Care of BS Blades

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Forum topic by bilyo posted 07-08-2019 11:05 PM 290 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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732 posts in 1521 days

07-08-2019 11:05 PM

About 6 years ago I purchased a basic carbon steel bandsaw blade just to have a spare. All that time I have not needed it. So, it remained in it’s original coil hanging on the wall. A couple of days ago, I noticed that it was almost totally covered with surface rust. Leaving it in the original coil, I soaked it over night in a bath of 50-50 vinegar and water (I do this as needed with rusty tools). The next morning I found the blade free of rust, but the weld had completely separated. Functionally, this is not a huge problem as I know how to silver braze it back together. I sent an email question to the company I purchased it from trying to determine the cause. If the vinegar did something to damage the weld, I want to know so I won’t do it again. This is the answer I got:
“The best thing to do when you get any bandsaw blade is to uncoil it fully for long term storage. Keeping a tightly coiled blade for over 6 years would not be an ideal storage situation and may have contributed to weld fatigue.”
That doesn’t seem rational to me and I don’t believe it, but I’m still open minded. If true, I think the manufacturer needs to develop a better welding method. I’m willing to bet that my silver braze repair can hang on the wall for a long long time without failure. Any one have similar experience?

7 replies so far

View HerringImpaired's profile


12 posts in 127 days

#1 posted 07-08-2019 11:34 PM

Vinegar is an acid (acetic). I’m thinking that soaking overnight damaged the joint.
Is it possible that the joint was Brazed rather than welded? That would make it even more susceptible to damage from Vinegar.

-- "My greatest fear is that upon my demise, my wife will sell my tools for what I said I paid for them."

View bigJohninvegas's profile


632 posts in 1880 days

#2 posted 07-09-2019 12:00 AM

I agree that the vinegar may have damaged the weld, and also the rust may have hit the weld harder than it did the rest of the blade. I have not had a blade 6 years, but I do have a couple that have been coiled over a year.
Now I live in the desert. And rust is not much of an issue here. I get my blades made locally, and the blade comes in a 250’ roll. So i don’t see keeping them coiled is an issue.

-- John

View bilyo's profile


732 posts in 1521 days

#3 posted 07-09-2019 01:54 PM

Yes. I’m aware that vinegar is an acid. I have also used phosphoric acid for rust. I never imagined that either would attack a weld like that; if that is what happened. I have some other old blades that rarely get used. I think I’ll try the same process on them to see what happens.

Has anyone ever heard advice to not keep them coiled up?

View HokieKen's profile


9946 posts in 1557 days

#4 posted 07-09-2019 02:03 PM

I know we were taught in HS shop class to store them coiled. But, that might have been a couple of years ago ;-) I only remember because I recall the instruction session on how to coil them safely.

On the other hand, in our machine shop, the blades are stored uncoiled. But they’re also MUCH longer and are made in-house.

I use phosphoric acid for rust as well. It’s kind of surprising that the weld came undone. Phosphoric acid is a converter though whereas I’m not sure how vinegar works on rust. Maybe try a soak in phosphoric acid with a test blade to see if it behaves similarly?

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bilyo's profile


732 posts in 1521 days

#5 posted 07-12-2019 02:35 PM

I tried using vinegar again on another old unused blade with no ill effects. I think that it is a better quality blade to begin with. I think the first blade had a defective weld and the combination of rust and vinegar did it in.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5585 posts in 2911 days

#6 posted 07-12-2019 03:43 PM

Has anyone ever heard advice to not keep them coiled up?

- bilyo

I have not, and I’ve had some that were coiled for that length of time (and longer) with no ill effects.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View firefighterontheside's profile


20370 posts in 2275 days

#7 posted 07-12-2019 03:57 PM

Keeping them coiled is fine, just dont coil them smaller than they should be. You can feel the difference between coiling and bending. The size of your bs wheels is a good guide to tell you how small it can be coiled.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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