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Bandsaw Minimum Blade Size..

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Forum topic by jeth posted 12-17-2011 03:41 PM 1683 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jeth

249 posts in 2303 days


12-17-2011 03:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw blade

Good morning all, I have finally recieved the bandsaw blades I ordered and am looking forward to seeing what my machine can do with something a little sharper than the “token” stock blade I have been using up till now. I ordered the Kerfmaster blades from Spectrum Supply, which it seems are basically the same blade as the renowned Woodslicer.

I was just going over the manual, you know, last minute (too late) double check of the band length etc and I noticed that the stated band width capacity is between 3/8” and 1 1/2”.
Now, along with my Kerfmasters, intended for resaw duties, I ordered a 1/4” x 6TPI blade for curvy work. My question is if anybody knows of any possible issues with using a blade smaller than recommended. I hadn’t noticed this before, having been more interested in the maximum capacity :)
The only thing I can think of is that a thinner blade might eat into the tires a little? Is this minimum fairly normal and universally ignored? Did I order a useless (to me) blade?


15 replies so far

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Chipy

374 posts in 2058 days


#1 posted 12-17-2011 03:57 PM

I have a Grizzly 17” band saw and the minimum blade recommended is 1/8 witch I think might cause problems but that’s just my gut talking.If you have your guides and tension set correctly I suppose it might work fine.I think the right 1/4” blade should perform some pretty tight curves!

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jeth

249 posts in 2303 days


#2 posted 12-17-2011 06:03 PM

Thanks for the reply Chipy, I have a 1/4”, problem is now I have it and was going to give it a whirl I noticed the manual states a 3/8” minimum and I just wanted to know if anyone could confirm if it’s cool for me to run the 1/4” blade on my saw, wouldn’t want to fit it and watch my tires disintegrate within a few revolutions, especially as any replacement I order is going to take about 6 weeks to arrive :(

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Bill White

4456 posts in 3425 days


#3 posted 12-17-2011 06:06 PM

I can’t imagine that a 1/4” blade would eat up a tire. I keep one on my BS all the time (except for resaw) with no issues.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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saddletramp

1097 posts in 2103 days


#4 posted 12-17-2011 06:11 PM

Why don’t you check with the manufacturer of your bandsaw to find out why their min. recommended size is 3/8?

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View jeth's profile

jeth

249 posts in 2303 days


#5 posted 12-17-2011 06:19 PM

Thanks for further replies folks,

Tramp, the manafacturer would be chinese, and judging by the generally vague and inaccurate information provided by them in the manual and uncorrected by the supplier I was guessing neither of them would be much use. I was hoping someone here might have direct experience that could provide an answer.

As I have the blade now, and not the option of popping out to the store for another, I think i’ll try it out and keep an eye on things.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11806 posts in 3153 days


#6 posted 12-17-2011 07:13 PM

I was also going to mention the guides and whether or not the blade will be held properly with out being damaged by them. You don’t want to have the guides running on the teeth , especially if they are metal guides.
Maybe “Cool Blocks” would help . Does the Tension Gauge on your saw start out at 3/8” ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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ptweedy

75 posts in 2858 days


#7 posted 12-17-2011 07:34 PM

I have a 1/8” blade for my 14” sears bandsaw. It works fine. just watch the tension because you can break the blade when you try to go around to sharp a corner. I cant remember where I got this blade….. dah

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jeth

249 posts in 2303 days


#8 posted 12-17-2011 07:36 PM

That’s a good point from Cr1 & Dusty re: guides, I hadn’t considered it. I was just out fitting the blade now and came back to check something else out. The saw has roller guides, I will check how it looks with the guides in position and if it ain’t right I will make some hardwood block guides and soak them in something oily.

As for the tires, not sure on the material, a kind of latexy coloured rubber which is bonded direct to the wheel. In fact they look to be very good quality, very even and have not worn at all after a couple of months heavy abuise resawing big chunks of rough lumber (with a way sub-standard blade).

The saw is really not bad at all. I was just checking the wheel balance while I had the blade off and the wheels just keep spinning at an almost constant speed even with just the lightest flick to get them turning.
It is an import as I mentioned but looks a dead ringer for the Rikon 18”, just with cheaper fittings.. Even came with a Laguna style mobility kit.

Here’s a couple of pics, slightly obscured by the wood but they are the only ones I have..

Notice how the planer is exactly the right height for its rollers to provide outfeed support :)

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Dusty56

11806 posts in 3153 days


#9 posted 12-17-2011 07:48 PM

You lucked out with that outfeed support : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View jeth's profile

jeth

249 posts in 2303 days


#10 posted 12-17-2011 09:51 PM

Yep :) I just thought I’d try it as it looked about right, wheeled her up and it was spot on, didn’t even have to fiddle with the height of the saw.
Speaking of which I was checking wheel balance and it was a bit suspect. I decided to level the machine in order to check it out properly as I realised I had moved it since the first install. I was faffing about for ages then turned my level (the one on my combo square) around and realised it reads totally different depending which way you sit it down..grrrr
Luckily there are builders working in front and they had a cheap but good level they let me borrow. 5 minutes with the working level and I had her sitting plumb. Rechecked the wheels and now have even random distribution around the bottom wheel and all my marks (7 not 6 as I have an obsession with the number 7 :) spaced around roughly 2/3 of the top wheels circumference..good enough? Anyone?

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jeth

249 posts in 2303 days


#11 posted 12-18-2011 12:24 AM

All sorted, I can see the issue now.. Was very tricky to get the blade set up and tracking properly within the narrow zone where the guides would sit just back off the teeth, but I did get it there at the limits of adjustment and well, scroll cutting on the bandsaw with a decent blade is fun :) A lot of fun.

The 1/4” blade was Lenox flexback, 6TPI skip, nice clean and fast cutting and comes with the back milled with a perfect round over, no need to “hone”.
I’m now thinking about how to bodge micro adjustment for the guides so I can dial them in easily. I will likely be changing frequently between this general usae blade and the Kerfmaster resaw blades which are wider, but thinner. Couple of little brackets mounted into tapped holes on the guide supports with a bit of threaded rod tapped into the sliding guide rod should work, anybody ever had a crack at that?

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#12 posted 12-18-2011 05:32 AM

I used the 1/8” blades on my 17” Grizz being careful to keep the teeth in front of the bearing edge. The problem then becomes: you only have the front edge of your guide bearing (which are radiused) to guide the blade. Any lateral pressure will force the blade out from between the guide bearings. If you really want to use small blades to cut tight radiuses, the Carter Stabilizer is a worthwhile investment. I love mine!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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rance

4245 posts in 2625 days


#13 posted 12-18-2011 05:44 AM

Andy, I had to go look to see what you were talking about. It is AMAZING that This Guy still has any fingers. VERY cool, nonetheless.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#14 posted 12-18-2011 06:02 AM

Rance, That video is what sold me! I do cut a little slower (and more carefully) than he does. Can you believe he cuts those with no pattern/markings on the wood? It is a very cool aftermarket add on though. I think I could make one now for about $6.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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rance

4245 posts in 2625 days


#15 posted 12-18-2011 06:59 AM

I betcha I could do it for $5. :)

I saw someone(in person) cut one of these reindeer on a Shop Smith. I think after about 249 of them you’d be a little faster and wouldn’t have to use the pattern either.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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