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Tip #31
Band Sawing Versatility (continued)
Click here for a printer friendly version of Tip-
Pg. 1-3, Pg 4-6, Pg 7-9, Pg 10-12, Pg 13-15, Pg 16-18

Bandsaw Blades

Your bandsaw will accept any blade 1/16" to 5/8" wide and 72" long (within 1/2"). Choosing the right blade for the job will depend on:

  • the kind of material you're about to cut
  • the thickness of the stock
  • the bandsaw operation you're about to perform
  • the intricacy of the design

Wider blades are stiffer, so the cut is straighter. Larger teeth and deeper gullets help clear the sawdust in a deep cut. Wider blades are the best choice for heavy resawing or sawing thick stock. Narrower blades are better suited for intricate work. The narrower the blade is, the tighter the radius it will cut. Choose narrow blades when you need to cut complex designs. To help select the blade that will work best for any given operation, refer to Table 14-1.

Table 14-1: Bandsaw Blades and Speeds
Characteristics Recommended Use Recommended Speed**
1/16" Woodcutting Blade* - 24 teeth per inch, 1/32" minimum turning radius For extretmly fine detail work only. Use for wood and plywood up to 3" thick. Not for heavy-duty cuts or resawing. Note: Set the tension scale at 1/8" setting. A (750 RPM, 2160 FPR) for hardwood. B (850 RPM, 2450 FPM) for softwood.
1/8" Woodcutting Blade - 7.5 teeth per inch, 1/4" minimum turning radius For very fine detail work only. Use for wood and plywood up to 3" thick. Not for heavy-duty cuts or resawing. C (950 RPM, 2750 FPM) for hardwood. D (1050 RPM, 3000 FPM) for softwood
1/4" Combination Blade - 6 teeth per inch, 3/4" minimum turning radius A good general purpose blade for wood, plywood, plastics, particle board, and soft non-ferrous metals. Limit resawing to stock 4" thick, metalwork to stock 1/4" thick. This is the blade that comes with your bandsaw. B (850 RPM, 2450 FPM) for hardwood. C (950 RPM, 2750 FPM) for softwood. Slow (700 RPM, 2000 FPM) for other materials.
1/2" Combination Blade - 4 teeth per inch, 2" minimum turning radius For heavy-duty cutting fo wood, plywood, plastics, particle board, and soft, non-ferrous metals. Suitable for resawing stock up to 6" thick, and metalwork in stock up to 1/2" thick. Slow (700 RPM, 2000 FPM) for hardwood, softwood, and other materials.
5/8" Woodcutting Blade - 3 teeth per inch For heavy-duty resawing. Efficiently handles wood up to 6" thick. Straight cuts only. Note: Set the tension scale at the 1/2" setting. Slow (700 RPM, 2000 FPM) for hardwood and softwood

Several blade manufacturers make bandsaw blade stock for a variety of special purposes -- intricate scrollwork, cutting iron pipe, etc. If you need a special blade, you can have it made at a well-equipped commercial saw shop. Use only high-quality blade stock 1/16" - 1/2" wide. Be sure that the finished blade is 72" long, plus or minus 1/2" and that the weld is ground perfectly smooth.

*Caution: Do not use 1/16" blade without special guide blocks. Failure to use special guide blocks will ruin the blade and damage the standard guide blocks. **Note: these speeds are for 60 hz. operations.

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