Bandsaw advice

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soopirV

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Did a search here using Google (much better than the built in search function: https://lmgtfy.com/?q=site%3Arocketryforum.com+bandsaw for those who don't know how to do it) and came up dry. I did learn that most people recommend a router and table to a bandsaw, but I would use the saw for other hobbies too.
Question I have is on tooth count on the blades. One resource I found (https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/library/manuals/rikon/bandsaw_blade_selection_guide.pdf) suggests 32 TPI for cutting thin material (3/32"). Thinnest I would like be cutting is 1/8", so I could go for 24, but it's really difficult (impossible?) to find blades! Those of you with bandsaws, what size blades do you use most for rocketry, and what is it you're cutting (G10, ply?)

Thanks!
 

rharshberger

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I typically use 1/4" width and as high a tooth count as possible for rocketry stuff, that being said a scroll saw is better if working with balsa or basswood.
Grizzly has an excellent selection of bandsaw blades in many sizes as well as good descriptions of the different tooth configurations. I do have some 1/8" bandsaw blades but rarely seem to use them, most of the time my bandsaw is setup with a 1/2" width as they track straighter, narrower widths turn better for detail.

One thing that has really helped on cutting thin materials is making a zero clearance throat plate for the table of the bandsaw.
 
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soopirV

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I typically use 1/4" width and as high a tooth count as possible for rocketry stuff, that being said a scroll saw is better if working with balsa or basswood.
Grizzly has an excellent selection of bandsaw blades in many sizes as well as good descriptions of the different tooth configurations. I do have some 1/8" bandsaw blades but rarely seem to use them, most of the time my bandsaw is setup with a 1/2" width as they track straighter, narrower widths turn better for detail.

One thing that has really helped on cutting thin materials is making a zero clearance throat plate for the table of the bandsaw.
Thanks for the tip on the Grizzly blades...unfortunately I need 72", and they don't seem to stock that size at all. Goes from 64" to 80". I think I'm likely to do mostly straight cuts on the saw, so I'll shoot for a wider blade, with as high a tooth count as I can find...not likely to be doing any resawing of thick hardwoods.
 

Zeus-cat

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I rarely use my bandsaw for rocketry stuff, but I get my blades from Suffolk Machinery. They have a good selection of their Timberwolf blades. The highest tooth count I see there is 18. They actually recommend 10 tpi for scrolling which seems pretty similar to rocketry uses. Anyway, just about any size blade you could want on that site.

Speaking of bandsaws, I was resawing some African padauk a few weeks ago. I had a small piece that was maybe 3x3 and 3/4ths inch thick. Resawing means I had it on the thin edge and was cutting it in half to get two thin 3x3 pieces. I had a 3/4 inch blade in the saw and was carefully pushing it through when the blade just slammed to a dead stop! The blade had a hit a knot in the wood and kinked. I was a bit surprised by the loud thunk and the stopped blade, but then quickly realized the motor was still trying to turn the blade and killed power to the saw. I never had seen a bandsaw do that before! I checked the blade and it had a noticeable kink in it and was ruined. The wood was chewed up and also ruined. At least I didn't have to change my underwear!
 

rharshberger

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What brand and model saw, iirc Olson will make custom blades to order if its an oddball size. Just checked an older Griz catalog (2014, my newest ones hiding out somewhere)
and the they do jump from 64" to 80".

Edit: found my newest Griz catalog (2017) and it has 70-1/2" blades, 1/8"-1/2" width and 3-18tpi, still not 72" though.

Edit of the Edit: Olson does have 72-1/2" blades in 1/8"-1/2" width and 3-14tpi (narrower blade higher tpi) https://www.olsonsaw.net/shop/band-saw-blades/72-1-2in-long/
 
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qquake2k

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I rarely use my bandsaw for rocketry stuff, but I get my blades from Suffolk Machinery. They have a good selection of their Timberwolf blades. The highest tooth count I see there is 18. They actually recommend 10 tpi for scrolling which seems pretty similar to rocketry uses. Anyway, just about any size blade you could want on that site.

Speaking of bandsaws, I was resawing some African padauk a few weeks ago. I had a small piece that was maybe 3x3 and 3/4ths inch thick. Resawing means I had it on the thin edge and was cutting it in half to get two thin 3x3 pieces. I had a 3/4 inch blade in the saw and was carefully pushing it through when the blade just slammed to a dead stop! The blade had a hit a knot in the wood and kinked. I was a bit surprised by the loud thunk and the stopped blade, but then quickly realized the motor was still trying to turn the blade and killed power to the saw. I never had seen a bandsaw do that before! I checked the blade and it had a noticeable kink in it and was ruined. The wood was chewed up and also ruined. At least I didn't have to change my underwear!
Or go to the ER! I've never had that happen to me.
 

soopirV

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Sounds like a bandsaw isn't the right tool to cut fiberglass...both because it destroys the blade and I imagine it sends fibers everywhere? I was hoping to use this to make quick cuts of PCB material (copper clad FR4), but looks like I should stick to dragging out and filling up my little wet tile saw for this. Given that that was my hope, and that most seem to think routers are better suited to rocketry work, is a band saw even worth it?
 

rharshberger

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Bandsaws and routers both have their uses in rocketry. Anytime CF/FG is being cut I would use some type of dust collection to keep the fibers from becoming airborne as much as possible. Mostly my band saw and router come into play for HPR projects and materials over 1/8", also popular in my tool collection is a jig saw and bench top drill press. Bandsaws are great with a circle cutter jig for cutting the OD of bulkheads and Centering rings, routers can be used for the same purpose as well as the ID and with the proper jig slotting tubes and centering rings (self jigging fin slots).
For cutting composites with a bandsaw I would recommend using metal cutting blades if the saw can use them per the manufacturer.
 

qquake2k

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Sounds like a bandsaw isn't the right tool to cut fiberglass...both because it destroys the blade and I imagine it sends fibers everywhere? I was hoping to use this to make quick cuts of PCB material (copper clad FR4), but looks like I should stick to dragging out and filling up my little wet tile saw for this. Given that that was my hope, and that most seem to think routers are better suited to rocketry work, is a band saw even worth it?
I use my bandsaw a LOT. Much more than my router, and about as often as my drill press. I did cut G10 fins with the bandsaw once, and it ruined the blade. Carbide blades are probably your best bet, but they're very expensive.
 

WILDMANRS

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A band saw is not what you want to use for g10 .
Plywood is fine but you will kill blades constantly on fiberglass
 

Woody's Workshop

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Wet saw is best for fiberglass.
Fiberglass is something you don't want to breath, no matter how small the particles are!
I used Olsen blades on my 14" band saw, here's a "LINK" to their site. Shop around, you'll find them cheaper than their site.
For my bigger band saw for 1" to 2" blades I bought them locally from a sharpening business, friend of the family thing.
I miss the smell if freshly cut boards...
 

dixontj93060

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I use a bi-metal blade in my Festool jigsaw and it cuts fiberglass like butter. As others have said, make sure you have an effective vac setup (integrated in the Festool line).

ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1493659823.404157.jpg
 

michigander

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found the box to what I'm using no wonder ruff cut 3/16" x 10 tpi from stash bought about 20 years ago
 

Micromeister

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Since I bought my new Rikon 10" Band Saw, A TRUE joy to use. I've been using 1/8", 3/16" & 1/4" bimetal and Hiflex blades in 14T, 18T for Woods, Plywoods, Aluminum and Brass. 1/4" x 32T for cutting Stainless Steel exhaust deflectors.

Below is a list of the 100ft blade reels I've been using since 2013. and the splice kits used to make up my own blades. Hope this info is helpful

Band Saw-2a_Rikon 10-305_10in Benchtop(70.5in Blade)_08-01-13.JPG


Band Saw-2b_Rikon Doors Open - Balanced Wheels_08-01-13.JPG


View attachment Home Band Saw Blade ID & List .pdf
 
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DeeRoc29

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I have a Laguna 14-12. I use good blades for wood and keep an older blade on hand for fiberglass. I cut fins with it and it's awesome. Dust collection is a must, especially with FG.

Regarding blade count, I've use a 3-4TPI 3/4" blade on 1/8" and there is no issue. It cuts just fine.
 
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o1d_dude

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I have the Sears/Rikon 10" as shown in Micro's photos but the body paint is a different shade. All parts interchangeable.

1/8, 3/16, and 1/4" blades are all good. Tooth count seems highest priority in determing ability to cut material while blade depth is best determined by shape to be cut.

Wonderful tool with decent dust collection.
 

michigander

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I have a Laguna 14-12. I use good blades for wood and keep an older blade on hand for fiberglass. I cut fins with it and it's awesome. Dust collection is a must, especially with FG.

Regarding blade count, I've use a 3-4TPI 3/4" blade on 1/8" and there is no issue. It cuts just fine.

Laguna I have a 24" with 1" carbide on it saw is a monster its been setting here about 20 years

The 16" one i use once in a while , both great quality very happy with them
 

Woody's Workshop

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Laguna is like...one of the top 3 in the world.
Both in quality...and price.
But worth every penny.
My 14" was a Ridgid made in the US of A with the Riser for 12" cutting.
I had the first 19" model of the Rikon, it was Green n White.
The new one's are blue, which I don't care for.
When I can afford it, I'm going for a bench top band saw.
I'll start reading reviews when I know to expect a check from SSDI.
Hearing is next week Wednesday.
 
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