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The experts at Sawblade.com.au have brainstormed and come up with simple but comprehensive guidelines to help you get the maximum out of your bandsaw blades. Following the steps below will set you up to get the most accurate and consistent cutting with excellent results.
Bandsaw blades are products, and their value to you is measurable by the longevity of the blade. If the operator does not take special care of the blade, it can compromise the structural integrity of the blade. This will lead to the blade not operating to the full of its potential.
The first tell-tell sign of your blade not operating the way it should is if it loses sharpness faster than anticipated. Designed to cut straight right out of the box, your blade’s inability to cut straight could be down to improper use of the blade. If you are sure that your blade should have lasted longer before breaking, then you are in the right place.
Mastering Blade Tension
It’s a common misconception amongst new bandsaw blade users that the tension in the blades should be relatively less. However, this is not true. According to experts, a good amount of tension will increase the blade’s life and help get better results. Keeping tension in the blade high but measured will increase productivity.
A simple method to check and adjust the tension in your blade is to carefully place your thumb in the back edge(non-tooth) of the blade and try to push it vertically out of the guides. If the blade’s movement is any further than 1-2 mm, you need to increase the tension on your blade.
Proper Break-In Process
A proper break-in process will prevent stripping of the teeth and ensure longer blade life. When starting to use a new blade, decrease your feed rate to half. Keeping the feed rate at half, cut a solid piece of mild steel while gradually increasing the feed rate to get to your desired feed rate. Feed rate is the speed at which you are operating the blade.
The break-In process will gently sharpen the teeth and align them properly. This also minimises the chances of early breakage.
The Use Of Coolants
The use of coolants during the initial cutting process helps to reduce heat and wash chips out of blade gullets. Using coolants is vital for extending blade life because while cooling the tooth edge, it also cools the entire cutting process. Without using coolants, heat will build up in the teeth and weld itself to the cutting material.
Other Factors That Prolong or Shorten Blade Life
A proper feed rate ensures that the head of the saw is smooth when it drops onto the metal being cut.
Tightly clamped materials are the set square to the cut and offer support to the cutting process. A moving clamping material could likely chip off the teeth.
Guides support the bandsaw blade, and it should not be movable by hand. Guides should be as close to the cutting material as possible and firmly secure.
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