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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to do some bandsaw boxes. The narrowest width blade recommended for my bandsaw (Rikon 10-326) is 3/16". For the radii some of them may have (less than 5/8") that should work. I'm guessing the boxes would be 4" to 7" thick. What tpi and type of tooth would be best for this? Also, from what I've read a radius greater than 5/8" calls for 1/4" blade. Would I need to change the blade if I was cutting bigger radi? If so what tpi for material 1" to 6" thick?
 

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A general purpose 1/2" 3tpi blade is nice for thicker material on straight cuts. For curves in thicker material, I have a 1/4" 5tpi blade that cuts most curves pretty cleanly. You need to go slow without stopping.
 

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Bandsaw boxes are a different thing from any other kind of bandsaw work. I know, theyre my main interest (check my projects link below).
A 3/16" blade will do everything you need. I dont even change from a 3/16" when resawing. I can cut 8" high hardwoods pretty straight and true with it.
TPI are a matter of "suck it and see" experience, but anywhere between 4 and 10 works well for me.
 

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Three teeth per inch is better for resawing and cutting thick wood. The width of the blade would largely depend on how sharp radiuses you plan to turn. If you plan on making a lot of sharp turns you better get the most narrow blade you can find. For what you are doing if you start a turn and can't make it then your box may be ruined. With a bandsaw you can't back out of a cut. The blade will come off the saw if you backup. Sometimes you can shut the saw off and put a wedge or something in the cut where you can wiggle it out but if you are very far into it you may have to just cut through the box in a way you don't want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A general purpose 1/2" 3tpi blade is nice for thicker material on straight cuts. For curves in thicker material, I have a 1/4" 5tpi blade that cuts most curves pretty cleanly. You need to go slow without stopping.
Thanks for the reply. When I bought the saw one guy there recommended 1/2" 3 tpi for resawing. There is two votes for that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bandsaw boxes are a different thing from any other kind of bandsaw work. I know, theyre my main interest (check my projects link below).
A 3/16" blade will do everything you need. I dont even change from a 3/16" when resawing. I can cut 8" high hardwoods pretty straight and true with it.
TPI are a matter of "suck it and see" experience, but anywhere between 4 and 10 works well for me.
Thanks sunnybob. I looked at your boxes. Nice work. I saw a couple on there I was wanting to do to start off with. A butterfly for my wife and an elephant for my stepdaughter. Hope they turn out at least half as nice as yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Three teeth per inch is better for resawing and cutting thick wood. The width of the blade would largely depend on how sharp radiuses you plan to turn. If you plan on making a lot of sharp turns you better get the most narrow blade you can find. For what you are doing if you start a turn and can't make it then your box may be ruined. With a bandsaw you can't back out of a cut. The blade will come off the saw if you backup. Sometimes you can shut the saw off and put a wedge or something in the cut where you can wiggle it out but if you are very far into it you may have to just cut through the box in a way you don't want.
Thank you. I could see me ruining something.
 

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You asked about tooth type..I prefer skip tooth blades. They cut pretty aggressive with a decent surface and a decent life. The gullet is very important to give your chips room before they are cleared from the cut. If the Gullet is too small, the chips clog and burn due to friction, or else the blade starts to wander.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You asked about tooth type..I prefer skip tooth blades. They cut pretty aggressive with a decent surface and a decent life. The gullet is very important to give your chips room before they are cleared from the cut. If the Gullet is too small, the chips clog and burn due to friction, or else the blade starts to wander.
I did ask about that. Thank you. I will check that out.
 

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Thanks sunnybob. I looked at your boxes. Nice work. I saw a couple on there I was wanting to do to start off with. A butterfly for my wife and an elephant for my stepdaughter. Hope they turn out at least half as nice as yours.
I've been and checked what I use, they are 3/16" x 10 tpi.. I use them exclusively. I would only put on a wider blade if I was resawing very large quantities of rough lumber. My 2 x 3/8" blades are rusting quietly on the wall next to the bandsaw.
Every box on my projects page was made with them.
I can back out of multiple curves easily, by just making small gentle back and fore motions to stop pulling the blade off the top wheel.

Dont be afraid. Any mistake you make is a learning opportunity. I had no one to teach me when I started, and had to learn everything by myself. Maybe thats why I can do things that arent supposed to be done.

The sawing of the boxes is the easy part, although I have scrapped a few boxes, many minor mistakes can be covered up or altered during the making.
Sanding and finishing is where the brain power comes in. This lot are ready for a christmas market this weekend (no, I didnt bandsaw the baby buddhas)
Cabinetry Wood Countertop Drawer Art
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've been and checked what I use, they are 3/16" x 10 tpi.. I use them exclusively. I would only put on a wider blade if I was resawing very large quantities of rough lumber. My 2 x 3/8" blades are rusting quietly on the wall next to the bandsaw.
Every box on my projects page was made with them.
I can back out of multiple curves easily, by just making small gentle back and fore motions to stop pulling the blade off the top wheel.

Dont be afraid. Any mistake you make is a learning opportunity. I had no one to teach me when I started, and had to learn everything by myself. Maybe thats why I can do things that arent supposed to be done.

The sawing of the boxes is the easy part, although I have scrapped a few boxes, many minor mistakes can be covered up or altered during the making.
Sanding and finishing is where the brain power comes in. This lot are ready for a christmas market this weekend (no, I didnt bandsaw the baby buddhas) View attachment 445089
I'm sure looking forward to trying. Probably won't start out with any exotic wood. I was looking at the elephants. I'm guessing you cut the dips on the hips and legs after you cut the drawer out. How do you cut the narrow part on the trunk?
 

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I use hardwoods not only because they look so much better but they are quite easy to cut with sharp tools, and dont split as much as soft woods because the grain is so much tighter. The outer side shape is cut first, then once the side slices are gone draw the drawers and cut them. The elephant trunk is tricky, you cant use the bandsaw for that. I use a small hand saw with no tooth set to remove the bulk. You will find the vast amount of your time making a box is sanding, and sanding, and then sanding some more. It takes me something like 20 to 30 hours to complete a box, about 1 hour is actually on the bandsaw. I use a router table and roundover bit to make the edges softer once the box is assembled. Use 60 or 80 grit until you are happy with the shape, then go around again with 120, 180, and 220. I dont usually go finer than that, 320 would be my finest finish for special items. I use shellac, very thin wipe over. After three coats I use very fine wire wool (OOOO if you can get it) just to lightly remove the nubbins. be gentle, if you take off all the shellac back to thee wood you just need more coats again. Then more coats of shellac till your'e happy. Usually I stop at 10 coats.

To repeat myself, dont be afraid, practice makes perfect. Dont set yourself up to produce a masterpiece from the get go. Theres a reason why woodworking masters had a 5 year apprenticeship. Your first box is likely to be firewood, most peoples are, but you learn very fast that way.
 

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I've been and checked what I use, they are 3/16" x 10 tpi.. I use them exclusively. I would only put on a wider blade if I was resawing very large quantities of rough lumber. My 2 x 3/8" blades are rusting quietly on the wall next to the bandsaw.
Every box on my projects page was made with them.
I can back out of multiple curves easily, by just making small gentle back and fore motions to stop pulling the blade off the top wheel.

Dont be afraid. Any mistake you make is a learning opportunity. I had no one to teach me when I started, and had to learn everything by myself. Maybe thats why I can do things that arent supposed to be done.

The sawing of the boxes is the easy part, although I have scrapped a few boxes, many minor mistakes can be covered up or altered during the making.
Sanding and finishing is where the brain power comes in. This lot are ready for a christmas market this weekend (no, I didnt bandsaw the baby buddhas) View attachment 445089
Awesome gallery, very nice website!

- Bob
 

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3 TPI would be pretty coarse. Generally 2-3 is resaw or rip.

Personally, I can’t cut wood with a 10TPI blade it’s much too slow. I think a 5-6 TPI blade is good. Buy the Olsen blades to start. They are cheap enough to get a couple different ones ans ee what works best for you. The hardness also makes a big difference on what blade is best.

Rounding over the back of the blade improves curve cutting. I do this by running the saw and dressing the blade with a file. Be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I use hardwoods not only because they look so much better but they are quite easy to cut with sharp tools, and dont split as much as soft woods because the grain is so much tighter. The outer side shape is cut first, then once the side slices are gone draw the drawers and cut them. The elephant trunk is tricky, you cant use the bandsaw for that. I use a small hand saw with no tooth set to remove the bulk. You will find the vast amount of your time making a box is sanding, and sanding, and then sanding some more. It takes me something like 20 to 30 hours to complete a box, about 1 hour is actually on the bandsaw. I use a router table and roundover bit to make the edges softer once the box is assembled. Use 60 or 80 grit until you are happy with the shape, then go around again with 120, 180, and 220. I dont usually go finer than that, 320 would be my finest finish for special items. I use shellac, very thin wipe over. After three coats I use very fine wire wool (OOOO if you can get it) just to lightly remove the nubbins. be gentle, if you take off all the shellac back to thee wood you just need more coats again. Then more coats of shellac till your'e happy. Usually I stop at 10 coats.

To repeat myself, dont be afraid, practice makes perfect. Dont set yourself up to produce a masterpiece from the get go. Theres a reason why woodworking masters had a 5 year apprenticeship. Your first box is likely to be firewood, most peoples are, but you learn very fast that way.
I appreciate the advice. I have some maple blocks I thought I would start with and can get more. I do expect there to be a learning curve. I have been doing some work on the scroll saw and some of it is rough but nothing some sanding can't fix. Now that is a lot of sanding but I understand you have to put the work in to get good results, and I expect my first ones to take even more. My wife actually likes to sand so there is some help with that. I jokingly told her last week she was the sanding room supervisor. She also likes the finishing process. Thank you again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
3 TPI would be pretty coarse. Generally 2-3 is resaw or rip.

Personally, I can’t cut wood with a 10TPI blade it’s much too slow. I think a 5-6 TPI blade is good. Buy the Olsen blades to start. They are cheap enough to get a couple different ones ans ee what works best for you. The hardness also makes a big difference on what blade is best.

Rounding over the back of the blade improves curve cutting. I do this by running the saw and dressing the blade with a file. Be careful.
Thank you for the reply and advice. I will check those blades out. For now just starting out, slow might be best for me. However, I could see me getting impatient if it is real slow going and then messing something up.
 

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Theres always a trade off between time and finish. But as soon as you have to scrap a quick job, a long job becomes much more sensible.
Rushing yourself will ALWAYS end in disaster. It will take you about a year to discover your best speed rate. Starting off with too high expectations will not end well. I speak from experience here:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Appreciate it Bob. Very good advice. I'm retired for almost a year now. After years of rushing here and there and trying to get as much done as I could everyday I find it very relaxing to go to my shop and do things without hurrying. It has taken a while to get in that frame of mind and still sometimes have to remind myself. I will definitely go slow and keep my expectations within reason. I do want to learn to do things well.
 
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