.

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Forum topic by JuniorJoiner posted 01-02-2011 01:12 AM 7551 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JuniorJoiner

463 posts in 2904 days


01-02-2011 01:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have always heard not to cut plywood on the bandsaw, and I listened until yesterday.

I had cause to make one 12” long rip cut to trim a jig , it was all glued together and had a router attached so I couldn’t use the tablesaw. I cut glued up laminations all the time with the bandsaw, so I thought it couldn’t do that much damage.

Well, one cut, and the blade is became too dull for me to consider safe to work with. It was less that 1 hr use before i made the cut, and would have been considered good for three times more use, until it saw plywood.

What I would like to know is, what glue they use in plywood that destroys bandsaw blades like that?

BTW. it was 1/2 inch baltic birch(the good stuff, not the cheap crap).

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.


10 replies so far

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

562 posts in 3268 days


#1 posted 01-02-2011 03:55 AM

Cut plywood for over 40 years with a bandsaw in the high school shop classes I taught; mostly 3/4 in. AC grade fir and some 3/4 in. birch. Never had a problem.

This is the first time I’ve heard that.

We mostly used 3/8 in. 10 TPI blades made up locally; don’t remember what tooth shape. Blades typically lasted 3 months or more.

Very curious to see what others have to say.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3140 days


#2 posted 01-02-2011 04:03 AM

Was it Chinese junk plywood from a big box? May have hit metal in it????? ;-((

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2634 posts in 2573 days


#3 posted 01-02-2011 04:26 AM

I use the Craftsman blades from their store and cut plywood (even Baltic birch) all the time, and don’t see that much problem.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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JuniorJoiner

463 posts in 2904 days


#4 posted 01-02-2011 05:02 AM

I was using a 3 tpi viking bandsaw blade from LV. i’m not saying it catastrophically failed, but it was significantly dulled so much so that i changed it.
I could see if it was cheap ply, but this stuff is pretty good compared to everything else I have used.
It didn’t seem that I hit any foreign objects, and I went and checked after That question was asked, there were some knots in the internal plys of the substrate, but no noticeable metal.

still wondering why it happened.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3140 days


#5 posted 01-02-2011 05:39 AM

Might be interesting to see if yiou get any sparks running a few pieces of scrap across a grinding wheel if you have one. There has been quit a bit of talk online about what is being put in plywod as filler material, not just chunks of metal.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2422 days


#6 posted 01-04-2011 07:38 PM

It may be the manufacturer used a gritty wood for the filler layers, like a locust, and only put the birch on the outer layer? Just a guess, of course. I’ve only heard to not run it thru a jointer, planer, shaper, etc. because of the cutter speed blowing it up. Guess I don’t cut a lot of plywood but haven’t noticed any problems when I do.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Loren's profile

Loren

8306 posts in 3112 days


#7 posted 01-04-2011 07:55 PM

Plywood is glued up with plastic resin glues – the stuff is brittle and
hard. It wrecks Japanese handsaw blades too.

One of the advantages of a larger band saw is you can run wider,
carbide tipped blades on them. With carbide, you can saw plywood
just fine.

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Nomad62

726 posts in 2422 days


#8 posted 01-10-2011 06:46 PM

Got to thinking about this last weekend, maybe the glue in the plywood has stuck to the teeth of your blade, making it seem dull when it really only needs a good cleaning…?

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View stamper's profile

stamper

49 posts in 2390 days


#9 posted 01-10-2011 10:31 PM

My shop is 20+ years old and I have never had any trouble cutting plywood on my bandsaw. Just recently cut a batch of Corian for pen blanks, no problems there either.

-- Stamper

View JuniorJoiner's profile

JuniorJoiner

463 posts in 2904 days


#10 posted 01-11-2011 06:26 AM

I have looked at this blade quite a few times since posting this, there is quite a glaze built on the teeth, nothing that couldn’t be cleaned. but enough to reduce cutting.
The blade is somewhat usable since cleaned, but it is still dull compared to before the plywood.
I certainly won’t be cutting any more of it.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

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