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Author Topic: Better Bandsaw Blade  (Read 1584 times)

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Offline balsabones

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Better Bandsaw Blade
« on: October 17, 2013, 02:16:56 PM »
This just me thinking out loud but, today at work we were cutting 4" solid cold roll steel 3" thick on a BAILEIGH BS-330M. It is powered by a 3 phase, 220 volt, 3hp motor with a 1 1/4" blade almost 16.5' in length.
I was cutting the cold roll and when we were finished, we had cut 4, 10' sticks and then we put some 2"X1" flat stock on and, it cut that without a problem. The ends of the cold roll are smooth, (except for the bur on the bottom).
I don't understand why someone can make a blade to cut wood like that. Its like the old thought, has someone made a tire that will last 2 or 3 times as long but, if everybody had them the tire market would lose a lot.
It was just a question I asked myself and the people on this forum are the only ones I know of that might have an opinion.
Moving ahead so life don't pass me by

Offline qbilder

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 02:52:04 PM »
If your cold rolled steel was imbedded with sand, dirt, grit, rocks, etc. then your blade wouldn't last nearly as long. I'm fairly certain nobody is refraining from creating a better blade because they wish to protect their market. In a free (mostly) enterprise world, I can take your idea & advance it, then outsell you until you build even further yet upon my advancements, which then you are on top again. It's my goal to feed my family, have a nice home, nice stuff, easy life. If that means introducing a new better blade, then you can bet your bottom that I will do it. If you don't wanna go broke & starve your family, then you will introduce yet an even better blade than mine. Eventually our blades will be so similar in quality that we both have a good following, and we split the sales accordingly. If you wanna trust me to make a deal with you that we will stop advancing blades so to preserve our good lives, then obviously you haven't met my high maintenance wife.

Point being, blades are as good right now as anybody knows how to create. Tomorrow maybe they'll be better. Maybe you'll have a eureka moment & surprise us with an awesome advancement in blade technology. But you can be sure the day after tomorrow I will have one of those blades & will be reverse engineering it so to create my own version, with some of my new ideas & advancements. Suddenly your awesome blade isn't so awesome anymore. Free market enterprise. Every dollar you make is a dollar my wife can't spend, and boy does she like to spend. Blades, like tires, are as good as they can possibly be given the technology we currently have. We can theorize about conspiracies all day but eventually reality will creep in & show us that real life is much less dramatic or complex. All joking aside (wasn't joking about my wife), blade manufacturers are already doing the best they can.       
God bless our troops

Offline beenthere

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 02:53:20 PM »
balsabones

Put a hardwood or pine log on in place of that steel cold roll and let us know how it cuts through wood.
It would be a great experiment.  Game on. 
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Dan Sawyer

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 03:16:45 PM »
also remember that the majority of metal cutting happens with bi-metal and carbide blades.  The majority of wood blades are carbon blades.  Carbon blades are not used very often in metal cutting now because they bi-metal and carbide blades are far superior.  The catch is that carbon blades are much cheaper than the alternatives.  Another factor is that while bi-metal and carbide blades are much better than carbon blades, if they hit a big enough nail, all blades will break.  Breaking a carbon blades is much cheaper than a bi-metal or carbide blade.  Carbide blades also suffer when running into sand and materials common in wood.  Bi-metal is really the best option, but again, using a bi-metal blade and hitting a nail means you lost a blade that cost the same as 3 or 4 carbon blades.  There really isn't much more that can be done to carbon blades to increase performance very much, carbon blades are very simple to make and have been around for a long, long time.

Offline balsabones

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 03:33:55 PM »
I too have a high maintenance wife, so I know what you mean.
I wasn't implying that the blade manufactures were holding back a blade made from carbon that came from a 1000 year comet and will last forever. I was simply asking, how do they make a blade that will cut hardened steel but on a sawmill, sand, dirt, grit and rocks dull the blade but if I hit just one nail, I have to change blades and get it sharpened.
beenthere,
you are right about it being a great experiment and I haven't done it but the owner has. He cuts hardwood on it into thick disks and put the on an old lathe he modified. there's an arm that comes around and cuts the disk into a bowl. I don't know if he uses another blade but there have been many time we come in and there is wood dust clogging up the pump.
Cutting vertical may make a difference to.
I wasn't being a smart ass by asking the original question. I was just wondering why my blade ruins when I hit a nail and the other one don't when cutting something 4 or 5 time harder,   
Moving ahead so life don't pass me by

Offline balsabones

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 03:46:10 PM »
Dan Sawyer,
I understand what you are saying about the difference in a carbon VS carbide. Also on the blade of the metal bandsaw, there are a lot more teeth. Why wouldn't a blade on a sawmill, with a lot of teeth, be better? Like instead of 1 1/2 per in, make a blade with 3 or 4 per in.?
Moving ahead so life don't pass me by

Offline Dan Sawyer

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 03:48:57 PM »
there are a ton of answers to your question...one is the speed at which the blade is traveling and/or the feed rate.  When cutting metal, these are much slower than when you are cutting wood and you hit a nail.  Also, when you are going through the wood, you are cutting something that is a certain hardness and then you hit the nail that is much much harder - this shocks the blade plus the fact you are going way to fast on a wood mill when you hit that nail means you will break / strip teeth.  If you try cutting metal too fast or with feed rates that are too high, you also will break or strip teeth.  Also note, bi-metal blades are just that, two pieces of metal welded together which creates a stronger tooth.  Bi-metal blades can hit nails and have a better chance of surviving because they are more forgiving. 

Offline Dan Sawyer

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 03:51:21 PM »
Balsa - a blade with more teeth wouldn't be able to cut as big of a cross section as you do with wood often.  Also more teeth mean that you would cut at a slower rate because your gullets would fill much faster than if you had bigger gullets like wood blades have today.  More teeth give you better finish - but they have smaller gullets meaning you have to cut slower.  To note, wood blades typically have straight pitches as well for re-sharp purposes, but metal cutting blades are vari tooth which helps with vibration and harmonics and increases performance.

Offline hackberry jake

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 04:35:24 PM »
Get a piece of cold rolled steel that is the size of a log, then find a blade thatll cut metal planks out of it... its a whole different ballgame.
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Offline Den-Den

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 07:37:19 PM »
The difference is feet per minute, the metal cutting band is moving 50 - 300 feet per minute.  The blades on our band mills would cut thick steel at those speeds and last a long time doing it.
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.

Offline drobertson

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 07:56:50 PM »
Jake and Den beat me to it,  any cutting action is based on the designated cutting speed for a given material.
I would bet my bottom dollar that what is available in thin kerf saw bands, at the current prices, represent the top of band technology.  I don't think there is a rabbit in any of the manufactures hats.  I work in the tooling industry as much as I machine wood, and can testify that the cost for cutting tools in regards to band sawing is right on base, as well as the performance.   If one wants to increase the speed of a band mill, increase the hp, and increase the blade requirements, and increase the cost, its all relative,  sorry, inhaled two much stainless fumes today,  yall have a great week end,  david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline dboyt

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 08:04:43 AM »
Hi, Dave.  Hope you're still getting in some weekend sawing.  I can tell you first hand that bi-metal (a.k.a. "cobaltized") Norwood blades will cut nails without hesitation.  Problem is, they cost three times as much as a conventional blade.  I put one on the mill to cut this walnut log that had fence wire hanging out of it.  I figure it went through at least 50 strands of wire and nails, and still cut well.
 

 
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2013, 09:06:06 AM »
I have heard a few good stories on these blades,  we just called them the $80 ones, not sure if this is right or not,  I will try one someday, right now will stick with the $20 ones, and Dave, I am sawing in the evenings, I have another decent custom order for two more river cabins,     david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline backwoods sawyer

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Re: Better Bandsaw Blade
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2013, 09:55:22 PM »
As has been stated saw technology is always advancing, some options are offset teeth, swedged tooth, carbide tip bi-metal and now stellite being the new saw on the market. Price is a big factor not only in the purchase price but also in the sharpening cost. Most of the big advances come from the big production mills investing in the new technology and as it become a proven performer then the narrow band producers invest in the same technology and adapt it to their needs. Jump back to the early 80s and compare the quality of narrow band saws available then to what is available now.

When I was running the big production mill we made the decision to spend close to $1,000,000 to change all five 12 band mills over from swedged tooth to stellite as well as retool the filing room. We were running three shifts and each shift had 20 saws at $1,500 each for stellite compared to $1,000 each for swedged tooth saws. It was not a smooth transition. The annealing process was not consistent and the tips would break off, the added stresses on the bands translated into excessive gullet cracks and you can only weld cracks so many times so the life of the saws went from six month down to three months adding even more to the cost of changing types of saws. Not to mention the down time from extra saw changes, more saws blowing apart while in the cut, sawyers sawing at slower speeds to avoid changing saws as the next saw may not run any better than the one that was on band mill all played a part in lower production the first year. After all the kinks were worked out the feed speeds were gradually ramped up and the stellite saws allowed us to double the production of the plant. 200,000+ bft per shift to 450,000 bft per shift so we had to put in a new state of the art high speed planer as the old woods planer could no longer keep up. In the end it was a very profitable decision, but it was a rough process to get there.

I run 100 saws +or- a box or two and changing over to a new style of saw and up grading sharpening equipment is not a decision I will make lightly as now I play with smaller $$$$ and red is not my color ::)
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