Bandsaw Information

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*** Bandsaw Information ***

Bandsaw Blade Set
The most important part of the bandsaw blade.

There is nothing else that will determine how a blade cuts and performs. Set is the amount that the teeth are bent from the original kerf or width of the blade material. Teeth that are perfectly set will always cut a straight line since there are no forces acting upon the blade to push it one way or another.

The best analogy is a comparison to the front end alignment on a car. Proper wheel alignment requires very little hold on the steering wheel. Poor alignment causes the driver to pull the wheel to correct it. Set works the same way. As shown below, when the teeth are perfectly set, the difference from the center line to the widest point of the tooth is the exact same from one side to the next. The width of the blade material is .025 (25 thousandth´s of an inch) and after setting, the overall width or kerf of the cut is .037 thousandths of and inch. This means that the total set is .012 and if done perfectly, each side has .006 per side for a perfectly straight cutting blade. If the set was .005 on one side and .007 on the other, the blade would always and naturally pull to the strong side no matter how much tension is applied.


We sell a very special series of LOW TENSION, HIGH DUCTILE, SILICON STEEL BAND SAW BLADES for wood cutters and sawyers. At the present time from 1/16" thru 1 1/4". Our bands run purposely with 35% to 50% less tension than the competitors carbon bands. Being very stable at low tension, over 70% of the rotation fatigue effect is eliminated, increasing band body life dramatically, and 20% LESS HORSEPOWER IS REQUIRED.

Check your tires and guides. Our Silicon Steel Blades, like all other narrow carbon band saw blades 2" and under, run best on a cushion of rubber. The shock absorbing quality of resilient 3/16" to 1/4" thick rubber tires, GLUED tightly around the metal band saw wheels, extends band body life dramatically. Modern band saws have a crown, machined across the face of the metal band saw wheels. This crown can be as little as .018 thousandths, for tracking 3/4" and narrower bands, or as much as .030 thousandths for tracking 1 1/4" bands. This crown causes the effect of self tracking. This is the same principle used for tracking sanding belts on a belt sander. Band saw tires are a special seamless 1/8"or 3/16" resilient rubber specially made 20% under size. The tire must be stretched and glued on the crowned metal surface of the wheel. The rubber tire provides the self tracking crown and also a cushioned ride. Age, over tensioning and not detensioning the band after use, compress and wear the crown out of the tires. This compression and time will also make the tires hard and brittle. Old tires cause band breakage!
How do you know when the time has come to replace your tires? Simple; by looking at them. When the tires' crowns have flattened out equal to 1/2" the width of the band you are using, the time has come to replace them. At this point the tension you apply must increase in order to stabilize the band. If you faithfully follow our "Did You Know" you will be very aware of these changing conditions.  

Our Manufacturer has run many controlled tests in trying to work out a reasonable formula for determining useful tire life. In conclusion; Using a well tuned 14" band saw and utilizing all the wisdom of a smart sawyer, we found that with a 1/4" band, running four hours a day, 5 days a week, that tire life was about 12 months. Tire life dropped approximately 2 to 3 months when using an 1/8" band. On the other hand, tire life increased by approximately 2 to 3 months when we ran nothing but 3/4" bands. These observations were made in a controlled study...but are by no means written in stone. The reason we ran these tests was to help the sawyer better understand that tires do have a useful, but limited, life span and that it is to your advantage not to exceed it. On Pallet and Band Mills used every day, tire life can be as short as 2 or 3 months. Note: If your saw uses loose fitting V-belts, change them. Buy the next size down, spray them liberally with WD-40, then use a screwdriver and pop them into place. Loose fitting V-belts slap against the blade and cause excessive blade breakage and vibration!  

Always try to keep 6 to 8 teeth in the cut at all times; this is for metal or wood cutting. It will give you stability and more of an accurate cut when scrolling or straight cutting. This rule does not apply when resawing or mill cutting logs and cants. With a constant pitch, the appropriate set of the teeth and the articulation of the hook angle become the most important factors when using 1 1/4" resharpenable and resettable bands. Please read "THE RULES OF SAWING".

Fatigue Ratio: The stress being applied to the blade body; due to wheel diameter, blade length, thickness, speed (surface feet per minute-S.F.P.M.) and tension.
Band Body life diminishes rapidly when put into any one or more of the stress situations listed above. You will find some stress situations listed above to be built into the saw by the manufacturer, either by mistake or by design.  

Pallet and Band Mill Machines running 1 1/4" wide bands on wheel diameters smaller than 26" will also experience decreased band body life due to the smaller wheel diameters. As the wheel diameter decreases so must the speed of the band (S.F.P.M.). This increases the work load on each tooth decreasing blade life. Two wheel machines, smaller than 14" wheel diameter, using 1/8" to 3/4" bands and under, will encounter 20% to 50% less blade life. With machines 14" and larger than the above example, you will see blade life increase proportionally. You will encounter decreased blade life with any three wheel band saw even if the wheels are larger and the blade length exceeds 90".


Examples of optimum S.F.P.M. on specific wheel diameters. It is not considered wise to exceed these values.
12" = 2,800 24" = 5,200
14" = 3,300 26" = 5,500
16" = 3,800 28" = 5,700
18" = 4,500 30" = 6,000
20" = 4,800 36" = 6,500

As you exceed the S.F.P.M. on a specific wheel diameter, you are greatly increasing the centrifugal force applied to the body of the band traveling between the two wheels. This forces you to over tension your bands in order to make them run stable. This WILL cause premature and excessive blade breakage. Band saw blades cannot be tensioned properly if your S.F.P.M. exceeds the above chart. There is also a minimum speed you can run a band saw blade. (EXAMPLE: Timber Wolf® band saw blades should not be run under 4,000 S.F.P.M.)


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  • Model: Information for Bandsaws
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This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 16 April, 2006.

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