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As long as the running blades are concerned, people regularly sharpen it for best results.
However, most people prefer getting a replacement when it comes to an old dulled blade. But you can get the best value by properly sharpening your band saw blade without replacing it.
Old blades require three to four sharpening to get it fully capable of cutting like a new one.
Now, the question is, how to sharpen a bandsaw blade? There are many methods for sharpening, but I will guide you to sharpen the blade in the most efficient ways.
Manually Sharpen Band Saw Blade
People find sharpening a band saw blade pretty overwhelming due to the fact that it has lots of teeth, unlike conventional saw blades. Sharpening such a blade is actually a simple and straight forward task which also saves your money.
To get a quick result, you can sharpen only the dull areas of the blade. However, once in a while, you need to sharpen the entire blade to keep it performing like a new one.
Before you begin, make sure you have these items in your hand –
- Protective gloves and goggles
- Sharpening stone
- Hand file
- Dremel tool
- Blue masking tape or a marker
- The band saw
Keep in your mind that you need to sharpen the edges of the blade only; no need to change the angles of the teeth. If you struggle to keep your hand steady during more delicate tasks, ask someone else to help you with this task.
You can either get a jig to hold the blade while sharpening, or leave the blade in the saw. Unplug the power before beginning the procedure.
Sharpening The Back Of The Teeth
Mark the blade with the blue tape, or you can use a marker to mark the starting point of the blade where you will start the process from. This mark will ensure that you don’t sharpen the teeth twice unwillingly. And at a point when you will see the mark again, it will tell you that the process is done.
You need to take a Dremel tool attachment that properly fits the curve of the gullet of your blade. Make sure the Dremer tool runs at a low speed; it will make it easy to control the tool.
Start by touching the backside of the tip very lightly. Remove metal particles to keep everything neat and clean. Sharpen the blade around, and when you find the marked tip, it means you are done here.
Sharpening The Front Of The Teeth
Now, it’s time to take care of the front side of the teeth. Take a sharpening tool such as a diamond plate or oil stone.
Place the tool facing the blade. Move your sharpening tool towards the blade and let it barely touch the front side of the teeth. Make the blade travel backward by spinning the upper wheel.
The teeth will most likely be worn down due to contacting the sharpening tool and make protruding. It will ensure the front tips of the teeth are evenly plane and make the blade cut smoothly and efficiently.
If you find that some teeth aren’t touching the sharpening tool, this indicates that the blade teeth aren’t aligned properly. In such a case, the forward teeth do the majority of cuttings. When you make the front teeth even, it will ensure each tooth is contributing to cuts and working efficiently.
In solving the issue, do the same thing that you did in the first part of this guide. Wheel the blade until you see the blue tape. You don’t have to be perfect all the way around the blade. Sharpen as much as you can. Once you are done, you will find the newly sharpened blade cutting way better than the dulled one.
Pro Tips For Sharpening A Band Saw Blade
- Properly align all the teeth and make sure they are plane. It will ensure each one of them is sharpened, which will significantly improve the cut.
- Always start sharpening from the backside of the teeth. The purpose of this is to maintain the geometry of the front side of the blade even if there is too much metal to remove after sharpening the backside.
- A Dremel with a perfectly fit grinding wheel will make the sharpening process a lot easier.
- If you don’t want to remove the blade of the saw, make sure you place the Dremel in a jig. Although using a jig isn’t compulsory, it will ensure you hit each tooth at a consistent angle and make the sharpening more convenient.
How To Make Band Saw Blade Long-lasting
If you take care of the maintenance part of your blade, you can actually use it for a longer time.
Cleaning The Blade
In most cases, the dullness of a blade actually occurs when the blade stays dirty for a long time. Wood pitch easily builds-up on a dirty blade and affects the quality of cuts.
To prevent dullness from happening, clean the dirty blade with a blade cleaner. It will help you to get rid of wood pitch.
If your band saw is pre-equipped with metal guide blocks, it will rub against the blade and create friction and cause the blade to heat. Heat is one of the things that reduce the longevity of a blade.
Simply replace the metal guide blocks with non-metallic one. It will not cause friction to happen and will help to keep the blades cool.
Brushing The Dust
When you cut something with the band saw, it produces sawdust, which can cause some serious issues for both the tire and blade. The tracking of your blade is highly affected by a tire filled with sawdust.
What’s the solution? Simply, sweep the sawdust off the tire with a band saw brush.
It might sound crazy, but waxing the saw table makes it easier to clean and look shiny. Also, it minimizes the chance of oxidation and friction. Wood sliding across the table over time can leave the wood rougher than usual, which causes friction. Therefore, regularly wax the saw table to prevent such issues.
Too much vibration while cutting affects the quality of cuts. Most times, it’s the slipping belt that is responsible for unusual vibration. Replace the belt with an adjustable link belt. It will reduce the vibration significantly and improve the quality of cuts by making the cutting process silky smooth.
A dull blade doesn’t mean you have to replace the blade with a new one. Now that you know how to sharpen band saw blade, you can actually re-sharpen the blade with minimal effort and save money. Also, don’t let the blade get dirty, as it is the root cause of dullness of the blade.