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How to maximize band saw blade life

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Forum topic by Surfside posted 667 days ago 937 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Surfside

3016 posts in 760 days


667 days ago

My online supplier for band saw blades gave me the following information that affects the life of a band saw blade.
This may mostly apply to metal cutting but this should be relevant in using a band saw used in wood working.

There are 3 tool destroyers: Heat, Shock and Abrasion. Tool wear failure always results from one or more of these causes.

There are 22 variables that influence a band saw blade life.
1. The Operators – The operator knows the machine best.
2. The number of teeth in the band – should have 3 minimum, 6-12 optimum, 24 maximum
3. Tooth style – Choose the tooth style that best meets your cutting requirements
4. Tooth set – Regular, Wavy, Every Tooth Set, or Modified Raker
5. Band Tension – Proper tension should be applied
6. Band Speed – Start with the manufacturer’s recommendation
7. Break-In procedure – Reduce normal feed rate by 1/2 for every new blade
8. Feed Rate – Set rate by square inches per minute suggested by manufacturer
9. Band Quality – Carbon vs Bimetal or Carbide Tipped, one brand vs. another
10. Machine Type – Different makes and models, hp of motor
11. Wheels – Check alignment, bearings, flanges
12. Machine condition – Old, new, well-maintained
13. Proper Vises – To hold the work firmly
14. Guides – Should support the band, roller guides should barely turn by hand
15. Guide Arms – Should be as close to the work as possible for support
16. Brushes – Aid in the cleaning of chips from the gullet of the band
17. Coolant – Should wash, cool and lubricate
18. Material Machinability – The toughness of a metal can reduce tool life
19. Material Hardness – A Rc of 40 has a machinability approaching 0
20. Material Shape – Structurals and small solids tend to be harder on the band
21. Production requirement – Continuous vs intermittent use
22. Room temperature – Affects hydraulic fluids in the machine.

I hope this helps!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"


20 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6910 posts in 1501 days


#1 posted 667 days ago

Geez… that’s almost enough to force someone into using handsaws!

;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 964 days


#2 posted 667 days ago

I think half of them still apply to handsaws too though.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6910 posts in 1501 days


#3 posted 667 days ago

OK, OK, I “saw” that coming.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3016 posts in 760 days


#4 posted 664 days ago

Mike, you can control the other 21 variables if you’re the operator of your own saw. No need to go for a hand saw. If you know much of the machine, then maintenance and improving the machine’s performance shouldn’t be a problem. You can handle the machine and the blade with proper care and use. Those other 21 variables are just guidelines to look for.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6910 posts in 1501 days


#5 posted 664 days ago

Hey Surf, I understand this. I was just trying to add some humor to bounce it back to the top and get it noticed by more folks. Good info, BTW.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3016 posts in 760 days


#6 posted 664 days ago

I’m sorry, I didn’t get you there, Mike! I just hope this post helped some folks out there.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3807 posts in 915 days


#7 posted 664 days ago

How to extend the life of a band saw blade?

Don’t try to cut phenolic with it.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6910 posts in 1501 days


#8 posted 664 days ago

”...Don’t try to cut phenolic with it….”

OOPs… too late! But only once!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3016 posts in 760 days


#9 posted 664 days ago

Why? Will a band saw blade react to phenols/ phenolic materials?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6910 posts in 1501 days


#10 posted 664 days ago

It melts and coats the blade. Then you have to carefully clean each tooth and all the sides of the blade very carefully. AFTER you unplug it of course.

I think the worst part is the embarrassment of having done this. ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3016 posts in 760 days


#11 posted 664 days ago

What should be the best tool used to cut phenolic materials?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6910 posts in 1501 days


#12 posted 664 days ago

I use my 16in scroll saw set to “Low” speed. And sometimes even that is too fast and causes melting.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2836 posts in 1074 days


#13 posted 664 days ago

Surf, good information. Thanks!

I cut phenolic with my jig saw and the finest tooth blade I’ve got. Or, I use the old heating element I took out of an antique toaster. I gently stretched it out and attached it to a large wooden bow using small ceamic insulators.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Surfside

3016 posts in 760 days


#14 posted 664 days ago

How about using a band saw then apply cutting coolants on the blade? This should eliminate or minimize heat on the running blade. BTW, what is the exact melting point of phenols?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2836 posts in 1074 days


#15 posted 664 days ago

Depending on the phenolic resin you are using it can be 104.9°F on up to 250°F.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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