While you may not put a lot of thought into your bandsaw blades aside from purchasing the correct ones and moving on, there are some interesting things about your blades you may not know. Let’s see if we can learn something new.
When it comes to bandsaw blades, size does matter. Woodworking bandsaw blades are usually made of carbon steel. The width is the key factor to determine how small a curve or diameter you can cut. A 3/4″ blade’s minimum cut diameter is quite larger than that of a 1/4″ blade. Wide blades usually cut straighter lines than narrow blades if they are sharp.
Bandsaw blades are available that can cut many different materials. Plastics and materials like copper, brass, and aluminum can also be cut with the correct blade on a standard bandsaw. Carbide tooth blades provide high-quality cuts and remain sharp for a long period of time.
A British bandsaw patent was filed in 1809 but the technology to create a reliable bandsaw kept them from being a practical and common tool for many years. A Frenchwoman solved the welding problem (the welds broke quickly on the original design) in 1846. This made a clear way for bandsaws to start their emergence. The American bandsaw patent was filed in 1836 by Benjamin Barker of Maine.
There are two main types of tooth configurations. Hook tooth has about a ten degree rake angle which allows for more aggressive and faster cutting. A skip tooth blade will not cut as quickly but leaves a smoother surface on wood which requires less sanding on exposed edges.
Tooth count varies on blades. Narrow blades tend to have more teeth per inch and cut smoothly but require a slower feed rate. Wider blades have larger and fewer teeth per inch and cut more roughly but are stronger and handle much thicker material. The larger gaps between their teeth allow more swarf to be removed while producing less friction.
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