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Old 03-29-2008, 05:20 AM   #1
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Default Bi-metal bandsaw blades

Does anybody on the forum have any experience with bi-metal blades on their 4" x 6" bandsaws? Just wondered if they are worth the extra money.

Also, what's the deal with the vari-tooth bandsaw blades I see at various places?

Chuck


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Old 03-29-2008, 05:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

Chuck,

I am not 100% sure if the blade I am using is bi-metal or not. I got it from Home depot. I honestly don't remember, but I am not happy with it. I was going to put up a post like this shortly asking for peoples opinions on the blades they are using.?.

Eric


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Old 03-29-2008, 05:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

I bought 2 bi-metal blades about 2 years ago,and they seem to last a long time .I couldn't say that of the carbon blades I used to buy.They would break with amazing monotony.For awhile i silver-soldered them back together,but that gets old very quickly.Spend the extra for the bi-metal,it'll save you money in the longer term.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

Brass_machine-
I have been using the Ridgid made blades from Home Depot, they are carbon steel, the last one I bought had such a poor weld I brought it back.

13AL
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

The "pundits" say that bimetal is the only way to go. I've used Starrett brand bimetal blades on mine and they do cut better and last longer on harder metals. However, I had trouble with them shedding a tooth or 2 due to operator error I assume and then they went downhill fast, losing many more teeth quickly.

I broke the last one on a weekend and ended up buying a couple of made-in-Mexico bimetal blades at H/F for less money. They work great and either my technique has gotten better or they're more durable because the same one has been on there for a long time now. Next time, I'm considering buying a higher quality carbon steel blade from a proper supply house and seeing how that works. Should reduce the teeth stripping issue.

Speaking of the 4x6, anyone have any suggestions how to "suggest" the blade back onto the drive wheel? Mine runs about 3/16" out from the flange no matter what I do with adjustments. It's gotta be wearing the wheel incorrectly.
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

The blade back support bearings, upper and lower, should be backed off completely when adjusting the tracking, that should bring the blade closer to the flange, but not touching!, then reset the back bearings to "just touch" the blade, if you have done all this and still have an issue you may need to use a straight edge across both wheels to see if something is actualy misaligned, that bottom wheel can be adjusted in or out on the shaft.

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Old 03-29-2008, 01:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

I have used both types of blades and will always buy the bi-metal blades. They last longer and on my machine cut a lot better. The variable tooth arrangement is to get a better cut over a larger range of sizes. You need at least three teeth (I think) touching the metal at all times during the cut. If you have too many it will cut too slowly and if too few will have a chance of breaking off a tooth. The variable tooth blades are a compromise but I have used them and really like them. If you are cutting one size a lot it might be better to get a blade with the correct tooth spacing but for a general hobby shop I would recommend the variable tooth blade. I personally like the 10-14tpi
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

Setting up a band saw:

http://home.vicnet.net.au/~pwguild/i-bndsaw.htm
http://www.americanfurnituredsgn.com...20Dec%2003.htm
http://www.mini-lathe.com/Bandsaw/Bandsaw.htm (of course)


has instructions - generally applied to wood working band saws but should equally apply to a metal blade.
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

HI
Personaly I hate bandsaws although I have to have one for a lot of jobs.
My choice would always be a power hacksaw.

My reason for the hatred stems from Bi metal blades mostly all from Starret. We had a long term issue with the blades cracking along the length of the band. Our saw doctor in the end replaced all the rollers and re machined the wheels. All this solved nothing! What did solve the problem was going back to cheap carbon steel bands and the problem vanished.

My power hacksaw although slower never seems to want for anything and has worked well for 20 odd years.

Cheers kevin
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bi-metal bandsaw blades

What you are cutting makes a big difference on blade life. I personally just use the cheaper blades because I only cut bar occasionally, not like in a production shop were it could be in use all day long, and they hold up quite well. I also put a hydraulic downfeed (homemade) on it instead of the spring tensioner that came with it. This helps the blades last because you have much better control of the pressure on the blade and not putting to much downforce on the blade helps to keep it cutting true, It doesn't matter if it's a hacksaw at the bench or a bandsaw, forcing the cutting action will cause the blade to twist and you get one of though nice diagonal cuts we all love so much.


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