Life of a bandsaw blade? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-02-2016, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Life of a bandsaw blade?

I have a Laguna 14/12 bandsaw with a 1/4" blade. I've had the blade on the saw for about six months and have always left it under tension. I'm a home users so I don't use it hours on end, just a few times a week. The blade just recently broke just as I was about to turn the saw off after making a cut. My question is this-- what is the typical life of a bandsaw blade? Is six months under occasional use considered a short or lifespan for a blade? Is leaving the blade under tension a good habit or bad? Does the expected lifespan change with the size of blade?
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-02-2016, 08:34 PM
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I had a 1/8th inch blade in my saw, under tension, for over 25 years....
And then last year, it broke in the middle of cutting a lazy Susan .....
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-02-2016, 09:03 PM
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I have never released the tension on any of my bandsaws, not saying you shouldn't, I have found the quality of the weld generally determines how soon if ever it will break.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-02-2016, 09:47 PM
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I've found the life of a bandsaw blade is longer if they are born at a saw sharpening shop. They warranty the welds and will re-weld them for free if they break so they tend to be made better. Unless I was going to put a bandsaw into storage I would leave the tension on.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-03-2016, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakwerks View Post
I had a 1/8th inch blade in my saw, under tension, for over 25 years....
And then last year, it broke in the middle of cutting a lazy Susan .....
The main reason for releasing tension is not to save the blade. Its to stop the rubber tyre being permanently indented.
Not a problem if you only use one size of blade, but a different sized blade will be trying to fit inside the dent and tracking will suffer badly.

9 times out of ten the blade breaks because it is over tightened, and will normally break on a tight curve.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-03-2016, 07:40 AM
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The main reason for releasing tension is not to save the blade. Its to stop the rubber tyre being permanently indented.
Not a problem if you only use one size of blade, but a different sized blade will be trying to fit inside the dent and tracking will suffer badly.

9 times out of ten the blade breaks because it is over tightened, and will normally break on a tight curve.
The tires on mine look fine.... No indentation .....
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-04-2016, 12:41 AM
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sounds like you have the tension set correctly.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-06-2016, 09:29 PM
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Reasons for breakage: bad welds or blade defect or forcing work through a dull blade. Anything that stresses the metal will weaken it over time, but flexing and heating during cutting operations is going to be the primary stress - not normal working tension. For me the life of the blade depends on sharpness and how long it stays sharp depends on what is being cut. I cut a lot of dirty, nasty wood with a 3/4" blade on a 20" saw. When one breaks it is rather exciting. There is no one in town who will sharpen them so when they are dull they are trash. We used to save them and take them down to Mexico to give away - no one to do that now. Before that an outfit in town would sharpen them - now they are an expendable item - sad really.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-06-2016, 09:51 PM
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DIY bandsaw blade sharpening

Just to see IF I could, I sharpened a 143" X 3/4" blade:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/b...ing-diy-10872/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-06-2016, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Just to see IF I could, I sharpened a 143" X 3/4" blade:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/b...ing-diy-10872/
Thanks for the link to your thread. I like the Dremel by hand idea - just don't count the teeth (well, till after the job is done :) ). And yes, no way to set them. The outfit in town had a machine that would sharpen and set but couldn't make money with it - blades were a little cheaper then, but labor is higher now. I think we were paying $12/blade, 141" 3T 3/4". They are ~$20 US now. Just bought 20 of them from Starrett. Mostly it wouldn't pay to do it by hand except in a pinch if there wasn't a new one handy. Main thing is to sharpen each tooth the same amount - so they stay the same length/height and all do the same work.

I visited a machine shop in Fresno some years back where a guy was doing circular saw blades by hand. I asked why they didn't use a machine and he replied that the result wasn't as good - machine leaves a ragged edge, not like hand filing - clean and sharp. File, file, file, tap, turn, file, file, file... he was very fast with it, perfect job in a few minutes. They probably had a machine to set the teeth - didn't ask though. A lost art now I think, around here anyway.

When a blade breaks on the 20" saw it makes a very loud bang - gets your heart going. Sometimes we cut round things. Round objects like to roll into the blade and bind it. Saw has a 3 phase 5hp motor - it doesn't stop, so the blade breaks after embedding itself in the work. I visited a sawmill in Alpine Arizona once. They had a bandsaw - 20' loop maybe? Operator sat next to the work in a cab with plexiglass windows. I think the idler wheel was mostly upstairs. They did the sharpening up there. Outside in the yard there was a piece of timber with a bit of one of those blades embedded in it. Clearly that blade had broken during a cutting operation. I wonder what it sounded like? I wonder if the operator had to go home and change his shorts and take the rest of the day off after...

I've sharpened a two person crosscut saw, set the teeth and swedged the rakers - satisfying to use the tool after when the job is well done. Those teeth are big though, relatively.

I'll post this text to the other thread as well.
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