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What is the true max blade width for a 14" bandsaw??

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Forum topic by Durnik150 posted 1892 days ago 2930 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Durnik150

647 posts in 1919 days


1892 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: band saw blades tools power tools question bandsaw

This is a little question that has been bouncing around in my head for a while. I own a Ridgid 14” band saw (no laughing!). It has done a great job for me although the 6” cutting depth is a little limiting.

In the owner’s manual it says that it can handle blades from 1/8” to 3/4”. I’ve put a 3/4” blade on once or twice for resawing but usually just go with the 1/2” blade. When I bring up that the machine can utilize a 3/4” blade, most woodworkers get all gruff and say something like, “Awwww, it can handle a 3/4” blade but ya don’t really wanna do that on a 14” saw. Stick with your 1/2”. When asked why not a 3/4” blade I usually get told that the 14” saws really aren’t tough enough to handle them.

Huh?

When my woodworking buddy (Maxx) got a new to him 14” band saw with a riser kit, he was told the same thing from the first owner. It seems like a trend.

But why? They advertise that the saws can handle a 3/4” blade. What is so different about the 3/4” blade that a 14” saw shouldn’t use it, at least not for long?

Any suggestions?

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO


20 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#1 posted 1892 days ago

If it works it works no mystery the manufacturer tells you what the max is and that should be what works .

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14587 posts in 2273 days


#2 posted 1892 days ago

I don’t know, but my guess would be the horsepower of the motor. I just got one, so I’ll be finding out. I intend to resaw with it.

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

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 2697 days


#3 posted 1892 days ago

Should we “laugh” at somebody else’s tools? Whatever gets the job done I say.

In answer to your question, it is probably the mass of the blade combined with the drag of the extra surface area of 3/4 vs 1/2. The motor can do it, but perhaps not as well or fast as a larger machine. Perhaps you would need to feed the material a bit slower.

-- John

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Durnik150

647 posts in 1919 days


#4 posted 1892 days ago

That’s kind of what I was thinking Wood. It CAN do it but if I did heavy duty resawing with a 3/4” it might lead to a shorter motor life. That makes sense.

From a sales point of view I’m sure you want to push your product with as much versatility as possible but then subtly put out the word that you shouldn’t push it that hard all the time.

Interesting.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4932 posts in 1906 days


#5 posted 1892 days ago

I have a 14” powermatic band saw and have frequently used a 3/4” blade to resaw 6” stock in such hardwood as oak, teak and cumaru. Went through these woods with no problem. I use timberwolf blades and have been very satisfied with them.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14587 posts in 2273 days


#6 posted 1892 days ago

Isn’t the point of a 3/4 blade to get truer resaws?

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

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2586 days


#7 posted 1892 days ago

The motor nor the mass of the blade has anything to do with it.

I the main concern is the higher tension required for the 3/4” blade and the stress put on the frame and/or bearings of the saw.

A saw with the 6” riser would be even more of a concern.

That said, I have used a 3/4” Woodslicer on my Delta with the riser under full tension for years at a time. I have not noticed any problems at all.

Now that I have a Steel City saw also I put the 3/4” blade on it and use smaller blades on my Delta. I figured that since the Steel City has the quick tension release why not use it.

The wider the blade the straighter your cut.. Imagine cutting with a wire and how that would work.

Also a smaller blade will bow when too much pressure is used making a cut that is curved inside the stock

Imagine laying a full sized sheet of paper flat on a table. Lay one hand flat on each end of the sheet and try to stretch the paper with the heel of your hands the push it together with your finger tips. The paper will bow up between your finger tips. The narrower the sheet the easier it is to bow the paper. The same thing will happen to a smaller blade.
It will bow inside your cut and you won’t know it until you finish your cut.

Blade thickness is not really a factor either. For example the 1/2” and 3/4” woodslicer blade are both .022” thick.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2246 days


#8 posted 1892 days ago

Actually – it has little to do with the bandsaw… it’s more of a limitation of the blades on the market.

1/2” blades are usually in the 0.02x” thickness, while 3/4” blades are in the 0.03x”-0.04x”. now given the fact that a 14” wheel has a small diameter these blades have to go around (compared to 16”, 18”,20”) the thicker blade material has difficulties with that – compared to the thiner 1/2” material blades.

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

View Durnik150's profile

Durnik150

647 posts in 1919 days


#9 posted 1892 days ago

Yep, the more width in back of the blade helps the front stay true instead of bending out of the way. You really have to crank on the tensioning knob to get it tight enough for the 3/4”!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14587 posts in 2273 days


#10 posted 1892 days ago

Can you spring a band saw frame to where it is a problem?

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

View woodbutcher's profile

woodbutcher

592 posts in 2763 days


#11 posted 1892 days ago

Durnik150,
I used to have the same 14” Ridgid bandsaw. I had used 3/4” blades on it in the past trying to resaw as well. The feed rate had to be slowed as mentioned before, but I eventually got the limited resawing capacity done. You might want to try the 1/2” Wood slicer resaw blades from Highland Wood working. I guarantee they’ll do the best job of anything you can find and will probably allow you to maintain a much faster feed rate. That Ridgid caused me to find too many uses for the bandsaw and subsequently upgrade to a 21” Grizzly! Again the blade upgrade I mentioned ablove will do more for your ability to resaw and do it quickly and precisely than anything else you can try.

Sincerely,
Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

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Durnik150

647 posts in 1919 days


#12 posted 1892 days ago

Good point PurpLev. It makes sense that the thicker material may not bend as easily. Does that mean that the 3/4” balde would be more prone to breakage on a 14” saw?

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View Durnik150's profile

Durnik150

647 posts in 1919 days


#13 posted 1892 days ago

Thanks Ken. I have noticed that the right blade can make all the difference in the world, no matter what the width.

Topa-I guess if I cranked down hard enough I could do damage to the wheel axles. And I’m pretty sure those would go before it got bad enough to that kind of damage. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t climb on top of the machine with a pair of channel locks saying “Come on you (&%^%## I need one more turn!!” Although it is an amusing mental picture!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14587 posts in 2273 days


#14 posted 1892 days ago

I would think they would be tough enough to take any size blade they say can be used, but y’all know how some things are getting a bit different at the quality control divisions in some companies :-))

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

View Durnik150's profile

Durnik150

647 posts in 1919 days


#15 posted 1892 days ago

Exactly Topa. That’s why I asked. I’d hate to be standing there with a tensioning handle in my hand and a broken band saw on the floor. I’ve had nightmares like that. :)

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

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