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Author Topic: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...  (Read 6152 times)

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Offline texican

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Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« on: February 01, 2011, 01:46:33 PM »
I'm real new to actually owning my own mill.  I've been dealing with a local fella for almost 20 years... but never really thought much about the blades he was going through all the time.  He always had a stack of blades ready to go to the recycler, and his good blades, and his blades to be sharpened.  He had his own WM sharpener in his shed next to his mill, so he could do a little multi-tasking (sharpen blades while sawin').

Now that I'm slowly going through blades, one of my major concerns is having enough blades on hand at any one time.  Figure I'll be buying another box in the next month, so by the time my first box needs sharpening, I'll have a box on standby (so there'll be no downtime).

I'm a prepper by nature (some folks call them survivalists, but I'm not as far out as the stereotype usually portrays).  I got a 18hp diesel upgrade on my lt-15, knowing I'd always have a lot of diesel on hand.  I work in the oil and gas business, and know as long as the refineries run, our fuel supply is there... maybe not as much as we'd want, but there'd still be some.  Might cost a heckuva lot more than I want to pay.  My fear is if we have a Middle East 'shock', fuel could become scarce, and cause things to spiral out of control.  I could see the day when I can't just call or email away for another box of blades.

Soooo... (sorry, I have 'long winded' genes) Should I just buy a lot of boxes of blades, enough to last a year or two, and send them back a box at a time for resharp (or get a sharpener and do em myself).... or to be really secure, learn how to hand-file/set the blades.  If the grid goes down, a fancy electric sharpener wouldn't work too good.  I do have solar panels on hand, but would worry about the blade sharpeners motor not liking the invertered power.

I know it'd be an insane waste of time to try and manually sharpen a blade... when it's more efficient/cheaper to 'get em done'... but, if the grid were down, like for months, or even longer... could a fella do it.  It'd be a shame to have a mill sitting there, with enough fuel to work for ages, and all my blades were dull, and getting more wasn't possible.

Wonder what the Missionaries going overseas with a mill do for sharpening?

Btw... know it'd be a learning curve, steep at that... only way I can tell a band is getting dull now is when it starts cutting all over the place... still feels sharp to a 'finger test'.  Might have to get out the magnifying glass and study a virgin band and a used band.

Offline ely

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 02:33:47 PM »
i will tell you from experience that i never could find a file that would cut the metal on a band saw blade. if you are serious about the grid going down you can plug the cooks cat claw into a generator. or get really way out there and get the amish cat claw sharpener it runs off hydraulics hooked to a tractor or whatever. :D

welcome to the forum.

Offline tyb525

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2011, 02:38:23 PM »
The finger test doesn't always tell you if a band is dull, usually I look at the corners of the teeth. If they are real shiny compared to the rest of the tooth, it's probably time. Also, as you noted, you can feel them getting dull and the band may start to wander more.

I usually run a band for about 3-400 board feet, or 3-4 logs depending on size and if they are dirty, higher hp mills can get more out of them.
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Currently a farm service applicator, trying to find time to saw!

Offline ely

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2011, 02:45:54 PM »
drag your thumb nail backwards on the tooth , if it catches on the tooth its sharp. if it slides easy its not sharp.

if your thumbnail catches on the tooth in the middle  of the tooth but slides off as you roll it toward either edge of the tooth, its dull too.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2011, 02:52:52 PM »
I once had a man stop and ask me where I got my "blade" (singular) sharpened.  When I told him that I generally use 3 blades per day and had over 60 blades with 2 different boxes of 10 being sharpened now, his mouth dropped open.
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Online pineywoods

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2011, 02:55:21 PM »
Texican, the older woodmizer drag type sharpeners actually run on 12 volts dc. The box on the back converts 110 ac to 12 volts. A little creative tinkering with cables and you can run it off the mill battery. I don't know about the latter models, mine's a 1995. I have in the works a home-made dual tooth setter that you can build with hand tools. Pics and descriptions will be posted.
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
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Offline paul case

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 03:08:21 PM »
i would say you CAN learn to sharpen blades very well if you try. i have a sharpener made from a chainsaw sharpener. look under ez boardwalk in the column to the left of this screen. setting can be acomplished with some cheap equipment too. a modified bench vise can set band blades.
the cost to send a blade to most resharp services is about $7 plus shipping. i know i could buy a sharpener like mine with a cbn wheel for $500 and set up a setter for $100.
15 blades would cost you $105 + shipping each sharpening. if you sharpened them 6 times the equipment would pay for itself. i also would imagine that you could sharpen some blades and use them again after hitting metal that resharp wouldnt sharpen.
i say you can because i did and didnt know how before. i hadnt even ever seen one sharpened before i started.
this same thing goes for the higher priced automatic sharpeners. they pay for themselves rather quickly if you use many blades. it would look a little strange to me to spend 1/2 as much on sharpening equipment as what the mill costs.   pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2011, 07:10:18 PM »
by all means get your own sharpen and set stuff


not to sure on the grid down stuff

but ifin ya has fuel get a generator to run the electric sharpener
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2011, 07:35:00 PM »
if the powers out and i'm out of blades... don't get in my way... i'm fred flintstoneing my way out fishing
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline texican

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2011, 08:49:37 PM »
Well, if they have some sharpeners that work on 12vdc, I'm golden.  I'm on the grid, but was off for over a decade... when the grid was available I hooked on immediately.  Kept all the solar panels, controllers, etc... so regardless of grid power, I'd always have an excess of 12vdc, as long as the sun shines.  Reckon I'll need to start looking at the spec sheets of the grinders!

Thanks for some of those 'is my blade still sharp' tips.

I'm still on the learning curve...

Thank the Lord for the internet!

Offline Doc Hickory

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 01:40:24 AM »
All other considerations aside, if the power grid goes down for any length of time (weeks or longer) people are going to have a LOT more occupying their minds than where to get some boards. Food, water, shelter, personal security, planning for whatever future is available, all come to mind. Personally, I'd be looking for some more rounds to run through Ma Barker, if ya catch my drift!
Feed a fire, starve a termite...

Offline texican

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Re: Bandsaw blades... stock up and/or learn manual sharpening...
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2011, 12:22:46 AM »
I'm good on the beans, bullets, and bandaids...  If something really bad were happening, I'd not be turning the diesel engine on.  That'd be like a beacon.... hey hon, listen over there... someone's got power... let's go investigate.

Thinking I'm going to get more blades first, and save up for a sharpener... making sure it'll run off of 12vdc...


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