Reply by Rich

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Posted on First time band saw

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5977 posts in 1471 days

#1 posted 02-02-2020 05:18 PM

You’ll definitely want to install a wider blade. Start with a 1/4” blade with a mid-range TPI (teeth per inch), say around eight TPI. Timber Wolf makes such a blade, and they are one of the better choices for quality band saw blades. As you advance through different uses for the saw, you can buy additional blades that are more appropriate for the situation.

You basically have three things to choose when you look at blades; width, TPI and tooth configuration. The first two are self explanatory. The third again divides up into three basic options; standard, hook and variable. Standard blades have a zero tooth hook angle for general purpose cutting. It’ll give you the smoothest cut. A hook blade has a positive hook angle and will clear sawdust better making it more suitable for thicker stock. Variable refers to a variable TPI, usually 2 to 3 or 3 to 4. They are used for resawing and the variable TPI helps prevent harmonics from developing during the cut.

Regarding blade changing, it’ll be confusing at first, but after a few you’ll find that it’s very easy. I’m not sure why some people struggle with it. Basically, you’ll need to adjust the guides, tension and the tracking. There are lots of videos and other resources online to help you along. Just don’t get frustrated—it’s not hard and you’ll get the hang of it.

Regarding carbide, if you get into a lot of resawing hardwoods, it’s a good investment. Otherwise, don’t spend the money.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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