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Author Topic: sharpening bandsaw blades for others  (Read 1275 times)

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Offline Gere Flewelling

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sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« on: July 11, 2020, 04:41:41 PM »
I purchased bandsaw sharpening equipment three years ago when I purchased my saw mill.  I was thinking of ways to create some income when retirement time rolls around.  I learned the basic principles of tool,hand saw, and circular saw sharpening from my father when I was younger.  He was a contractor back in the 50's and had to sharpen his own equipment to keep his business functioning.  I have always sharpened my own chain saws with a file and kept my cordwood saw cutting pretty well for many years now.  Sharpening bandsaw blades just seemed like a natural progression.  I have only sharpened my own blades up until recently.  There are only  a couple of saw shops in this region (that I know of) and I often thought of trying to hire on on a part time basis just to learn about operating the many related machines.  One shop was looking for help but wanted nothing to do with an old guy like me.  The other was operated by an old co-worker and friend.  I never asked him about a job as he worked with his wife and son out of their home and seem pretty self sufficient.  Well recently the second guy passed away quite unexpectedly.  I have learned that His wife and son are keeping the business going but do not want to make,sell,or sharpen bandsaws.  I have gotten a couple of opportunities lately to sharpen blades for some of his old customers.  Apparently his old customers do not want to move over to the other saw shop as that shop doesn't seem to have a good reputation among some bandsaw people.  The blades I sharpened had a similar profile as the blades I have been using and looked to have sharpened and set nicely.  I am still waiting for confirmation from the customers as to how good a job I did or didn't do.
I am thinking about "hanging out my shingle" and advertising to see if I can attract some local saw millers business.  I do not have an established business yet but I do know what is involved in getting it started for the most part.  One thing I do not know about is what kind if insurance would I need to operate a business sharpening bandsaw blades for others.  It doesn't seem like there would be much of a liability issue, though I am sure a law suit could arise out of something I am not seeing.  I would appreciate some advise from those with any experience along this line. 
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2020, 05:21:02 PM »
Gene,
Do you know if they are going to sell any of the bandsaw sharpening equipment that Jeff had?
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls Riehl Steel edger,F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline barbender

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2020, 06:45:57 PM »
If you've been sharpening your own with good results, I'd say go for it- if you like sharpening that much. Some do, some don't. Me, it depends on the day😊
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Gere Flewelling

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2020, 06:50:14 PM »
Bruno, I dont know for sure. He had some really nice commercial sharpening equipment.  I cant imagine she will want keep it.  I attempted to e-mail her but got no response.  It might be too soon for her.  It might be a good option for you.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2020, 07:25:41 PM »
  I have never sharpened a blade in my life and it is unlikely I ever will so keep that in mind when evaluating my input. ;D What kind of equipment do you have and is sharpening equipment pretty generic in nature? I have only used WM blades so never did much research on the differences between blades made by different manufacturers. Would your existing equipment sharpen blades made by various companies or would you have to invest in more equipment? How long does a sharpening stone typically last - i.e. how many blades can you sharpen with it before having to replace it? How much do they cost and how much time/labor is involved in changing between hook angles and profiles?

  How many blades do you expect to sharpen per day/week? What do you think you can reasonably charge? Bottom line - how much money do you think you can/should make in this endeavor? Remember sawing and, by default I assume, sharpening is somewhat seasonal with wide ranges in volume so how much turn around time do you anticipate? Will you sharpen all by yourself or do you expect to hire seasonal help if needed?

  The insurance is a good question. Since most people running a sawmill have to be moderately hard workers we'd all like to think they are/will be fair and honest. ;) There is probably one or two out there who is/are not. :( I'd write up a contract and pass it through my lawyer with verbiage to the effect " Since the sharpening vendor has no control over the conditions of use he assumes no liability for injury or equipment damage resulting from failure of sharpened blades. Furthermore the sharpening vendor's liability is limited to repair/resharpening defective blades and/or replacement purchase for any that cannot be repaired/resharpened." This may not hold up in court but it is a start.

  Good luck.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Gere Flewelling

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2020, 09:27:25 PM »
Thank you WV Sawmiller for your comments and suggestions.  You bring up some very good points.  I have Cook's sharpening equipment and have had enough time to work out many of the logistics.  Although some of your points I hadn't thought of.  Thankyou especially for your last paragraph about insurance.  Great food for thought.
I have never had my own business, but my wife and I have help our two sons get their businesses up and running with some success.  And have kind of shared in their successes and failures.  One was into Landscaping and design for a few years but decided to sell out.  The other is a logger who seems to be doing pretty well despite all the issues small loggers seem to be having in New England these days.  
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Offline Southside

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2020, 09:45:12 PM »
 I have never sharpened a blade in my life and it is unlikely I ever will


Harold - given your other recent posts, I found that statement to be very comforting.  Stay the course, at least in respect to this subject.  :D 
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2020, 04:36:31 AM »
If you had the right equipment production wise, and you like sharpening saws, and you do a good job... honestly I can see a viable business there.

People will ship saws by the box a long way if they're guaranteed a good job. And it's a lot less sweat and equipment than sawmilling.  And it's one of those support industries where every mill sold becomes a potential customer not a competitor.

Well worth doing some sums on anyway.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2020, 06:56:46 AM »
I sharpen a few bands for the few bandsaw millers in this area, and like I said "a few"!

I've told each of them "don't advertise for me" because I DON'T want to make a business out of it!

A sharpening business can do a real good business, especially if it's the only one that's real close!

I'd say, if you REALLY enjoy sharpening, then go for it!
~Chuck~
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Offline kelLOGg

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2020, 06:59:35 AM »
Gere,
I assume you have the cat claw drag sharpener as do I. I have used 4 different brands of bands and for the current one, Kasco, I cannot get a cam so I have "modified" one I do have and it is not as good as I would like it. Different bands require different cams and grindstone profiles. Make sure you have a supply of these on hand.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2020, 09:10:03 AM »
I have never sharpened a blade in my life and it is unlikely I ever will


Harold - given your other recent posts, I found that statement to be very comforting.  Stay the course, at least in respect to this subject.  :D
Gee Southside, I don't know if that is a fair assessment (Funny yes, but fair, I am not so sure). I mean blade work should never require a ladder or pushing equipment just a tad past what it can handle and it is done on stable flat ground. I don't see the 'exposure' here. On the other hand, there is a lot of constant blade handling so that may open new opportunities. :D Either way, I am sure he could be very good at it (although adding some items to the first aid kit should be considered in the initial investment costs, at least that's what I would do).  :)
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2020, 09:25:43 AM »
If I was to go into business sharpening bands for others, and after having toured the WM Resharp facility a couple times, I saw bands sent to them that looked like they had been dropped in the mud, stomped on, and left to rust for 6 months.  Others I've seen are so coated with pitch and sap, I couldn't hardly see the metal of the band.  Just a nasty mess.  Then they expect Resharp to make them good as new.  So Resharp has a rig that is basically car wash for bandsaw bands, composed of a set of wire wheels and a dip tank that feeds the band through a cleaning solution, and then spinning wire brushes that do a good job taking the rust and sap off.  Such a machine could be shop built pretty easy and would be a great timesaver, as time is money when sharpening bands.
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Offline Gere Flewelling

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2020, 09:29:53 AM »
KelLOGg, I do have the same sharpener as you.  I am in the process of adding cams to fit blades as I come across them.  I personally have only used one style of Cook's blades and haven't had to expand my collection of cams specific to the other manufacturers.  I did find that I could adjust the angle and shape of  the grind rock to fit a Woodmiser Double hard 10 degree blade recently.  I was able to duplicate the tooth profile pretty well.  If it cuts satisfactorily for the customer (he hasn't tried it yet), He only uses that style of blade.  I suspect I won't be as lucky in the future and expect to be adding to the cam collection.  Thank you for the heads up on the Kasco blades.
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Offline LeeB

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2020, 09:54:46 AM »
and for the current one, Kasco, I cannot get a cam


Not sure why you can't get a cam. Contact member Cuttingedge. He made one for me.
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2020, 12:58:05 PM »
YH,
I have thought about sharpening for others but for the reasons you have mentioned above (cleaning of the bands) is one of my main concerns.
I wouldn't do it for others till I had mastered the craft up to my quality standards. 
Dirty and rusty bands would be a problem I would think.
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Offline barbender

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2020, 03:08:08 PM »
You could start out demanding cleaned blades, etc. Or charge a premium for doing it. I'd think if you do a good job sharpening, you could choose your customers.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline sealark37

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2020, 03:33:23 PM »
I would consider finding a blade welder, along with a supply of blade stock in rolls.  

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2020, 04:42:13 PM »
@sealark37 ,

    I would think that would increase your risk/liability considerably! Every time a worn out,rusted, crimped section of the original band broke I'd bet your new band stock and welding would be blamed. I would not touch that with a 10' pole!

I have never sharpened a blade in my life and it is unlikely I ever will
Harold - given your other recent posts, I found that statement to be very comforting.  Stay the course, at least in respect to this subject.  :D
Gee Southside, I don't know if that is a fair assessment (Funny yes, but fair, I am not so sure). I mean blade work should never require a ladder or pushing equipment just a tad past what it can handle and it is done on stable flat ground. I don't see the 'exposure' here. On the other hand, there is a lot of constant blade handling so that may open new opportunities. :D Either way, I am sure he could be very good at it (although adding some items to the first aid kit should be considered in the initial investment costs, at least that's what I would do).  :)
OGH,

   Thank you for standing up for me against the bullies in this world (who can't even get my name right :D). You are a pillar of might and virtue standing up for the poor and downtrodden (and run-over) souls in their time of woe and misfortune. I am certain you will be mightily rewarded in Heaven and I just hope it is not any time soon. ::)

Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2020, 07:44:20 PM »
  Thank you for standing up for me against the bullies in this world (who can't even get my name right :D). You are a pillar of might and virtue standing up for the poor and downtrodden (and run-over) souls in their time of woe and misfortune. I am certain you will be mightily rewarded in Heaven and I just hope it is not any time soon. ::)
Well, I don't really know that you needed any 'standing up for' I just calls 'em as I sees 'em. OTOH I do see how it would seem to cheer you up. About a year ago we had an engineering project going on where everybody knew I had serious concerns about a few design issues I KNEW would turn into a manufacturing disaster, and I made my opinion clear with suggested alternate approaches. When they had the second phase of design reviews I was 'not invited' to those meetings. One of the engineers involved in the review was shocked I wasn't there and he made a loud protest about it stating that I had brought up valid and serious concerns in the first phase and he wanted to hear my opinion now. The Project manager said "his opinion isn't worth the price of a [cow pie]." To which the Engineer stood up and yelled "OH YES IT IS!" So I know what it's like to have a buddy behind you. (by the way, that project crashed and burned, as predicted, it only cost us a million and a half or so, and the project manager got promoted to chief engineer for the division. One of the things that helped me decide to retire, a company run by fools and children.)
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Southside

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Re: sharpening bandsaw blades for others
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2020, 10:36:02 PM »
I would consider finding a blade welder, along with a supply of blade stock in rolls.  
There are a few "weld em up" shops out there, I have not heard good reviews back from folks who have used them.  Like everything else (including making a joke and messing up the member subjects name ::)) the devil is in the details and often not as easy as it seams (pun intended).  
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows


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