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  #1  
Old 02-12-2015, 07:09 AM
Iluke Iluke is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hope Valley, Rhode Island
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Default Band Saw blade recommendation

Hi everyone. Just (finally) bought a band saw and I'm looking for recommendations on a blade that would work better cutting aluminum that the one it came with which works but is a bit course (don't know the actual tooth count) and leaves a jagged edge.

My saw takes a 72 inch blade of between 1/8 and 1/2 inch width. On slow speed it runs 16 feet/min.


Any suggestions?
thanks,
Ivan
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2015, 07:27 AM
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LifeofReiley LifeofReiley is offline
 
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Default

Ivan, I've used this blade for aluminum for 23 years, love it! http://www.sears.com/craftsman-1-4-x...p-00902625000P
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2015, 07:54 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Since you are asking about blade size, I would go with an 18 TPI in the 1/4" size. Buy a couple of them and get a few in 1/2" just incase you need to do some long straight cuts.

To clean up the cut marks, I have one of these Delta bench sanders with 80 grit on the disk and 120 grit on the belt. After dressing my cuts on this, I finish them on the deburring wheel spun by my drill press set to the lowest speed.

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Last edited by N941WR : 02-12-2015 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Changed 1/8" to 1/4".
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2015, 08:08 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
 
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Location: Estes Park, CO
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Default Blades

I use two. 14TPI for most cutting. 7TPI for angle and bar stock. Cut outside the line and sand using a disk/belt sander. The thick stock will dull a fine blade. Take your time and watch the kerf. The cut can wander pretty quick if you feed too fast. If it happens, back up a tiny bit and feed again.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2015, 10:49 AM
Iluke Iluke is offline
 
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Location: Hope Valley, Rhode Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirejock View Post
I use two. 14TPI for most cutting. 7TPI for angle and bar stock. Cut outside the line and sand using a disk/belt sander. The thick stock will dull a fine blade. Take your time and watch the kerf. The cut can wander pretty quick if you feed too fast. If it happens, back up a tiny bit and feed again.

thanks.. 7TPI for thicker stock surprises me. I guess I was thinking the finer the better. Good to know.
And how about blade width. They sell them as small as 1/8 inch and those are advertised as being better for cutting curves-- A smaller minimum radius that the 3/8 that came with the saw. But I'd guess that the trade-off of a narrower blade would be it being harder to cut a straight line with it? Does that make sense?
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2015, 10:58 AM
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380mxc 380mxc is offline
 
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Default rule of thumb

The basic rule of thumb for band saw blade pitch is three teeth in contact with the material.
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  #7  
Old 02-12-2015, 12:09 PM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
 
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Default TPI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluke View Post
thanks.. 7TPI for thicker stock surprises me. I guess I was thinking the finer the better. Good to know.
And how about blade width. They sell them as small as 1/8 inch and those are advertised as being better for cutting curves-- A smaller minimum radius that the 3/8 that came with the saw. But I'd guess that the trade-off of a narrower blade would be it being harder to cut a straight line with it? Does that make sense?
YMMV. I'm breaking the 3TPI rule. It just seems like the 14 cuts so slow through thick stock, it gets hot and dulls fast. New blades too. The 7 cuts quicker and does leave deeper scars but cutting outside the line then sanding up to the line removes them.
You won't cut many curves but 1/4 is about right for most of what we do.
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Estes Park, CO
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Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
Disclaimer
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2015, 12:50 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirejock View Post
YMMV. I'm breaking the 3TPI rule. It just seems like the 14 cuts so slow through thick stock, it gets hot and dulls fast. New blades too. The 7 cuts quicker and does leave deeper scars but cutting outside the line then sanding up to the line removes them.
You won't cut many curves but 1/4 is about right for most of what we do.
Yes, but we really don't cut through thick stock. The thickest AA in the kit is still pretty thin.

I corrected my post above, I used 1/4" 18 TBI blades and they worked great on the sheet aluminum and OK on all the AA.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2015, 12:53 PM
ninerhawk ninerhawk is offline
 
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Posts: 27
Default Band saw blades

I ended up buying a custom blade for my Craftsman bandsaw and had great success cutting all kinds of aluminum. For exmaple, bandsawbladesdirect dot com allows you to spec out what you want at a competive cost, and at the blade length you specify. Blade speed is an important factor. Without speed adjustment, I wanted something with a higher tooth count.
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