Tighter Turns From A Bandsaw Blade

Demanding the tightest turn from a bandsaw blade can cause it to bind and burn. One way to provide more maneuverability is to make relief cuts in the waste, so that those outer parts can fall away to give the rear of the blade wiggle room.

However, sometimes you want to keep the entire workpiece intact, such as when cutting the pieces for the tugboat on page 36. In those cases, tapering the trailing edge of the blade will give it more clearance in the curved kerf, allowing a tighter turn, as shown in the drawing. To create the taper, slowly slide an 80-grit carborundum honing stone back and forth against each side of the running blade. Hold the edge of the stone at a low angle to the blade, avoiding the teeth and keeping your fingers a safe distance from the blade. Be patient, and make sure to leave a flat on the rear edge of the blade because a knife edge would be hard on the thrust bearing. For fire safety, vacuum the saw interior before honing to prevent sparks from igniting sawdust.

-Ric Hanish, Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Back to blog Back to issue