Choosing bandsaw blades?

   / Choosing bandsaw blades? #1  

SmallChange

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New Holland WM25 with 200LC front end loader, filled R4 tires 43X16.00-20 and 25X8.50-14 (had a Kubota B6200D with dozer and R1 tires)
Hi all, I hope this isn't too much of a tangent from tractors, but -- I just ordered a $180 Wen bandsaw for my shop and want to get some blades, and wondered what you would recommend. My usage is a light variety of work with aluminum, steel, plastic, and wood. Typically I'd be cutting out small parts, or parting stock such as: low grade steel threaded rod, aluminum extrusions, light steel angles (the perforated build-it-yourself stuff), PVC such as 3/8" thick sheet, and plywood for making little things like shelf gussets. I don't picture ripping long things against a guide, not often at least. One of the heaviest things I've cut in a while is the 3/8" by 2" mild steel bar I used to clamp my canopy to the roll bar. I'm not making furniture, here, the wood is for utilitarian unfinished items.

I'm thinking 2 or 3 tooth spacings, for harder versus softer materials, and to keep a reasonable number of teeth in contact with a given piece of work. My saw will take 1/8" to 3/8" blades, so I'm also thinking 3/8" for general purpose cutoff as well as less curvy cuts, and also the more delicate 1/8" just for the more curvy cuts. I'd maybe leave a moderate 3/8" blade mounted, as I imagine 3/8" would be more durable and cut straighter for those jobs where curves aren't needed. But, I don't know, I might always choose the best blade for each job.

I also have a chance to get an old Craftsman 3-wheel saw, more or less for free. I might get that and put it out in the barn with a coarse blade, and let that be my go-to saw for wood, and use the new one primarily for metals.

I'm a believer that power tools work way better if you have fresh blades, bits, or other interchangeable contact items, and choose them thoughtfully.

Thank you experts!
 
   / Choosing bandsaw blades? #2  
My 'go to' has always been a 1/2 " 'skip tooth' for woods and plastics and some aluminum.
For steel of any kind band saws are simply too fast and will burn up blades and scrap them.

Skip tooth IMO, while leaving a less pretty cut, performs well for general purpose work.
Higher tooth counts give a nicer finish, cut slower and tend to break more often as do very narrow blades.

It is all a trade off game.
B4 U know it you'll have quite a blade collection.

Have fun!
 
   / Choosing bandsaw blades? #3  
If you band saw is a wood cutter keep in mind most wood cutting bandsaws run at anywhere from 2500 to 4000 FPM.... If you are trying to cut steel , speeds are usually 200 to 350 FPM.... If you try to cut steel at wood speeds you blade will last about 17 seconds....

Dale
 
   / Choosing bandsaw blades? #4  
Just put a imachinist brand 8/12 bi metal blade on my metal cutting band saw. Have only made a few cuts with it but so far so good. No telling how long it will last.
 
   / Choosing bandsaw blades? #5  
If you band saw is a wood cutter keep in mind most wood cutting bandsaws run at anywhere from 2500 to 4000 FPM.... If you are trying to cut steel , speeds are usually 200 to 350 FPM.... If you try to cut steel at wood speeds you blade will last about 17 seconds.... Dale

For steel, we run our band saw at about 100 and its water cooled.
 
   / Choosing bandsaw blades?
  • Thread Starter
#6  
[...]

It is all a trade off game.
B4 U know it you'll have quite a blade collection.

Have fun!

See, this part is really key!
 
   / Choosing bandsaw blades? #7  
As has been stated wood and steel don’t mix on the same saw.
In my shop I’ve found a 1/4” 4 teeth per inch blade running at about 4000 FPM COVERS 99.9% of my wood band sawing needs. I have after market Carter Guides on the saw and run the blame tension very high. I regularly cut hardwoods up to 6” thick with no problems.
Metal is cut with a horizontal band saw with a 1” 10 teeth per in blade at substantially lower FPM. I’m not exactly sure but I suspect in the 100 to 200 FPM range.
Regarding that Craftsman three wheeled band saw. Where ever it is leave it be. Those things are almost impossible to track the blade on.

B. John
 
   / Choosing bandsaw blades?
  • Thread Starter
#8  
As has been stated wood and steel don稚 mix on the same saw.
[...]

Yeah, the more I'm learning about this, the more clear it is to me that you're right. Thanks for giving me a direction to chase.

I wound up ordering an additional saw, a handheld corded bandsaw that runs 60 to 400 fpm. Between these two I think I'm covered for my light usage. Maybe I'll find one of those little tables that lets the handheld cut by its own weight as it slowly descends on a pivot. But I'm bleeding green these days, so, maybe not. Two bandsaws and a floor drill press, just this week....
 
   / Choosing bandsaw blades? #9  
I don't want to start any arguments, but I use the same saw on just about everything I cut in my shop. It typically doesn't cut wood very well, but that is due to operator not the saw. I am usually too lazy or in too big a hurry to take the time to change the blade if I am just making a single cut or two. However, my saw is a variable speed saw capable of both slow speeds and high speeds. Made by Roll-In, it had been well worth the price I paid for it. I sold a Du-All 16 saw that was capable of even a higher range of speeds than my Roll-In, due to someone offering me exactly 10 times what I paid for it, plus I really didn't have room for it. (80 to 5000 fpm if my memory serves me right) My point is, if the saw has the range of speeds that cover both steel, aluminum, plastics and wood, then there is no point in not using it for all of them. Now if your saw is not capable of such a huge range of speeds, then by all means, get a back up saw for the other materials that it won't cut. A homeowner grade saw is typically made for one or the other, which is why such blanket statement was made "wood and steel don't mix on the same saw".
The Do-All mentioned was also capable of blade grinding, which is something you might want to hesitate doing on a saw that you have cut wood on, unless you have cleaned every spec of sawdust out of it!!!
David from jax
 
 
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