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Trying to pick my new band saw blades.

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Forum topic by Chris Moran posted 01-08-2011 02:16 AM 1964 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris Moran

15 posts in 1867 days


01-08-2011 02:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: blades band saw advice

I’ve had my Grizzly G0555 for well over a year now and am finally going to replace the horrible (I meant to say HORRIBLE) OEM blade that came with it.

I got a gift card (grrr) for Sears, so was looking at their online stock of Timber Wolf blades, but they have a limited variety – and their prices are higher than ordering out of the Grizzly catalog (checked again and they are like $6 more per blade – though I’m going to read the price match policy).

My general needs? Typical cuts are straight cuts through 3/4” – 1” ply or lumber, pretty much in place of a table saw. I figure I should get a 3/4” or 1/2” blade to continue that. I also want something for curves. Don’t know if getting a 1/8” would be smarter than a 3/16” or otherwise. Not sure how much teeny-tiny curves I’ll cut, but the 3/8” radius the 3/16” blade claims to cut might be good enough. I don’t have anything else for cutting curves like that with such low kerf. Obviously I could buy 3 blades, but the cost for two is about where I’m currently ready to spend.

I do dread the prospect of changing the blades too. I remember the original setup was a PITA (and still never really did a great job – but like I said, and most of you likely know, the OEM blades are junk).

I’d love some advice.

Oh, one other thing. I’d LOVE to do some nicer BS Boxes, but based on what the specs say, I don’t see how the 1/8” or 3/16” blades can track well when cutting a 6” tall block.

thanks,
Chris


18 replies so far

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1850 days


#1 posted 01-08-2011 10:47 AM

Don’t waste your time. Just go straight to Highland Woodworking and get yourself a Wood Slicer. You won’t regret it.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3971 posts in 2406 days


#2 posted 01-08-2011 05:10 PM

Chris—You cannot (IMHO) go wrong with a Highland Wood Slicer for re-sawing. For general cutting, I would recommend Carter Accuright blades ( http://www.carterproducts.com/product_list.asp?cat_id=56 )

—Gerry

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3579 posts in 2704 days


#3 posted 01-08-2011 06:08 PM

I use the Woodslicer for resaw too, and my day-to-day blade is a 1/4”. I have some 1/8” blades, but they’ve never been on the saw.
Why is changing the blade such a dreaded affair? If a 1/4” blade won’t track on a box project, something’s wrong with the saw set-up. That saw has ball bearing blade guides? Are they set correctly?
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1063 posts in 1717 days


#4 posted 01-08-2011 07:29 PM

Timberwolf is a good blade as well, Grizzy sells it and it shoud be standard with their bs

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Chris Moran's profile

Chris Moran

15 posts in 1867 days


#5 posted 01-08-2011 07:52 PM

Thanks guys. Hadn’t thought of the HWs… was going off of another post about getting the TWs for another griz saw and the poster seemed quite excited about them. Hadn’t really been too concerned about which resaw/general blade to get, I figured just go with that recommendation. The dilemma of a 1/8 vs 3/16 seemed more complex. Hah!
Now.. I’ve got more recs… ugh. Too many choices. Are any of you saying Timber Wolf are lesser blades than the Wood Slicer? Would a quite novice like myself notice a difference?
I had hoped this wouldn’t be as complicated as a Mac/Windows/Linux argument :)

As for setup being dreaded… being that my BS is in the garage on a not level surface (it’s a converted carport barely protected from the outside) everything I do feels like more work than it should be. Taking apart things I have put together that work always scares me. I know, silly…
The current issues I have with nearly every cut are the blade either drifting or bowing inside the wood. A previous thread here and a conversation with Grizzly points to the blade being poor (mainly meant for setup) quality. I made my wife a BS box… I think she thinks the odd curves and angles are intentional. Hah!
thanks,
Chris

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1754 days


#6 posted 01-08-2011 11:18 PM

The Woodslicer from HHW is a good choice for resawing and straight cuts. The G0555 can’t tension anything over 1/2” anyway (5/8” MAX), so it’s the widest blade you can get.

It is sharp, and doesn’t scream like many other blades due to the variable spaced teeth. Except for when I need to cut curves, this is the blade that stays on my saw.

Timberwolf blades are nice as well – also nice because they have a 4 for 3 promo when you buy direct from them (Suffolk Machinery is the name of the parent company). A nice way to get a bunch of different blades.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Chris Moran's profile

Chris Moran

15 posts in 1867 days


#7 posted 01-09-2011 03:13 AM

The specs say 3/4” max blade width. Actually, looking at the specs again, I see it came with a 3/8”. I thought it was a 3/4. Hah… great attention to detail. I imagine a 1/2” would be likely great. I don’t believe I intend on milling wood for a while.

As for the smaller blade, I want to be able to cut things out like letters and shapes. Are the smaller blades (1/8 – 3/16 generally happy with doing tight curves in thick stock?.

So… I see the recommendations for the Wood Slicers, but what about their general purpose blades for the smaller blades? The http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/3/16-4-tpi-skiptooth-bandsaw-blades.aspx seems to fit the bill, and for less than the Timber Wolf of the same dimension. Though, is 4TPI adequate for cutting thin material? I read that there should be 3-6 teeth in the material being cut – which means 4TPI in anything less than 1.5” isn’t a match. It seems like there are too many variables conflicting with each other – and in all likeliness I’m being far too particular. I just hate making mistakes when I buy things.

Leading to ….I want to order everything from one place – shipping costs alone are killer – so needing to pick up a blade from two different eTailers is not aligned with my frugal senses.

Sadly this whole thing is starting to look like I’ll buy some OTHER tool with that sear gift card and spend my real money on blades. Life’s always pulling those pranks on me. :)
Chris

View CanalboatJim's profile

CanalboatJim

196 posts in 2248 days


#8 posted 01-09-2011 03:29 AM

Chris, I put tne 1/2” Woodslicer on my G0555 and it is wonderful for resawing and ripping. I have the same concerns as you about smaller blades. I got a 1/4” Olsen blade at Sears and it wasn”t worth the $16.00. It’s noisy and leaves an uacceptabley rough finish. If you find the perfect general purpose blade lets us know.

-- Jim Westbrooks

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2532 posts in 2701 days


#9 posted 01-09-2011 03:31 AM

I have the same dilemma..I am tuning up my bandsaw and it’s hard to figure out what blade to buy. I have gotten good recommendations for the Timber Wolf 6TPI 1/4” for general band sawing of hardwoods. I would take everyone elses advice and go with the Woodslicer for your plywood/straight cuts..

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2843 days


#10 posted 01-09-2011 03:37 AM

I don’t have a Highland WoodSlicer but plan on getting one because of the guys I know that have them.

But concerning the other brands, TimberWolf is a good one for the money. They beat the pants off of Olson bandsaw blades for quality of cut at pretty much the same price.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View bunkie's profile

bunkie

411 posts in 1890 days


#11 posted 01-09-2011 07:03 AM

Chris,

Changing bandsaw blades for different jobs is a way of life. I have an assortment of blades. My Woodslicer is used only for resawing, I also have a green wood blade for cutting small logs as well as a 1/4” blade for cutting curves.

I suspect that you are never going to be happy with your bandsaw until you master doing setups. This includes setting up the blade guides and setting blade tension. BTW, bowed cuts are generally caused by insufficient tension. Also, better quality blades can handle higher tension.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15058 posts in 2419 days


#12 posted 01-09-2011 07:11 AM

bunkie, What do you use for resawing green wood?

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

View Chris Moran's profile

Chris Moran

15 posts in 1867 days


#13 posted 01-09-2011 09:07 AM

bunkie, following some advice previous, I set the tension higher than the 3/8 setting on the BS hoping to counter the bowing. It didn’t help. I suspect that when I have actual confidence in the setup, I’ll have more confidence in doing the setup. :)

View bunkie's profile

bunkie

411 posts in 1890 days


#14 posted 01-09-2011 02:59 PM

TopamaxSurvivor,

I have one of these:

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/woodturners-bandsawblade.aspx

Although, for the record, i just got it and haven’t had the chance to try it out yet, as I’ve been busy with house projects and there hasn’t been any time for fun projects yet.

Chris,

Almost any blade is better than the junk that Grizzley supplies. When I made my first test cuts with their blade it was so bad that I actually thought that I had made terrible mistake buying the saw. Installing the Woodslicer totally transformed the saw.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View Chris Moran's profile

Chris Moran

15 posts in 1867 days


#15 posted 01-11-2011 12:18 AM

I too had that sinking feeling when I made my first cuts and they were junk. Made some adjustments and they came out better, but most cuts still come out messy. Only very soft stuff cuts straight and only think material doesn’t bow the blade inside.

Does anyone have an opinion on the General Purpose http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/general-purpose-bandsaw-blades.aspx blades for the tighter curve cutting. I’m pretty sure I’m sold on getting a Wood Slicer, but do want the 3/16” option as well.

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