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19 inch bandwheel dilema

Started by old-man-on-the-mountain, May 26, 2024, 10:25:53 PM

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Hello, long-time reader, and first-time poster.
 Currently in the build stage of a band mill, (I find the kerf loss and sawdust pile a big turn-off with my 21.5-inch swing mill.)
 Different opinions abound on whether a .055-inch, 1.5-inch-width band will survive a 19-inch wheel. I am using the somewhat standard pulley wheel and fan belt setup for the band wheels.
 I want to use the carbide tooth bands, and it seems they begin at 1.5 inches wide and .055 thick.
 How much life is really lost due to cracking issues, compared to say a 24-inch wheel?
 Thanks, OMOTM


Comparing what the guys running 19's say it's a significant difference when running the .055's over what I see on my 24's. 
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 I can't speak on the blade life issue. I will say I think your going to be surprised just how much sawdust you still generate with the band mill. I know I was and I use the std. .045 bands.
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You may get 1 or 2 resharpening on .055 bands on 19" bandwheels.
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Woodmizer has a Thin-kerf Blade Handbook.  It lists the .055 blades at an average life of 3000 board feet.  

Below is a screenshot of the chart they list.   The paragraph above says the numbers are based on customer experience using mills with 19" band wheels.  

Three thousand isn't bad.  My personal experience with .045 bands is the chart numbers are somewhat low.  
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Gere Flewelling

I have noticed that when sharpening for customers that are sawing full time, they can get 5-6 sharpenings out of both the 045" and .055" bands. Most of these are WM bands. I believe changing bands prior to becoming extremely dull is the significant reason.  Another critical factor I have observed is that too much set is detramental to long life.  One customer was very in-tune to how his Timber King mill was acting when sawing and noticed unusual vibration and cracks forming in the gullets on one batch of bands I sharpened early on. He felt there was too much set causing the issues. These were .045" bands. I was setting them to near .030" thinking that enough set would be removed by sharpening after setting would bring the set down to.028". I was wrong! I then went to setting to .025" before sharpening and found that light sharpening has no noticeable affect on finished set.  That customer has been happy with my sharpening results ever since. I am very fortunate to have customers that will help me do a better job instead of just moving on to someone else.  I believe that most of the mills I sharpen bands for have  the 19" wheels. I now set to no more than .025" unless asked to do otherwise.  Most of what is sawn around here is softwood.  As I do not have the capability to sharpen carbide tooth bands, I do not have an opinion regarding them to share. :wink_2:
I don't get to do much sawing anymore as I keep busy sharpening. I do remember having a lot of blades fail from cracks in the gullets on my 19" wheels and now tend to think that is was due to my error in setting too much prior to sharpening. I hope to get back to sawing soon , to test out that theory. 
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Thanks, Sawyer Ted.
 The tabulated data is what I'm looking for.
 Seems like the .045 by 1.5 is a good combo.
 I may try a few bands to see if I like the way they cut.
 The carbide idea came up due to the nature of my wood supply, standing dead oak.
 I like the oak, what isn't lumber is heat.


Hello Gere, In your signature See snow cats, I had a fleet of PistenBully I kept up back in the 1980s

Gere Flewelling

I also had a fleet of Pisten Bully's to keep operating for many years.Never a dull moment with groomers operating.
Old 🚒 Fireman and Snow Cat Repairman (retired)
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Quote from: old-man-on-the-mountain on May 27, 2024, 10:30:20 AMThanks, Sawyer Ted.

 Seems like the .045 by 1.5 is a good combo.
 I may try a few bands to see if I like the way they cut.

That's the combo I use.   I'm currently running Turbo 7s.  Think hard about 4 degrees hook angle for standing dead oak.  

After a series of dry white oak jobs using 1.25 T7s, I've got a box of 4 degree blades just for that kind of job. 

Do a search for the Woodmizer Blade Handbook- there's lots of good general blade info in it.  

I can't get the link to post here.  :huh?
Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher


We are running mostly .055, 1.5, 7/39 WM silver tips.  We have been getting about two sharpenings out of most blades, but we are setting heavy at .030-.033.  With that much set, they seem to saw the live oak, longleaf and slash pines that we typically saw, flat and relatively fast.



A shout-out to Sawyer Ted, I found the blade manual and downloaded it.
Lots of solid info. Thanks.

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