Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

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Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Mark Wybierala » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:16 pm

Its really convenient when you have a local source for consumables. My local Home Depot and Lowes sell a very limited selection of blades but they aren't up to my expectations. I've also recently acquired an older 10" Craftsman bandsaw which when I first used it was quite a treat compared to my Rigid 14". Some of the problems I have with my Rigid I'm sure is due to poor quality blades. I also ruined the blade on the Craftsman cutting a bakelite laminate and need a new one so I need to purchase a replacement.

On line sellers promote their product with all sorts of hype. When you go to a major wood working website, you don't know what to believe as a lot of them have sponsors.

Who is a high quality bandsaw blade manufacturer for smaller bandsaws like 10 ande 14" units? I don't mind paying the price if the blade is worth it.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Bob Francis » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:48 pm

I like the highland hardware blades a lot.
They will also do custom sizes.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:58 pm

I'll second the recommendation of Highland Woodworking.

https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/ban ... ories.aspx

Some people think I'm stupid for paying the top $ for the woodslicer brand, but a) they custom-make them for my odd-sized (99 3/4") band saw, and b) they seem to cut through the widest hardwood boards I can get through my saw (8") without any trouble, despite the relatively small (3/4 HP I believe) motor it has.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:06 pm

For resawing I've used the Wood Slicer Resaw blades from Highland because of the thin kerf and smooth cut, but in my experience they don't last too long and are pretty pricey. I've gotten general purpose blades (that I use for everything now including resaw) that are well made and cheap from http://www.woodcraftbands.com/index.htm , but it's been a couple of years since I ordered, and the ownner was having health problems, so I don't know if they're still in business.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Bob Gramann » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:49 pm

Louis Iturra (Iterra Designs) (iturradesign@gmail.com) will make you blades of any length that you need. And, if you tell him what you’re trying to do, he’ll advise you on which type of blade you need. It is worth ordering from him just to get a copy of his catalog, a fantastic resource with all kinds of information about bandsaws. He didn’t used to have a website—you can only contact him on the phone or by email.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Bob Hammond » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:33 am

Bob Gramann wrote:Louis Iturra (Iterra Designs) (iturradesign@gmail.com) will make you blades of any length that you need. And, if you tell him what you’re trying to do, he’ll advise you on which type of blade you need. It is worth ordering from him just to get a copy of his catalog, a fantastic resource with all kinds of information about bandsaws. He didn’t used to have a website—you can only contact him on the phone or by email.


Iturra is a good source. Woodslicers are popular, and Timberwolf too.

The best blade by far that I've ever used is a Lenox Tri-Master 3-4 variable spaced carbide toothed x 105" blade, which I found by chance one day in a hardware store for $6. But it's impractical for most people. It is really not suited for 14" or smaller saws because of breakage due to flexure, and it seems that only the factory can weld them properly. But the real issue is the cost; the last time I looked in the Lenox catalog, they were > $1.80 per inch <!
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Bob Gramann » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:16 am

The Lenox Tri-Master and the Lenox Woodmaster CT are well worth the cost if your saw is big enough to handle them. Each will outlast many, many steel blades. Because of the carbide tip, they cut a wider kerf than the steel or bimetal blade but the tip is square and they cut straight right up until it’s time to replace them—there is no drift. I have to buy a new one every year or two. Both Iturra and Spectrum Supply can provide them. They are not recommended for a 14” saw for the reason that Bob states, but if I were still using a 14” saw, I would try one anyway. I went through a large number of Woodslicer blades when I did have a 14” saw. The carbide blades are a comparative joy.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Christ Kacoyannakis » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:07 pm

I bought a Lenox carbide tooth blade after I had a problem with my old blade. I spoke to a guy who resaws wood for a living, and he told me about the Lenox carbide. Yes, it was expensive, but the cut is as smooth as glass, and it will last a very long time.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Alan Carruth » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:05 pm

I've been getting resaw blades from Infinity that have been pretty good. I get 1/2" 3-4 tooth blades for my 14" Jet saw with a 4" riser. They are the straightest blades I've seen, and it's hard to find the weld. They last pretty well and make a reasonably smooth cut. I was able to get four good slices for B&S of a harp guitar from a long board of hard jatoba that was barely 1" thick.

I'll note that I've always had trouble resawing with this saw, in part, I think, because the riser block kit I got for it didn't exactly match the saw. It was a floor demo model that I got cheap when they came out with a 'new and improved' one, and the only riser kit they had was for the new model. The locator pins are not the same, and it has proved impossible to get the wheels to line up exactly. This has necessitated some fancy dancing in setting up to resaw, including a tall tilting fence to accommodate the drift of the blade and spring loaded hold-ins to keep the wood against the fence. When properly tuned up it's fine, but it takes some care in the setup. This is, of course, always the case when resawing on a band saw.

At one point I got some of the 3/8" Lenox carbide blades. They work well, but take a wide kerf. Still, as has been said: "Better three pieces you can use than four that you can't".

Some years ago I set up a rig using a Dremel tool to sharpen resaw blades. The Dremel is mounted at the correct angle on a sliding table that runs in the guide slot. I use an abrasive cuttoff wheel (usually just the cheap Dremel ones from the hardware store) to take a tiny bit of material off the front of the teeth one at a time with the face of the wheel. If you're using a uniform 3 or 4 TPI blade you can make up a setscrew that guides on the bottom of the gullets to keep things uniform, but with the variable TPI blades that doesn't work. Still, if you just touch the tips it's usually enough, and they can end up sharper than new. I get three or four sharpenings on a blade before they either break or the gullets start to get too shallow. It takes about 20 minutes to sharpen a blade on the saw, which is not much longer than it takes to mount a new one and get everything adjusted. Best of all, if you use a diamond cuttoff wheel you can sharpen carbide blades. I sharpen them as a 'rip' saw, with the flat on the face of the tooth perpendicular to the blade, rather than angled as for a crosscut saw. I'll see if I can get a picture up at some point, if anybody is interested.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby Bob Hammond » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:03 pm

Well, i never discarded the broken Lenox blades. I've toyed with the idea of making a walking beam saw with a piece of a Lenox blade, but I have absolutely no room for such a thing indoors. hmm, i wonder if I could build an outdoor model. If the blade cut properly, it might just last forever since the speed of the saw is so slow and so heat wouldn't build up.

See Mark White's walking beam saw in Fine Woodworking #24.
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Re: Source and Band Saw Blade recommendations

Postby David King » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:09 am

If you like the thin kerf blades but don't care for the price you can always buy them from consolidatedsupply.com which will sell you a 4 blade sampler for a 105" saw for $55 + UPS ground shipping which is generally in the $25 range to the west coast. They sell a 5/8" blade that's .016" thick with a .032 kerf width. If you keep these blades clean (minimizing heat buildup) they will last a long time. By comparison I had terrible luck with the Laguna Resaw King carbide tipped blade which cuts a .042" kerf and cost about $50 to resharpen at the factory. I was basically getting the same milage from the steel blades at a fraction of the kerf width with much less drag on my 1/2hp Delta
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