Seeking Bandsaw Blade Recommendations and Insight - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-16-2018, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Seeking Bandsaw Blade Recommendations and Insight

I would appreciate any recommendations and insight in regard to bandsaw blades.

My shop presently consists of a 10" table saw, a 10" radial arm saw, scroll saw, router & table, as well as a selection of handheld power tools and other items. I am purchasing a bandsaw to increase my capabilities and am now down to finalizing my blade selection. After much research and consideration I have chosen the Laguna 18BX. (Sidenote: At some point in the future I may possibly purchase a 10" Rikon (or perhaps a used 14" saw) for smaller / detail work and to fill the gap between my scroll saw and the 18BX, but until then the 18BX will be my only bandsaw and I have other equipment needs before an additional bandsaw.)

Specifications:
18" bandsaw
Motor - 3hp, 230v
Blade length - 145"
Blade width - 1/8" to 1-1/4"
Resaw capacity - 16"
Throat - 18-7/32"
Guides - Laguna Ceramic
Weight - 410 lbs

My most frequent tasks will be:

General woodworking with a variety of wood ranging in thickness from 3/8" to 3/4", as well as 2" thick stock. Projects will include a multitude of decorative and craft-type projects, furniture making (primitive & simple designs and not so much fine furniture), and similar projects.

Resaw work will include a multitude of full 2" thick boards ranging in width from 5-1/4" - 8". I have a one-room schoolhouse (unfortunately beyond affordable restroation) that has an addition that was used for farm-type purposes, and I will be dismantling the building and repurposing the wood into useful products, requiring some of this wood will be resawn into thinner stock.

I may also do some limited tinkering around with a smaller log sections to create cookies or similar cuts, or to possibly create an occasional small project board. This will be conducted within the capabilities of the saw and my other equipment (chain saw, etc.) will be used where appropriate.

Also, my eventual plans are to obtain a portable sawmill to make use of the many hardwoods on my 103 acre tree farm. This wood will be cut to size, air or solar-kiln dried and used for a variety of projects, occasionally requiring further cutting and resawing on the bandsaw or other equipment.

Bandsaw blade collection I am considering:

Laguna Resaw King (carbide), 1", 3-4 Variable TPI

Lenox Diemaster 2 (bi-metal), 1/2", 4 TPI, Skip Tooth

Lenox Diemaster 2 (bi-metal), 3/8", 10-14 Variable TPI

Lenox Diemaster 2 (bi-metal), 1/4", 6 TPI, Skip Tooth

My intent is to be able to perform a multitude of functions with the saw, and additionally to learn of and refine my personal bandsaw abilities & needs. I have a preference toward quality and longevity, and thus my choice of brand-name carbide and bi-metal blades.

Any thoughts or opinions are welcome and it can be most helpful to hear of real world experience. I have done several hours of research but want to be sure I am on the right path before making a purchase.

Attached are pictures of the school and some of the type of products the saw will be used for. (Note: The school picture is mine, the other pictures were obtained elsewhere.)

Thank you in advance!
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Last edited by BattleRidge; 01-16-2018 at 07:34 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-16-2018, 07:06 PM
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For general use I like a 1/4" blade with 6 teeth per inch. For resawing I would use a 3/8" or 1/2" blade with 3 teeth per inch.
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-16-2018, 07:20 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Yes, but a bit wider for me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
For general use I like a 1/4" blade with 6 teeth per inch. For resawing I would use a 3/8" or 1/2" blade with 3 teeth per inch.

I like a 3/8" 6 TPI for contour sawing and a 1/2" 3 TPI for resawing on my 14" saws and a 3/4" 3TPI on my 18" saw. I keep a 1/4" blade on the small 10" Craftsman for crafts type projects and cutting scraps to length.

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 #4 of 8 Old 01-18-2018, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the input and it has been helpful to hear from experienced users.

I still have some fine-tuning to do with my final blade choices but should be able to come up with something to get me started. I am purchasing the saw tomorrow and plan on obtaining blades soon thereafter.

Art
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-19-2018, 01:03 PM
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I got a book on bandsaws, and actually read it. (That second part was critical... and not something I'm used to doing, even while I routinely do the first part.)

The book's recommendations on blades is lock step consistent with Steve and Bill's recommendations. The first project I'd like to do with my new to me bandsaw that I recently rebuilt is some resawing of 6" wide redwood. I bought a 1/2" wide 3 tpi blade for the 14" Delta I have. Cheap blade from Harbor Freight, something like $11. I'm going to try it this afternoon. If I come back tomorrow typing like this... ajfinv alsizyu ekm liuzv slk waols... then you'll know something went wrong, and maybe I should have sought a better blade from Iturra or someone like that.

I wanted an even wider blade, but the book talked about the dilemma between the need for more blade tension with wider blades, vs the ability of smaller saws to mechanically provide the required tension. Based on the marks on the blade tensioner screw casting, combined with the width of the tires on the 14" diameter wheels, it appeared to me that the maximum width of blade I could mount on the Delta would have been 3/4", which would have called for about 20,000 psi of tension. So by choosing one step below maximum, or 1/2", that can live with 15,000 psi of tension, I might be operating more within the limits of the machine. This is all freshman talk, coming from me, so keep that in mind.

With an 18" saw (cast iron frame? cast iron wheels? or steel frame? cast aluminum wheels?) I imagine that the Laguna could handle a 1" just fine, or even a 1 1/4" blade at the limit. For resawing, the book (as well as common sense) suggests that wider blades, with more tension, will wander less than skinny blades that can't handle as much tension as the wide blades. The book also suggests that ideally, around 6 teeth should be in the material at any given time. More than 6 teeth inside the material can clog, fewer than 6 teeth inside the material can catch. A 3 tpi blade will end up putting 8 teeth in the 2x6 I want to resaw, but I couldn't readily find a 2 tpi 1/2" blade, and I'd rather have a little bit smoother finish and saw slower.

While at Harbor Freight, I picked up the green colored AccuLink ling belt for the band saw. Niiice. I did some research on this belt. It is actually made in the EEC (European Economic Community), in Italy specifically, not China. It was formerly made in the USA by Jason Industrial, that is part of the Megadyne Group. Some production processes and material coatings were improved, according to the rep at Jason Industrial I called, when the belt production was moved to Italy. The ability to adjust the linkage in the AccuLink belt is reportedly much easier than the red colored Fenner Power Twist belts sold at Rockler, which require pliers to separate, whereas the Acculinks can be done by hand.

As it happened, and for the interest of any Delta 14" owners with a wood only version of one of the most common bandsaw designs sold in America, the Acculink belt fit perfectly on my bandsaw straight out of the box with zero link changes. (1725 rpm motor, open stand mounted below frame).

For curve work, obviously a skinnier blade with more teeth and smaller gullets is called for. My saw came with a 1/4" wide blade and too many teeth for me to count. I set it aside for future needs, and am looking forward to my first foray into resawing over the next day or two.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-19-2018, 05:19 PM
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Mad, you are spot on

The tension issue is definitely dependent on frame construction... cast iron vs welded, 14" vs 18" . Wider blade require mor tension to make them stiff enough to resist bending/deflection, so ya gotta crank down on that tension knob. There was a member Lola Ranch who resawed with a 3/8" wide blade ... prolly 3 TPI and he had great results and made beautiful stuff.

Myself, I like a 1/2" 3 TPI blade on a 14" welded frame saw, and a 3/4" 3 TPI blade on my 18 welded frame saw, both for resawing. Ya can't over feed the blade or it will wander. I use a sharp blade and a taller fence and get pretty darn good uniform thickness resaws. Some prefer following a line and using a round nose guide to keep the work a specific distance from the fence. I don't like that method and since the fence works well for me, I ain't about to change my procedure.

I weld my own blades up to 5/8" wide, can weld a 3/4" and have, but it's easier for me to buy them from Grizzly. Dressing the weld and getting a weld that is dead straight are the two steps that are critical. A bad weld will "go bump in the night" and also during the day. I dress a running blade with a stone rounding off the sharp corners on the back edge and sometimes press it into the blade on the sides to smooth out any imperfections. The tension on the blade alone should keep it tracking straight during a cut. If you find you are bouncing off the side guides, you need to sharpen your blade.

I sharpened a bandsaw blade here .....

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 #7 of 8 Old 01-19-2018, 05:20 PM
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Mad, you are spot on

The tension issue is definitely dependent on frame construction... cast iron vs welded, 14" vs 18" . Wider blades require more
tension to make them stiff enough to resist bending/deflection, so ya gotta crank down on that tension knob. There was a member Lola Ranch who resawed with a 3/8" wide blade ... prolly 3 TPI and he had great results and made beautiful stuff.

Myself, I like a 1/2" 3 TPI blade on a 14" welded frame saw, and a 3/4" 3 TPI blade on my 18 welded frame saw, both for resawing. Ya can't over feed the blade or it will wander. I use a sharp blade and a taller fence and get pretty darn good uniform thickness resaws. Some prefer following a line and using a round nose guide to keep the work a specific distance from the fence. I don't like that method and since the fence works well for me, I ain't about to change my procedure.

I weld my own blades up to 5/8" wide, can weld a 3/4" and have, but it's easier for me to buy them from Grizzly. Dressing the weld and getting a weld that is dead straight are the two steps that are critical. A bad weld will "go bump in the night" and also during the day. I dress a running blade with a stone rounding off the sharp corners on the back edge and sometimes press it into the blade on the sides to smooth out any imperfections. The tension on the blade alone should keep it tracking straight during a cut. If you find you are bouncing off the side guides, you need to sharpen your blade.

I sharpened a bandsaw blade here .....

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-19-2018 at 05:23 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-20-2018, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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I made my final choice and placed the orders for new blades last night - the 1" Laguna Resaw King, & the bi-metal Lenox Diemaster 2 in both a 1/2" 4 tpi and 1/4" 6 tpi size.

Wood Werks in Columbus has 10% off machines this weekend and without the $75 shipping charge that other dealers require this made the saw the cheapest I have found it. My Chief Financial Officer (wifey) and I made the 80 mile trip to Columbus on Friday and purchased the saw (which is now sitting in the back of my pickup).

While in Columbus, we also went to 'The Woodworking Shows' which is at the state fairgrounds this weekend where (among other things) we had the opportunity to see Alex Snodgrass and his bandsaw clinic. While I have seen many of his videos online, it was a true pleasure to see him in person and to have the opportunity to speak with him after the clinic, and additionally to speak with his father and meet Alex's wife. They are truly a class act with a wealth of helpful information and knowledge.

Thank you to all who responded and I very much appreciate the insight and the multitude of perspectives. In some ways it can be mind boggling, but it allowed me the opportunity to dig deeper into the individual aspects. I am looking forward to putting the saw to use, and with my three-blade beginning I should be able to get a good idea of what works best for my individual needs and for my various projects, where I can further adjust and refine in the future if needed.

I'd still like to get a less-expensive blade for use in questionable wood, but 'cheap' doesn't always come in a 145" length I need.

The 18BX is rated for a 1-1/4" blade, but I prefer to not necessarily work at the upper limits of the machine and feel the 1" blade should perform well for the use I have planned.

I picked up a stone at The Woodworking Shows yesterday and plan on dressing the back of the blades, which seems to help limit some of the vertical lines left in wood on curve cuts and such.

I am planning on sharpening the blades on the sawmill once I obtain one, and as a blade goes dull on the bandsaw may try the same. I am going to have Laguna sharpen the Resaw King though.

Art
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