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Bandsaw blade for resawing Black locust

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Forum topic by Zachofalltrades posted 07-13-2020 06:01 PM 308 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Zachofalltrades

7 posts in 27 days


07-13-2020 06:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw blade resawing black locust

I just picked up my first bandsaw on Friday and I’m in the process of figuring everything out with it. I spent the weekend getting it into good running condition and just learning the machine and setup. In case anybody is interested, it’s a 1970s Craftsman 18” Band saw by Parks, with a 12” cutting height and a 1hp motor. I know it’s a little low on power, but needing new tires, thinking hard about putting new guides on it, and a good blade will put off a motor upgrade for a bit.

So on to my real question: I plan on mostly using the saw for resawing, and have plans of building a large deck that I will deck with locally harvested black locust. I want to shop for a good resaw blade, but don’t want to waste too much money trying out every blade on the market. Of course everybody says timber wolf is the best, but they make a lot of blades. Black locust is a pretty tough wood with a known blunting effect, so would resawing a lot of it justify the nearly $200 cost of an 11’ carbide tipped blade? Or would a regular blade have some life to spare after sawing several hundred bd/ft of black locust? Also I wasn’t sure about blade width. The blade tensioner has indications for up to a 1” blade, the wheels are just a hair over 1.25” wide (no lip), and the 70s sears catalogues only gave part numbers for up to 5/8” blades. I figure a 3/4” blade would be fine, but wasn’t sure if a 1” blade offered much better resawing.


10 replies so far

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

2154 posts in 2988 days


#1 posted 07-13-2020 06:23 PM

Don’t bother replacing the guides. If you need new guide blocks, just replace those. As long as they’re functional, they’re fine. There’s no performance difference between blocks and ball bearings. The only real circumstance where you should replace functional guides is if you’re dedicating a saw to tight curves and want to uses the Carter thin blade guide.

3/4” vs 1” is kind of a toss-up, for me. Your saw can probably tension a 1” blade just fine, but I see that this person had trouble getting a 1” blade to track.
http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=10625

I don’t routinely resaw on my 17” bandsaw, but it’s hard for me to imagine a new quality 3/4” resaw blade not being able to handle a couple hundred bf of black locust. You could resharpen that blade a couple times before you approach the cost of the carbide blade. Maybe if you’re talking about running thousands of bf the math starts working out. The x factor is if you might be encountering hidden embedded metal in the wood.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

14505 posts in 1943 days


#2 posted 07-13-2020 06:25 PM

I would definitely go with a carbide toothed blade for resawing Locust. That stuff is tough. I would say you would go through 3-5 HSS blades. I normally recommend Woodslicer resaw blades from Highland Woodworking but you’d probably go through 1/2 dozen of those. They make a beautiful cut but they don’t last long. IMO, the wider the blade, the better for resawing. If your machine will tension a 1”, that’s what I’d buy.

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

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3178 posts in 2603 days


#3 posted 07-13-2020 06:29 PM

If the Black Locust is going to be wet or high Mc. You need to use a blade with lots of set in the teeth. Carbide blades have very little set. The two that I use have very little set and only good for dry dry wood.
I think you should try a blade from timber wolf. Call them they are very knowledgeable about their stuff.
I’ve never Resawed black locust sounds gnarly.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3352 posts in 2299 days


#4 posted 07-13-2020 06:56 PM

IMHO – The TimberWolf 2/3 VPC blades are great blades to use for resaw.
The come in different widths, and bi-metal version for hard/dense exotics.

If I was using a ‘new to me’ saw that was recently rebuilt and returned to service; would start with standard (low cost) VPC blade and learn how long it lasts before I make the investment into bi-metal or carbide versions. Best to get new saw running well, before you dump a pile of money on a primary carbide blade and spare bi-metal blade(s).

Since your saw is only 1HP, would suggest you do not want to push the widest possible blade that fits the saw? The extra friction during resaw might be an issue. Only way to know is to test several blade widths, but I would think can use a 3/4” VPC with no issues on 1HP? But every saw is different, and will not know till you test it out. Even the 1/2” 2/3 VPC blade zips through 8-10” of wood easily with 3/4 HP.

BTW – The ONE time I did some resaw on black locust, it was frustrating experience. There was a lot of hidden stress inside, and kerf closed down on blade. YMMV
Make sure you have some wooden shims/wedges handy that can insert into the kerf behind the blade as you cut. Otherwise the force can stop the blade. In worst case, it will overheat the blade, belt, tires, guides, motor, and rip your hands up; if blade jumps off wheel due expansion from heat (absolute worst case). Fore warned is fore armed.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3050 posts in 3749 days


#5 posted 07-13-2020 07:12 PM

Don’t forget, you can re-sharpen blades on the machine just by hitting the tops of the dulled teeth. I’ve done that with many a blade I would have tossed and, sometimes, found they worked even better.

and what shampeon said…..

View PBWilson1970's profile

PBWilson1970

98 posts in 199 days


#6 posted 07-13-2020 07:16 PM

I’ve cut up my fair share of Black Locust on my 1hp 14” Jet bandsaw with a 1/2” Timberwolf blade. I can’t recall the model number but it was not a bi-metal one. I didn’t do much resawing over 4” thick, so I can’t tell you how long the blade might last if you are cutting thicker stock, but I can say that when I used a blade lubricant (Bostik DriCote) it worked without nearly as much burning or heating up. There are a bunch on the market that would probably work the same as what I used. Good luck! That deck will likely outlive all of us!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

2154 posts in 2988 days


#7 posted 07-13-2020 07:18 PM

A lot of folks touch up their resaw blades by running the blade into their table saw sled to hold the teeth up and putting a grinding stone in a dremel. Haven’t tried that yet, myself, but you can do that a couple times before the set gets too thin apparently.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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PBWilson1970

98 posts in 199 days


#8 posted 07-13-2020 07:19 PM

One more thing: Black Locust sapwood is not nearly as weather resistant as the heartwood. My yard has dozens of Black Locust trees and the previous owner had cut some up for firewood. He left a bunch in a log pile where it sat for at least a decade and the Black Locust log heartwood was still solid and usable for smaller projects where the sapwood basically disintegrated. Just something to think about with the deck project.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Zachofalltrades's profile

Zachofalltrades

7 posts in 27 days


#9 posted 07-13-2020 09:00 PM

Thanks everybody, I got some great feedback here. I hadn’t thought about the difference between running dry wood vs green wood through the saw. Locust borers must be bad in my area though, most locust on my property is dead and dry, but I don’t think there’s enough there for a deck. I did find a local sawmill that says they have a source for green black locust, in which case I would let them cut it for the decking and put it down green, because if it’s dry then it’s hard to get screws started in it. Where my saw would come in for that scenario is cutting pieces that would trim everything out and cover the pressure treated posts.

The second project is butcher block countertops. I like the idea of using black locust for countertops because I’ve tested it out in a bathroom and like the way it stands up finished in tung oil. The bathroom was just a board insert that spans over a concrete sink I made. I’ll probably make a sample piece for the countertops to play with finishes and see if the wife likes it.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3352 posts in 2299 days


#10 posted 07-14-2020 03:31 AM

Just noticed mention of band saw and green wood?

Moisture levels in green wood require blade with more set to remove the swarf. For occasional 2” thick branch, can get away with VPC type resaw blade. But for thicker cuts, suggest the AS blades from Timberwolf.

There is night and day difference in performance cutting thick pieces of green wood.

They make a 1” x 2PC blade with a large 0.065” kerf for thick cuts in green logs if your saw can handle it.

Again, best luck with new toy/tool. :-)

BTW – Not a absolute Timberwolf fanboy: If you decide to run more expensive bi-metal blades, Lenox Classic Bi-metal is decent blade. Have a local custom tooling shop that welds band saw blades to length. They sell Lenox classic bi-metal cheaper than mail order prices. The 3/4” 4/6 pitch leaves really smooth finish on hard exotics, and is great when only need resaw ~6”. For thicker sections, suggest using the 3 tooth hook.

Funny thing about band saw blades: You can make many tooth types work for occasional cut. But when you find the right blade for job; the saw will chew through lumber quickly, often times faster than you can physically feed it. This is also the reason you should have a helper when running long boards on band saw.

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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