Band Saw

w666

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Initially I was going to take it all apart for transport. But we realized since it's all cast iron it wouldn't be hard at all to use it as a fulcrum and get it tipped up and into the back of my truck. The seller seemed very concerned that I wanted to dismantle it :rofl: So it seemed to me it would fulcrum back down easier than it went in, right? If not for the wheels sliding on me I believe I would have had it out by myself. I almost did it! Luckily my neighbor then came and it took us like 30 seconds to finish.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend the type(s) of blades I should buy for cutting bodies and necks as in width and tpi? And if you have preferred brands that would be helpful too.
Timber Wolf!!

https://www.timberwolfblades.com/
 

DaveR

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I went with Timberwolf for my big 20" bandsaw. The smaller blades I bought have been great and for general cutting on a 14" bandsaw, I think you'll be happy with them.

However, I've been severely disappointed in the 1" Timberwolf resaw blade I ordered. The first one was welded at an ANGLE so the back of the blade wouldn't sit flat against the thrust bearing. I contacted TW for a replacement, which went smoothly, good customer service. The second one was welded with a slight twist so it kicks to one side as it passes the bearing guides and leaves a truly ragged kerf but it tracks and cuts. I didn't bother asking for a 3rd blade. I really haven't resawed all that much, so I don't know how long it should last, but I noticed it dulled rather quickly and the first time I tried resawing a block of ebony it smoked like crazy. I touched up every tooth of it's 13 feet with a file afterward, but I think it's done for. Next time I'm going to pony up the cash for a Laguna Resaw King I think. I've also heard that Wood Slicer is good, but I have no personal experience with either brand.
 

Roxy13

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Would this be a good combo set to get me started? My initial tasks will be the following:

Cutting bodies and necks (mahogany and maple caps)
Neck blanks
MDF templates
Plastics for back plates and PGs
Tapering FBs

 

DaveR

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Would this be a good combo set to get me started? My initial tasks will be the following:

Cutting bodies and necks (mahogany and maple caps)
Neck blanks
MDF templates
Plastics for back plates and PGs
Tapering FBs

I doubt you would use the real small ones much. I’ve done all of that with 1/4” blade. Changing blades is enough of a hassle on a bandsaw that I don’t do it often. 1/4” can cut a pretty tight radius. I use a 1/2” on my big saw for straighter cuts like tapering necks, but have done it with 1/4 blade on my little saw. Keep in mind any curves you cut with a bandsaw are just rough and will need cleaned up with a router and template or at the spindle sander.

I would recommend one good 1/4” blade for general guitar work. And maybe a 1/2” but you may find you don’t need it. Those tiny blades are almost for scrollwork kinda stuff.
 

Roxy13

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I doubt you would use the real small ones much. I’ve done all of that with 1/4” blade. Changing blades is enough of a hassle on a bandsaw that I don’t do it often. 1/4” can cut a pretty tight radius. I use a 1/2” on my big saw for straighter cuts like tapering necks, but have done it with 1/4 blade on my little saw. Keep in mind any curves you cut with a bandsaw are just rough and will need cleaned up with a router and template or at the spindle sander.

I would recommend one good 1/4” blade for general guitar work. And maybe a 1/2” but you may find you don’t need it. Those tiny blades are almost for scrollwork kinda stuff.
What tpi do you use? 6tpi?
 

DaveR

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Had to run out to the shop and measure, couldn't remember off the top of my head!

1/4" blade is 6 tpi
1/2" blade is 4 tpi
1" resaw blade is 3 tpi
 

Roxy13

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I ordered 2 1/4" 6tpi and 1 1/2" 4tpi for now. I need to see if I can get a resaw kit for this. It would be nice, but I'm not sure how often I would use that anyway if it's no longer supported.

Do you guys clean your blades after use? Do you loosen the tension between uses? The manual suggests I do that.

The guy I got it from gave me a NIB blade for it and he ordered the wrong size :rofl: It takes 93.5" and he bought it a 90". He had the manual so I'm not sure why he didn't look at it first.
 

DaveR

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Do you guys clean your blades after use? Do you loosen the tension between uses? The manual suggests I do
I don’t clean any blades for any tool until they get real funky with pitch. But I’m lazy. On my little 12” saw the blade and saw were cheap, so I’ve never detensioned it in 6 years. It still works fine. On my big 20” saw if I’m going to leave it sit more than a week I take the tension out, it’s just a hassle to get it dialed back in next time. if I ever buy a newer saw it’ll have one of those big detensioning levers.
 

jkes01

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Oh man, I never release the tension on mine and it sits for moths at a time without use. Maybe that’s why my last 1/4” blade snapped on me. Yeah it would be a pain to dial it back in, but normally go through it before each use.

A dull blade will burn maple and not make nice cuts. I sharpened my 1/2” blade with a 300/600 grit diamond card. Mark the blade with a sharpie and a couple of swipes on each tooth until the sharpie mark comes back around. Very tedious work, but well worth the effort. Cuts like butter and no more burning. I also clean the blade with some naphtha after sharpening.
 

Roxy13

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Oh man, I never release the tension on mine and it sits for moths at a time without use. Maybe that’s why my last 1/4” blade snapped on me. Yeah it would be a pain to dial it back in, but normally go through it before each use.

A dull blade will burn maple and not make nice cuts. I sharpened my 1/2” blade with a 300/600 grit diamond card. Mark the blade with a sharpie and a couple of swipes on each tooth until the sharpie mark comes back around. Very tedious work, but well worth the effort. Cuts like butter and no more burning. I also clean the blade with some naphtha after sharpening.
Yeah I have a feeling there will be sudden busy times on my saw and then a lot of sitting as I'm not exactly going to go nuts here building!
 

DaveR

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I used my big bandsaw today and thought this info might be helpful...

I already had a 1/2" blade on it, and since I was way too lazy to change it, I cut out this body with that blade.
IMG_5446.jpg


1/2" blade handled almost all the curves without issue and leaves a fairly smooth cut, which you can see on the bottom edge in this photo.
IMG_5450.jpg


In the horns, it was a bit tight for the 1/2" blade. A 1/4" blade would have had no problem rounding that bend. I probably could have forced the 1/2" around those curves, but was afraid of breaking the blade. So I made a bunch of relief cuts and nibbled away at it. Relief cuts are a good idea in almost any curve cutting. You never know when you wind up stuck and need to back the blade out of it's own kerf. That's a real PITA if you've made a bunch of turns.
IMG_5447.jpg


It's leaves a raggedy edge when nibbling, but that was easy to clean up on my spindle sander. No need to change blades.
IMG_5448.jpg


A few other points I thought of, since it sounds like you're kinda new to bandsaws....sorry if you know all this already, just trying to help!

When you're feeding along you get in a rhythm of a steady feed with your hands, just like any other tool, table saw, jointer, router table, etc etc. It took me a long time to get my head around this....with all those other tools, you want to maintain a steady feed rate. Don't stop because you can burn the wood, or make a divot. With a bandsaw, if you get into some trouble, need to stop and take a breath, need to think for a second? JUST STOP PUSHING. It's not going anywhere. You're controlling the feed rate. Holding still and letting the blade pass through its own kerf isn't going to hurt anything. It sounds so simple, but for years, I'd panic cause I was straying from my line and couldn't keep it on track while maintaining feed rate. There's no need for consistent feed rate. Go as slow as you want. Back up a little, adjust the angle, try again.

Be careful backing up cause you can hook the blade and pull it forward off of the tires. On a little saw, it's inconvenient to throw the blade. On a big saw with a 13 foot blade, it's scary as hell.

If doing any resawing, use push sticks. You have to push kind of hard to resaw, and as you get near the end of the cut, the blade can break through suddenly. I've heard horror stories of guys chopping the tips off both thumbs when resawing. My bandsaw push sticks have definitely been amputated more times than I can count. Pretty much any other type of cutting on the bandsaw is fairly safe, and I don't need any special precautions beyond "don't touch the blade". Don't try to grab those little chunks that wind up hanging out by the blade. Use a stick to knock them out of the way.

Make sure and adjust your guides when changing blades, and raise and lower the guide tower for the stock thickness you're cutting. You want it just high enough to pass the stock under. Don't run it way up in the air, even though you can see better. The higher the guide tower is, the less it supports the blade.

Good luck with that new saw! Let us know when you've got it all tuned up.
 


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