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Bandsaw Blades - basics and advice??

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Forum topic by Justin M Schmidt posted 04-09-2013 05:19 PM 968 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 556 days


04-09-2013 05:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bandsaw

I scored my first bandsaw and I have no idea what kind of blade(s) to get. I tried doing some research but there’s a lot of info out there and a lot of variables, makes my head hurt.

I bought this Craftsman 10-inch bandsaw that was on sale for $179, free shipping and some coupons got it down even cheaper. A guy I know bought the same saw and loves it. It comes tomorrow, can’t wait to get it set up! (I’m pretty sure it’s a Rikon in Craftman livery, because the casing/table/etc all have the same shape.)

I’m going to use this mostly for lutherie - —sawing hardwood boards down to instrument neck blanks —cutting curves in thin wood stock for tops and backs —cutting forms, cauls and jigs out of plywood and acrylic. (Forms can be 3”+ thick of glued-up plywood!)

Speed and volume is not an issue, but clean cuts are. A single blade to rule them all would be awesome, but I’m fine with swapping them for specific uses.

Any recommendations? Any good resources that lay out the difference between tooth patterns, thicknesses, widths, kerfs and all that?

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com


22 replies so far

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

391 posts in 841 days


#1 posted 04-09-2013 05:26 PM

I don’t think your going to be able to cut 3” thick hardwoods with that machine. At least not very cleanly. Also, I have no idea about blades. sorry!

View Justin M Schmidt's profile

Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 556 days


#2 posted 04-09-2013 05:28 PM

Cole – thanks for the heads up. I know it’s a long shot to work something that thick with this lil’ guy, but I’ll fail at anything once!

Luckily that’s not what I’m using it for the most and I have access to a 14” Rikon… it’s just not in my shop. ;)

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com

View BuzzBate's profile

BuzzBate

101 posts in 687 days


#3 posted 04-09-2013 05:31 PM

I’m also curious about what bandsaw blades people recommend. I bought a Grizzly 555 and need to get something other than that factory blade on there. I’ll need multiple blades however since I will make some small curved cuts at time and also just resawing. Thanks in advance!

-- "Drill as many holes as you want. We have plenty of putty."

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2304 days


#4 posted 04-09-2013 05:38 PM

with bandsaws – one blade to rule them all is usually not a good option. especially if one of the intended purposes is to do tight curves.

here is a good blade reference (from Rikon):
http://rikontools.com/bladeselection.pdf

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3363 posts in 1469 days


#5 posted 04-09-2013 05:54 PM

I use the philosophy that any cut made at the bandsaw is not a finish cut. It will always be faired at the router table or sanding station. Therfore, I choose a blade that will cut quickly and easily for tasks like cutting gentle arches as well as resawing.
I use a 3 TPI hooked blade that is 1/2” wide. It works for almost everything I do. The brand is Olsen All Pro, but I think there are many comparable brands.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Justin M Schmidt's profile

Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 556 days


#6 posted 04-09-2013 06:08 PM

BuzzBate – I want a 555! Some day when I outgrow this little saw.

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com

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BuzzBate

101 posts in 687 days


#7 posted 04-09-2013 06:14 PM

I lucked into my 555. I went to a guys house to buy a grizzly dust collector and the saw was sitting in the garage. Package deal made it worth my while.

-- "Drill as many holes as you want. We have plenty of putty."

View Justin M Schmidt's profile

Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 556 days


#8 posted 04-09-2013 06:17 PM

PurpLev – that doc is GREAT! Exactly what I was looking for.

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 802 days


#9 posted 04-09-2013 06:19 PM

I have that exact saw. It’s cut pretty much everything I’ve been able to fit under its 4 5/8” max height. I’ve cut green wood, kiln dried, MDF, etc. One of the first things I’d recommend, if you don’t already have one is a nice shop vac or dust collector with a 2 1/2” hose or adapter. It tends to make lots of fine dust and needs to be well-cleaned and maintained.

As for blades, I bought a 3 pack from Craftsman. I used the 6TPI 1/4” blade for awhile and it worked just fine. I recently switched to a 3/8” 3 TPI Woodturners blade with an alternate set and raker tooth pattern. This works great as most of what I use this for is cutting turning blanks.

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

I also have a Woodslicer blade from Highland as well. It’s a 1/2” 3-4 TPI blade with variable pitch blade. I have mostly used that to resaw white oak and walnut. It handled those jobs nicely. You gotta take your time, since the motor is only 1/3 HP, but it gets the job done. The boards I was resawing were mostly 3” wide.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/woodslicer12resawbandsawblades705to137.aspx

Hope that helps! It’s a good little bandsaw. I’m looking to upgrade, but that’s almost entirely due to needing more cutting height.

View Justin M Schmidt's profile

Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 556 days


#10 posted 04-09-2013 06:33 PM

Thanks Kreegan! Sounds like I made the right call on this saw. Most of my work will be smaller so I think it’s going to work out perfect. The real test will be the thick plywood forms, but we’ll see how it goes.

So I think I’m looking for two blades to start – a coarser 3-4 or 6 tpi 1/2” blade and a fine-toothed/thinner blade for the top/back/sides work with finer curves/etc.

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com

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Justin M Schmidt

17 posts in 556 days


#11 posted 04-09-2013 07:18 PM

I’m reading that “at least 3 teeth must be in the work piece” – I have definitely broken this rule before. What’s the logic behind it and what negative effects does ignoring this advice have?

-- Justin M Schmidt | Somerville, Massachusetts | http://jusbot.com

View Straightbowed's profile

Straightbowed

717 posts in 954 days


#12 posted 04-09-2013 07:21 PM

you prolly will have problems tryin to resaw with a small saw get 3tpi blades and go slow slow slow unless you can really torque the blade tight

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

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Straightbowed

717 posts in 954 days


#13 posted 04-09-2013 07:28 PM

the bigger gullets in the 3 tpi will remove sawdust and the blade will not run as hot and drain the power from your saw less bearing surface contact with the wood, small teeth will clog and make your blade run hot thus not being able to pull the saw dust away as you make your cut thus making you push harder and really not move at all 3 tpi blade you can go slow and really not strain your saw I think

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3455 posts in 2616 days


#14 posted 04-09-2013 07:36 PM

3/8” 8tpi, 1/4” 6tpi, 1/2” 3tpi. Underpowered saw, but given the right blade, will work for ya.
I’ve resawn 4” white oak on an 11” Magna (Shopsmith) with the Highland blade. Took some time, but worked pretty darned well.
I have the G0555LX now. Big difference with the same blades.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View sonnyr's profile

sonnyr

89 posts in 784 days


#15 posted 04-09-2013 08:05 PM

I was fortunate to be able to talk to Louis Iturra at Iturra Design for about an hour one day a few months ago. IMHO the man is a wealth of knowledge. I have a 14” Reliant bandsaw that is Taiwanese look alike of a Delta. He offered me good sound advice about the saw and I purchased a couple of his “Woodslicer” type blades. They were cheaper than the other source that I had. If you can, get him to send you his catalog, IT’S AWESOME. Not only does it have the products that he sales, it is chocked full of great bandsaw information and his experience.

-- I may be slow, but I'm easy to stop!!!

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