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Author Topic: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw  (Read 7503 times)

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Offline nrp0450

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Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« on: June 02, 2014, 08:04:39 PM »
I had read about sharpening bandsaws on a radial arm saw on here so I decided to give it a try. I ordered a grinding stone wide enough to get the whole profile in one pass. An extra 4x6 with a groove cut in it holds the band. And I put together an indexer with random parts I found in the shop.
Here's a pic just before I started shaping the stone:


And here's the stone pretty close to ready:


And here's a video putting a blade in it and sharpening a few teeth.


It seems to work well and only takes a few minutes to do one blade. I haven't decided if I'm going to put some kind of shield between me and the stone or just always stand to the side when I start it.
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Offline redprospector

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 08:12:41 PM »
Well, that settles it.
There really isn't anything that can't be done with a radial arm saw.  :D
Pretty cool.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 08:18:37 PM »
awesome. :)
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Offline WmFritz

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 08:33:10 PM »
I'd say you nailed it.
Nice job! 8)
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Offline Ocklawahaboy

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 08:34:42 PM »
To use the vernacular of today's wayward youth... You got mad skills

Offline boxygen

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 09:10:24 PM »
For those that sharpen themselves, do you have to set the teeth every time or can you do it once every X times and be ok? From my minimal experience, it seems like if you  hit metal with the blade then the teeth will need to be reset. How well do these bands saw wood now is the question? Nice work. I gave away my radial alarm saw because it was no longer relevent to the shop. Oops.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2014, 09:26:30 PM »
Boxy, it depends, I check my set with a dial indicator each time I sharpen if its close  I'll let it ride. If tramp metal is hit the band must be examined closer for often some teeth will be set over too much those I use a small adjustable wrench to bring back in line. Very clever use of the radial arm saw, we've got some clever rascals here. Frank C.
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Offline nrp0450

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2014, 09:32:02 PM »
For those that sharpen themselves, do you have to set the teeth every time or can you do it once every X times and be ok? From my minimal experience, it seems like if you  hit metal with the blade then the teeth will need to be reset. How well do these bands saw wood now is the question? Nice work. I gave away my radial alarm saw because it was no longer relevent to the shop. Oops.

I set the teeth (with my Pineywoods setter) every 2-3 times. I use a caliper to tell when a band needs it. I think the sawing itself bends the teeth back in. But also each time you sharpen you take material off, which reduces the set as well.

Nate
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2014, 09:44:38 PM »
Nice! 8)  no need to set the teeth really for at least two sharpening's, just my experience, but it never hurts to check them, unless it's known that the cycle was a good clean one, I like it!
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Offline Delawhere Jack

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2014, 10:25:24 PM »
 smiley_clapping

Pretty slick there NRP!

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2014, 10:29:05 PM »
I would have never believed it. But now i have seen it. You may get a call from CUSTOMSAWYER and a plane ticket.  ;D
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 10:56:25 PM »
That's really impressive!

Good job!


FYI:  I set my blades every time!

You don't have to hit metal every time to warrant setting the teeth!
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 11:59:33 PM »
Nice idea! Now I need to find the guy I sold my Craftsman radial arm saw too last year. I will be shopping on Craig's list, I knew I should have kept it.
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2014, 12:39:24 AM »
I like it, too!  Looks to be way simpler than making a cam move a angle grinder - and faster to boot.  All you need to do now is devise a hand cranking do-hickey to advance the blade.  No issue with the blade trying to rise up and mess up your cut depth?  I'd be tempted to put some urethane wheels on top of the blade to keep some down pressure.

As far as turning the blade inside out, couldn't you have stood in the middle of the blade instead of it running around the back of the saw?  Seems scary to try and turn a blade inside out :-\
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Offline Nomad

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2014, 05:00:53 AM »
     Great idea!!  To set your depth adjustment, are you lowering the saw head or shimming under the wood block?
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Offline nrp0450

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2014, 12:11:36 PM »
I like it, too!  Looks to be way simpler than making a cam move a angle grinder - and faster to boot.  All you need to do now is devise a hand cranking do-hickey to advance the blade.  No issue with the blade trying to rise up and mess up your cut depth?  I'd be tempted to put some urethane wheels on top of the blade to keep some down pressure.

As far as turning the blade inside out, couldn't you have stood in the middle of the blade instead of it running around the back of the saw?  Seems scary to try and turn a blade inside out :-\

Yeah, I've been pondering the best way to do a "hand cranking do-hickey". It gets tiring on the wrist advancing the blade by hand.

There have been a few times where the blade didn't settle all the way down in the groove. The stone seemed to push it down when it passed over. But it probably took too much of a "bite", like you said. Some wheels holding it down might be a good idea.

It's actually pretty easy to turn a blade inside out. And I wanted the blades going out the back of the RAS because I already had a long board at the right height to support them. 

One thing I would do different, (and will probably switch out at some point), is to use eyebolts over some hefty screws on the indexer. My current setup is too flexible. If I pull too hard it only grinds the front side of the tooth and misses the backside. 
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Offline nrp0450

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2014, 12:18:39 PM »
     Great idea!!  To set your depth adjustment, are you lowering the saw head or shimming under the wood block?

Yeah, I lower the head. It's a little course of an adjustment. But 1/8 of a turn or even just until I feel pressure on the crank seems to be small enough. Next time I'm going to use my caliper and see how much I'm actually taking off. I don't think it's much.
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2014, 12:45:32 PM »
That is a wonderful idea.  Looking on craigslist you can find radial armsaws for cheap or free all the time.  It would be easy enough to build a tooth setter to go along with it for the cost of a dial indicator and some scrap steel.

Offline Lonely Sawer

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2014, 01:13:34 PM »
That's a slick idea. I'm all over it. NRP , how did you profile the stone? I have now found a use for my radial saw.
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Offline backwoods sawyer

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2014, 02:41:50 PM »
on the cooks sharpener atightening the clamp up helps to hold the saw on the lower roller as it advances, so oiling the boards and tightening a clamp may solve the rise problem. Take a look at the advancing arm set up on any of the tooth setters to make advancing the saw smooth, consistant and with less efort.
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2014, 03:15:10 PM »
Interesting!!  Few thoughts:

As the band is worn down, how do you adjust the height of the table to compensate for band wear?

As the wheel wears, how do you compensate for that wear as well?

Do you get any bluing of the teeth using a full profile dry like that?  Doesn't take much to harden and weaken steel with heat.

All in all, very innovative and looks neat!

Offline Kcwoodbutcher

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2014, 03:56:18 PM »
I think the original poster was referring to a post I made several years ago about sharpening this way. I have been doing this for years. It works great and you can play with the profile easily with a diamond dresser. Use an aluminum oxide wheel and you will get hundreds of sharpenings from it with just a little touchup every few sharpenings. Silicon carbide is easier to dress but doesn't last long. Make your passes through the blade quickly with just a light cut or you will burn the blade. You must start with a 1" width wheel to make a 7/8" profile so make sure the arbor on the saw is long enough to hold the wheel. I was able to put the original saw guard back on my setup. Running without one looks scary and dangerous. You can change the hook angle simply by swiveling the saw head but you have to adjust the profile when you do. I try to think of a few more tips and post them later.
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Offline caveman

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2014, 04:43:17 PM »
I have a couple of questions for KCwoodbutcher.  First, would it make sense to have a different grinding wheel for each different degree of blade that you sharpen?  Second, can you provide a link to your post of using a radial arm saw to sharpen?

NRP0450, the setup that you have looks like it should work well and may inspire several of us to build one of our own.  I am going to have to go look at my radial arm saw and determine if the auxiliary shaft is long enough to accommodate a 1" grinding wheel.

Thanks to both of you,
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Offline hackberry jake

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2014, 05:26:21 PM »
They also sharpen planer blades
 

 
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Offline nrp0450

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2014, 05:36:06 PM »
Yes, it was a post from you, KCWOODBUTCHER, that got me started. You had a picture of the setup that was very helpful. Like yours, my arbor was just barely long enough to take the 1" wheel.

Caveman, here is KCWOODBUTCHER's original post. If your arbor won't take a 1" wheel you might be able to use a smaller one and tilt the RAS head to the angle of the backside of the teeth (instead of the front). Looks like a 1/2" wheel would work in that configuration. It would be more work to dress the wheel to the right profile but it should still work.

NMFP, I just turn the crank that lowers the RAS head to adjust the height. It works well. I haven't seen any blueing of the steel. I don't think the quick passes generate much heat. I put my finger on a tooth right afterward and couldn't detect any heat. (I don't know if that means it wasn't hot a second earlier though.)

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Offline VictorH

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2014, 05:47:42 PM »
Hey Jake  - are you pulling your RAS head across the blade or pushing the planer blade in a jig?  Also what kind of stone are you using?  The pink suggests a chainsaw stone I've seen.
Thanks
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2014, 07:15:34 PM »
I was pulling the head across the blade and it is a pink chainsaw sharpener stone. I just had to use a 5/8 to 3/4 adapter bushing to mount it on the arbor.
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2014, 08:36:16 PM »
I have made a few different wheels for different profiles/hook angles. I also have one for 3/4 pitch blades. It take about an hour to dress the wheel so don't get carried away with a bunch of profiles. I use a cam lock on the guide to stiffen the blade when the wheel hits it. If I don't I get a ragged cut. One last thing, at 200+ teeth per blade your arm can be a little sore from pulling the saw head through the blade. Every time I sharpen a blade I think of automating the whole process but there's never the time.
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Offline papow22

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2014, 12:58:30 AM »
I would like to see Kcwoodbutcher setup,this seem to be a interesting topic on this idea. ;) specially the cam wheel setup.I know pictures speak millions.To me to see that in photos is better than  :P reading all day.
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Offline nrp0450

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2014, 12:51:42 PM »
Kcwoodbutcher, I would like to see your camlock too. Do you have to engage it and disengage it for every tooth?

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2014, 05:03:50 PM »
I'll get a picture tonight. Yes you do have to engage it every tooth but it is little effort and you kinda develop a rhythm.
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Offline 36 coupe

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2014, 08:35:56 PM »
I remember my wood bench top burning from the spark stream from a grinding wheel.Red glow about 1 inch in diameter.Too much sawdust around my saw to try that.I would try grinding the top and face of the tooth leaving the gullet alone.I have used a Belsaw  Sharpall since 1970.Sharpened a lot of saws for customers.A fellow who top ground new band saw blades found he was taking off .004/.005.Bandsaw blades will break long before the gullets have to be deeper.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2014, 10:08:57 PM »
Bandsaw blades will break long before the gullets have to be deeper.


The gullet is what takes the sawdust out of the cut. You have to keep the tooth the same height for it to work right. That means the gullet has to grind down with the tooth.  Doing that will grind away the cracks  in the gullet and the blades will last longer.
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2014, 11:16:04 PM »
That is really slick. You have raised the price of radial arm saws to double. (I gave mine away also.)

Offline 36 coupe

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2014, 04:15:54 AM »
Bandsaw blades will break long before the gullets have to be deeper.


The gullet is what takes the sawdust out of the cut. You have to keep the tooth the same height for it to work right. That means the gullet has to grind down with the tooth.  Doing that will grind away the cracks  in the gullet and the blades will last longer.Have to disagree..005 is not much lost.I understand the gullets function but have sharpened many 30 inch cordwood saws that cut well with shorter teeth.Photos Ive seen show deep scratches left by grinding wheels that I think start cracks.There is no way you can sharpen and keep a new saw profile.I have had a new blade break after little use.Setting hardened teeth will always be a problem.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2014, 06:49:51 AM »
Bandsaw blades will break long before the gullets have to be deeper.


Have to disagree..005 is not much lost.I understand the gullets function but have sharpened many 30 inch cordwood saws that cut well with shorter teeth.Photos Ive seen show deep scratches left by grinding wheels that I think start cracks.There is no way you can sharpen and keep a new saw profile.I have had a new blade break after little use.Setting hardened teeth will always be a problem.



I can keep a tooth profile and setting hardened teeth is easy. You can do it your way. I was just trying to help and share what I have learned In the last 27 years of sharping saw blades.
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Offline 36 coupe

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2014, 04:43:50 PM »
I started sharpening cordwood saw blades in the mid 50s.I still have the cordwood saw my dad bought from Sears Roebuck.I have about 60 years in sharpening tools.I am trying to get people to sharpen the face and tip only.I started to build a bandsaw sharpener but cataracts shut down my sharpening last year.Bandsaw blades should be set first and then sharpened.Simonds ran a ad in American Lumber & Pallet that shows what happens when the teeth are set after sharpening.Had the last eye surgery this morning.Ill finish my grinder and test my idea.

Offline 36 coupe

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2014, 04:47:43 PM »
They also sharpen planer blades
 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
Looks like the grind is too heavy, too much sparking.

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2014, 05:26:35 PM »
It was too heavy. If you grind too heavy the blade will bow from the heat and will have a less than straight edge. First try at it though. Next time I dull them out I will definately use a lighter grind.
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2014, 07:29:40 PM »
Well, that settles it.
There really isn't anything that can't be done with a radial arm saw.  :D
Pretty cool.
You've got that right.  If I could only have one tool in my shop, it would be my radial arm saw.  This looks really good, I think I may give this a try.

I have found when doing precision work on my radial arm saw, that if I go a little too low with the hight adjustment then come up, I have better luck.  Also from where I sit on this side of my iPad, it looks like you may have been grinding a little heavy.  And now that you know that your idea works, you might want to consider making your clamping device out of steel. 

This looks like a money saver to me!
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2014, 09:09:12 PM »
Finally getting around to posting pics of the cam lock.

 

 


 

 

The construction is simple. The movable block has an oversized hole which the bolt goes through, it is not tight . The block is held captive between the two pieces of 7/8" bar stock. The cam is simply a piece of bar stock with the hole drilled off center with a handle welded on. You can put a lot of pressure on the blade with little effort. Using this setup I've eve taken a fine tooth blade for my vertical bandsaw and converted it to a coarse tooth blade (don't recommend this,way too much trouble).

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Offline 36 coupe

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #41 on: June 06, 2014, 05:44:32 AM »
It was too heavy. If you grind too heavy the blade will bow from the heat and will have a less than straight edge. First try at it though. Next time I dull them out I will definately use a lighter grind.
My planer knife grinder has a pressure screw every 2.5 inches.That keeps the knife straight while grinding.Takes longer to light grind but results are better.

Offline 36 coupe

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #42 on: June 06, 2014, 05:53:55 AM »
I had read about sharpening bandsaws on a radial arm saw on here so I decided to give it a try. I ordered a grinding stone wide enough to get the whole profile in one pass. An extra 4x6 with a groove cut in it holds the band. And I put together an indexer with random parts I found in the shop.
Here's a pic just before I started shaping the stone:
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

And here's the stone pretty close to ready:
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

And here's a video putting a blade in it and sharpening a few teeth.


It seems to work well and only takes a few minutes to do one blade. I haven't decided if I'm going to put some kind of shield between me and the stone or just always stand to the side when I start it.
I have found many grinding wheels that are out of balance.Not out of round but out of balance.Wheels like this will have a lot of vibration at 3450 rpm.I use a mower knife balancer  to check all wheels .

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2014, 05:43:39 PM »
where did you get your tools for shaping the grinding stone and how long does it take to form the stone profile?
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2014, 08:18:22 PM »
You use a diamond dressing tool. It's just a small diamond brazed on the end of a metal rod. I got mine at ENCO. They are not very expensive.
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2016, 08:59:10 PM »
Has there been any new ideas ?
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2016, 11:37:18 PM »
First I've seen this and I like it.
I do all my sharpening on bandsaw blads with my dremel.

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2019, 11:43:58 PM »
Didn’t see any replies to the “...stand in the middle...” so just wanted to say Bad Idea.

I gave away my radial when it caught a piece and took off (old school model) and after that I grabbed a new sliding chop saw instead (which has limits).

Be safe, but great build, very impressive.
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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2019, 04:07:17 PM »
Before digital readout technology any time you were using a milling machine or lathe and you wanted to move the table or carriage a precise amount a magnetic base with a dial indicator was setup and used. You could do the same with your radial saw sharpener to control your depth setting.

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Re: Sharpening bandsaw blades on my radial arm saw
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2019, 05:13:52 PM »
I use a radial arm saw, I bought one of the CBN wheels from the sponsor here on FF that match my blades and added a mist cooler on and I just match the wheel to the blade and use the depth of the saw and eye when it makes a few sparks start and adjust as I go. Sometime I make two rounds at the same depth so for no glitches band cut as good as new.
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