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Hard Maple dulling tooling, blades, bits, and knives

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Forum topic by steve6678 posted 640 days ago 982 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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steve6678

438 posts in 658 days


640 days ago

Hi,
I am about to build a full size Bed and 9 drawer dresser. I am using Hard Maple primary (all structural pieces, posts, rails, stiles, inner drawer components, sides of dresser, etc.), Cherry secondary (drawer fronts, dresser top, panels in headboard).
Question:
I have been informed by my hardwood supplier that Hard Maple is especially tough on cutting edges.
Saw Blades (I have a $90 Ridge), Jointer knives (Grizzly Z-Series), Planer knives, Router Bits (Whiteside)
I have 80 board feet or so, of Hard Maple, ranging from 12/4 to 4/4, 9”+ and smaller, to Rip/Crosscut, Mill on jointer and planer, then mortise, profile, dado, rabitt, etc
WILL 80 BF OF HARD MAPLE DULL MY CUTTING EDGES TO THE POINT I’LL HAVE TO GET NEW CUTTERS/BLADES/ETC.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!


14 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1253 posts in 855 days


#1 posted 640 days ago

No, although depending on their current condition, you might want to get them sharpened. I use a lot of white oak plus some purpleheart, walnut, cherry, maple, MDF, bubinga, etc and get my Forrest saw blades sharpened every couple years. YMMV

-- Art

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steve6678

438 posts in 658 days


#2 posted 640 days ago

Really, every couple YEARS…wow.
My Ridge, which I switched to from Forrest, no offence, is practically brand new, and all my router bits for this project have been bought new, the jointer knives have a few miles, but the planer blades are brand new too.
Iwas just hoping I wouldn’t have too have everything sharpened after this project…as I’ve never milled so much Maple in one shot before.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2260 posts in 1481 days


#3 posted 640 days ago

probably not. I have used a lot of hard maple, yes it will dull your blades but you should be able to get your project done.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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bondogaposis

2440 posts in 950 days


#4 posted 640 days ago

You’ll be fine. That’s what tools are for. Look, you would never have to sharpen if you don’t use them, but what good is that?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1001 posts in 885 days


#5 posted 640 days ago

I’ve used about 130bd ft of hard maple in the kitchen rebuild. Rip, joint, plane, dado, final sizing. Also used about 50bd ft of walnut (most of it 6/4) and several sheets of 3/4 plywood, a couple sheets of 1/2 inch plywood and 3 sheets (5×5) of 5/8 baltic birch. I had to pull an Onsrud blade out of the project, but I think that one was my fault for using it to cut Corian :)

Other than that Onsrud blade, all other blades are absolutely fine.

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steve6678

438 posts in 658 days


#6 posted 640 days ago

great advise, everyone!

Especially:

“You’ll be fine. That’s what tools are for. Look, you would never have to sharpen if you don’t use them, but what good is that?”

Nice! I hear ya…get over it and USE my tools, I tend to baby my equipment because I love all of them so much, HA. thanks bondo…

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

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Arminius

304 posts in 2402 days


#7 posted 640 days ago

With a harder wood like maple, cleaning your blades becomes more important to extending their edge life. Fortunately, maple is a very clean wood to work with so it shouldn’t be a major task.

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steve6678

438 posts in 658 days


#8 posted 640 days ago

@ arminius (what does that nickname mean?) anyways…I have a blade and bit cleaner, works good, comes out like oven cleaner, cleans bits excellent, did my TS blade after a bunch of MDF cuts and it looked new, made a big difference when cutting afterwards. Thanks

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1149 posts in 1223 days


#9 posted 640 days ago

besides getting tools sharpened is not the end of the world. I just had two 10” 50 tooth blades sharpened. The grip was $43 for both. I touch up my router bits until they just dont hone anymore. Got them sharpened too. Five bits $20. I was amazed at the cut quality after the sharpening. The down side is the blade on the TS is picking up the off cuts and flinging them to the right. Three or five in the last two weeks. Good thing I stand to the left.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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jumbojack

1149 posts in 1223 days


#10 posted 640 days ago

besides getting tools sharpened is not the end of the world. I just had two 10” 50 tooth blades sharpened. The grip was $43 for both. I touch up my router bits until they just dont hone anymore. Got them sharpened too. Five bits $20. I was amazed at the cut quality after the sharpening. The down side is the blade on the TS is picking up the off cuts and flinging them to the right. Three or five in the last two weeks. Good thing I stand to the left.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Gshepherd's profile

Gshepherd

1436 posts in 800 days


#11 posted 639 days ago

I work with hard maple a lot as well, Mineral streaks are brutal and be sure to cut the ends off a bit just in case there is some dirt embedded in the end grain. Keep the tools clean and sneak up on your final dimensions in case you do get some burn….. Your blades will dull but that is the nature of the beast….. Get them resharpened and move on….. Maybe use a cheaper rip blade and use the good one for the final if you want to. Burning could be from pitch on the blade, fence out of alignment, speed of cut, stopping ect….. Routing, go in nice easy passes depending on how much your taking off, best be safe and take several passes…...Enjoy….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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knotscott

5369 posts in 1974 days


#12 posted 639 days ago

Keeping the cutters clean is a big factor in determining how long they’ll stay sharp.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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Sawdust4Blood

342 posts in 1620 days


#13 posted 639 days ago

I’ll reinforce what others have said. 80bf probably won’t be the difference in sharpening or not; however, maple is pitchy wood so you will definitely want to clean cutting tools more often. That will help them run cooler and stay sharp longer. Maple is also very prone to burning (more so if the tools aren’t clean) so I definitely recommend planning on making multiple passes so the final pass can be a fast light cut that is less likely to burn. Mineral stains can also be a pain… both those that are already in the wood and stains it can pick up in the milling process if you aren’t careful. I once did a project using maple during the summer in Florida. Unbeknownst to me, my sweat dripped on the cast iron top of my table saw and that was enough to transfer iron stains to the maple that were hell to get out later.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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Arminius

304 posts in 2402 days


#14 posted 639 days ago

Arminius – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminius – can’t quite explain how that became my online identity, but it helps keeping passwords and such together.

I am guessing that 90% of woodworkers either don’t clean their cutting tools enough or at all. If you cut anything with a glue base (esp. MDF) or with a lot of pitch, it can really start to build up and produce an inconsistent edge. Pine cuts like butter, but it leaves enough residue to make the next hard (or worse, high silicate) wood function like sandpaper.

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