When cutting circles with a band saw, it is vital to select the correct blade width. The smaller the blade width, the smaller the radius or tighter the circle you will be able to cut out. The width of a blade is measured from the tips of the teeth to the back edge of the blade. This will help you if the blade width is not clearly marked.
One of the more frustrating mysteries in woodworking is how to get a bandsaw blade back into the neat little coil it came in. The answer is a surprisingly simple: after seeing it done a time or two. While this procedure is simple, practicing it a few times with an old, worn out blade is a good idea. It is possible to kink blades if the coiling is done very wrong, usually caused by frustration.
Hold the blade in front of you with one hand, keeping the teeth pointing away from you. Wear a glove if you've got one handy. Put your foot inside the loop and step on the blade, securing it firmly to the floor. Simultaneously rotate and lower your hand as you hold the top of the blade. By the time your hand makes three-quarters to one full revolution, the blade will have popped into three coils.
When you buy a band saw blade it is already coiled in a cardboard box. Removing the blade an uncoiling it to install in your band saw is fairly easy to do. The trick to storing a band saw blade that is not in use is to coil it back up. Since a band saw blade is an endless loop, it is not as simple as coiling an extension cord or garden hose. It is like a sharp puzzle. However, with a few simple steps, and a pair of gloves, it can be done fairly easily.
Band saw blades can be a problem to store in a manner that is safe for the blade and you. Coil them up in a drawer and they may strike out the next time you open it. Hang them on something in the shop and they can be damaged, or damage you when you forget they are there and rub against the exposed teeth.
A properly used and maintained band saw is a great addition to any workshop. A band saw does many of the tasks that your other power tools will do. Being able to recognize and understand the various types of band saw blades is as important to your workshop as a good band saw itself.
The 1/4" blade that I got for my home made band saw turned out to have teeth with a rather aggressive set to them. Before I added band saw tires, my lower wheel was just a bare wooden wheel without a tire on it, and I could see wear marks on the wheel from the teeth. My upper band saw wheel had a rubber tire on it, and I could see no signs of wear on it, though I'm sure over time these sharp teeth would cause wear in the rubber as well.
Band Saw Blades
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