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Thread: Carbide bandsaw blades

  1. #1
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    Carbide bandsaw blades

    I have a Grizzly 14" bandsaw with a riser block installed. I use is mostly for resawing and ripping rough stock. I've been using a Woodslicer blade from Highland Woodworking for resawing some 8" red oak but it is getting dull. I'm thinking of ordering a carbide blade and am wondering if anyone has experience with the Lenox vs. Laguna blades. As far as I can tell, the Lenox blade has carbide imbedded teeth (whatever that means) and the Laguna has welded carbide teeth. The price difference is a lot but I'm guessing the old adage "you get what you pay for" would apply. That being said, I am a hobbyist woodworker and I don't know if it would really pay to spend the extra money if all it is buying me is longevity. At my age, either one might outlive me-lol.

  2. #2
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    Bill, you may or may not be able to tension the bands you are considering on that saw, particularly the one with the welded teeth. Check the specifications carefully. I'll also suggest to you not to exceed 1/2" wide bands for the same reason. While you can fit a 3/4" band on there, it's tougher to get it to where it needs to be tension wise on a small saw.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    I don't own either but from what I've read is that the Laguna can be resharpened because there's more carbide. Both blades have users that really like them. But, like Jim said, make sure you can properly tension one. I'm currently using Lenox Bi-metal blades and once the resaw blade dulls I was going to upgrade to a carbon toothed blade. But it's been almost two years now and it's still going strong on my 19" BS. Before this saw I had a 14" Delta clone and was using the woodturners blade from Highland. They seemed to dull a lot quicker than the bi-metal blades do. If you find you don't think you can use a carbide blade then I would suggest a bi-metal blade.

  4. #4
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    Save your money. No 14" Delta clone can put enough tension on a carbide blade that the performance will justify the cost. I would get a 1/2" x 3 tpi bimetal blade, something like the Lennox Diemaster 2 or Olson MVP. Neither will cut as fast as the Woodslicer on the first 50 ft but both will cut just as fast after that and will last many times longer.

    John

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    Save your money. No 14" Delta clone can put enough tension on a carbide blade that the performance will justify the cost. I would get a 1/2" x 3 tpi bimetal blade, something like the Lennox Diemaster 2 or Olson MVP. Neither will cut as fast as the Woodslicer on the first 50 ft but both will cut just as fast after that and will last many times longer.

    John

    I agree
    you can upgrade the spring and it will help a bit with the tension but I personally wouldn't invest in a carbide blade for one of those saws. I don't think you'll ever get the benefit you're looking for.
    I use blades from sawblade.com. https://sawblade.com/bandsaw-blades-...od-cutting.cfm
    Just a suggestion

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Bill, you may or may not be able to tension the bands you are considering on that saw, particularly the one with the welded teeth. Check the specifications carefully. I'll also suggest to you not to exceed 1/2" wide bands for the same reason. While you can fit a 3/4" band on there, it's tougher to get it to where it needs to be tension wise on a small saw.
    I find that I can tension a 3/4" band on this saw as long as I make sure it is tracking dead center on the wheel. At least this is the case with the Woodslicer, and I have resawn some pretty wide stock without the band bowing in the cut as long as I feed it at the rate that the blade likes -- my philosophy is 'always let the blade do the work', pushing harder doesn't save enough time to make it worthwhile.

    I would buy another Woodslicer - I really like the quality of the cut but I thought that carbide might might do a comparable job and last longer.

  7. #7
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    +2 to what John said. I use 1/2" 3 tpi bimetal as the main blade on my 18" 3hp saw and hardly ever get around to switching to my 1" carbide. I have tried the 1/2" woodslicer and they were great for the first 10 minutes but the bimetal blades are useable for a much much much longer time.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Melin View Post
    I find that I can tension a 3/4" band on this saw as long as I make sure it is tracking dead center on the wheel. At least this is the case with the Woodslicer, and I have resawn some pretty wide stock without the band bowing in the cut as long as I feed it at the rate that the blade likes -- my philosophy is 'always let the blade do the work', pushing harder doesn't save enough time to make it worthwhile.

    I would buy another Woodslicer - I really like the quality of the cut but I thought that carbide might might do a comparable job and last longer.
    I've used a Lenox TriMaster 1/2" on a Rikon 10-325 and it seems to work okay. The thing that's different with the 1/2" TriMaster is that the band is .025" thick instead of the .032" thick band most commonly found on carbide tipped blades. A thinner band should be easier to tension and be less prone to fatigue cracking on small diameter wheels. I've only cut a couple feet with it to try it out but it seems to work. The cut wasn't as smooth as a table saw but probably one pass through a drum sander would be enough. Steel framed saws like the Rikon are reputed to be able to tension blades better than cast iron saws.

    In terms of bang for the buck a bimetal blade is probably better than a true carbide blade. I got my TriMaster from Toolcenter.com. the 1/2" 3 TPI 105" would cost $161.12(!) plus shipping. A Diemaster 2 bimetal 1/2" 4 TPI would be $44.27. Some people use a dremel with small diamond stone to sharpen Woodslicer blades. I doubt I'd have the patience for it but that's something to consider.

  9. #9
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    I used a 12" Lenox Trimaster on my 14" Delta with riser block for a long time with apparent good results. The saw has an upgraded spring, and I did wear out the tension adjuster over 20-some years use. It cut straight lines, allowed me to resaw veneers up to 8" or so consistently, and did so for a very long time; it was on the saw for several years. I've also used the woodslicer blades, which were much better in terms of initial cut quality, but only for the first 4-5 boards.

    So I don't know whether the Delta saw is capable of achieving some resaw nirvana, but it is certainly capable of doing lots of useful work with a 1/2" carbide blade. That said, there is little comparison between it and my new-to-me Centauro MM20 for cutting speed and ease of use for resawing, so I can see where the naysayers are coming from.

  10. #10
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    Time for some data. I have an Iturra spring on my 14" Delta with riser block. With a 1/2" x 3 tpi x 0.025" blade it can comfortably apply 12 ksi to that blade. The recommended tension on bandsaw blades from most manufacturers is 18 ksi or higher. For carbide blades it's over 20 ksi. Testing on my 14" Delta showed it was possible to get 18 ksi on that 1/2" blade. The spring was almost fully compressed. More critical, the upper wheel axle assembly started to bend. Also, the upper blade guides shifted sideways to the right as the frame deflected. This is not a set of conditions where the saw will operate properly or survive long without damage. Those experiments is what showed me 12 ksi is the maximum I can apply to that blade w/o significant deflection of the frame and upper guides.

    If 12 ksi is the maximum that can comfortably applied on a 1/2" x 0.025" blade then 8 ksi is where you will be at with a 3/4" blade. The beam strength of a 3/4" blade is higher than for a 1/2" blade, but the net gain is zero. Will it cut OK? Sure, if you go slow enough. But the saw won't allow for any improvement in performance over the 1/2" blade.

    So back to the 1/2" blade. Why not a carbide blade? Well, you could, but again you'll be running 12 ksi and gain no advantage other than possibly longevity over a regular blade. Performance might actually go down because carbide blades have no tooth set; the kerf is created by the width of the teeth and there is very little clearance to the band they are braised to. Any deflection from straight ahead will cause the band to rub in the kerf and that leads to trouble. This is how the Woodslicer quickly failed on my Delta. The teeth got a little dull on one side after only a few feet in hard maple and it rubbed so badly in the narrow kerf that it bowed from the heat. If your saw can apply 20+ ksi the blade will inherently want to run straight but at 12 ksi any misalignment in set up, or inconsistency in the wood, or operator error will cause the blade to wander.

    You can get acceptable performance out of the 14" Delta and clones but you have to have realistic expectations. I cut a lot of 10" veneer with mine before I bought a larger saw with a stiffer frame and larger motor. The Delta taught me a lot about how to set up a saw in order to successfully cut veneer. On my big saw there's almost no way to fail. The major difference between the two saws, beyond size, is blade tension. You need perfect alignment and a sharp blade with equal set to be successful on the Delta, and you can't overfeed the work into the blade.

    John

  11. #11
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    John, That's the best post I've ever seen on the Delta 14" bandsaw.

  12. #12
    john is the bandsaw Swami. the bandsaw whisperer. Always a joy to read. I have three of the beasts and not learned a fraction of what he knows. When I fire up the 2,500 lb one will read all he has written.

  13. #13
    The lennox more than likely not. The Laguna more than likely yes, I had it on a 14/12 and it performed better at re-sawing than the woodslicer, actually snapped it by over tensioning it which I was surprised since the 14/12 is such a puny saw.

  14. #14
    Back in my Italian days, we hired David Marks to teach some bandsaw seminars. All his wild bent-lam stuff with purple heart, walnut, etc. The blade he used was a Lenox Die-master II. I asked him why he didn't use a carbide. His reply: "Because I have pay for blades myself".

    Erik
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  15. #15
    I have heard of iffy results with diemaster however once the Carbide is dead will probably give it a go.

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