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Thread: bandsaw blade recommendations

  1. #1
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default bandsaw blade recommendations

    I guess I don't keep good enough records sometimes...
    I've dulled all of my 1/4" bandsaw blades and need to replace them. The last ones I had cut rough, left a big kerf, and were just not very "nice". I don't remember where I got them nor who made them, and I don't remember where I got the ones before them that I liked much better. Rather than take a shot in the dark buying blades this time, perhaps someone can lead me in the direction of a good custom blade source.
    Here's my problem. As some of you know, I have a fairly large bandsaw and need blades over 17 feet long. That means I have to get them custom welded because sellers don't offer the size I need. I recently used bandsaws "strung up" with Starrett blades and I liked them, especially since they were getting lots of use and staying sharp pretty well.
    I haven't found anyone who custom welds Starrett blades so I'm asking what blades you use and recommend.
    I found a place that custom welds Lenox blades. Does anyone use and recommend them? Other brands?

  2. #2

    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    As far as I know, the name brand distributors all do custom. Although our (metal) saw, like most, had its own welder built in, we got better results ordering to length, especially as newer bimetal blades may require more sophisticated welds, or sometimes braze. Fooling around at home with the resistance welder, the TIG, and silver solder, I have never been successful on a 1/4” blade.
    One of the issues with big saws and narrow blades is the tensioning mechanism, which may not have suitable compliance. Too much mass.
    I think there are some good threads here on blades, tooth types, preparation, but I don’t have the time to dig through today.

  3. #3
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    Having operated and set up bandsaws from little 10" Craftsman saws to Woodmizer sawmills for over 30 years, I have a pretty good understanding of tooth type, tooth spacing, set, hook angle, rake angle, etc. etc. I'm just looking for a manufacturer who makes a smooth running blade that stays sharp a reasonable time.
    My 1927 Yates American saw easily tensions and runs custom made 1/8" blades. 1/4" is no problem at all. I currently have the saw set up for resawing with a 3/4" blade, but with a 1/8" blade and a fresh set up the saw can go from resawing 12" stock to doing this...
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    Since opening this thread I've discovered that Timber Wolf offers 1/4" blades in a variety of styles, welded to custom lengths. Not cheap, but I've heard good things about them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    John,
    I've been buying from BandsawBladesDirect.com for years. They sell Lenox. My blades on my snowflake are 12'. I have a ticket here for 2 of them, 1/4" 4TPI. With shipping, the cost for the pair was $53.06. They hold up very well if you don't saw into a nail.... The actual blades seem to come from a place called Action Industrial Supply. I see on the BandsawBladesDirect website they can go way past 17'. I've never had a weld fail on a blade from them.
    Hope you're well, BTW.

  5. #5
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    Thanks Dale. They only offer one blade (1/4" 4TPI) in the 206" length that I need, and the stock is .032". I'd also like to have some 6TPI. Timber Wolf offers .025" stock. I'm really not sure what the performance difference would be between the thicker stock and the thinner stock. Generally, thicker tends to be more stable in the cut, but thinner takes less power. I might have to try both.
    I've never broken a blade on this saw. When you think about it, 17' of blade does a lot of cutting and the blade only bends and straightens twice during all of that cutting. It bends on a rather large 15" radius on top of that. Big saws just don't break as many blades as small saws.

  6. #6

    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    John, check with Mizenheimer in Morristown, TN. They custom weld blades and keep stock from Starrett and Lenox. That's where I get my blades. They are a pretty big operation and even make custom carbide router bits. Good folks. They have a web site.

  7. #7
    Layer of Complexity Kevin Knippa's Avatar
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    Misenheimer Saw & Tool - http://www.misenheimerinc.com/

  8. #8

    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    I've never broken a blade on this saw. When you think about it, 17' of blade does a lot of cutting and the blade only bends and straightens twice during all of that cutting. It bends on a rather large 15" radius on top of that. Big saws just don't break as many blades as small saws.[/QUOTE]
    And then there are those three-wheelers, that combine the worst of everything.
    John, do you bother rounding the backs on the thin blades?
    Wasn’t dissing big saws, just ones with out of round wheels, lumpy tires etc.

  9. #9
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    Sometimes I take the time to round the back edges, especially if I have tight curves to cut. Usually I just install the blades and cut if I don't feel a burr on the back edge.

    I'll look into Misenheimer, Thanks Lynn and Kevin.

  10. #10
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    I'm not a pro, but I've gotten blades from Timber Wolf and been happy with the service and the blade quality, in a 16 inch powermatic saw.
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

  11. #11
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    Mostly I've heard/read people singing the praises of bigger Timber Wolf blades for resawing. Are their smaller (like1/4") blades also as good as the price would indicate?

  12. #12
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    I don't have enough experience with different brands of blades to be able to say much, I"m afraid.
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

  13. #13
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    Luckily, four blocks from my place there is a local fellow, Ken Woody, who runs a saw sharpening and blade shop that has been there since he got back from the Korean war- United Saw and Tool. I can break a blade and literally ride my bike to get a new one fifteen minutes later....

    Bandsaw Blades Direct that Dale mentioned is where I get my better mid priced blades for the big saw. I've tried everything they sell on the big Yates Y30 (200"+ blade) and to be honest, the $50 Lennox blades are about 95% of the quality and cuttiing that the $300 full carbide beast is. I tend to hit calcium deposits and rocks long before the blades dull & I like to have a mid price blade that I can use as one offs resawing for other folks when they bring in Brazilian rosewood logs and such.

    For 1/4" & 3/8" blades I really like the quality of the Timberwolf from Suffolk Machinery. I tried their larger blades and was not impressed enough to buy them again. High surface quality and cut performance are much more important to me than a thin kerf.

    Thanks to your photos of that tiny little blade a few years ago, I picked up a couple for my saw and was VERY impressed with how useful they were for tiny little details. One thing I found to be very helpful- they are small and tiny and under a huge amount of tension. They tend to break from the startup tension and motor pull, so I'll open the cover, spin the top wheel, close the door quick and start the saw while the wheel is still spinning and I've not broke a blade since.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    I've been using timberwolf for a couple years now on my big ol grizzly. 1/8" and 1/4" mostly. I have nothing bad to say about them.
    Hughes F-5 #1
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    Diamond/Sterling Saw is a few miles from my house, they make all sorts of custom blades. You would need to find out where to order them from as they do not sell direct with customer, give them a call.
    https://www.diamondsaw.com

  16. #16

    Default Re: bandsaw blade recommendations

    Mention of diamond jogged memory of semiconductor fab days. How about a saw with a blade 0.02mm, and length unlimited? Saws used to slice and dice silicon, quartz and gems are designed for really narrow kerf and very little chipping. Some are wire saws, using tungsten wire on spools or diamond-encrusted tungsten at larger diiameter (say 0.2mm). The wire runs from spool to spool and reverses direction. The really big ones can cut 1m diameter!
    Not to be too far off base here, I mention that, for cutting things like inlays, cheap diamond wire that can fit in a coping saw frame is available, and for those of us who might be dealing with such thin and brittle materials, offer smoother cutting than any traditional toothed jeweler’s saw. 0.25mm diamond wire is only about $1/yard. Of course, wire saws cut in any direction, which can be useful in tight places.

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