Bandsaw Maintenance and Blade Sharpening Tips

Bandsaw MaintenanceIn order to get the most out of your bandsaw and ensure optimum cutting performance, you will need to perform regular maintenance and keep the blades sharp. Here are some bandsaw maintenance tips you should follow.

Clear debris – Once you’re done with the bandsaw for the day, always take a moment to clear any debris including chunks of wood or other material as well as chips and shavings, otherwise they can dull the blade.

Check teeth – Check the blade teeth before and after use to ensure the health of the blade. If the teeth are stripped or broken then you may be feeding your stock too fast or you may not be using enough coolant. If the backing of the bandsaw blade is scratched or scorched then the blade may be ready to fail.

Keep blade tight – A loose blade is not only a safety hazard but it will lead to inaccurate cuts as well. Always check to ensure that the blade is tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications before use.

Use coolant – Some cutting jobs, such as those involving metal stock may require the use of coolants to protect the blade and machine from wear over time. Consult your instruction manual on what type of coolant to use for your machine.

Listen to your saw – Strange sounds or vibrations can often tip you off to problems with your bandsaw. For example, if you hear a sound similar to a guitar strumming, this can indicate that the blade is too loose and needs to be retightened before use.

Blade Sharpening Tips

When it comes to sharpening your bandsaw blade, you have two options: do it yourself with a hand held grinder or automatic grinder, or take it in to a shop that specializes in sharpening blades. If you want to do it yourself, follow these steps:

Automatic Bandsaw Blade Grinder

Step #1 – Always wear safety goggles and earplugs when sharpening your bandsaw blade. Not only can the sound damage your hearing but the metal teeth on the blade may break off and cause serious injury.

Step #2 – Follow manufacturer’s instructions and remove the blade.

Step #3 – Use a permanent marker to mark where to begin and where to stop when sharpening.

Step #4 – Consult user’s manual for instructions on setting the grinding wheel rpm, teeth per inch, number of passes, gullet depth and other grinding parameters.

Step #5 – Once you’re sure that the grinding wheel makes proper contact with the blade, run the grinder but be prepared to turn it off if it doesn’t stop automatically once the process has been completed.

Hand-Held Grinder

Step #1 – Follow steps 1-3 above.

Step #2 – Using a high speed hand held grinder, start at the bottom of each tooth and work your way to the top.

Step #3 – Always be sure to follow the natural angle of the blade as you’re sharpening. Don’t apply too much pressure.

Step #4 – After sharpening all of the teeth, do a test cut. If you aren’t getting a clean, smooth cut then go back and check each tooth individually, re-sharpening as necessary.